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Sasha’s Story: Episode One, First Meeting

I was working the streets in Ottawa, prostituting.  I had dates all night,  from early evening until late, late – and no place to sleep.  I was shooting up then too.

I was diagnosed with AIDS in 2004.

I did have a lot of respect for you. I never used drugs when I was there, in the office.  I had respect when it came to that. I really did. I didn’t agree with it, I didn’t agree with needles on me. I didn’t agree with the drugs on me or… I remember I got mad at the secretary too. I woke up and there was not a soul in there [the office} (laughter) and I flipped right out.  I can still see that poor secretary’s eyes.  She goes like, she had to leave, and then I knew that I could trust you. I knew that everything was fine. I knew that everything wasn’t going anywhere.  I said you should have woke me up! (laughter)  I was out like a light. I was sleeping hard that day, I guess. So I must have been really using the day before, because I was pretty drained.

Ken: So how much drugs were you using then?

Probably about $300 a night.

I remember a few times I was waiting to get into the office, and there was a guy there and I said, ‘You know, I’m going to sleep here,’ and he just looked at me and said, ‘Put your head down girl. Don’t worry, I’ll leave my door open. If I hear anybody, they’re not going to bother you.’  I kept saying to him, “Oh no, please don’t call the cops. I don’t have anything on me or anything like that. I’m not that type of person.’ Sure enough, I sat there. When we went in, I went right to the back office. And I didn’t see daylight until four o’clock in the afternoon when they closed it.’

Next Week:    Early life and hard beginnings in the Maritimes.  (Content not suited to young readers) A special thank you to CHRI Family Radio!

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