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If I'm going to start at the beginning of my life, I have to start with my mother. She's theonly family I had. I'll tell you what she told me about her life before I can actually rememberanything. She never wanted to talk about her life. The little I know I had to pry out of her. And ofcourse, she wasn't usually sober so she couldn't really tell me much anyhow. She was a bitterwoman; she oozed anger at everyone and everything. Considering her life and her addiction,maybe that's understandable. But she was able to change when she had to. When she was withher clients, she was totally different - smiley and flirty. Looking at the man as if he wassomething special, when all he was was a paycheck. I saw her with people in the stores whereshe acted friendly and polite. And when she was with social workers, she was an upstandingwoman trying her hardest to take care of her daughter. She was a great actress. Andinterestingly, that's the only thing she ever wanted to do - act in the movies. She couldn't do thatso she created her own movies.

Supposedly, I was the only one who knew about Eileen Reilly's professional life. I don'tthink so. Ha! After she died, suddenly the cops and social workers realized what was going on.The cops must have known about her business, but they looked the other way. For all I know,they were her customers. We lived in a neighborhood where everyone knew everybody else'sbusiness. I'm sure our neighbors knew what was going on in our apartment. They saw the paradeof men going up the back porch steps to our first floor apartment. There were lots of people inthe neighborhood who were into drugs, alcohol, crime, and gambling so she wasn't that different.And I'm sure there were other whores in the neighborhood. We lived in an inner city poor neighborhood with lots of different ethnic groups and lots of crime so who knows all that wasgoing on. Everyone shared one thing though - we were all poor, very poor.I know that alcoholism is an addiction, and supposedly it's genetic. But does that excusewhat Eileen Reilly did to me? Being addicted to alcohol or anything doesn't mean that a personcan't take responsibility for themselves. I think people have a choice to drink or not to drink. Ibelieve people can overcome their genes, or there's no reason for education and treatment andreligion. I don't know if Eileen could have stopped drinking, but I do know she didn't want tostop. Being drunk gave her a way out of reality. When she was in a drunken stupor, she coulddream about a different life - a life as a rich, famous movie star adored by men.It's funny; I don't really hate her now even though she gave me a horrible life. I don'tfeel any emotion toward her. No hate, no pity. She's like a character out of a book to me. But Imust admit that I did hate her when I was young, especially when I was at Southern. I despisedher; I detested her. I blamed her for everything, but when I went to live with the Dr Warner, hetaught me that hating her only ended up hurting me. I had to cleanse my heart of hate or it wouldeat away at me. I've worked on my feelings toward her, and now I just don't have any. Blamingher doesn't change the past, and it only makes the present worse. Dr. Warner wasn't apsychologist, but he talked to me a lot about my feelings about my mother and he helped me seethat I had to put the past in the past and not relive it, but learn from it, and get on with makingmy present and future as good as possible. He helped me overcome the nagging feelings of selfpity I had. Why me? Why did I have to suffer? Why didn't anyone save me? Why? Why? Why?It happened. Make the best of it and get on with your life. It's been hard, but I think I've done it.Over the years, I've had a lot of conversations with God about Eileen Reilly. When I lookat her from a religious perspective, I can come to no other conclusion than she was evil. There'sno excuse for making your child a whore, for selling your child to the highest bidder.Alcoholism, poverty, isolation. All these are not excuses. Other people have lived with these andhaven't sold their children. Adversity brings out evil that is inside some people. Not many,because most people aren't inherently evil like Eileen was. For the first 13 years of my life, all Isaw was evil - no goodness, no love, no kindness. It was a miracle that I found these later in mylife. And I found them when I found God. That's when I saw that there was goodness around meand that I had goodness in me. I was not evil no matter what I was forced to do by Eileen.

Since I found God at Southern when I first read the Bible, I've struggled with the issue offorgiveness. I know God commands us to forgive as He forgives us, but can we forgive evil? Iknow I need to forgive out of obedience to God, but I just can't find forgiveness in my heart formy mother or for Jack Miller. They're the only two evil people I've known in my life. I knowthat forgiveness is one of the hardest things for humans. Jesus told Peter that seven times is notenough times to ask for forgiveness; it may take 77 times. I have asked God to help me forgiveEileen Reilly at least 770 times, but I still can't find it in my heart. So God and I will continue tohave this conversation about forgiveness - probably for the rest of my life and maybe for eternity.Let me tell you the little I know about Eileen Reilly's early life. When she was nine, shecame to Chicago from Ireland with her parents. She told me the poverty in Ireland was muchworse than any poverty in America. She remembered being hungry all the time. She had twoyounger brothers who both died, one because he was born prematurely. She remembered that hewas born dead at home and she saw her father wrap him up and take him away. She didn't knowwhere he was taken. They never had him christened in church so she didn't think they gave hima Christian burial. Her other brother was five when he was hit by a car while he was playing inthe street. Eileen remembers seeing him lying dead in the street. For him, there was a churchservice and a Christian burial.

They moved to America because her father's brother, Uncle Dennis, had moved toChicago and told them there were lots of jobs here and no one starved in America. He probablytold them that the streets were paved with gold. He sent them money to buy tickets in steerageclass, which meant being at the bottom of the boat and throwing up for the whole 10 days of thevoyage. When they got into New York Harbor and saw the Statue of Liberty, all the hardships ofthe trip were forgotten. They were in the promised land, which turned out to hold the wrongpromises for them. They stayed with some Irish people on the lower east side of New York Cityuntil Uncle Dennis sent money for the train to Chicago. He got her father a job cleaning streets,where he quickly learned there was no gold to be found on the streets of Chicago. The job didn'tlast long because he was sick a lot. It turned out that he had some kind of heart problem, and hedied when Eileen was 13, the same age I was when Eileen died. History repeats itself. At about that time Uncle Dennis married to a woman from Wisconsin and moved away. He'd been thebenefactor of the family, but now my grandmother and mother were on their own.Eileen's mother worked in the kitchen of a Greek restaurant, and they lived in a two roomapartment above the restaurant. My mother told me that her years from 13 to 17 were thehappiest of her life. She loved going to high school and did well in her classes. She probably wasquite bright. She prided herself on how she could do math in her head. She'd pose a problem like47 x 52 and come up with the right answer in a second. But most importantly, she loved havingfriends. She had one close friend named Peggy, and they were inseparable. Their favoritepastime was going to the movies. Every Saturday, they'd go to the Marlboro Theatre, one of thebig old ornate movie houses. It was more than a movie house to Eileen. It was a dream palacewhere she'd look up at the crystal chandeliers hanging from a star-filled, blue night sky paintedon the ceiling; she'd look sideways at scenes of ancient Rome painted on the walls, and she'dlook down at the glittering marble floor. She was going to be a movie star and be the leadinglady for Clark Gable, Cary Grant, and Humphrey Bogart. After seeing a movie, she'd go homeand act out the part of the female star. She especially loved dancers like Betty Grable and GingerRogers. She would strip down to her underpants so everyone in her imaginary audience could seeher shapely legs as she re-enacted dance scenes from the movie she'd just seen.The only thing that my mother and I ever did together was go to the movies. That waslike when I was six to about nine years old. She didn't work on Sundays so we spent theafternoons going to the movies. For most people in those days, Sunday morning meant church.Not for us. In fact, she never even walked in front of a church. When we came near one, wecrossed the street. I used to think that being near a holy place made her feel guilty for what shedid. Now I think she didn't want to go near a church because she was afraid she'd see a priestwho might have been one of her clients. When we got home from the movies, she'd startdrinking and talking about the movie until she got lost in her dreams of stardom. I mentioned hergood memory for math. She also had a good memory for the dialogue from a movie we'd justseen. She'd enact scenes using the exact words the movie stars had used. Interesting that thebooze didn't blur her memory for that. I would sit on the couch and she would act out the moviein front of me. To her, I was an audience of thousands.

Her friend Peggy and she talked about how after they graduated from high school, theywould go to Hollywood. They had dreams of being discovered like Lana Turner. They plannedto go to the same drug store where she was discovered. They were sure they would be spotted bya talent agent as they sat at the lunch counter sipping cokes. Then they would become famous,rich, and adored by men. All these dreams fell apart instantly when her mother died ofpneumonia when Eileen was 17. With just three months before graduation, she had to quitschool and get a job. She had no one to support her. At 17, she was all alone in the world. Peggyand her dreams of going to Hollywood both disappeared.

I have no photos of Eileen so I don't have a sharp picture of her in my mind. She used totell me that I looked like her when she was young, before she destroyed herself. She told me shewas pretty, and I'm sure she was. Of course, the time I remember her most is at the end of herlife when she was a drunk who looked a hundred years old, a woman who was being eaten up bycancer. I can picture her sitting on the couch with a glass of booze in one hand and a cigarette inthe other looking at T.V., not processing what she was seeing. She was in her own world.Sometimes the room was so thick with smoke that it was like looking at her through fog. Shemust have smoked two or three packs a day in this small, closed-up living room. She had thishacking cough, and at night she would cough up all this horrible stuff. As soon as she finished acoughing fit, she'd light up a cigarette. She was addicted to booze and cigarettes. She never hadone without the other. She was always leaving lit cigarettes around. It's a miracle she didn'tburn the apartment down. I've never had a glass of booze or a cigarette in my life. I don't knowif it's because I want to prove to myself that I don't have the addiction genes or prove that it'spossible to overcome the addiction genes. Well anyway, I've never been tempted by either.I can see how Eileen might have been pretty once. She had cork screw curly bright redhair, like me and you. We all look like Little Orphan Annie. Of course, my hair hasn't been redfor about 10 years. Now I have a curly white snow cap on my head. I've never thought ofcoloring it. That's just not me. My mother never lived long enough to have her hair turn white.At the end of her life, most of her hair had fallen out and you could see her white scalp with hairstuck in different patches, like a rag doll with plugs of hair sewn on. Her nose was very differentfrom mine. Hers was turned up and cute, while mine is just a chunk on my face. She had samefreckles and reddish complexion that I have. But the freckles disappeared after a while because her skin turned to tan leather. I don't know what caused it; maybe the booze, maybe the cancer. Ihave bright blue eyes and she had coal black eyes. Both of us had this twinkle in our eyes whichgave the false impression that we were happy and enjoying life. How do you get a twinkle inyour eye? That must be genetic and have nothing to do with how you feel because neither of uswas happy. I didn't get to see her eyes often because she rarely looked at me. It was so differentfrom how she looked at her clients. She'd gaze into their eyes as if she was in love with them.She was some actress, and maybe that's why she had so many clients. She provided a fantasy oflove as well as sex.

She was very short and again I'm like her in that way. She must have been about 5'1" orso. That's what I am. My early memories of her are with a curvy body and big boobs, butgradually she turned into a bag of bones with boobs that hung down like long pancakes. Shebecame emaciated. She looked like pictures of people in concentration camps. She was 36 whenshe died, but she looked a hundred. In her last few years there was no way a man would pay tohave sex with that body. That's why she made me into a prostitute - to get money to live on andmaybe to live vicariously through me. But my work was in men's cars and hers was in ourapartment. She wore sexy dresses for her work and I wore little girl dresses so men would think Iwas even younger than I actually was. Lots of men like to screw children, and although I startedat 11, I looked younger. That was my attraction. She was grooming me to continue the familybusiness. You know something strange? I think she liked being a whore. I don't know why I feellike that, but I think she believed in the fantasies she created. She believed she loved each manshe slept with, and they loved her. She hated to stop whoring because then there were no morefantasies in her life - only the cruel reality of impending death.When her mother died, Eileen dropped out of school and took her mother's job at therestaurant. She had no alternative. It was either work or starve on the streets. The owner of therestaurant was a Greek named George, or something like that. At first, he was nice to her. Hetook her into his apartment which was also above the store. His wife was dead and he had twosons. Eileen not only worked in the store, but she cleaned his apartment and cooked too. Shedid wifely duties, and maybe that included sleeping with him. I have no way of knowing.Anyhow, one of his sons was Alex who was 16. Eileen slept on the couch, at first alone, andpretty soon with Alex. Then she got pregnant. George wanted them to get married so the baby would be legitimate even though he wasn't too happy about the fact that Eileen wasn't Greek.But before they could get married, Alex killed the baby. Not on purpose. He beat Eileen whenshe complained that he was going out with different women. One night he beat her so badly shemiscarried. Without a grandchild in the picture, George threw her out. Of course, when I thinkabout that situation, I realize that George may have been the father.Eileen was alone in the world with no family or friends, out on the street at 17. A blackwoman who lived across the street took her in when she saw her sitting on the curb crying. Idon't know the woman's name. Eileen just called her the nigger lady. I don't know hermotivation for taking Eileen in. Maybe she had a big heart. There are people like that in theworld, but not enough. She let Eileen live with her rent-free until she got a job working in alaundry where she washed clothes in scalding hot water. It was hard work, but it was a job. Shedidn't have a high school diploma so that was all she could get. She lived with the black womanfor a while and probably learned how to drink from her. When she got home from work, theywould drink. For Eileen, it was introducing her genes to booze. I don't know when she got intowhoring. I wasn't aware of what she was doing until I was about 5 or 6.I don't know what jobs she held after the laundry and before she became a full timeprostitute. I do know she learned how to collect welfare because a social worker visited theapartment every so often. I remember my mother stayed sober long enough for her to act normaland even clean up the apartment to the extent that was possible. She told the social worker thatshe couldn't work at the laundry because she had a bad back so she couldn't lift the heavy wetlaundry. It's funny how she played the system. She had enough self control not to drink for a fewhours when she saw the social worker. She must have hidden the bottles of booze that werealways around and she probably brushed her teeth for ten minutes to get rid of the smell ofalcohol on her breath. Couldn't she have used that self control more? And the social workers?Couldn't they see how I was being neglected? Couldn't they see through Eileen's lies? Evenwith Eileen cleaning up, the apartment was still disgusting. I suppose all the apartments in ourtenement were the same because we were all poor. And I suppose they ignored the neglect aslong as I wasn't being abused, and I was never physically abused by my mother or any of thepeople who took care of me. Of course, part of my job as a hooker involved physical abuse. Butthat's another story. So to the social workers, that was enough. They must have known my mother was a drunken whore, but they ignored it. What would they do with another kid goinginto the welfare system? There were more than enough.

My everyday life involved going to school, at least until my second year of fourth grade.She walked me to school up until second grade. She put on lots of makeup and a dress, not oneof her sexy work dresses. It looked like she was dropping me off at school on her way to work.Well, I suppose she was dropping me off at school on her way back to the apartment for her job.Although my mother walked me to school, I walked home alone, even at age five. Can youimagine a five year old walking home alone today? We lived two blocks from the school andthere was a crossing guard at the one street I had to cross, but I was still alone. When I got home,my mother started to drink which she did non-stop until I went to sleep. She saw men during theday when I was at school. She didn't see men at night because she'd be too drunk if she starteddrinking during the day. So the real reason she saw men during the day had nothing to do withme finding out, but with her being sober enough to perform her duties.When I got home, I'd knock on the front door in case there was a man still there. Shetried to finish up by 3:30, but sometimes she went into overtime. If she didn't answer, I'd sit onthe steps and wait for her to open the door. Sometimes I waited for as long as a half hour. Themen used the back door so I wouldn't see them leave. Most of the men were from theneighborhood and were regulars. She didn't like taking on strangers. I suppose she was worriedabout getting hurt or getting a disease. There were two Italians who lived in the building acrossthe street who were customers. I'd see them coming around from the back door. I also knew thatthe man who ran the shoe repair store used her. There was a guy who I think was aneighborhood cop, but he wasn't wearing his uniform so I wasn't sure. And of course Doc wasone of her best customers. Good old Doc Kruger. He was a chain smoker like her and weighedabout 300 pounds. He had a foreign accent which I think was German. And he had this big thickmoustache which always had crumbs on it and saliva dripping from the corners of his mouth. Ithink he was a good doctor considering what he did when my mother got cancer, and how hetreated me whenever I got sick. Because he was her doctor and her client, he kept her clean andtreated her when she got diseases so he would be protected too.

My mother had an unusual relationship with her clients. She didn't just have sex withthem, she talked to them. I remember hearing her chatting and laughing with the men before and after they had sex. Because the men were from the neighborhood, they probably discussedneighborhood news or the men talked about their lives. Maybe she was a therapist and a friend aswell as a sex partner. It was very different from my relationship with the men I serviced. Theyrarely talked to me, and I never spoke to them.

When I'd go into the apartment after school, I'd get myself a glass of milk and a crackerand then go outside. There were neighborhood kids to hang out with. We didn't do much becausewe didn't have any bikes or toys. Sometimes we played kick-the-can or hopscotch or jump ropeor hide-and-seek. But mostly, we just hung around. They weren't my friends; they were just kidsto pass the time with. When all the kids went home for supper, I went into the house and by thattime, she was usually asleep on the couch, dead drunk. I made myself a sandwich for supper,usually butter and cheese; the same thing I had for lunch. She didn't eat much. She only wantedher booze. After supper, I'd watch T.V. until I was almost asleep, and then I'd shut the T.V. andgo to my room. I never said good-night or anything to her because she was usually conked out. Iwas really all alone. I didn't have any school friends or neighbors to talk to. I lived in one of thebiggest cities in the world, and I was totally alone. I could have been on a deserted island.We lived in a small dark apartment in a three-story tenement with 12 apartments. Youwalked into the living room which had a couch facing the T.V. There was a coffee table wherethere was always a glass filled with booze, a bottle of booze, a pack of cigarettes, and an ashtrayoverflowing with butts. My mother kept the shades down on all the windows in the house andthere was a floor lamp which didn't give off much light so the room was gloomy and smoke-filled. If you went in one direction, you'd be in the little kitchen with a small table and twochairs. It had its own smell of stale, rotting food. And next to the kitchen was my tiny bedroom.It wasn't much bigger than a closet with my single bed and small dresser squeezed in. I had tokeep my shades down and my window locked because my room faced the back porch andanybody could sneak into my room if the window wasn't locked. We didn't have anything tosteal, but that didn't matter. I only changed my sheets once a month and rarely washed myclothes so my room had its own distinct smell of me. I could shut my eyes and go from room toroom and recognize where I was by the smell. Next to my room was the back door and that wasthe way her clients came in. She kept it locked until five minutes before a man was scheduled tocome.

My mother had the bedroom facing the street. It was decorated like I imagine awhorehouse would look. It had red velvet lamps with fringe hanging down and big, gilt-framedmirrors on the walls. There was a double bed with a red velvet spread and a dressing table withbottles of lotions and perfumes on it. I saw what she wore when the men came - a sexy low cutdress with no bra so her boobs were almost completely exposed. There was a slit up the side ofthe dress and you could tell she wasn't wearing any underwear. She wore that same dress foryears. I'm not sure she ever washed it, but it didn't matter to her clients; they just wanted to getthe dress off. She had this feathery stole around her shoulders which she'd fling around her neckin dramatic moves. She wore a black garter belt with black mesh stockings. She also had thesesilver high heels that she teetered around on. She didn't like me going into her room, butsometimes I'd sneak in and put on the lotions. The only thing I didn't like was the smell in there.Later, I learned it was the smell of sex.

There was only one tiny bathroom where my mother did a lot of her cleansing after eachman. She douched to prevent disease, and I think she thought it would also keep her from gettingpregnant. I know she made the men wear condoms because I would see them in the garbage inthe kitchen. After every man, she would have them put the condom in a trash basket in her roomand then after they left, she'd empty it into the kitchen garbage. I was familiar with the sight ofcondoms, but I didn't know what they were used for until I became her apprentice. The bathroomwas her territory so I only used it when absolutely necessary. I washed up and brushed my teethin the kitchen so I'd only have to use the bathroom to actually go to the bathroom. And when shegot cancer and started bleeding from the lungs and later when she peed, the bathroom wasdisgusting. She couldn't clean it so I had to. I used towels to clean up all the blood and then wentdown to the dark, scary basement to wash them in the washing machine so I could reuse them.My experience cleaning up after her prepared me for my job later when I cleaned my babies atSouthern.

Even though I hated that bathroom, I usually took a bath on Sundays. I rememberwanting to get clean. I'd wash my body over and over and lay in the water until it was ice cold. Ialso washed my clothes in the kitchen sink and then hung them on the clothesline on the backporch. When I was in second grade, the owners of the building put a washing machine in thebasement. Eileen wanted me to do the wash down there, but I was petrified of going into the dark basement alone. I don't know what I was afraid of - being raped? That happened to me everyday once I became a prostitute. Eventually, I used the washing machine almost every day towash the towels so I could clean up after Eileen.

As I got older, I did the shopping. Eileen kept her money in a glass teapot in the back ofone of the kitchen cupboards. She'd tell me how much to take out for what I needed to buy. Atfirst, I did only the grocery shopping, but as she got sicker I also bought the booze and cigarettes.The guys in the liquor store knew who it was for and never asked questions. I didn't even have totell them the brand of booze or cigarettes. Old Crow and Camels. Those were her choices ofsuicide. There was always a lot of money in that teapot. We never had to buy on credit. Iremember once counting the money and there was $418, which in those days was a lot. Butthere was nothing I could do with the money. I suppose I could have bought some decent clothes,but she would have known. Twice a year, a nice neighbor named Mrs. Milano took me shoppingfor clothes and shoes with money Eileen gave her. I don't know how she knew how much wouldbe needed. Maybe she let Mrs. Milano keep the extra money she didn't spend on me so of courseshe always bought me what was cheapest. It didn't matter what I liked. Mrs. Milano was fromItaly and didn't speak English well, but she knew money and how to bargain with the people inthe stores.

From a young age, I was self sufficient. I had no choice. There was no one to do thingsfor me, and after a while I was the person in charge. I can't remember my mother ever washingor dressing me. As Eileen got sicker, I started paying the bills. I'd bring the $40 rent to the superwho lived in the dreaded basement. And I'd go to the currency exchange to get money orders topay the electric and phone bills. I ran our little household completely by myself by the time I wasten.

When I was 11, Eileen started coughing up blood. She didn't tell anybody about it for awhile. Of course, I knew because I saw the hankies full of blood after her coughing fits. She waspetrified her clients would find out and stop coming. She told Doc who sent her to a clinic at ahospital that was an hour bus ride away. We had to transfer twice. I went with her every timeshe had to go. She was getting too weak to travel by herself, and she wouldn't drink so she wasvery agitated. At the clinic, they gave her medicine, but it didn't work. Medicine doesn't curelung cancer which is what she had. At first, they thought it might be TB and they could treat that.

But then they ruled that out and decided on cancer. How that cancer ate at her. But she neverstopped boozing, and of course she never stopped smoking. She'd light up as soon as we left theclinic. The tips of her cigarettes would be coated with blood, but that didn't stop her.I recall sitting for hours in the waiting room at that clinic. There were maybe a hundredpeople waiting. This was a clinic for poor people so we had to do whatever was necessary to seea doctor, even if it meant waiting for four or five hours. Some of the people there were in worseshape than my mother. I thought some of them might fall on the floor and die in front of me. Itried not to look at anyone. I just stared at my hands the whole time we were there. I never wentin to see the doctor with her so I waited for another hour in the waiting room. This was a wholeday event, but by that time I had dropped out of school so it didn't matter. For Eileen, it meantno work, but she didn't have many clients by then anyhow.

Although she had lung cancer, she beat the angel of death by committing suicide. Shecouldn't take the pain and deterioration. One day while I was out shopping, she left the house,although I don't know how she was able to because she was so weak. She dragged herself ablock to 17th Street where there was a lot of traffic and she just walked in front of a moving bus.When I got home, she wasn't there. I was terrified. Where could she have gone? I went upstairsto Mrs. Milano. She didn't know where she was and said we should go to the police station tofind out. I was petrified of going to the police station because I was afraid they would arrest mefor prostitution. But when she didn't come home that night, I had no choice but to go to thestation the next morning. That was the scariest night of my short life. I was all alone in theapartment and kept imagining there were ghosts and wild animals hiding in the corners and theclosets. I stayed up all night thinking about what would happen to me, and whatever I thoughtmight happen was worse than being a child prostitute. I imagined being tortured with litcigarettes and being attacked by wild dogs.

The next morning Mrs. Milano took me to the police station. She held my hand tightlybecause she thought I would faint. Here I was this 13 year old prostitute, but I felt like a two yearold baby without her mommy. Even though my mother was a cruel, heartless woman whoforced me into prostitution, she was all I had and I didn't want her to be gone. The world withouther was totally unimaginable, but one thing was certain - I would be all alone. I could hardly talkto the policeman at the front desk. All I could say was that my mother was missing. He told me a woman with no ID had been hit by a bus the day before. He asked me to describe her. As soonas I said that she had red hair, he said that he thought it was her. Then a police car drove me andMrs. Milano to the morgue so I could identify my mother. A 13 year old going to a morgue - isthere anything scarier than that? A building with dead people, unburied dead people. My lastimage of my mother was her lying on a table in an icy cold room. Her face was all black and blueand bloody, but there was no doubt that this dead body belonged to Eileen Reilly. I didn't feelany grief because I was overwhelmed with fear. What would happen to me? When I think backto that terrible time, I realize that Eileen didn't care what happened to me. She didn't think ofwho would take care of me. Of course, that was no different from how she had treated me theprevious 13 years. She only cared about herself and when the pain was too great, she ended herlife. And she ended my life too. My life as a prostitute.

By this time the police knew who she was. They questioned me about having any familyor neighbors who could take care of me. When I told them I had no one, they got a social workerinvolved. I wasn't allowed to go home. I wanted to go home to get my safety pins, but when Isaid I needed them, they looked at me like I was crazy. They didn't know they were myprotection. I only had the one big safety pin in my coat, but they took that away and I never sawit again. I was left defenseless.

They took me to a children's home where I stayed until I was sent to Southern.Everything happened so fast. I was in a daze so I didn't process what was happening to me.Now I was an orphan, just like my mother had been, but younger. I was 13. When I was placedin the children's home, I was examined. The doctor looked at my swelling abdomen and did avaginal examination and found that I was pregnant. The doctor asked who the father was and Itold him how I had been hooking for the past year so I didn't know. I was in a state of shock athaving lost my mother, learning that I was pregnant, and not knowing what was going to happento me. I was five months pregnant and I didn't even know it. Naive is the best word to describeme. Naive doesn't seem to fit as an appropriate adjective for a prostitute - a naive prostitute -but that was me.

That was when they decided I must be mentally retarded so they had me tested by a manwho looked like one of my clients, but all men looked like my clients in those days. I can't recallwhat questions he asked me. I was in a fog. He found my IQ was 65. How did I know my IQ was 65? Remember I could read and I remember seeing him write the numbers 6 and 5 next to theletters I and Q. So I was the first to know the results of his testing, but certainly not the last.Based on the IQ test results, it was decided that Southern State School for the Feeblemindedwould be the best placement for me. You would have thought that someone might havequestioned the accuracy of that IQ score considering all that had happened to me. But no, it wasaccepted as valid and used as the basis for my imprisonment at Southern. There was no voice ofreason to be heard. No one advocated for me. No one knew me. They had no idea who thehuman being inside my skinny, dirty, pregnant body was. No one in the whole world cared whathappened to Mary Reilly.

Well those are my memories of my mother. When I look back and try to find a time whenshe said kind words to me or touched me with affection, I can't find any. I have to admit tomyself that she didn't love me. She didn't love anyone, especially herself. She was a womanwho was dominated by her desire for booze. She didn't care about the men she serviced. It wasjust her job. She had no friends or family other than me. When neighbors or men, especially Doc,tried to reach out to her, she rejected them. She was alone in the world, and she didn't care. Butshe did have her obsession with movies and her impossible dream to become a movie star.Maybe when she screwed her clients, she saw herself in a love scene in a movie. Her fantasy as amovie star kept her going and when she could no longer dream of being a movie star, she killedherself. But she also killed Mary Reilly, the child prostitute. So something good came of herdeath. Just think of what my life would have been like had she not gotten sick and died. Iprobably would have lived my whole life as a prostitute. What a horrible, horrible thought.