My name is Melissa, known as Pebbles on stage, and I am an ex escort/prostitute and stripper. Through out my whole life I have had no father figure, a mother who didn’t care, and always lived in horrible neighborhoods. At young ages I was exposed to drug deals and shoot outs. I’ve seen people bleeding to death on the sidewalks, people get shot point blank at my bus stops, and found a dead girl in the bushes that our neighbor murdered. My whole life has been a struggle for survival and knowing how to walk through my jungle without getting killed. I have survived my rough ghettos and abusive drug dealing boyfriends to only end up in another ghetto and another jungle all of it’s own with new rules and new territory. That new ghetto is my home in south side Baltimore and the new jungle I walked into was escorting and stripping on Baltimore St., also known as the block.
My father was never in the picture and my mother was always very distant with her own problems. I was in a gang and running the streets at the age of thirteen. I robbed people, stabbed them, beat numerous people up, and was constantly suspended from school for fighting. I started getting kicked out around that time. With no where to go I would walk the streets and prostitute at only thirteen years old to get money to feed myself. Around the third time I was kicked out my mother saw me in a mini skirt and halter top on the street and pulled me in the car. She let me come back but I had to follow her rules. I couldn’t hang out on the streets no more, couldn’t use the phone, couldn’t watch television, and she would drive me to school. We started going to church together and I started making new friends and my grades went up. I had a good boyfriend and everything was going great.
February 14, 2003 my mother died and I was pawned off on my grandmother. Nobody wanted me, I was the monster of the family. My grandmother tried to call all of my relatives and no one would adopt me and become my guardian. I became really depressed again and went right back to my gang of thugs and home boys. My grandmother constantly called me stupid, crazy, and thought I belonged in a crazy home. I totally rebelled against that idea so we compromised I would see a therapist and take anti depressants. I really didn’t take them though. I would fill the scripts and flush them down the toilet everyday. Instead I would self medicate with ecstasy and weed. It wasn’t too long before I was spending all my money on drugs. I upgraded to adding blow into the mix of my current drugs of choice. I started using more and more every week. I wasn’t going to school. I didn’t even graduate and I only needed .5 credit to get my diploma. I found a new boyfriend who also like doing drugs and he became my drug buddy and sex buddy. We moved in together and all turned to hell. If I never saw the Devil before well I sure did now that I was with this new boyfriend. We both decided to get clean and as we did we realized how much we didn’t like he each other. We still tried to work it out but it was hard on my end since he was mentally and physically abusive. He broke almost every rib in my body, my collarbone, and gave me serious scars from stab wounds and cuts. One night he left me for dead. I thought I was dead as I blacked out while he choked me. The Devil was all over that house. He tapped on windows, he flickered the lights in every room I sat in, and even screamed outside. I will never forget that scream, it sounded like a woman in serious pain and torture but at the same time so evil. I only say the source of the screaming one time and all I saw were it’s gleaming gold eyes. They gleamed like treasure and were very enticing. I started having dreams of a dark figure pulling my soul out of my body and towards him. I would try to scream in the dream but nothing came out. I would try to grab onto objects but he was way too powerful. The dreams were so realistic I would wake up shaking and feeling myself making sure I was still there and alive. I would look around in fear and cry. One of our dogs became possessed and as we read Psalms 91 to the animal it growled and tried to attack us. I suddenly put Psalms 91 in red ink all over the entry ways in our house. The tapping stopped, the flickering lights stopped flickering, the dreams stopped, Jamaul stopped beating me, and the screams outside weren’t so frequent anymore. Finally I mustered the courage to leave him off to a new beginning with freedom.
I wasn’t free yet because after I left him I went right back to my drug habit, I had been sober for almost two years and I was all emotional again with no one to turn to. I had a new job at a restaurant with plenty of new drug buddies to get high with. I was a wreck after Jamaul. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I was sad, angry, depressed, and just a mess with all the torture and things I saw at that house. My family thought I was crazy when I told them the things I saw. They suggest I get on the medication again that I was never really on to begin with. I told them it wasn’t the drugs because I was sober and that something was really going on at that house that was demonic. So with all of my emotions over my past relationship now my family made me feel absolutely crazy. I began to wonder if I was crazy. That’s when I started smoking weed again and picked up drinking. I decided not to take ecstasy again since it really messed with me afterwards. So I basically just transferred my addiction to alcohol since that was more acceptable in my family. I got my own place shortly after I left him and moved to the ghetto again. I had a roommate and was doing good. Then my roommate got real heavy into crack and stole my check book and wiped me clean. I evicted her, sold my car until the bank could pay me back, and starting stealing from my job to cover the rent. I was filtering drinks to get an extra tips and would end up making up to $150 extra every night. Well that didn’t last long since all the servers got audited and I was fired. That’s when I turned back to the adult entertainment industry for fast money. I spent months working dead end jobs waiting on pay checks. I couldn’t afford food for myself anymore. My phone was cut off and I remember being without a phone for five months. I had eviction notice after eviction notice. My electric should have been cut off but luckily it was winter and below freezing. I owed my bank over $1000 because I burned up my debit card and went in the negative. I didn’t know what to do.
One day someone introduced me to stripping in Baltimore. They took me up there and got me the job. My first day I didn’t know what to do. I went in there with some black pumps and a bikini bathing suit. All the girls were rude, they were doing all types of drugs in the back, and were completely nasty looking away from the black light. I sat it through though and tried to find a moment of personal time. When I found some alone time I called my friend Jerome and just started crying. He agreed to move in with me and help get my rent back in order. So I walked out of my first day at the club hoping it would be my last.
Jerome moved and I never went to that particular club again but I did pick up another part of adult entertaining. The job hunt was going horrible, I wasn’t getting any calls back and I was still in debt struggling to eat everyday. My meals during that time consisted of one dollar menu cheeseburger from McDonald’s and that was all I ate for the day. I was hungry and pissed off. Most of my money went to my alcohol. I also got on probation so I couldn’t smoke weed anymore so I just doubled the drinking habit. Someone emailed me and said they wanted me to work for them escorting. I had no clue what an escort was. In their initial email they basically just said I could make up to $1000 a night going on dates with high class business men and no sex was involved. Well I sure found out later that it was all about sex. The only difference between us and the street hookers was that we were internet hookers, paid our pimps less, and didn’t get beat up. So I decided to keep working for the agency and started making good money. My name became Pebbles and I was known for a great relaxing massage, good kisser, and very passionate and wild. Sometimes you were paired up with other girls in the same room. We would never talk. We would both do our drugs of choice and just wait for the phone calls. We would take a lot of showers, constantly fixing our makeup and hair, running to the store for more condoms, and constantly calling our drug dealers to get us more pills or more liquor. But I put my pride and image aside and told myself that this is what I have to do for the time being because I don’t ever want to be as hungry as I was. I started getting a lot of regulars and was averaging $800 every night. At first I loved the attention and how I got paid just for some man to want me. But then I started to look at it in another perspective as my drinking habit got worse. So I left escorting and went back to the club thinking I wasn’t going to have to turn tricks anymore.
About a month later I go up to one of the clubs on Baltimore St., also known as the block, and get a job dancing again. Only this time I really found out more. All the girls are on crack, heroine, or both. The only way to get a drink out of a guy was to do “the block hand shake”, which is basically pulling his penis out and rubbing it. Most girls get a lap dance but end up giving oral sex for an extra $40 because you don’t make anything from the club but a stupid $80 if you make you drink quota, which would be eight drinks. The only real way to make money is to do bottles or in other words back room prostitution. There you could get big tips, $150 or more. I felt even worse because I had to a lot more degrading things for 8 hours and make less money then escorting. So I picked escorting up again but didn’t use the agency that way I didn’t have to give anyone my money. Everyday I walked into that club I would take two shots of vodka and cranberry, walk in the back and give myself a pep talk and it went something like this:
You can do this. You are a filthy dirty whore. Put on your game face. Get super trashed and get these fools for their money! Woooo Hooo!
Yeah, some pep talk huh? I would get so drunk that I would fall on stage and could even walk sometimes. I would end up taking a nap in the back and the bartender would have to wake me up. I started hearing the Devil again and seeing him again. This time he was very visible and lurking everywhere I went. The flickering lights started again and in the shadows I felt him staring at me. I was now officially his. He didn’t have to tap on the window anymore he was there sitting next to me watching movies with me. Comforting me when I cried with thoughts of suicide and freedom through that. Soon enough I had a pimp and got Chlamydia and Gonorrhea from him. After I got tested and treated he was shot on the block by a random bullet and killed and I no longer had a pimp. Other pimps tried to recruit me to their flock because they heard I was a good hoe but I just took my pimp getting killed as a sign that I don’t need one. So I kept dancing and kept drinking my life down the hole.
One day on myspace I got a friend request from some guy and I checked out his page. On his top friend list was Shelley Lubben Ex Porn Star. I clicked on her and watched her video of her telling her story. I thought real hard that day and cried some more. I kept going to work but something had changed. I couldn’t do the extra stuff anymore. All I kept thinking about at work were Shelley’s words, “Do you want to live in the pig pen with the rest of the pigs?” I would then look around at the girls and my bartender and realized this is a pig pen. So I kept going to work and getting drunk but I would just dance and get my tips and not talk to anyone. I would just sit in silence and think about my environment and Jesus and that this isn’t my path. I stopped trying to get drinks and bottles and would just sit there, I wouldn’t talk to the girls anymore. I stopped escorting but I kept going to work. I was now only making $50 since I didn’t make my drink quota and only would make little in tips. But it didn’t matter. Rumors starting spreading in the club that I was crazy and suddenly no one liked me anymore. Pretty soon someone was going to try to fight me. I would go home drunk and lock myself in my room and just pray. I would cry and pray so hard I would forget where I was and I would feel was me and Jesus talking to each other. I would then feel relieved and pass out. The last week I went my bartender asked if I wanted to go out and talk. So we went out this past Sunday and I told him everything I’ve told you here. He then replied that it was just a job because basically your bartenders are like your pimps in a sense and they don’t want you to quit. I then asked him well if it’s just a job then why is everyone strung out on dope and crack? He couldn’t answer. He gave me the idea to join the military and as of today I enlisted in the Navy. I didn’t show up for work at all this week and only have $10 to my name. But I’ve had the biggest smile on my face all day. I feel free and am so glad I got to talk to Shelley Lubben and hear her testimony. A week before I talked to my bartender I knew something was going to change soon because butterflies were everywhere and two of them came all the way across the street and kissed my nose while standing at the bus stop and they flew around me. I told my neighbor, who was standing there, that that was Jesus and a new beginning was going to happen. He just looked at me. I didn’t get on the bus, since I was just standing saying hi talking to him. So after he got on the bus, I walked back down the path I came up from…. and suddenly butterflies were everywhere. Millions of them just hovering all around me. I just stood there and stuck my hands out and let them touch me and land on my hands, face, and shoulders. I couldn’t believe how many butterflies just suddenly appeared. it almost made me cry.