As a teenage girl, when I wasn’t home on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation, I was on the streets of Seattle. 1st and Pike. Right in front of the Pike Place Market. (I first got to Seattle at the age of 12). Out at WestLake Mall. And sometimes if my Natives had money we would get a motel room off of Aurora Ave. Other times, I would sleep at the Denny Place Youth Shelter where outside my window there would be women with white legged knee-highs and a mini oh so high. Pink frosted lips with a joint between their fingers or a bottle of Cisco in their hands. Every single time I walked by them to go to The Shelter between seven and eight at night they would say, “You know what. You’re a very pretty girl. Be careful out here. And damn girl you got some pretty eyes. The Lord must have loved you something pretty.”
After eating the stale bread donations at the brown house off of Aurora I would go to my room and watch out my window. Those women, sometimes three or four at the corner, sometimes a solo bird at their nest, would take a puff of a cigarette and blow kisses at the cars cruising by. I’d see them jump in with bald aging man, or, with an overweight guy with nothing but hair all over his face and come back five minutes later. I’d see them jump in a car and never come back. When someone disappeared there was always someone next in line to take her place. I would watch those women come and go. I would watch all of the cars cruise by. I would watch transients crawl into the bushes on the left side of The Shelter because it was a small empty space with a few bushes and trees, and sometimes I would watch families walk by. (The Seattle Center wasn’t too far from Denny Place and families and couples were always parking close by). I would watch out my window until the stars came out because I loved them most, the stars in the sky.
The streets weren’t too hard on me. I wasn’t anything hardcore like everyone around me; I was just there. I had a few good people looking out for me. Providing for me. Protecting me when they could. Chaske. Demetrius. Victor, AKA, Playboy. Eddie, also known as Tearz. I was still lady like when most of the teenage girls around me were thugged out and down and ran side by side with the fellaz, or, the less fortunate ones put on those white legged knee-highs and stiletto heels, a mini so short it told all their secrets and after their twenty dollar deed they were tossed aside. Victor always told me, “You deserve better than this. This is no place for someone like you. You know we will never let anything happen to you, right. Me. Chaske. D and Tears. None of us will let nothing happen to you.” I had something most girls didn’t out there.