I met Angela in Atlanta and she took me to a wall that she’d been working on painting for a couple of months.
Angela: One day I was outside singing and I was singing “Why should I feel discouraged. Why should shadows come?” And I was singing it like really loud. I was doing my real church voice. The masons were standing outside and they all got real quiet. The man said, “Come here.” He said, “We love you and want you to come sing at our church for Thanksgiving.” I met his wife Judy too. I’ll never forget it. As things went on, her and I formed a relationship and I started doing little volunteer work with her. I eventually ended up quitting drugs and prostitution and they included me in all their stuff at their church. We were real good friends.
BW: How long did that last?
Angela: Like three years.
BW: What happened?
Angela: I got bored… I don’t fit in. Like working and stuff like that. I try but I have to be in charge of everything. I do the job so well and beyond that I make people look bad. It makes people feel some type of way. I’m a friendly person to customers but I’m not friendly with dumb shit, with people I work with.
BW: Do you like being a prostitute?
Angela: I don’t hate it. There are certain aspects of it that I hate but it’s like flipping a burger to me. It’s no big deal. It’s just what I do for a living. People get up every day and go work in a factory. That’s how it is to me. It’s just like getting up every day and flipping burgers.
BW: Have you had any experiences that were bad [working as a prostitute]?
Angela: Oh yeah but the thing about that is, when you have the bad experiences, you learn how to maneuver them to your favor or you learn how to jump and run. You understand?
I had a man beat me with a [rubber mallet] last year but I was so smart that I knew exactly what to do. My mind was focused. Number one, get the hammer out of his hand so, I fell backwards on a pile of trash and I kicked my legs up because my legs were longer than his arms. He hit me three times with it. The other times, he didn’t get one blow in because I was going at him with my feet.
The hammer flew out of his hand and he was still trying to come at me. I was screaming the whole time, “Mika!” She was parked down the street in her driveway. Her husband’s trap [drug house] was right there. He hears me calling his wife’s name, screaming bloody murder, so he want to know what the hell going on with his wife. They run out. They beat that man to sleep.
Part of these collections: Sex Work