About four months ago I ordered a book from Amazon, it was a book that was on my “because you bought” list. Having been fascinated with the dark underworld of pimps I quickly added “Pimp” by the infamous writer Iceberg Slim. His first publication and autobiography , I was more than excited when this book arrived just a few short days later. It has never been uncommon for me to be reading two or three books at once, however this was one book that had all of my attention. It took me less than three days to finish this fascinating true story of the former pimp, Robert Beck. His way of story telling captured me and made my fascination that much more intense. (I don’t plan on becoming a pimp) This was the first book of many written by Iceberg Slim, of which according to the original publishing house have sold millions upon millions of copies in over eight different languages. Writings so great that you can feel the pain of his heart when he describes his mother’s death or hear the coldness innhis voice as he describes using a wire hanger as a whip. While Slim was a former pimp and a junkie he was and always will be considered a pioneer in the African-American literary genre’. No less and if not more than Donal Goines and Odie Hawkins. It is within the pages of the book “Pimp” that a lot of life’s questions can be answered. Like all things that peak my interest I began researching the life of Beck, the genius behind the words and the stories. The man that offered a look into the deep underworld of pimping. Continue reading
“The Mile High Club”
Hayden had my travel agent book us an emergency flight home to St. Louis for fear that the next time I may not be so lucky. Every beating was always worst than the last and I knew that eventually Xavier was going to kill me. He knew the one thing that I cared about the most was my looks, so he began doing things to me in his fits of rage that would scar me in such a way that I would have to out of work for an extended period of time. I threw on a pair of jeans and a tank top, with a scarf around my neck to cover up the 5-inch gash on my neck. In a failed attempt to cover the bruises around my eyes I just decided to throw a pair of wide dark shades on instead. My lip was swollen and I had an unbearable headache that even my Tramadol couldn’t ease. I had only taken enough clothes to get me and Aiden through for about a week. I knew that if need be I had the means of going shopping for us both. I had called my mother to let her know that the four of us were coming to see her. She immediately started to worry, she knew that the only reason we ever came home was for her birthday in May and Christmas; it was the middle of July.
“Ma, Hady and I are bringing the kids and we are coming to see you.” I tried to hide the pain my voice, careful of my mother’s feelings.
“Baileigh Ray what’s wrong? Is my grandson okay? Where is your sister?” She came at me with question after question that I wasn’t prepared to answer at that moment.
“We are all fine, Hayden is right here. Our flight leaves in about an hour and it is a direct flight so we will see you this evening. We have arranged for a car to pick us from the airport.” I wanted to get her off the phone as soon as quickly as possible I hated lying to her.
“Alright. Well ya’ll be careful. Kiss Aiden and Reign for me. I’ll see you shortly. I love you.”
“Love you too lady.” With those words I ended the call. I looked over at my sister who was coloring with Aiden and Reign. It was amazing how different we were. I had all the beauty I could ever ask for yet I had half the confidence and strength I should. There was a time in my life that I felt like I was on top of the world. I couldn’t have told me that I would be sitting in an airport battered and bruised waiting for an airplane to take me to back to misery. As we sat waiting for them to board the plane I thought back to a few months prior when things were going just as they should. I closed my eyes and allowed the memories to ease my mind.
“Damn Hayden Marie will you please come the hell on?!” I swear she moved like a snail when she truly did not want to do something.
“I am Bailiegh shit! Rushing me like you ain’t colored!” Her smart-ass mouth was one thing that ground my damn gears. If she didn’t have the same full lips as me I’d slap her in them! She knew that this was an event that I couldn’t miss and she knew I wanted her there with me. So why she was being so fucking difficult in her choice of wardrobe was beyond my slight of imagination. “Hayden gotdamnit! We brought four big ass suitcases full of clothes so please put together an ensemble and come on!” Now her ass was about to get left, it was twenty till eight and we had at least a thirty-minute ride in traffic. While I waited I decided to give myself a once over for the fifth time in the full-length hall mirror. Because this was a special night for me I decided to turn up my swag. I was rocking a simple black Dolce and Gabbana pantsuit with satin trim down the legs. My jacket was tailored to fit my body in all the right places. The three satin buttons held the jacket together and pushed my already perfect 36Ds up to form a perfect V. I was wearing a pair of red satin Jimmy Choo stilettos to boost my five foot two frame up an extra 3-inches. I was wearing the diamond cross pendent my mother gave me and Hady on our eighteenth birthday and a pair of diamond hoops. My hair was neatly pinned up in a bun and my make-up was flawless as usual. By the time I’d gotten done making sure nothing was out of place Hayden was bouncing out of the bathroom wearing a strapless black satin dress by Donna Karen that was to die for. She was titter tottering on a pair of red 6-inch Manolo Blanik opened toed stilettos. Her hair flowed down past her shoulders in an array of golden layers and framed her flawless make-up less face.
“Well it’s about damn time! Can we go now?” I asked opening the door to the suite and stepping aside for her to walk ahead of me. Hayden strutted her way past me and flung her hair as if to say, “No what bitch!” I just shook my head and followed behind her down the to the lobby where our car was waiting.
“So who is supposed to be at this party?” Hayden asked a few minutes into our ride to the city. “I heard this is like the event of the spring.” She was now looking at herself in a hand mirror making sure nothing was out of place.
“I am not really sure, I heard there were going to be a lot of high profile athletes, entertainers like Diddy and Keyhsia you know the normal run of the mill celeb party.” We were used to these kinds of parties so we weren’t the least bit pressed on who we were going to run into. I was on the other excited about my new contract I’d just signed to become the spokes model for an up and coming New York fashion designer A-Skye. This had been a life altering choice, I knew this meant being apart from my sister for the first time in our lives. The thought of being so far from her brought tears to my eyes, but I knew that it was time that I let go and did my own thing, I depended on her for way too long. We pulled up to the Jay-Z’s 40/40 club at exactly 8:45. There were people everywhere, standing waiting to see who was going to be the next person to walk the red carpet.
“You ready Bay?” Hayden said grabbing my hand and squeezing it. I almost started to cry as I held onto her hand for dear life.
“Yes ma’am I am.” The driver opened the door and I stepped into a whole new life.
“Hady!” I screamed her name as I rushed into her arms, the bloody stains on my face marring the fabric of her lilac wife beater. “Hady! I can’t believe it’s really you!” I almost couldn’t fathom that for once in my life, God seemed to have gotten it right. I really thought this was the end. I thought for sure he had come back to finish me off. But instead, my angel, my sister, came to my rescue like she has more than a few times in our short lives.
“Bay! What the hell happened to you? Tell me who did this! Tell me!!” Hayden looked like someone had just killed her best friend, and in a way, they almost had. I had just endured a beating so terrible that it knocked me out cold, and the only blessing is that I couldn’t remember a thing. I don’t even know how I made it back to our house, or how I got Aiden with me for that matter.
“Hady I don’t even know! I don’t remember anything! All I know is I went out with Xavier, we went to the club just to chill for a minute, next thing I know, I wake up on the bathroom floor with a migraine and a fucked up face! I prayed for you, I prayed so hard, and you’re here! What am I gonna do? I gotta stop this!”
I cried into my sister’s arms, starving for her to hold me, needing her to tell me that everything was gonna be alright. It seemed as though ever since we made this move, while she’s been grindin’ trying to make this paper using her head, I find myself constantly in with the wrong crowd. I mean, I got more beauty and talent in the palm of my hand than any of these other wanna be famous bitches, but for some reason, these no good rappin’ ass niggas take advantage of a chick like me. I knew something had to change, but there was something about him that had me drawn to him. Like a bee to honey, or a bull to a matador. I was addicted
It was during my senior year of high school that I transferred schools. My mother had passed away the previous summer and I needed a change. It was the first day of school; I was on my way to my locker at the end of the day, that’s when I saw him. He stood about six foot, he had skin the color of caramel, and waves that were so deep if you stared too long you just might get sea sick. His legs were cut ever so precisely as if GOD had chiseled them himself. And his eyes were the shape of almonds and an immaculate shade of hazel. As I stood at my locker and stared in amazement at this ever so gorgeous creature he glanced in my direction and flashed me the sexiest smile. I smiled back and continued gathering my things. As I was walking out of the building to my car I noticed there was someone sitting on the hood. As I got closer to the car I saw that it was the guy from the hallway.
“Um excuse me did you loose your car?” I said as I unlocked my trunk.
“No but I did loose your name.” Just the way he spoke each word got me worked up.
“How can you loose something that you never had?” I was now standing directly in front of him giving him much attitude and never once breaking eye contact.
“That’s true and that must mean that I need to get that.” His assertiveness kind of took me by surprise.
“Is that right? Well let me tell you this something my name is Luxury. I just transferred here.”
“Yeah I know you used to go to Normandy right? Yeah I’ve done my homework.”
I was at a lost for words there was nothing I could say. This man knew a little too much, I was a little taken back but flattered at the same time.
“So you checked up on me like that huh?”
I was trying to hide the fact that I was blushing but it wasn’t working my feelings were showing in my eyes.
“Naw not for real I just work in the registrar’s office and saw your file.”
“That sounds like checking up on to me.”
“Call it what you want lil’ mama just know that I’m feeling you and I want you and I always get what I want.”
“Sounds to me like someone is a little stuck on himself and a little over confident. So Im’a tell you this, just cause you want me doesn’t mean that I want you. Now excuse me I have to go to work.”
I pushed past him and got in the car and exited the school parking lot. It wasn’t until I was completely off of the lot that I lost my mind. I was completely blown away; he was so sure of himself and with good reason. But my mama told me that guys like that mean you no good. So I made it up in my mind that no matter what I felt for him I was not going to give in to his charm.
I found out the next day that his name was Lenox Harris; he was one of the schools most popular juniors and the playa of the school none the less. From what my friend, Brandi, told me he was wanted by many girls but rarely did he mess with anyone that attended same school. He was a smooth talker that could easily talk you out of your religion if you weren’t careful.
Once I got the 411 it was easy for me to ignore his advances.
“Good morning Luxury. How is the future Mrs. Harris doing today?”
Lenox greeted me this way every single morning, to him his efforts were effortless but to be honest I was falling in love with him.
“Good morning Lenox. I am doing just fine how are you this cold St. Louis morning?”
I greeted him politely never once loosing my stride on the way to my locker.
“I’m good baby and it’s never a cold day when your warm body is near me.” “Lenox.. Never mind don’t worry about it. I’ma be late for Henke so you have a good day okay.”
“Baby you have a good day too and I’ll see you later.”
“Yeah whatever! Bye.”
“IN THE BEGINNING”
I slowly opened my eyes, I was laying flat on my back staring up at the ceiling. My head was pounding and the side of my neck was burning, there was a warm wet sensation inside my mouth. I struggled to remember the events leading up to me waking up alone on the cold bathroom floor while attempting to get up, it wasn’t until I was staring at the battered reflection that I the events not 5 minutes prior flooded my memory. I stared at the black, blue and deep purple ring around my otherwise flawless green eyes. I ran my fingers over the 5-inch long wound that now defined my neck. I spit the warm blood from between my teeth and rinsed my mouth with cool water. I stared in the mirror and had no idea who the person was staring back at me. Was this my life? This was not supposed to be my life. The longer I stared the more the memories came flowing back, some good and some bad but they were my memories.
I was born and raised in St. Louis, one of only two children a twin nonetheless. My sister Hayden and I were kind of restless spirits, our mother said she knew at conception she was carrying something great. My sister and I were born on the coldest day of the year in early 1984. My mother used to say that was the reason I was such a cold hearted woman, which I took pride in being. I had goals and I wasn’t going to let anyone deter me from reaching them. At the age of 18, Hady and I moved to none other than Hollywood California, the only place we knew was big enough to hold our dreams. Hayden had the gift of gab, she knew any and everything about everybody and we used that to our advantage. Her ability to talk her way out of any situation kept us on our feet when we moved to the ragged one bedroom apartment on Hollywood Blvd. The day after graduation we were on an airplane headed to Cali with our dreams, two twin Louie bags and the six thousand dollars we’d saved over the years. The spotlight was always my thing, while Hady would rather be the brains behind the robot. Twins merely in physical, barely siblings by the mental. I used my face to get me where I wanted to go in life. Long legs, dark green eyes and a flawless near peanut butter complexion. I always believed I was created for this purpose and this purpose only, there was nothing I wanted more but for my looks to be the stepping-stone to my comfortable life. I made myself at home in the modeling and fashion industry while my sister thought of a way to make mad loot using her GOD given talent, the ability to know!
I’d done well maintaining my “I don’t give a fuck” attitude and was able handle my business without incident until I met him. One of the many men that would enter my untouched life and turn it upside down!
The banging on the door broke my trans, I knew who it was standing on the other side. I looked around for a quick exit as I’d done many times before, but we lived on the fifth floor of the high-rise loft building so I took a deep breath and waited. I closed my eyes and I prayed, prayed for a way out, prayed that someone was listening and could hear my silent cries and plea for help.