Somewhere in the area of 1993 or so, I worked for a dungeon. Near the end of this phase I decided to go to Connecticut to meet and have session with someone who'd called me several times, but insisted on my comming to his location. My employers didn't want me to do it. After maybe a month of phonecalls, being reletively poor (a recent job change ate all of my savings, for whatever that was worth), and a decent helping of naivity on my part ended with my decision to go anyway, behind their backs. This client had very specific clothing requirements, and reccomended several stores in NYC. (Oddly, by addresses only, no store names) It took me about a week to get my wardrobe in order. It was time consuming and required most of my cash, right before X-mass. (The date was set for the 23rd.) But hey, it was an investment, right? You can't make $ without spending it and all that. So stressed out with job related paranoia and holiday 'cheer', myself and my B/F of the time (otherwise known as Sensitive Artist) drove up, got a small room somewhere, then on to the meeting place. Now, at this point most of you will likely join the voice in my head and scream "IDIOT" when I say I didn't get any cash up front. We were supposed to go back to his place, session there for several hours, then he would pay me and I would meet with his friend/accountant the next day. S.A. didn't even come with me. He wasn't supposed to. I went with the client, he went back to our room. Neither of us had a pager or cell phone. After maybe 2 or 3 hours at a house I never saw a number on, we went to a restaurant for coffee and a small dinner. He left a $50 on the table and went to the phone out front to call his friend. No, wait. That's not right. He left a $50 on the table and went to his car, stole the main piece of my wardrobe, a rather expensive and personalized corset, and left the rest of my possesions on the floor in the lobby before he drove off. Are you laughing at me yet? I would be. When I went out to see what happened/if he was still on the phone, and saw my belongings, I freaked. I'd spent all of our money on this.. knowing it was a risk, but being so eager and greedy I fell right into it anyway. S.A. picked me up and we drove back to the hotel, after an animated scene in the restaurant. At some point, the owner said the same guy was there with another girl the previous week. I no longer remember if he actually said this to me, or if the police told me he'd said it. That's right, we called the cops. I was all full of righteous fury and sure that they would understand.. after all, we hadn't done anything illegal, and he had. But back in the privacy of the hotel room, S.A. convinced me that the police would never believe me.. that they'd assume I was a normal hooker and refuse to believe otherwise. He guilted me with cries of "What am I gonna do if you go to jail?" and went on with explanations of why they'd never believe me. I was sure in my heart they would have to see the truth if we told it, but I was also afraid of what work would do if they found out, which they almost assuredly would, when the cops tried to verify my story. I couldn't leave us broke and lose my job simultaneously. Plus I knew the basic level of connectedness of the local places. If they fired me for this, it wouldn't be out of line to assume I wouldn't be able to get hired elsewhere in our area. So... I went along with the lie. It felt horrible. I had commited no legal crime until the cops arrived and I perjured myself. We told them I met him via a personal add in a swinger magazine. They told me all sorts of fun things like how other girls, "prostitutes", had filed complaints about having clothing stolen by this guy. He was somewhat frequently seen with girls with very similar descriptions in that restaurant. They went into this tale about how it was probably because I had "an asian look", as they kept refering to it. Then into speculations about how many serial killers start out as collectors.. collectors of clothing, of jewelry.. then of hair or nail clippings.. then more. As much as I knew they were trying to scare me into telling them what they wanted to hear, it also shook me. And they kept circling back to my "asian look".
At work, over several years, (any work, from everyday retail to Other) I was sometimes referred to as "you know, the Chinese girl" by people who didn't know me. One particular day, when I was working in a department store over X-mass, this woman approached me with her child in tow. A little girl looking to be about 8 or 9 years old. As the mother asked me some question, the girl stared up at me.. when finally her mom turned to go, she exclaimed "You look just like Mulan!"
That night, I bleached my hair blonde.
I haven't dyed it black since.