“Pimping is an art, Whoreson. There are very few pimps in this world who can really take the title of being a pimp. Just because a man gets his money from a whore, that don’t make him no true pimp. Real pimps are really rare.”
― Donald Goines, Whoreson
Gina was completely caught up in the romance of the streets. The ruthlessness and the rebellion combined with sex and bags of money proved impossible for her to resist. I could not relate at all. Where she saw romance, I was repulsed! She would try and relay what she was learning from her books and her boyfriend (now her pimp). NONE of that shit made since to me, at all. I would look at how excited and animated her face got as she tried to educate ME about street life. I would ask a question like “So you are ok with him being with other girls?” her response; “Yes he loves me and is only sleeping with them to get them to become part of his stable, so he can have more girls on the track.” I despised her use of pimp vernacular and usually sent anything she said after using it to the singularity. There was no need for such nonsense to occupy space in my life. After multiple attempts I decided to just let it be, she was bent on following the path paved with pimiping, pills, and prostitution. I was a square and she found me and those like me to be boring.
I wanted to slap her punch her and shake the stupid out of her. I knew she had been through a great deal of abuse as a child. She didn’t tell me much but what little she shared was filled with the pain of physical abuse and abandonment from her Korean parents. To then be flown across the world and placed in a wonderful American family with the hope of life being good. Only to realize that abuse knows no boundaries. I understood the struggle and empathized with and even saw myself mirrored in her. To hope for better yet continually receive less. However, I could not understand the desire to abuse one’s own self! This is where my empathy turned to annoyance and eventually anger. I want so badly to help her understand what I understood but I could not. Whatever she had endured in her life had twisted her mind against her in more damaging ways than I could understand. I had negative self-deprecating voice (sassy and shit talking) but I fought against her as best I could. I fought it with what little tools I had with all the emotional fortitude that I could muster. She chose surrender. I realized that I did not have the ability to help her and did not want this situation to impact my life. I decided to apply to move off base and planned to leave her and the frustration of the situation behind.
She had applied to move before me and had gotten her paperwork approved. She would be leaving first. As I waited for my paperwork to go through I knew I wanted a roommate. We were living in San Diego. Rent was not cheep and I didn’t actually have a car or a driving licenses as of yet. Problem was that there were not many girls around and I could not imagine living with Ron or Boo B. The only other option was Adrian who had also just gotten approved to live off base. I talked to him and he agreed to get an apartment and roommate it up with me. Only thing was that he backed out of our deal as soon as my paperwork was approved. I think he agreed because he figured it would take a long time for me to get approval to move. Most times it would take months, mine took less than two weeks. Left with few options Gina and I decided to get an apartment together.
I know. It made no sense, but I convinced myself that it would be a better situation. We would be far from her “boyfriend” and perhaps that would provide time and space she needed to realize what she was doing. We quickly found a cool apartment and signed a lease but had to wait over a month before it would be ready for move in. Life can get real crazy in a very short period of time. One-night Gina came in from one of her weekend “getaways” with ole boy and told me she had gotten arrested!
She had been arrested for loitering and released but one of the other girls was arrested for prostitution and was still up in San Francisco in jail! This was a major issue because they were all in the Navy and while being stationed in San Diego was very chill, missing a day of work was NEVER something you could just do. This was not the first time one of them had gotten arrested. It was however, the first time someone got arrested for prostitution and the first time someone would miss work! It was about to go down! Over the next couple of days, she would try to prep me for what to say when the Military Police (MPs) came to talk to me. I immediately informed her that I would not lie for him. I had seen nothing and only knew that she went away for the weekends with her boyfriend. When the MPs called me to come in that is what I repeated to them. They didn’t really believe me and suggested that as her roommate she had told me more than I was saying. They even suggested that I was a part of it all. I stuck to my story and even told them of my strong dislike of ole boy. I was released and never had to provide another statement. He was tried, convicted of pimping multiple girls, and sent to the brig (prison). I was so fucking happy!!!
We moved into our apartment in the next week. I was excited! I felt like on the wiz when Dorthey killed Evillene. “Everybody be glad, Because the sun is shining just for us, everybody wake up, Into the morning into happiness” In my mind and heart I could feel a brand new day! I was as naïve as Gina. No matter what happened when I thought the worst had passed I would always be like “today is a new day!” (chicken little voice). We had barely gotten settled into our apartment, hadn’t even purchased sofas for the living room. When we found out we would be going to Captains Mast* for fraud….
*Captains Mast is when you are accused of committing a minor violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and you can receive nonjudicial punishment.