The ivy league college graduate who hit the hooker streets of Honolulu in the
year 2000 has stories to tell about lessons learned. “Caroleena” gives intimate insider view of taboo sex industry paradise. Not human trafficking in young sex slaves. Not high dollar call girls touring the United States on the prostitution “circuit” who visit Waikiki for three weeks. Caroleena participated in a branch of the sex industry economy occupied by people like her: bottom rung, low rent, drug addicted and homeless streetwalkers who would die without the don’t give a f*** attitude.
Caroleena knows how to sell it and as a Magna cum laude Harvard graduate, she is uniquely trained to tell it. She applied her thinking skills to take you, Dear Reader, beyond simply rehashing the titillating adventures, but she also finds meaning in her experiences. Maybe it is more accurate to say she assigns meaning to her experiences so that days, no years, of off track living is not lost time but a source of wisdom heretofore untapped. If we have an opoid crisis effecting “all socioeconomic classes” (in other words people society values who are usually white) then there’s a new population of people intensely interested in this particular life story. The addicted hooker was an interesting character in a movie but as a child if privilege I never really cared. I difference was s privilege I lost. Things became different when she became me. In today’s crisis she is you, or someone you know, or an important person in the life of someone you know. I guarantee that with America’s punitive approach to addiction you are touched by Child Protective Services, job loss and unemployability, prostitution, drug induced health issues, incarceration, and the addiction to not only the drug but the lifestyle surrounding drugs. I am an expert in this complex lifestyle. Just like a person who had no interest in medicine is forced to become knowlegable about his cancer in order to participate in his treatment, I have had to develop an understanding of something once so far removed from me I was unaware of the parallel universe. I never would have met someone like me 25 years ago and I would not have wanted to meet the person I would become. There was no one more judgmental and superior than I was, so I understand the ill will and contempt people feel because I was the worst. At this point in history there is a changing conversation about people with addictions, and one day the word “addict” will fall out of use as a way to identify a person. I don’t feel the shame I used to feel at my lack of success though in the interest of cringing honesty I want this project to be successful to ease my pain over the loss of what might have been–the saddest words of tongue or pen. People won’t simply dismiss me as subhumane, not everyone anyway. More people than not will want, actually need, to hear what I have to say. Against all odds I am more than twenty years removed from that first hit and I am still meaningfully, purposefully alive. I don’t have all the answers but I have some. Interestingly, I am more ashamed of the haughty person I was, with the shiny resume, than the ex-streetwalker with a felony record that I am today. That young woman from days gone by was snake mean and afraid of not being good enough. I am so much nicer and more helpful now that I have become everything I abhorred. What a relief to walk through your worst fear!
As they say in Hawaii, E Komo Mai, or you are welcome to enter the site. (I hope I wrote that correctly!)