By Daisy White
After being apprehended in a high profile sting operation I was forced to testify against the madam I worked for. Till then I had lived a double life and I was filled with secrets. It was on the witness stand that day, that all was revealed to me. I finally understand why my sexuality had been so impacted. I had been blind to in my own life and the reasons why I had made choice became crystal clear. This is when I decided to tell the truth, it forever change my life. From that day forth I became free, speaking to all men and women who search for their true identity and a true voice. I became truly myself.
The same question keeps coming up. I’m wondering about that first time. I’m trying to figure it out. I can’t pinpoint a real first time because maybe there is no real first time. There are many first times, new choices each new decision. Maybe I don’t care so much about the first time. Maybe I’m just wondering because everyone asks about it.
“When was the first time? What made you do it? What sent you over the edge? What was the way in?”
I don’t know! The way in isn’t just once, it isn’t one time, and anyway the first time was lots of different times. The first what anyway? I mean what are we really talking about? Because the real first time I didn’t know that it was the first time, not the thing you’re calling the first time. I mean…I didn’t know what was happening to me. So can that be the first time? But, you could call that the official first time. But then after that there were many more times that could qualify as the first time too. I didn’t know those as the first time either. There was a time, when I did know what I was doing and what it was called and maybe that’s what people want to know about. That could be the official first time. I’m enraged and I want to explode trying to make sense out of this. I can’t fucking organize it into any neat box.
“Miss White when did you commit your first act of prostitution.”
I am on the witness stand of the Van Nuys courtroom in a black wig, wearing dark thrift store clothes that I’ve never worn before. I’m trying to be someone else. The courtroom is filled with people I’ve never seen, reporters, court reporters. Jurymen and women, what seems like the entire LAPD vice squad and more… The room is packed. I’m fidgeting with a black string on my incognito jacket. The judge is to my right on what feels like a high chair that reaches up to the sky. His black sleeves move like a bat with each objection. The room smells sweaty and angry. Sasha’s lawyer, Mr. Scottie, is wearing a grey generic lawyer type suit and he looks as jerky as he sounds. Sasha, my madam, is sitting opposite me at an angle and her blond hair strobes the entire courtroom. She looks like a younger version of Angelyne wearing a fake white channel suit. I’m here to testify against her,
I’m worried she hates me, maybe she’ll have someone follow me later. I focus on the pencil in Scottie’s right hand. I’m scared. I’m tired. I’ve been answering fast questions for over an hour. I look at Mr. Wallmark, the D.A. who is sitting directly across me hoping for help but he looks down. I’m not sure what Scottie means with his question. I grip my hands around my cool wooden chair and anchor my self. I turn to my lawyer at my left. I know I am the star witness for the D.A. I know Scottie is trying to get me. I don’t want to cry again. I want to ask my Lawyer, Gayley, how to answer the questions again but I know Scottie will object. I turn towards the judge instead.
“I don’t know.” I answer.
Scottie looks at me stunned and brushes the lapel of his ugly suit as if he had smootch all over it from sloppy eating. He flicks it with thumb and index finger. The heavy maple doors of the courtroom slam as yet another looky loo enters and stands at the back. Scottie hovers at his big desk and looks at his notes stalling for time. Sasha whispers to him. The judge picks his fingers and rolls his eyes waiting for Scottie. The first juror lady adjusts herself in her seat. I look over at her and she smiles me some silent encouragement. Mr wallmark’s chair scrapes at the floor standing to interject. Scottie beats him to it.
“Ok so you don’t remember, can you tell us about when you first became a prostitute.”
Scottie bounces back and forth between his heels and his toes. He throws me the question I can never answer. The one that always stumps me about the first time. The room gets blurry. My eyes narrow like they did when I was little and I squinted my way down the Champs-Elysees so that all the light would go soft. The room whispers. The judge looks down. Wallmark waits. Scottie Revels. Gayley looks at me. Everything goes blank.
“Voila! Take this 500 franc note.” Sami handed me the biggest most colorful money France ever made and put it into my 13 year-old hand. I wore my escarpin to the agency, all models were tall and I wanted to make the best impression with my high heels. Sami wore the most beautiful Armani suit, well pressed and the tan color matched his skin. I looked at all the magazine covers on the wall. I recognized every face. I wanted to be one of them one day, one of the ones on his office wall, one of his favorites. Sami’s office was big, bigger than any office I’d been in. The walls were plum and the room was dark like a cave with furniture from Versaille. I crinkled the bill between my fingers. He must like me, he gave me money. The office smelled like eau de cologne, Sami’s cologne.
“Merci monsieur.” I smelled the 500 francs and put them in my little purse. I felt valuable. I smiled and Sami smiled back. I smoothed my skirt down on the white couch I was sitting on. The phone rang and Sami ignored it; I was important. The rain and thunder started to pound on the street below, the room got darker. Sami took off his jacket and swung it on the back of his desk chair.
“Non, non, don’t call me monsieur, call me Sami. I want us to be good friends and I will make you a famous model like all these. If ever you need something you come to me. I’m just going to lock this door now. Privacy. Oui. Bon, bon. Now why don’t you put your mouth on me.”