Marissa [non-fiction]

Meet Marissa Bryson. Marissa is a 41 year old, homeless, recovering addict. I gave her residence for a night as a good samaritan and in hopes of hearing some good stories. The events that unfolded and the things that I learned about addiction are both unbelievable and priceless.

I bumped into Marrisa at the flea market while getting some shirts made for the website. She was casually walking along, speaking to everyone that passed [mostly Hispanics]. As I was walking by she spoke:

?Hola, como estais?

I replied

Estoy bien.? Y tu?

We had a short conversation in Spanish. She was taken back that I could speak the language. From that point on I began to take in all that is Marrissa. She talked real fast. Not fast as in speed but fast as in “getting you into something” like a street hustler or a pimp. She knew exactly how to play to my ego and we traded information. Not even two hours later she was already hitting me up, asking if I could give her a jump because her car battery had died [note that at this point I didn’t know that she was homeless, but I did suspect that she was a user because of her mannerism and her inability to keep still]. At the time I was at a local Chinese buffet with my best friend Jamaal, who’d also driven, so I had to tell her that I couldn’t help. I joked with Jamaal about it sounding like an invitation to get robbed and thought nothing of it. Fast forward to about 10:30p that same night. I was sitting in bed, about to go to sleep and I off handily text her asking if she had got the jump she needed. She responded by calling; and thus began my introduction to the story of Marissa Bryson.

She and I chatted for a while about normal stuff. Then she broke into her story of being homeless and having no where to go. I knew what she was indirectly hinting at so I stopped her mid plea and offered my place for the night. I did this with the intention of doing a good deed and gaining for myself the opportunity to briefly hear the stories and look into life’s window of a user/former user. She agreed. I didn’t give her my address. I told her to meet me at a local gas station, just in case it was a set up to get robbed. I got to the gas station and she was sitting in her car as expected with no one else around. She drives a 2 door, Evergreen Mustang, that looked to be between a 2000 to 2002 model. You could plainly see all of her belongings thrown around in the back seat. To me the car lent her story a great deal of credibility so I relaxed a little. She followed me back to my house but we didn’t go in. I instructed her to get into my car and we drove to my job. I had to print a few items. Almost immediately during the ride there she began offering me sex. She leaned the passengers seat all the way back and began rubbing her legs. She started asking me questions like “have you ever touched a woman while driving” and “do you want to touch me?”. [Yikes!]. I kept trying to shift the topic but she was persistent. I had to deaden her passes directly.

  Look, I don’t want anything like that from you. I am not attracted to you.

Her look of disappointment, confused me. She sat her seat back to the up right position and said:

I understand solider. If solider man don’t want me then he don’t want me.

She said she understood but she didn’t. She took this as “wait until later” instead of a “not ever”.

We got to my job and I had her wait in the lobby. I printed what I needed and we returned to my house. She immediately turned on the antics again. This is when I knew for sure that she was a user. I began to notice certain things, like at random she would whistle mid sentence, as if she were calling a dog and she constantly wanted eye contact. I gave her a small tour of my place and when I showed her the bathroom she plopped down on the toilet and began to pee, door open. When she got up I asked her if she always peed with the door open. Again another basic misunderstanding. She replied “no, but I thought you would like to look at me, if that bothers you I won’t do it again”. I sat on the couch and began working on some things for the website. She sat on the couch beside me and we started to chat again. She told me of how she had been moving back and forward between houses and woman’s shelters. She laid her entire survival technique down for me. What she does is meet men where ever she could and immediately offer them sex. She knew that in offering them sex she would have a place to stay and most often something to eat for the night. She says that she does any and everything with the men in hopes of wowing them and inciting the man to keep her around. She said that she always required protection. Now, anywhere else in America this would not work and she would spend a lot of nights out on her ass. However, this is Fayetteville, NC; Home to one of the nation’s largest Army Bases, Ft. Bragg. Her technique kept her in constant movement, but it worked because there is a plethora of drug using, lonely and depressed soldiers here. She’s prostituting herself not for money, but for a place to shit, shower, and sleep. I can’t even begin to fathom sleeping with someone new every single day.

I asked her about her family and why she didn’t rely on them for help. She responded that her family “ain’t shit”, with the exception of her mother who was taking care of her 17 year old son, who she refereed to as her “little birdie”, and her “eagle in the skies.” We chatted a little longer about normal stuff. She kept saying that she was tired so I pulled out a towel and wash cloth, showed her the shower and showed her where she’d be sleeping [I let her sleep in my bed]. As she was taking a shower, you could hear her moaning very loudly. It didn’t sound like a pleasure moan, it was more like a bad dream moan. This went on for 15 minutes. It was hard to concentrate on my work as I was wondering what was going on in my bathroom. She kept fabricating reasons to call me into the bathroom, asking me for q-tips and other little things [if you’d ever been to my house you’d know that my shower curtains are clear].

[Please note that from this point on in the story she was a naked as a Jay Bird. She did not put on one stitch of clothing until she left my house the next day]

She got out of the shower and started at me again. I refused. She seemed disappointed and angry. She rushed off into my bedroom and slammed the door. I was confused by this. To me, I thought I was doing her a service by not requiring that we have sex as payment. I thought she would have appreciated it. So, because I am who I am I had to understood why she reacted the way she did. I opened the door to my room and asked her why she was angry. She told me that she was a “sexual being” and that she loved having sex as often as possible and that I was not providing her with what she needed. She began telling me about her religious beliefs and how she had asked God to send her one man to be sexual with, but given her circumstances she had to do what she had to do. She went on about her life, and in telling me about her life she began telling me of her past. One story in particular stuck out to me:

She told me about a time in the early 80’s [her mid 20’s] where she was deep into using. She never identified what drug she was using. She told me in great detail [too much detail to recount for you], and by first and last name of each person, of how she became a sex slave for drugs. She said that it started off with one drug dealer who she owed money. He took her in and in exchange for food, shelter, cleaning services and sex, he would give her all the drugs she wanted. She said that this lasted for about 6 years and from this relationship came her “little birdie”. She said that shortly after their child was born he decided that he was done with her and “sold” her and her son to one of his friends.  Around her son’s 3rd birthday she gave him up to her mother. And this is how she went about life for the next 3 years. Eventually she was “sold” to a bi-sexual female. She said that this was her introduction into homosexuality and the worst time of her life. The girl and her boyfriend kept her locked in their house, never to leave [she didn’t go into detail about how this was possible and I didn’t ask]. She said that they regularly kept her with drugs and had sex parties where she was made to sleep with numerous men and women. She said they treated her really bad, beating on her and constantly yelling at her. After several months of this she realized that she had to get clean and get out of there. She escaped [again I didn’t interrupt the story to ask how] and went to a clinic where she eventually became clean. She went back home to live with her mother and son.

After her stories I explained to Marissa that I was not attracted to her in that way and that it seemed to me that she needed peace in her life, even if only for one night. Again, Marissa expressed that she understood [but didn’t] and went to sleep. I went back out to my couch and continued working on stuff for the site. Every so often I could hear Marissa moaning. Again, not a pleasurable moan but a bad dream moan. This went on the entire night. Needless to say I didn’t get any sleep. Around 3ish I guess, I was finished with what I was doing and I laid down on my couch. I could only get short naps in as Marissa’s incessant moaning kept me awake, along with my fear of her trying to steal something from me while I was sleep. At around 4a I woke up to a tap on my soldier. Marissa was standing over the back of the couch trying to wake me up.

  Soldier…hey soldier. Wake up. You want this pussy? Wake up soldier I need you inside of me…

I tried my best to play sleep but I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the randomness she was saying. I sat up to see leaned up against a wall massaging her breast and playing with herself. I ended that scene quickly.

Hey! We already talked about this.Take your ass back in that room and go to sleep or get the fuck out…

She gave me a death stare and ran back off into my bedroom and slammed the door. About an hour later I heard her phone ring. She picked up and began talking to some man. They began having phone sex. I could hear her masturbating and talking dirty to the guy. At some point she got up and opened my bedroom door [I guess so I could hear them better…who knows]. One thing that I promise you never ever in life want to hear, or can ever forget is the sound of a user [ I wanted to say crackhead but I didn’t want to be disrespectful] busting a nut. Gross doesn’t even begin to describe the things that I heard. Mortified and in fear of sending the wrong message I did not move. That did it. I was awake for good. After their “finale” I could hear her say something about meeting up with the guy. I was happy to hear that she would be leaving soon. She called me into the room and we began to chat some more. She seemed to be having a sober moment. This is when she gave me a lot of insight and advice. I tell you what, when a user [crack head] gives you advice on how to make it in life with nearly nothing, you listen. They take nothing, and make it into a whole lot of something everyday.

I began telling her about myself. I told her about my current job situation, [which I will get into in a later post. The situation is pending litigation and I want to post the entire story at once], my love life, and my art. Marissa provided me with some of  the most in depth insight I have ever received. She help me construct and write out a plan for post military, and even a budget for the next couple of months. She is part of the reason I decided to finally finish my degree.

Another thing that she helped me discover [or more like re-discover and/or identify] was what I want out of life. The answer to that question was “I don’t know”. At 28 years old I still do not know what I want out of life. I can honestly say that I am just enjoying the ride and going where ever the wind takes me. I am satisfied with that for now, I guess…I mean, when I think about the things and people I love I want to do those things and be close to them However, I want to do new things too, and meet new people. It’s a duality that I can’t take a stand on. There are pluses and minuses on both sides.

Surprisingly the subject came up because of me talking about Nia. I guess that in talking about Nia she was offended that I didn’t speak of her [Marissa] so highly, seeing as Marissa was ass naked, and right in front of me begging to fuck me. This is where the conversation took an awkward turn. This was the only time throughout the entire experience that I felt threatened and thought that I would have to fight her. Marissa angrily told me that I was “high on my horse” and that I needed to deal with “what was in front of me” [both metaphorically and literally]. She leaned back as I stood in front of her about 5 feet back from the bed and spread her lips, explaining to me how “good her pussy was” and  how well she kept it. Now, I’m not a gynecologist but, I have seen a lot of vagina’s in my day; and in comparison to some of the stuff that I’ve seen, she did keep hers up pretty well. It was hairless, and as far as I could tell from where I was standing, odor free. I can not say the same for other vagina’s that I have seen attached to non-users [non-crack heads]. Anyways, I watched the show [shit… I’m a man ain’t I? Don’t judge me! LOL] and after she was done I told her that it was time for her to go. She asked if she could take a shower before she left and I obliged her. I assume that she took another hit, or snorted another line [or whatever] while in the bathroom because I could hear her throwing up and she stumbled out of the door afterward. Her eyes were visibly lower and her speech and cognition were slurred.

As she was preparing to leave, every so often she would go into her bags and pull out “gifts” [as payment since I didn’t sleep with her I guess] and give them to me. These were some of the most random items ever. In all she gave me about 4 groups of gifts that amounted to nothing. But I was appreciative and still have the items [ I don’t really know why]. She asked me for a “wife beater” and I gave it to her unsure of why she needed it. I watched in amazement as she twisted and contorted that wife beater into a makeshift bra that actually held her [size D at least] breast up. I mention that because it amazed me that she had that kind of ingenuity.It was the truly the manifestation of “taking nothing and turning it into something”. She put her clothes on. I asked if I could take her picture and she agreed. As she was walking out of my door she turned to me and said “Thank you Mr. Freshley for letting me recharge and renew myself”. That was all the reward I needed.

     Out of the entire experience I learned that you can gain knowledge from absolutely anywhere. I also learned that drugs can really take a hold on you.  I’m sure I probably took more from the experience then I am currently expressing but I can’t rightly put it into words right now. I have not accepted her phone calls since that day. I don’t fear her, I am just pretty sure that the situation is bound to turn bad for me if I continue to interact with her given that she is a user [crack head]. I hope that she finds help somewhere and is able to achieve her goals. I wonder if her family knows where she is? I hope that her son is doing well. There is nothing more that I can do for her. Here are a couple of voice mails that she has left me since.


© Stephen R. Freshley and wordbending, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this
material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Stephen R. Freshley and Word Bending a secret but not so secret blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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