"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Sunday, June 20, 2004
prostitute Function: noun
1 a : a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse especially for money b : a male who engages in sexual and especially homosexual practices for money
2 : a person (as a writer or painter) who deliberately debases his or her talents (as for money)
3 : Michele and thousands of others like her
"Yeah, everyone says I'm crazy, real crazy, crazy as hell. Even for a ho."
I can still hear Michele saying that as we rode into the outskirts of the little town of Springfield, North Carolina yesterday afternoon. As stated in my earlier post, Michele was a hooker I had picked up on the highway and I was giving her a ride into town out of the sweltering heat.
An entirely innocent ride, I might add.
She rolled on in her rapid fire Texan accent, spitting words so fast you could barely pick them up before there were even more littered about. Then she would pause for a moment as if to collect her thoughts, and let fly again.
The more I think about her, the more I think about what she told me, the more I understand her.
The horrible part of that is that the things I am understanding are waking nightmares. I am almost positive she has the same disease that I do.
First, she struck me as very intelligent. Even though she was as rough around the edges as it gets, you could tell there was a spark there. She was smarter than most other people, and she knew it. She played on that. To her, we were all just so many big targets and she knew how to hit them to get what she wanted.
Just as I had, so many years before.
The people who have bipolar disorder, like I do, tend to be very intelligent.
She seemed to be by herself, assuming she was telling the truth about herself and her dog. And Smithfield is too small of a place to support anything like a pimp. This tells me that she has alienated those around her, and has no family or friends she feels comfortable being with.
Again, a common symptom of bipolar disorder.
Her rapid fire speaking and thinking, almost disconcerting at times, is another common symptom of bipolar disorder.
But most of all, more than anything, what she is and what she does and how she does it is the indicator.
Walking down interstate highways having sex for money with whoever pulls over. That's as risky as it gets.
Risky behavior and hypersexuality are hallmarks of bipolar disorder in a lot of people. Michele lived both of those every day.
I have known other prostitutes in my day, and none of them would have come right out and announced it quite as bluntly as she did ("I'm a ho.") This tells me that there might even have been a part of her that in some way liked her work, chose that above something more respectable and less dangerous.
I can understand Michele. Her head's a mess.
Her thoughts are all jumbled up, flying every which way so fast she can't keep up. Everything she does she does fast, top speed, unless she crashes and then nothing gets done at all.
The chances of her being an addict or alcoholic are almost 100%. No telling what she is using to ease her pain.
I will also bet that, like me, when she is "on stage" she can trigger the manic portion of her personality to take over. That's the part I saw yesterday. Assuming she slept alone in her room last night, she perhaps would have been a very different person, just her and her dog, sad and melancholy.
I have now realized that there must be thousands of people like Michele, trapped in unspeakable horrors by this illness, not knowing what has them in such a death grip and not knowing where to get help, leading dangerous, deadly lives because they see no choice, no escape.
So, there she goes, ruthless, desperate, troubled, hiding her turmoil and pain as best she can, squeezing every drop of blood she can from the world around her.
Michele, I understand your torment.
May God rescue you from your hell.
Where does the violet tint end and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where exactly does the one first blending enter into the other. So with sanity and insanity.
Herman Melville (1819 - 1891)