Tears of Night

Body and soul for the price of a Big Mac.

Tears of Night

These images shot mostly in Southern California between 1986 and 1990, record the existence of the many disenfranchised Americans, hawking body and soul for the price of a Big Mac and a fix. With these portraits, paragraphs, and full disclosure, I hope to show the struggle and never changing plight of the street prostitutes, victims of a culture that deems them criminal and expendable.


JANE

Jane explains to me that she is really a model. She's going to stop the ho stuff real soon and get a job as a dancer or maybe doing television commercials. She wants my phone number, so if the pictures are good she can use them in her portfolio. We burn through two rolls of film. Afterward, I give her another fifteen bucks for a quick dip. We do it the old fashioned way with me on top, her looking up. She turns her head away, closes her eyes and curls her hands into hard fists. Six months later Jane calls me. She says she is working as a dancer and has a boyfriend who takes care of her and can she buy the negatives from me for a hundred dollars? I tell her no but promise never to show her face. I suggest we get together to take some more pictures. She calls me a scum-bag and hangs up.

 

MISSY

Missy is a drug-addicted transvestite streetwalker with a warm bittersweet personality. She lives on thestreets or crashes with friends in tumble-down shelters. In an hourly-rate motel room, I pose her on the bed in front of the television. I turn on the tube, looking for background. Jesse Jackson's head addresses America. Eons ago, Jesse Jackson had been on the scene when James Earl Ray took Martin Luther King's life with a hate-directed bullet. Yet here is Jesse still full of hope. I say, I like Jesse Jackson. I even voted for him one time. Missy tells me she has never voted for anyone because all politicians are liars and assholes. I ask her to look at me and think happy thoughts, then take three quick pictures but the flash only fires for the first and third.

 

FRITTER

01 / 04

Fritter is a big girl with a pretty face. She smells like Ivory Soap and is witty, fun. I get a motel room where she gets naked and we take a bunch of pictures. We laugh a lot, and I get a boner. I tell her I don't think she belongs on the street selling herself to lowlife creeps like me. She asks me who does belong on the streets? I tell her, Well, I guess nobody does. I change the subject by offering her an additional twenty dollars for a little safe sex. She is agreeable. She settles her bulk horizontally on the bed. I get naked and straddle her stomach. Her skin is soft and sensual. I take myself in hand and wallow in the luxury of her pillowy body. I look at her pretty face. Her eyes are melancholy brown. I can feel the wad of pressurized seed in my loins. I begin to climax when Fritter lets out a wounded cry and bucks me off her midriff and through the air like a rodeo clown. I tumble to the floor but manage to land on my feet. My ejaculate hasn't ejaculated and the mood has left me in a rush. "Jesus," I say, "how come you did that?" She is across the room, putting her clothes back on. "I saw something in your eyes," she says. "I thought you were going to hurt me. I have to go now." I pick up my Levi's and step into one leg at a time. "I wasn't going to hurt you. I'm not like that." "I've heard that before." "Yeah," I tell her, "I suppose you have."

 

TIJUANA

In Tijuana, I give the dancing girl twenty dollars and she does quick strip tease to the music from the bar next door. My flash and focus set, I get her up on the bed and take aim. Totally naked she looks like a real girl. She presses her thighs together and hides her wiener back where a tail would be. When she turns, to give me a shot at her girly butt, she pulls her package forward, cups it in the seashell of her hand. I take a few pictures, coaching poses in pidgin Mexican, and then, covering all angels, I suggest she wag her Chihuahua for a couple of exposures. She responds with indignation, which I deserve, if she wants to be a girl she should be a girl, it’s not my place to out here. Meanwhile she’s yelling at me and jumping on the bed. She says, “Pussy pussy, si si.” I tell her I’m sorry, I made a mistake. Anyone can see she is all girl. Smiling again she lets me know that for another twenty she will get me off in whatever method I choose. Thanks just the same, I counter, I’m happy enough with the pictures, and thank you for being a such a pretty model.

 

PEPPER

01 / 03

There is no moon, no stars, no ceiling, just black from the ground up. Pepper takes my hand and leads me down a path I can't see and up a bushy hill underneath the Hollywood Freeway. A few yards away, burning tobacco, floating red fireflies, low moans and evil spells. People who I can't see, vampires and werewolves. Somebody barks like a dog, he says, Bark bark motherfucker. Six yards above me cars are flying by, hissing like snakes at ninety miles an hour. I'm high on drugs, crack cocaine, which at this moment, I highly recommend. Pepper knows the inhabitants of this impromptu cemetery. She knows the route around the gravestones and dead-ends. Somebody flips their Bic and I see the painted backdrop of my dreams. I tell Pepper, Go thataway. Pepper consults me regarding wardrobe and we decide she should open her shirt, expose her breasts, and pull her pants down. When I hit the shutter the flash is brilliant and beautiful and Pepper is a vision of innocence and purity.

 

TRISSA

Trissa tells me she has fucked more than a thousand guys. She tells me this because she thinks it's a selling point in her favor. I tell her that's pretty impressive, a thousand guys, and she says if you think that's something, one time I fucked eight guys at the same time. To do eight guys all at the same time, I say, seems like you would have to bring your feet and ears into the act. Trissa says “Ha ha real funny, Mister Camaro man, what's the most girls you ever fucked at the same time?” I tell her I've led an uneventful life by her standards and she says, “You'd better believe it”.

 

YOU GOTTA GO NOW

She comes down from the bed and I light her smoke and burn one for myself. She says, “I can give you a hand job and take off my clothes and do a show, but you better not try anything else.” “All I want is the show and if it’s good show maybe I’ll jerk off. Mostly I just want to take a couple of pictures. It’s no big deal, the pictures can’t get you into any kind of trouble.” “I don’t believe you. I think you’re lying. I think you better go now or my pimp’s going to come over here and make you sorry. “I’m already sorry and if I’m leaving now you’re gonna have to give me my money back. It really is no big deal taking a couple of pictures, it’s less work for you. I think you have a sexy body and a pretty face and I’d like to have a picture for cold winter nights.” “That’s bullshit.” “Maybe, but it’s sincere bullshit. I like the way you look. I just want to take a couple of pictures.” She pulls her shirt over her head and takes off her bra. “You get to take two pictures and I’m not going to get anymore naked than this and you’ve got to do it quick because it’s almost time to signal my pimp.” I already have my camera out of the bag and the flash charge back up and I lower the shutter speed. “Look at me again, that’s good, you don’t need to do another thing just hold it there. Great, I got it, thanks.” It takes her five seconds to grab her shirt from the floor and put it back on. In another five seconds she is off the bed urging me to the door. “You gotta go now. You got what you want and you gotta go now.”

 

WHA BOU ME?

The hooker speaks to the pimp. “Whersa kids?” “Inna bedroom.” I speak up. “You got kids in there, we’re not going to use it.” She looks at me. “They sleepin. You wanna fuck, c’mon” “I don’t want to fuck. I want to take your picture.” The pimp looks my way. “What ‘chu want pictures for?” I look at the pimp. “I’m not talking to you.” The hooker walks over and takes my arm. “You gonna treat me right?” I take out my last twenty and hold it in my fingers. “Twenty bucks.” “Naked?” “Yeah, sure.” She takes the bill, walks to the couch and starts to strip. The pimp pulls his scrawny body from the chair and walks into my face.    The top of my head reaches the bottom of his chin. “Wha bou me?” I stand my ground and gag from his breath. “Are you saying words to me?” The whites of his eyes are yellow. “Wha bou me?” “What about you?” “Twenty dollars.” “I don’t want to take your picture.” “Twenty dollar for you to take her picture.” “I already gave her twenty.” “Wha bou me?” “Fuck you.” He balls his fists and contorts his face. I’m the world’s worst fighter but he doesn’t look much better so I play tough and sneer and snarl. He says motherfucker under his breath and walks around me to the now nude hooker sprawled across the couch. He takes her arm and pulls her to his level. “Wha bou me?” She picks her pants up from the floor, pulls the twenty from a pocket and hands it to him. He goes back to the television. I take out my camera and flash. She does girlie-magazine poses while I say: “That’s great, that’s good baby, do that one again, that’s beautiful, great.” I take seven shots then move her over by the television and take seven more. She dresses while I pack my gear into the backpack and watch the last part of the movie. On screen, a singing over-the-top rock-and-roll queen gets zapped by a neon lightning bolt and fries in a comical fashion. It cracks up the pimp.

 

JEANNIE

Jeannie tells me she used to be real pretty. She says she was popular in school, glee club, honor roll. She says she grew up somewhere across America but now she's here. Jeannie says, "Guess I'm nothin' new, huh?"

 

ROSE

“What’s your name? Mine’s Rose. I’m really glad you stopped for me. I’m clean, so you don’t need to worry none. I don’t got no syph or aids or nothin! You’re not a cop are you? Turn left here. You got anything to smoke? Turn right. How much money you got to spend? You got anything to smoke? You’re not gonna be a asshole are you? Go left at the light. I got a garage. I live in it. Go that way. You’re good lookin’, I don’t see guys look like you much. What do you wanna do? Turn right up here. Go slow, we’re almost there. It’s really a nice car. How much you pay for a car like this? I don’t like no weird stuff, but I can suck you off real good. Park behind that truck. You got anything to drink?”

 

DETROIT

I load Tri-X into my camera while the whore undresses. “Motherfuckers out there,” she tells me. “All motherfuckers. Think they can fuck with me. Don’t nobody fuck with me. I’m from Detroit.” “Yeah, how do you like sunny California?” “What the fuck you care, White-Bread? You don’t know nothin. Fuckin nothin is what you know.” I stay amiable and admit I know Fuckin nothin. I close the camera back, advance three frames and turn on the flash.  “I’m ready. Stand on the bed. Let me get a couple shots.” She sits naked on the edge of the bed, ignores me and goes silent so I take a picture. She tells the floor, “Fuck this shit,” then rummages about in her canvas purse until she finds whatever it is she is looking for. She gives me a long studied look that calls me a Fuckin asshole, gets up, takes her bag, and goes into the bathroom closing the door behind her. I figure she’s getting high and I covet her drugs, whatever they are.

 

BEAR MASK

“I wanna take your picture.” “I knew you were going to say that.” “I figured you did, but I said it anyway.” I turned in the seat, leaned to the back and pulled the back seat down flat, creating a station-wagon stage. “I want you to get back there and let me take a couple of pictures.” I took my Nikon and Vivatar flash from my bag and slipped the flesh on the hot-shoe. I turned it on and it screamed like an amplified mosquito. “You gotta give me more money,” she said. “I already gave you a hand-job and it’s not my fault if you didn’t come, so if you want to take pictures of me you gotta give me another twenty dollars. “Yeah, okay.” I reached for my wallet, took out a ten, and handed it to her. “Here’s ten bucks, I’m keeping the other ten because it’s only half my fault that I didn’t come.” “Okay, but you can’t show my face. Someday I’m gonna marry a really important rich guy. You can take my picture for ten dollars but you can’t show my face, Because if you do then someday you could blackmail me.” I picked up the bear mask and handed it to her. “Here, wear this.” I turned on the dome light and checked out the composition through my 35-105mm zooms lens. It wasn’t wide enough so I traded it for 24mm wide-angel from my bag. She put on the mask and climbed into the back. She pulled up her top to again expose her breasts. I suggested a comfortable pose to took three pictures. She told me I was only supposed to take one picture for ten dollars. I told her yeah sure and coaxed her into another pose and made three more exposures.

 

POCAHONTAS

01 / 03

Pocahontas put a kitchen match to the pipe and crack crackled like a roasted marshmallow.  She covered her mouth and nose with her hands to seal in the smoke. She rocked and vibrated on the bed, hugged herself like a straitjacket. Her pretty face lit up with smile. She sat quietly, allowing the buzz to infiltrate her being, leaned over close to me and whispered out loud, “You want me to suck your dick?” “Uh, not really, Let’s take your picture instead.” I took the camera and flash from my bag. She picked up the stuffed bear and gave it a hug. “This’s Madonna Bear, She’s my best friend. Can she be in the picture?” “Yeah. That’d be great.” She stripped down to her panties. She had sinewy boy muscles and a flat chest. I turned on the flash and focused the camera. Without warning, an sharp icicle jabbed an open nerve in my neck. My body clenched and my left leg kicked at the air. I sat down on the bed and ground my teeth. “You okay?” “I’m fine, just give me a second.” I took my second, pulled myself back to my feet and aimed my Nikon. “Just stay there. Hold Madonna Bear if you want to. You look great. Look at me.” She didn’t look at me. She started looking around the bed instead. “Where’d the rock go? Wanna get high fist.” “You already did.” “Just a little bit. I wanna do it again. I can’t find the rock.” She ran her hands over the bedspread like a blind person, speed reading, escalating toward hysteria. I walked back to the bed and found the evil drug sleeping in a fold of covers with the pipe. I set it and the pipe next to a bag of Cheetos on the night table. “Here it is. Let’s go ahead and take a quick picture.” She climb back onto the bed, held her stuffed bear tight, and struck a pose. I focused and took a picture. She put the bear aside and went into a cheesecake pose. She threw back her head and laughed at nothing. I got a couple of good shots. “Thanks that was great. You’re very pretty.”

 

KISS ME

A prostitute walking the curb grabbed my gaze and our eyes said hello. She put her head into the open passenger-side window and said, “What’r you doin here all lone? You lookin for a date?” Her timing was uncanny. My fate was cast. I said, “Hey good-lookin, you wanna be a model?” She was a few years older than my previous pick-up and she was black. Her skin was smooth. She had a nice face and a hairdo like Motown soul. Here eyes were sleepy. She wore a tight leopard-skin top and a short white miniskirt. She climbed into the car and we haggled then settled on thirty dollars for a tasteful photo-shoot. We didn’t talk much. I found a private alleyway with a chain-link fence backdrop. We got out the car. I took ten photos of her in cheesy-pin-up poses and various states of undress. She was sexy and playful and I got an erection. After taking pictures the whore and I renegotiated, setting on a twenty-dollar hand-job. She went about the task like she was pulling weeds. It was not what I hoped for. I took her hand away and made a request: “Kiss me” “I don’t kiss nobody except my boyfriend.” “I give you another ten bucks.” “Give me it first.” She kissed me with juicy open-mouth passion, and I closed my eyes and masturbate to completion. For a few elongated seconds my inner voiced howled with pleasure and then, just as quickly, a cold flop-sweat of depression brake out. I took the hooker back to her corner and put my camera back into my backpack.

 

ROUGED RED

The whore was young and cute and kind of shapeless. She wore a wide belt to give the appearance of a waist. She wore white tights and a leotard with ruffles at the bottom. Her cheeks were rouged red. I inquired as to the price of a fuck which was a steal at fifteen dollars. She took me to a small room with bed and night table, a couple of holes in the wall. I negotiated some pictures which she allowed but was shy about taking off her clothes. I took three pictures then took off my pants. She had snaps at the crotch of her leotard which she unsnapped. There was a hole in her tights, also at the crotch. She got on the bed and offered me her only exposed area. She fitted me with a rubber and we had a standard fuck. I couldn’t get off so I used my hand and her visuals to finish up. I said adios and took my leave.

 

BUNNY

It’s a hundred degrees in the valley but my ride is air-conditioned and cool, I picked up Bunny at a bus stop and follow her directions home. I give her twenty bucks to pose for a pictures. She has a room in a white-frame tract house. We enter from back. As we walk through a creaky hallway, a woman calls out. “That’s you, Bunny?” “Yeah,” Bunny yells back. “An” I got somebody with me so don’t be botherin’ me”. I hear the deep-voiced mumbles of a guy, like he is telling a joke, then I hear a woman’s voice again, undecipherable but in a scolding tone, then the man’s voice again, this time loud and clear, “Suck my puckered butthole, you fucking squid!”. We go into Bunny’s room. She closes and latches the door. Her room smells of cat piss and, in fact, a litter of kittens mews around us, like wind-up toys. It’s not often I come across a whore that actually wants sex, so I am caught by surprise when she pushes me on the bed and makes a play for my crotch. It doesn’t bother me that she is really a he, but the heat and the stench and the kitty-cats, it’s all a bit much. I try to push her away with muscle and kind words. I only want to take her picture, I explain. She pushes her hands under my shirt and gnaws at my groin through a layer of Levi denim. She is large and strong and determined and outweighs me by at twenty-five pounds. I’m feeling pinned and claustrophobic. For a moment I panic and yell, “Get off!” and push her away with both hands. She jumps away from me and sits with the kitties on the bed. She cries while I apologize and load film into my Nikon.

 

QUEEN’S MOTHER

01 / 03

The whore tells me we need to go to her house and I make a mistake of telling her show the way. “Turn right then go left at the light then go straight for about a cunt-hair. You’re taking me home. My kid’s home all alone and I kinda wanna see her again. Home James, you’re my big shit chauffeur now. Just keep going this way. Follow that car. Follow that car. Follow that motherfucking car, James, Mister Raisin Bran ¬¬Man. No, not rally, I’m just fucking you around. Cocksucker, motherfucker. I was the number one model in Las Vegas for six whole years. That’s a world record. Turn up there where that trucks is turning, you gotta turn here. Make the motherfucking turn, James. Motherfucker cocksucker. I was supposed to get married to Frank Sinatra Junior. Did you know that? He was so fucking in love with me. He still wants me but he doesn’t know where I am. He even hired some big shit detective to find me. Cocksucker. But I’m too fucking smart. Motherfucker wants me so bad his hard dick won’t go away until he gets me, so I’m making him suffer like a big shit motherfucking cock pussy. Motherfucker, fuckermother, cocksucker, mothersucker, cockfucker. Bet you can’t say that like I just did. Who are you? Who the fuck are you? I don’t fucking know you and I’m gonna start screaming because I don’t know you. Ha ha, I got you again. I had you shitting your pants. Reason I’m even here is because I got a big deal movie contract because everybody wants me for everything. But the stupid movie doesn’t start for another week which is how come I need money. We need to hurry up and go home now because my kid is supposed to eat and I just remembered I’m supposed to feed her. Her name is Queen. That’s what I named her, Queen, so if you don’t believe me, I don’t even care. She’s going to be in some television commercials and get paid a lot of money. But she probably won’t want to be in show business like I am. Show business sucks. Cocksucker cocksucker cocsucker. It’s a lot of hard work, even when you’re really talented. Did you know that Frank Sinatra Junior wanted to marry me? Turn left, no not there the next one. Two, four, six, eight. Who the fuck are you?”

 

CHERI

Mountainous bumps and bruises up the left side of Cheri's head, like a relief map. She has taken a beating. "Please be good to me," she says. "Don't hurt me, okay? I'll be good. Just please don't hurt me." "I'm not going to hurt you, I promise." I pull into a dark parking lot and take a twenty from my wallet and explain I'm a photographer and I need a model. She takes the money and climbs through the seats to the back. I turn on the dome light and get my camera. She peels off her shirt and I turn on my flash. I bring the Nikon to my eye. She makes a sudden jump, presses her back into the seat and starts kicking at me. "That's a gun," she screams. "Doan shoot me! I be good for my daddy. Looky my titties. You wanna feel my titties, here, feel my titties." She is gasping air, flailing her limbs.  She's freaking me out. "It's a camera. Look, it's just a camera." She yells, "Help me. Somebody help me." Her hands go up as if to protect her face from the blast. I aim, focus, ignite the flash and make the exposure. Her eyes burn holes through the film. She screams three times, then after a silent pause that seems stuck forever in the moment she comes out, slowly, from behind her hands. "You take my picher?" "Yeah, I did." "That's a camera?" "Yes it is." "Can you give me some more money? I be good for you, do what you want."

 

DIXIE

01 / 03

“My name is Dixie and I know I told you before but I wanna make sure you remember, so when you show people my pictures I want you to tell them my name is Dixie. That’ll show them a couple a things. I got a nice pussy don’t I? A guy who really knows about that stuff told me my pussy was the perfect pink, and real tight, tighter than a fist. It’s fun taking pictures. I wish all the guys were like you. Get closer if you want. Get closer and take out your dick. If you want you can spurt your stuff on me. Like there’s this song I heard goes ‘goes way way down south on Dixie.’ Goin down on Dixie. That’s pretty good. Come closer. Look at my pussy.”

 

SOMEWHERE

I'm driving slowly, checking out the neighborhood. The houses are not homes, but shadows of two-story Victorians; squats and crash pads. The locals are the arch-nemeses of family values. No one wants to be here. Except me. I like the squalor. My life is research for the books I'm going to write. I suppose I'll specialize in squalor. In the yard of this bitter old house the whore looks at me and in her eyes I can see the best and worst of her life has come from pipes and needles, a couple of babies left to the side. She greets me with slow nod and I bid fifteen dollars for fifteen exposures of Tri-x, which I figure she figures, is easier than the usual fifteen for swallowing sperm. Inside, mildew and disease, an eroded landfill. We go into a room with an upright double-bed mattress. Fifty years ago it was nice here; a credenza, drapes, carpeting, a working toilet. While the whore disrobes for pictures I inquire which way to the bathroom? She tells me there is no bathroom, I should just piss on the floor, piss on the wall, nobody cares. I tell her I don't know if I can do that, piss on the floor, piss on the wallpaper. She shrugs and says, Okay, so don't.

 

SASSY

Sassy’s tits are like my first wife tits, which are pretty nice. Sassy’s eyes are like those of a girl I knew in Tallahassee, Florida. She has a southern drawl like that of a boy who gave me a blow job, late one night on a Greyhound bus. After we talk for a while I realize she reminds me of a woman I met on Seventh Avenue in New York who took my money and ran.

 

THE MASSAGE GIRL

The massage girl tells me she has a kid at home and that’s why she does what she does. I say that’s terrific and then I envision myself and a massage girl, along with her kid and my little boy, having a barbeque in the back yard of a sitcom house, a little dog walking around on his back legs. The massage girl tells me another reason she works here is because holding a hard dick in her hand makes her feel powerful. She says she’s a feminist because she knows how to make men do what ever she wants. She doesn’t want a husband or even a boyfriend or even any men at all. She sees a look of concern on my face and tells me not to worry, she still hates men but she loves her job.

 

THIS WOMAN

01 / 03

This woman doesn't say much. She does as I ask which isn't a lot, about ten photographs. I'm back in my car in ten minutes and I know nothing about this woman whose image I have on film. Someday, if I'm lucky, I'll exploit this woman with the image I have on film, call it art, maybe make back some of the money I've invested. I don't know what I deserve but I'm hoping for accolades.

 

STARLIGHT

I take pictures of Starlight in the back seat but I'm concerned she is going to nod off to Foggy Town. I don't really want a passed-out whore in the car, so I wrap up the photo session and drive her back to where I found her. Before she gets out I dip into my backpack and take out a threesome of condoms. "Here, you go," I say. "Take these with you. Protect yourself." She looks at me like I'm way out of focus. She takes the chain of rubbers, climbs out of the car and as she staggers off into the shadows she flings them to the curb like a spent cigarette.

 

SHEBA

01 / 03

Sheba says, “You need twenty dollars just for the room. This is a good room. Twenty more for pictures, naked, whatever you want me to do. Twenty more, get your juice off, whatever it takes, I don’t care.” She puts my money in her bag, brings out a pint bottle of Crown Royal Whisky, unscrews the decorator cap and sucks down the top half. Drinking, she explains, is what she does; it’s all she cares about and she doesn’t care about anything else. “So tell me,” she says, “What do you really want for your money? You want a strip show? You want to hurt me? You want to make me gag? You want to fuck my shit hole? If that’s what you want, go ahead, do it. Long as I got my bottle I don’t care about nothing.”

 

BABE

This babe is gorgeous. I spend way beyond my budget and would give her more if I had it. She is clean and smells like rain. I’m hard before my belt hits the floor. I pose her naked on a chair and tell her she is beautiful, tell her to look at my dick and think sexy thoughts. She has little to say but plays along, tells me my dicks looks good, tells me she wants it, real bad. I take five pictures and set my camera aside. On her back, on the bed, bends her legs grabs her ankles and open her thighs. I use my thumb knuckle on her clit and she gets wet. I put on a rubber,  hold my hard dick and run it up and down her slit, now and again slipping in my helmet. I climb on the bed and between her legs. I insert my dick and with my hands on either side of her, push myself up like a pushup so that I can look at her body as well as my dick it goes and out. She shivers as though she really likes it maybe she really does. I kiss her and she kisses me back, fills my mouth with her tongue. I can’t climax with a condom so I kneel now between her legs, peel off the rubber and move up closer, straddling her waist. She looks me in the eyes and I’m madly in love. I spit into my hand and pull myself until I’m ready to come. I fall forward and she takes me in her mouth. She tickles my scrotum with the fingernails of one hand and twists my right¬ tit with other. I explode, four long spasms each of which brings forth a howl like a drunken hillbilly. I tell her thanks and be careful and gave her the three extra condoms from my backpack. I get dressed and go home. Later night I have a dinner date with a lady friend. She knows I’ve been photographing whores, It’s not something I keep secret. She asks me if I have sex with them. That’s something I do keep secret, so I tell her no.

 

THIS PERSON

I look at the photograph of this person and I think, Wow what an amazing fucking picture. Exposure, composition, focus, eye contact. But I can't take all the credit. I mean look at this person's face, body, skin. It's fucking amazing. Oddly, I don't remember taking this picture. I assume we are in a motel, probably in Los Angeles, but I don't know that. I think this person was probably a nice person, but I don't really know that either. Now, twenty three years later, looking at this photograph I wonder what became of this person. I wonder how this person would feel about this photograph.

 

JENNA

01 / 03

I’ve have a gig in Seattle. A double-room in a hotel on the six floor. At the end of the day I pick up a sex newspaper with outcall listings and I make a call. Her name is Jenna. She is pleasant and she agrees to model for me except she doesn’t want her face to show. I tell her no problem I just happen to have a Bedouin mask in with my photo gear. She is insecure about her looks, even hiding behind the mask. “Do I look alright are you sure you want to take my picture? I don’t have any tits.” “You look terrific, you look hot. I like little tits. I like them a lot. Let’s go ahead and take a couple of pictures.” “I don’t know what to do. You need to tell me what I supposed to do.” “You don’t need to do a thing just look at me. Yeah, that’s good, just like that. You look really sexy, I mean it. You really look great. How about if you give me a little wiggle and shake your little titties. Just a couple more. Beautiful, beautiful.” She starts dancing, kind of a slow-motion Marilyn Monroe; wiggle and mug. She laughs for the first time and I take more pictures; telling her that’s great, you’re really hot, I’m falling in love, and hard as a knuckle sandwich. I set the camera on the bed when I come and end of the roll I take her hand, thinking a slow dance might be nice. Maybe we can talk in whispers. She says, “If you want to have sex we should do it now and kind of quick, because my boyfriend is out in the parking lot and probably looking at his watch and if I’m not back there about ten minutes he’s gonna be up here knocking on the door and asking for more money.” I say, “Oh, yeah, sure.”

 

JANE DOE

This woman is already dead so I photograph her ghost. She is one of the many; here in sunny Hollywood, California, murdered by life without the slimmest of a chance. I give her fifteen dollars even though she only asks for ten. The extra five includes my last dollar. That's my donation. I'm down among the lepers and I just gave away my last dollar. I'm a fucking saint. I'm the patron saint of whores.

 

 

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