Written for Ms Florence Maestes; God keep you

Lost Girls don’t go to Girl Scout meetings or slumber parties. Lost Girls go to the corner of Fifth and Main to fix, or hook a trick. They juggle Johns. Lost Girls don’t sit at the Thanksgiving day table with the adults or the kids. They eat a hotdog from 7-11, and wash it down with a Red Bull, prior to returning to the track on Central.

Lost Girls call home with their Androids with pre-paid minutes to assure their moms that they are safe and eating well, and things are working out just swimmingly with her new beau. Mothers of Lost Girls believe everything stinking thing they ever hear over Lost Girl’s phone, because they are just so eternally grateful that she called at all.

Lost Girls just want to be found.

Next time you see a drug addicted hooker on the beat, close your eyes and picture your favorite memory of your daughter as a small child. Perhaps she was dancing in the living room late in the eventing before bed, dressed in her princess jammies, because that’s what she was after all, a little princess. Now open your eyes and see the hooker again, and imagine your own daughter lost somewhere in her. Is it even possible?

She is back in there somewhere, that little princess child, once a million miles away from being an adult, and from suffering the many afflictions that haunt us grown-ups. The true sadness, the sadness that vexes me, is that with so many of these women, we have to look back very far, because their innocence existed very long ago, and only for a very short time. But that is not the case with OUR own daughters; no, not the case at all—-right?

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Our own daughters are not like those throw-away, disposable daughters, addicted and hooking in the streets and such. What are they thinking? What were they thinking? Did they ever thing at all, them? Our daughters grew up in loving homes, went to dance class in the evenings, went to picnics on weekends with friends and family, went to Bible study on Sundays, went to school all day and every day of the school week… so they would not turn out like them Lost Girls.

Lost Girls can be seen walking along main avenues and boulevards, dressed in their Monday best, they sachet by… they sachet by. They must be in a dreadful hurry to get to a job interview or the like of importance, as they glance back at every car as it passes, likely hoping for a speedy ride to their intended. Such awful hard luck down on a poor little sister, that her own car must be broken and confined to a repairs.

As luck would have it, a kind older man recognizes the Lost Girl—so buried by her plight—and offers her a ride–such fortune! I mentally applaud that fine gentleman, who during the course of his turbulent work schedule, did find time to gift a lift to a poor Lost Girl. It is with a forefront of certainty that she will make her appointment on time! Moreover, she shall certainly be awarded a job, if not for her diligences, then doubtless for her punctuality.

Lost Girls split days in two: half of the day is for earning money for solace, in the form of a hard opiate. The other half day is dedicated to slumber induced by the opiate: earn the money, buy the drug, sleep… repeat. There is nothing before, after, or in between.

Earn, fix, sleep… fix, sleep, sleep… sleep, sleep, sleep “yeah Ma… I’m pretty sure he is getting ready to pop the question… look ma, I gotta go; I’m almost out of pre-paid minutes. Love you too… buh-bye.”

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Lost Girls stay in hotels, motels, Holiday Inn… cuz if Lost Girl ain’t actin’ right, John might take her frien. “Lost Girls gotta act right or they might lose they trick, and then they gonna hurt from the sick. Only a dope would let that happen, let they self get dope sick.”

“Serves them; they gotta trick if they wanna feel right. They gotta trick if they wanna keep them four walls, a bathroom, a lamp, a TV, a chair, a bed with a hanging picture of a pretty sunset behind it. Lord, if they fuck that up, they will be out the motel, and wandering the streets, little Lost Girls, them.”

But a trick will find a Lost Girl. There are plenty of tricks out and about looking for that adventure.

How did this happen? How did it ever come to girls lost?

Lost Girl was born to loving parents: Nathan and Genevieve. Oh, how they adored her; they cooed and spoiled her. She was the apple of their eyes; the apple of Nate and Gwen’s eyes.

She took her first steps on her first birthday, the very day! She just suddenly up and stood, then hobbled across the kitchen floor, her arms up in the air waving back and forth like an orangutan to keep her balance.

Gwen clad her in her favorite outfit for her birthday, the one that looked like something a Japanese Geisha would wear. That evening Gwen placed her in her high chair, Lost Girl, wearing just her diaper. The modest crowd gathered around for the traditional birthday spectacle, as Gwen lay an entire chocolate cake with a single candle poking from the center, on the tray in front of the birthday Girl: “It’s all for you, sweetie, happy birthday, princess!”

The candle flickered as the room sang: “Happy Birthday to you, Lost Girl!” She blew the candle out with the help of several coddling family. She gazed at the cake, too yummy and large to be real, gave mom a mandatory studious stare, then thrust both hands into the chocolate goo. She was in heaven as she grazed upon cake laden digits.

Now she was covered with chocolate smeared from head to waist. It was time to put Lost Girl into a warm bath and then to bed. She’ll dream of this day for a millennium, as vague and pointless as it may seem, it is a memory of ecstasy, one of her earliest filed away in her infant mind. It will remain there in the by and by, waiting to be resurrected again and again, in time of sullen and sober need.

Every successive birthday would outdo the preceding for Lost Girl. “She always made straight As in school, You know,” doted her mother: “She was so smart and so out-going; never got in trouble; everyone loved her. She was even the homecoming queen of her high school class!” Wasn’t she smart; wasn’t she loved; wasn’t she oh, so popular?

There was the certainly of a stream of young men who came to call on Lost Girl. Pity that she took a liking to one who was substantially older than herself, but then older fellows can be so captivating, so compelling, and so dreamy you know. Boyfriend was so precocious in his sophistication, rivaling Lost Girl’s judgement, her in all her naiveté’.

“I’d love it like hell, if she would rather be with a boy closer to her own age” Mom lamented, “but I won’t be like those other nosey and controlling moms; I’ll be the cool mom, because I trust her to make the best decisions for herself.” And so cool mom let it all go. Apathetic dad resigned to the notion that is was all just women’s business, after all, and it would be so much simpler to catch the ball game than to interfere. And so it went…

She just wanted to experience life, Lost Girl did. Boyfriend was intent on showing her life, life according to boyfriend, that is. You see, boyfriend cared less about Lost Girl than he did the mustard stain on his cuff. When he became tired of the stain, he would just wash it away. When he had what he wanted from Lost Girl, he would wash her away too, and so he did.

She was there at last. She was a fully resourced, laminated card-carrying Lost Girl; wouldn’t her parents be so proud? Lost Girl is gracious; she remembers how she sank to the bottom. She would not forget the little people and their many sacrifices, who made her who she is today. She would forever cherish boyfriend and the many blessings he bestowed on her: the forced removal and destruction of her innocence, her addiction, her freedom from her pedantic self-esteem, and her temerity during sporadic encounters with death.

Lost Girl is content in her familiar surroundings, but her increased opiate intake has kept her sleeping a bit longer than customary, such that she has come to fail with her rent, and has taken to vagrancy in the underbelly of the city. There is to be a bikers’ rally in a nearby city, she heard. If she can trick up some cash, she could buy a ride there, and certainly make a killing by way of the predominantly male constituency there. That would get her back on her feet and re-established in a motel room.

“There!” she acknowledged that she had a plan; a path forward. “You always have to have a plan,” she concedes. “It may not be a five-year plan, or even a one-year plan, but just a next-day plan is all you need.” Lost Girl fumbled for her lost phone… oh that’s right: she got rid of her Android because it ran out of minutes. She wanted to call her mom and tell her the news that she and her ‘fiancé’ were moving to Santa Fe, but she shot the rest of her minutes in her neck; veins she swore on her mother’s grave that she would NEVER hit.

The stream of men that showed interest in Lost Girl was barely a trickle anymore, increasingly harder to trick. Her ride to Santa Fe was in jeopardy of not happening in time for the Harley Rally. Thankfully she happened onto a group of acquaintances who were themselves heading out to Santa Fe. Lost Girl was on her way!

A boyfriend rallied his harem of Lost Girls and brought them to the Fe. There, he organized and arranged encounter upon encounter, fix after fix, trick followed by trick, John upon John, John upon Lost Girl, and she came to recognize a trough of despair never before fancied, not even in the collapsed super giant of her psyche.

Per her plan she had in fact made a pretty penny, one that she never actually saw, as boyfriend had his power over her, over them all in that harem, them Lost Girls. “We sleep indoors tonight!” Lost Girl triumphed in her mind. She had a new Android now and ninety pre-paid minutes at her call and beck. Prosperity goes down like smooth scotch, but Lost Girl knew better than to let it all go to her head. Everything in moderations, she reminded herself.

“Hey ma, it’s me… I’m fine… yep, made it to Santa Fe as planned. Oh him, he’s good… yeah… yeah he did pop the question. Ha ha… yeah I know, right? He says sometime in October. It’ll be a harvest moon wedding, or a Halloween wedding, ha ha ha…” and so it goes.

Lost Girl is back on top again; a real survivor, that one. Such a little trooper she is. She got herself a prepaid Android, four walls, a bathroom, a lamp, a TV, a chair, and a bed… behind it hangs a picture of a marvelous sunny beach. She’s got it all again, at least for tonight she is on the top of the world, ma!

She’s got all that and a fix. Check out tomorrow is at noon. Lost Girl will just sleep for now. She’ll come up with a new and better plan soon, just not right now. Right now is time to fix; the rest can wait, until when morning next comes.

And so it goes.

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All photos courtesy of the author George E. Hand IV: Geo Perspectives, LLC