Day 24: “San Francisco Stripper”

After high school a few of my friends had moved out to San Francisco and my boyfriend and I decided to join them- decided meaning after having sex on The Exorcist stairs in Georgetown, I declared, “WE SHOULD MOVE TO SAN FRAN!”

“YEAH!!!”

In the middle of the night, we jumped in my car and took off across country.  When we hit Colorado I decided to call my parents and let them know why I wasn’t home, “I’m moving to San Francisco and I’m not sure when I’ll be back.”

They were shockingly chill about it or maybe just plain shocked, “OK…” was their response.  I had never felt more free.  So on we went to SAN FRANCISCO!  ME and the LOVE of my Life!  We connected with an old high school friend and I said that I wanted to try dancing– yes, stripping.  My boyfriend said that he did not support this and broke up with me before we had been in our new home for a full day.  I did not see him for the entire 6 months I lived in San Francisco.

Newly single, I went to amateur night and felt great!  I was 19 years old and I loved the attention.  I went next door and got a job as a stripper within a week.  I walked in with baggy pants and a cute top and the manager waved me over to him and I walked into his office.  “Take off your clothes,” he said.

“Ok.”  And I did.

The manager took a polaroid of me and I was hired and my new name was Smokey.

A veteran stripper- blond bombshell- offered me my first taste of hard drugs:  Crystal Meth.  She taught me how to use it and I was instantly hooked.  I felt amped up, alive, and like a pocket of euphoria was released from my brain.  I kept using and soon I had my close knit stripper friends: Jaguar (the asian), Alize (named after her favorite drink), and Brazil (bisexual hottie)… not sure if I can even remember their real names.  But we made money, paid our bills, and paid for our new expensive hobby: Meth.

We were living the life: sex, drugs, and dancing!  The meth kept me happy for a while, but soon there wasn’t enough Meth or LSD in the world to distract me from how fucked up I was.  I was unhappy.

My stripper heels and crystal meth couldn’t keep satisfied anymore…  I was sitting in the club talking with fellow stripper, Alize.  “I can’t do this anymore.”  I started dreaming of sitting in a college classroom, going to church, and getting my life together… I couldn’t believe I was 19 and an addict with no education.

Alize said to me, “Go home.”

I called my dad and he booked me flight back to DC.  It wasn’t until I was back home when I started doing cocaine- the very drug that almost killed me… all because I couldn’t find any meth once I moved back home.

When I was with Iago, we went to San Francisco for vacation.  I went into the club I used to work and saw Alize.  “Hey!” I said.

“Who are you?”

“Smokey.”

She remembered me, we caught up, laughed and promised to grab coffee together before my vacation was over.  We never did.

On a day like this it’s impossible for me not to think about San Francisco.  The allergies in DC are horrible right now and my nose still hurts from years of cocaine use.  For some reason, I always look back on my time in San Francisco with fond memories, but when I really remember the details:  I remember being degraded for money, started using hard drugs, and having sex with the shadiest men– men I wouldn’t even look at today, more or less talk to- and especially have sex with… and that’s pretty bad coming from me.

Here’s to 342 Days, Veronica Graham, I’m so sorry I blew you off, Alize-

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