The Beginning, Melissa

by Jeffrey Stockbridge

Melissa, Winter 2008.
My first trip down Kensington Avenue was in the winter of 2008. It was a fiercely windy day. I saw several women dressed in warm coats standing on corners here and there. Melissa caught my eye as she stood in front of a chain-link fence adjacent to the Ave. As I was embarking on a new project and didn’t know exactly where it would lead me, I decided to bring my audio recorder along to track my thoughts. Instead of recording myself, I wound up recording Melissa.

Audio Transcription

Melissa: I was first introduced to the streets of Philadelphia about 5 years ago.  Um, the prostitution uh, came about probably around the same time the drugs did.  I did finally leave Philadelphia um, and became clean.  I moved to Delaware came back relapsed and um trying to get myself back to, on the right road again.  Um, it does have a lot to do with drugs but I can at least say this time, now I’m stronger than what I was now than what I was before.