This is dedicated to my fellow Gooners – Yodet, Denise and Fiona.
This is dedicated to those who have highly eclectic tastes in music – especially Confetta, Kelly and Sarah.
This is dedicated to lovers of classic Hollywood – Nic, Gabrielle and Lise.
I have no idea how I survived prostitution.
I have no idea why I am alive and with a degree of sanity, when so many of the prostituted have been thrown away.
All I know, is that football, films and music give me some order in a world of utter chaos.
All I know, is that there was always some football, films and music I had not seen or heard – so I always had a reason not to die.
I had no interest in politics – why care when politicians did nothing to stop the hell I was living in.
I cut myself off from family or real friends – I could be with people who wanted to be a whole person, and not a role to pleased them.
I would think that I had a past, and could not imagine any kind of a future.
No, to be prostituted is be struck in a terrible present – where hate, pain and confusion seems to have no end.
But somehow I held on tight to football, films and music.
I made myself stay alive by waiting for the footie results, waiting to know what was number one in the music charts, by discovering new old films.
I kept alive by reading of lives of films stars especially from Hollywood’s Golden Age, I collected photos and books of American films from 1920’s-1940’s.
I kept some part of mind still working by watching film noir, Westerns, European films, musicals and always silent movies.
I disappear into the America of those films, allowing my soul some freedom, imaging having the strength of Bette Davis/Lauren Bacall/Marlene Dietrich.
I could for a short forget I was a sex doll – and imagine I would shot down punters like Barbara Stanwyck or Louise Brooks.
I would stay alive enough to follow Arsenal – however dead my body, whatever injuries punters/profiteers had force into me – I always know how my team was doing.
I always allow footballers to be the only men I would admire – though I had no interest in their private lives, my only interest was on the pitch or on TV.
I held Pele, Liam Brady, Pat Jennings – as well as other teams such Ajax, Juventus, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Argentina and Real Madrid close to my heart.
I used football to know politics, social history, geography, human prejudices.
Football was my beating heart when death was all around me.
To love or have a passion when prostituted is dangerous – it can make you too vulnerable.
Punters hated that I understood and loved football.
It is was much deeper than girls shouldn’t like or know about so-called boy’s games – it was hate that I had a mind of my own and reminded them that I was still clinging on to being a human.
I learnt to kill my passion – but always I found out the football results.
Music was a vital reminder that whatever the sex trade did to me, I would stubbornly cling hold to my humanity.
I was constantly battered, sadistically raped and made close to death – for the simple act of singing along if there was music in the background.
I was not placing the punter as the centre of the universe – I was not playing the good whore.
I would hear music if was playing in any situation.
Music would block out what was my reality, and allow my mind to pretend everything was safe and cosy.
Apart from stadium rock or sopranos in opera – most music was ok with me, it could allow some small escape and I could imagine peace.
But the music of my soul was jazz, Soul, gospel, traditional country, Mozart, Bach, and New York punk.
That music give me strength to imagine that living was worth-while.
That music made want to live to discover more Black American music, to know many genres of Cajun/country music, to know more about classical music – to go into 60’s pop, and the r’n’b and rockabilly of the 50’s.
In other words, music made me want to live for there always more and more music to hear.
Music made me discover that joy was still inside me – that all violence, hate and mental abuse that is prostitution had not destroyed completely.
So football, films and music keep me alive – and now I will keep discovering more about them from a place of calmness, safety and independent.
That is as close to freedom as I can know.