ANYTHING BUT A WASTED LIFE: COPS & ACID

I almost sold my teenage body to get a friend’s boyfriend out of jail. Well before I was a sex worker, I knew the power I had as an attractive, sexually driven female. I’m not exactly sure how the idea originated, but I had been using sex as commerce for some time, so the idea that I could make money from it wasn’t that far-fetched. This happened when I was living in an apartment with three delinquent boys in Fairfax. I had a short-lived friendship with a fourteen-year-old runaway. I couldn’t tell you how I met her and I don’t even remember her name, but she stayed with us for a spell in the spring of ’87. She was tall and pretty. Her boyfriend had landed himself in jail for something petty and neither of them had bail money. I don’t think I’d ever even met him.

One sunny day she and I got the bright idea to go into the city to trade sex for her boyfriend’s bail. We were stoned, pilled out, and on acid. As we were hitchhiking on highway 101 to the city—which was about forty miles from Fairfax—it dawned on me that I owned a car and that we could have driven. I used to drive on acid all the time. But these are the things that happen to people while on hallucinogens. We were already halfway there, so there was no point in turning back. We trudged on.

We got to the city and headed for a bar on Haight Street. Bars didn’t ID everyone back those days. We had a simple plan. Find a couple of guys and prostitute ourselves. Even at that age, we were very aware that men wanted us sexually. We’d gotten good at using that power to get all kinds of things, why not money?

I found two German tourists who were interested. We were getting ready to leave the bar with these guys when I had an epiphany. “Wait,” I thought, “What the fuck are we doing?” I grabbed my adolescent friend and practically ran out of the bar. We left those Germans in the dust. Perhaps if I known what I’d do later in life, I would have gone through with it, but I was young and under the impression that this sort of thing violated women’s lib. It’s when I started dancing that I realized that owning ones sensuality and sex is liberation. But I don’t regret our decision; we were far too young.

When we left the bar, it was around one in the morning and the route home required several buses. The first one led us down Haight Street to Fillmore. On the second bus ride down Fillmore, the driver pulled over at Golden Gate Avenue, got out, and didn’t come back. The bus consisted of one drunk middle-aged man, the two of us, and a passed-out homeless dude. They didn’t even notice that our bus driver had quit. We had no choice but to get off. Back then, the neighborhood wasn’t so great.

The streets were dead. We didn’t have any money, so a taxi wasn’t an option. I saw a cop car down the street, and, having no other choice, I waved it down. My nubile runaway was freaked, so I told her to keep cool and let me do the talking. I told the cops what had happened with the bus driver, and they said it was pretty typical for them to up and quit before last call. They offered us a ride to Lombard Street. We got in the back of the squad car and told them we were eighteen. We left out the laundry list of illegal things we had done that day.

They were pretty cool. Looking back, they must have known we were underage, but who knows. When we got close to Lombard, they asked if we wanted to patrol with them for the night. The only rule was that we had to duck if they spotted their supervisor. Not one for turning down adventure, we said yes. It was a blast! It felt like we were living in our own seventies television show. We were clockin’ sixty miles per hour over the steep-ass San Francisco streets, catching air, and going on calls to handle domestic violence in the Panhandle, an attempted break-in in the Western Addition, and a drunk tussle at a bar in the Tenderloin. None of the calls ended in an arrest. That would have been weird. We stayed with the cops until dawn. One of the guys said he’d give us a ride home when their shift was up. Nothing about this was very smart. But it’s not like we were in our right minds, or cared that much.

We waited outside the station in the frigid dawn of the city and jumped into the black Corvette owned by one of the cops. He lived out by Ocean Beach and said he needed to get something at his house first. It was yet another red flag, but I was young, broke, and coming down; so we went.

I’ll never forget his apartment. It was ultra man-ish with one simple, black leather couch, empty beer cans everywhere, and the tallest stack of porn magazines I’ve ever seen. I got an uneasy feeling and pushed for us to get home. I made up some lie about why we were in a hurry. We got into his car, and he drove over a hundred miles per hour up the Great Highway along Ocean Beach. I just wanted to get back to my dirty apartment in one piece. To his credit, he drove us all the way to Fairfax. When we were getting out, he asked my fourteen-year-old friend if she wanted to go the beach with him. I said she couldn’t and we got out of the car. I have no idea what happened to that girl.

{note: this is the only photo on my site that I did not take}

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