I drove up Blue Hill Avenue. Prostitutes my age work the avenue. A prostitute with whom I shared many blunts was standing in front of a Haitian Church at 7 a.m., looking to be picked, chosen by a trick. I drove past her, but in my heart I wanted to get out and tell her to get in my car. But then I realized, where am I am going to take her? I couldn’t take her home with me. So I kept driving and prayed two things. I prayed and thanked God that that isn’t me, and I prayed and asked God to help her.
I feel like I have opened my legs, but there isn’t a monetary exchange. The Towne and Toppin Foundation have been asking me to come and talk with their donors so that the Foundation can raise millions of dollars. I initially did it with gladness because I assumed something must come out of this for me. I touched their donor - that was clear. I saw tears well up in the eyes of one board member. “We need your resources” followed my presentation. I am asked again and again to come and speak. I feel like that naive hoe that is starting to sell her body young, to a strange man. But the man gets up, walks out, and doesn’t pay.
So here we are again; my boys and I being molested, rubbed on again. We got to the Foundation’s offices early, so we sat and talked for a while. I listened to the boys talk about gang life and members whose integrity they questioned. I felt like an ethnographer looking from the outside in. But then they would say something that reminded me that I am a part of them; I am with them. I am looking in from the outside, and inside looking out at a system that has both them and me recorded.