|Photographic Portrait United States of America|
Getting Off the Street is a Process. Homelessness & HIV. - Smash STREET
United States of America
© SHOW ME YOUR LIFE/ SMASH STREET BOYS
Many of the Show Me Your Life videos were lost when our Facebook accounts were abruptly deleted by Facebook.
boys who do sex work to survive on the street understand that the street is killing them/ bourgeois middle america wants to pretend that “nice" children are never kicked out of their homes, and there are never real issues that go to an adolescent’s sexuality/ real boys are real boys and that’s the end of it/ although it could very well be the very beginning of what is yet to cum/ these boys find us because we set it up for them to find us on the grapevine/ and we aren’t even on facebook that piece of shit they call the great machine/ so as we are communicating with these kids, one thing we try to do is impress upon them that it’s the street (not sex work) that is actually killing them, and there are options/ tricks of the trade pun intended/ and they can learn to make it safer, and they listen they actually listen because it’s scary out there, and most 13-year-olds become quite unglued, the voids they’ve become at all the angles carves its amniotic leakage with the stain of knives they find in sad ruins and their periphery/ and they will sit there and look you right in the eye or rather the eye of some camera they have commandeered/ fear burning in their ancient mouths that nightly suck the cocks of married men with families, and some tricks will even tell you that you look just like their son, and so you wonder why isn’t he fucking him instead of me, and the answer is because that is how it works, the marketplace of quid pro quo, from the dead there are only curses and chainsaws, and, of course, the noose, and after you have explored ideas with them, idea after idea, and all those baggages of pain, and sometimes it might be the idea of living in a safe house, some place where they can’t grab you and fuck you in the ass, and you might even be able to look at the past through telescopes staring at the secrets all of which will come spilling out like water in the subway, drowning all of august in wombs and sound, strange moaning as they choke it back, oddly begotten dreams of what a family is, the terror and the flight/ and they’ll almost gulp it down again, because it’s now the time to make a decision/ to make a decision/ and you can call it what you want, but the bottom line is that it’s just getting the kid off the street because that is what is killing them/ not their hiv/ not their occupation/ not their addictions, and not their families/ not their failures/ but the street/ the street/ get off the street/ to move or not to move/
i can’t imagine what it must be like for some of the children who take these drugs/ no watching horror movies pre bedtime/ not everyone is emotionally or neurologically equipped to take lsd/ kids ask me about what it’s like to start taking antiretrovirals for the first time/ it’s not a stupid question, and there’s an element to it the medical community will not discuss/ some great mystery they usually wrap up in mumbojumbo/ it has to do with a drug called sustiva/ sustiva is a lot like dropping acid/ the thing is a trip, and you are either willing to take that trip, and you will not be in the driver’s seat, or you are not ready to take the plunge/ the medical people just don’t want to scare you off, or they’re just plain ignorant about what the plunge is like/ it’s like crossing a bridge to a small island somewhere in the distance/ you reach the middle of the bridge/ you stop and contemplate the jump/ you will never really reach the island in the distance at the end of the bridge/ you’re going to jump and you know it/ it’s not about the island; it’s about the bridge/ as you jump, you will burn everything else in your life in a bonfire of the leaves/ smoke and ash will follow you in slow motion down to the water where it will float like ground up bone, the kind of bone where they will pour your ashes, too, when you are dead, and if the poison that is the medicine that treats the replication of the organism eating you alive from the inside out doesn’t drown you, the water will; no one is more surprised than you when, instead of drowning, you kick it up a notch, and gulp the cool air into your lungs, and looking up at the bridge, you wonder that you had the balls to jump/ you stand there in the middle of the bridge staring at the island in the distance you had always assumed was your inherent destination/ and you realize that it might be fitting for other people to make it to the island, but you are not other people, and the island is only there/ the old men dressed in wisdom’s white will pull the moon’s too-traveled sobbing of your second selves up like an anchor, and they will tell you what you must do or they will in all piteous sublimity refuse to treat you at all, you must follow the rules, and take the pills at night, bare, iron-handed night deep in clemency and blindness, and that is when you will have reached that exact point where you profoundly realize that the day will arrive when charging through your veins you will have grown tired of the dreaming, and the colors, and you will be tired of all the other pills and admonishments, and you will have grown weary of their bare and invasive hands even as they burn you with every touch, and every probing of your asshole open for the world to see, and if you think that humiliation is not a part of their agenda, think again/ and they will either swallow you or the sea will/ facing the whiteblue, cloudless sky/ and shaking the late leaves down, your descent with its fragile dying will soon hit that whirlingcool bottom of that awful plunge/