For two weeks, braving assault and arrest, I worked the bar and street but I made very little. Another transwoman related her success working an ad in an adult paper, so I placed a listing with my new working name, "Crystal." After a few dates my expenses were covered, so I set aside the extra cash and vowed not to squander it on drugs. With hours of spare time I threw myself into guitar and vocal practice, wishing I'd meet other musicians who would accept me, unlike my former "friends" who'd turned their backs.
A week later I met TS rocker Suzette who fast moved in and joined me in my business. I bought for us a photo ad that soon helped us average $1000 a month. We formed an all-transsexual rock band with her bass player friend Nola who partied and rehearsed with us while we waited for johns. Annoyingly my new roomie usually blew all her money before paying rent and became a crackpot on cocaine. She was even worse when on Angel Dust, a drug I came to love immediately. That PCP dust anesthetized me to the hatred aimed me on the street and eased my tortured self doubt. Then one of her friends taught me to smoke heroin — a drug I'd sworn I'd never do — which whittled away at my nest egg. Finally, I had to boot Suzette out.
Hooking lost its thrill each passing month, but what choice had I other than resume manhood? Other than the not-so-easy money, its only appeal was the steady stream of compliments from my customers, gushing praise that helped offset the verbal abuse from total strangers. Yet these egostrokes were but a fleeting pleasure; only my deepening friendship with Nola buoyed my spirits. Her occasional shot of heroin worried me at first but since she clearly wasn't a junkie, and because I'd fallen in love, I shrugged it off.
With my solo ad as "Beautiful Crystal" I enjoyed upswings interspersed with deep slumps. Then one night a trick chose Nola over me, which I took as an indictment against my beauty, my femininity, my very worthiness as a human being. Choking on a fat wad of self-loathing I locked myself in the bathroom and attempted to shoot up. The next day we scored some more heroin and she showed me how to "fix" myself properly. I thought I'd found GOD.
A week after my heroin habit grew fat, my prostitution earnings went over a cliff. I periodically considered killing myself the way normal girls consider going on a diet. Should I just give up, become a guy again? Stopping female hormones wrought agonizing depression atop the fears I had betrayed my true self. A PCP episode in September landed me back in Psych Emergency but not before I'd sheared my beautiful long hair to the roots. Only Nola's love gave me a reason to live, which I planned to do as her husband. I'd get placed into a computer job and we'd live happily ever after. I hoped.