Crazy Bitches by Maya Sloan

Crazy Bitches: What extreme women taught me about life, love, and living without fear
by Maya Sloan

photo: Thomas Warming


Prologue:  How I Became A Crazy Bitch (excerpt)

In the span of twenty-four hours, I quit my life.  It was easier than you might think.
I resigned from my job.  I gave away my car, packed a suitcase and booked a red-eye from LA to Philadelphia. 
I consolidated my existence into five cardboard boxes.  I shipped them from a FedEx on Sunset Boulevard.
I left behind several rooms of furniture.  I left most of my clothing, a plasma TV and hundreds of books.  I left a closetful of wedding gifts.
My marriage lasted eight months.  Pretty short.  Even by Hollywood standards.  

I was 33 years old and sleeping on my parent’s couch.  I was dead broke.  My book advance was long gone.  We’d been waiting for my husband’s student loans, but I’d left a month too early.
Besides relying on their couch, I relied on my parents for daily handouts.  I spent my days smoking, drinking coffee and surfing the net for jobs I didn’t have a car to get to.  As for the rest of the day—well, I organized it around bouts of blubbering, extreme self-loathing and re-runs of Dr. Phil.
I lost weight, broke out and started grinding in my sleep.  I chipped one of my front teeth. All in all, it wasn’t pretty.
The whole thing was so fucking depressing that it was almost funny.  Like a bad Lifetime movie, only I was the D-list actress starring.   Episodes of psychotic laughter unexpectedly punctuated my sobbing. “You either laugh or you slit your wrists,” I told my concerned friends.  “ I guess those are the only choices.” That’s when I started thinking about these women.  Extreme women.  The kind we refer to as Crazy Bitches.  I’d always found them fascinating, though, like so many others, many of my opinions were derogatory.  I leaned towards the damaged goods theory.  I figured there must be something wrong with them.   They didn’t get enough love as children. They must have been sexually abused; they have narcissistic tendencies; absentee everything.  They are probably untreated manic-depressive-bipolar-schizophrenics.   The groupie, the stripper, the beauty queen, the S&M mistress.  The escort, the fashion model, the bodybuilder.  Ballbusters.  Glamorous pioneers.  Sluts.  Innovators.  Narcissists.  To some they are a feminist statement; to others, a statement of everything that is morally reprehensible in our culture.
And, of course, secretly I thought they might just be straight-up freaks.
On the other hand, I was a 33 year-old, broke, soon-to-be divorcee and all I owned fit in one busted suitcase. Any goods I prided myself on having…well, those goods were about as damaged as they came.  One thing I learned about being at my lowest point…I wasn’t as quick to judge the choices of other women. 
Besides, I’m a writer.  I could always say I was doing research.
The more I thought about extreme women, the more they seemed to know something I didn’t.  I found their lives—and choices—almost appealing.  Now that my life had unraveled at the seams—well, nothing seemed that crazy.
These women were unapologetic for their choices…while I, on the other hand, was feeling apologetic for my mere existence.
Truthfully, these extreme, ass-kicking, fearless women—well, at least they had a purpose.  And that’s a hell of a lot more than I could say for myself. 
Pass the remote. 

I had nothing to lose.  So I began to research them.  Communicate with them.  Hang out with them.
And it didn’t stop there.  But more on that later.
They got under my skin, these ladies.  Pretty soon, I found myself making unexpected choices.  What would Candy say right now?  How would Anna react?  And the more I dabbled in their “rules for life”—as crazy as those rules may have seemed—the less dead I felt.  In fact, I felt exhilarated.
And once I started, I couldn’t stop.  My behavior just got worse.  Or better.  I guess it depends who you’re asking.

They became my teachers.
Here’s the truth: being a Crazy Bitch felt good.  In fact, it felt great.  Through these women I found a part of me I never knew was missing…and a part of me I couldn’t live without.

These are women who have embraced the uncomfortable and made it their own.  They have made their lives and names defying expectations. 
This is their story.  But it is also my own.
Part memoir, part journalism and part lap dance.  

 This is how Crazy Bitches woke me from the dead. 

photo: Thomas Warming

 

Anna Evans, Crazy Fetish Bitch
(chapter excerpt) 

 Before I ever spoke to Anna Evans, I saw her naked. 

       ***

 The Burlesque scene has made a comeback, with a huge following across the country.  I’ve always wanted to go to a show, but I’ve never had the guts.  Now I have a reason.  The modern burlesque scene could be the perfect place to find Crazy Bitches.
While living in LA, I had often seen ads for shows featuring women in garters and sparkly corsets.   I wasn’t sure what a burlesque show entailed, but I imagined it involved shimmies and glove peels and glamour; confident women embracing their sexuality; Dita Von Teese, red lipstick, bump-and-grind music, smoke-filled bars, and rowdy, hooting audiences.
While these kinds of shows do exist, I won’t know that until much later.  My first introduction to the neo-Burlesque scene will be completely unique, to say the least.

                                                                                ***

                An obese woman stomps across the stage to pounding industrial music. She furiously removes her hooded cloak to reveal Geisha-white face paint and a black mesh jumpsuit; the fabric strategically cut away at her chest and crotch.  Her enormous white breasts tumble out.  The strobe lights pulse.  She takes out a knife.  With a sneer, she begins to cut all visible skin.  Blood gushes and drips down her thigh.  The crowd cheers.  I figure the blood must be fake.  At least, I really hope so.  
For a finale, she smacks the blade several times against her bare, ample backside while grinning over her shoulder at the audience.  Her white flesh appears to quiver in slow motion. 
Where are the sequins and tassel-twirling?  This is not what I expected. 
The next woman seems more promising.  She’s got her back to the audience, wearing a powder-blue, tasseled dress like you picture in your little girl Ice-Capade fantasies.  She’s got a matching parasol.   The whole thing is kitschy and adorable.  Then she turns around. 
She’s wearing a hideous, matted chimpanzee mask.  She pulls off the mask, revealing bright magenta lips stretched widely around a ball-gag. 
I’m scanning the room for the least conspicuous way to make an exit.  I’m looking for Crazy Bitches, not straight-up freaks
Then, like a cool breeze, Anna Evans rushes in.

                Anna makes a beeline through the crowd, interrupting the MC: a little person in tight leather pants whose routine involves referring to himself as a midget and discussing his ex-girlfriend’s inability to give satisfactory oral sex.  
For the first time that evening, he seems to be at a loss for words.
Anna Evans is wearing a shiny black corset, garters, and towering stilettos.  Her hair is shockingly bright platinum and she has the tiniest waist I have ever seen on a grown woman.  Later, having seen a picture of Anna, my mom will deduce: she must have had a rib removed.

“I’m late!” she says in a high, breathless voice.
“No problem!” says the MC, seeming to melt into a bumbling schoolboy.  Anna never acknowledges the packed house watching her.  She never apologizes.
Anna disappears backstage.   Seconds later, her blond head pops out from between the maroon curtains.  She’s holding a CD.  “My music,” she says. 
The audience, moments earlier, drunk and rowdy, are completely silent. 
“Anna Evans!” says the MC.  There is a spattering of confused clapping.
There is whispering.   Two girls look at each other.  One rolls her eyes.  A guy gives a solitary, echoing hoot, then he looks embarrassed.
I know that Anna Evans is exactly the Crazy Bitch I’ve been looking for.

                                                                               ***

                 In the times I’ll see Anna perform, her routines will involve elaborate costumes, intricate choreography, and carefully chosen props. 
Tonight she gets naked. 
She stands in the glowing spotlight and removes her clothes, piece by piece, until she is wearing nothing but a faint smile. 
After all the fake blood and chalky makeup and ball-gags, Anna is the one you will remember. 

                                                                                ***

Anna’s Crazy Bitch Lesson #1:  Always give them the unexpected.

                                                                          ***                                                                   

                After the show, Anna’s friends cluster around her.  She rarely travels without an entourage.  And these friends—or family, as she calls them—do not fade into the background.  They are a hurricane of vinyl and feathers; skintight pants; Kentucky Derby-sized hats with attached veils; perfectly applied eyeliner—and those are just the guys.      They believe themselves to be the modern-day Warhol crew.  And they aren’t shy to tell you that.  At one point, a few days later, Anna will look me dead in the eyes and tell me that her crew “are destined to be legends.”  And the craziest thing…I believe her.
One thing they all have in common:  Anna’s friends are beautiful.  And they take pride in this fact—later I’ll learn that Kayvon, her boyfriend, is a runway model. 
I’ll meet others, though I won’t be able to keep them straight.  “This is Eddie,” she says, introducing me to a tall redheaded woman.  “With the amazing tits.”  Eddie nods serenely.  “This is Todd, he writes for magazines.  This is Matt, he’s a filmmaker. He films women putting stuff up their vaginas.”
I’ll never really get to know any of them on a personal level.  Anna herself will always speak of them as a unit.  “We,” she’ll say, “like beautiful people.  We like tall people.  We like blond, skinny people.  We like people who are androgynous.”
Then there are the hanger-ons: a woman in a tight red corset who looks a bit like the poor-man’s Anna.  “She idolizes me,” Anna will say nonchalantly.  “She even dyed her hair to match my exact shade.  Another woman will run up to Anna and say, “Look!  I wore heels!  Because you told me I should!”  Anna will smile at her vaguely.  There will always be people on the outskirts of the core group, waiting for acknowledgment—leaning against the booth and looking desperately disinterested.  But Anna’s crowd isn’t the kind to scoot over and make room.
Later, when I mention these unacknowledged others, Anna will give me a tiny smile.  She’ll say, “Oh.  We are mean, aren’t we?”  Only it won’t sound like a question. 
One of the few times I’ll ever see Anna uncomfortable is when I ask about her own looks.  When pushed, she’ll finally admit: “I know my own zero is not everyone else’s zero.  I’m blessed.  I’ve got great bone structure; I’m taller than average.  I’m blue-eyed.  Naturally blond-haired.  Well, not this blond, but blond.  I’m thinner than average.  So why would I settle for being what I am when what I am is what so many strive to be?  I should strive to be the best I can.”              

Looking at her friends tonight, I’m already aware of the second lesson.

                                                                                ***

 Anna’s Crazy Bitch Lesson #2:  Looks really do count.             

                                                                                ***

               Tonight they crowd around her, making getting near her a feat within itself.  After pushing through the crowd and standing there for several minutes unacknowledged, I finally get her attention.  But just barely.  “I’m writing a book,” I say.  “I’d like to interview you.”  She barely acknowledges me.  I’m not sure she even heard.  Next to her, a guy in shiny pants that accentuate his crotch puts an arm around her, pulling her close.  He stares over my head. 
                “Oh,” says Anna.  “Okay.”   There is no emotion in her voice.  It’s as though she is often asked to be in books, or pose for paintings, or welcome foreign dignitaries on international peace talks. 
                I hand her my card.  She hands it to Shiny Crotch and he holds it between two fingers as though it should be disinfected.  
“Thanks,” I say.  There is silence. 
I leave.  I went to find a Crazy Bitch.  And I found one.  But I’m pretty sure I’ll never hear from her again.  

At 5 a.m. I get a text-message: 
Lovely to meet you.  I am interested in hearing more about your project and look forward to our further exchanges.  Best wishes, Anna Evans.

          ***  

Anna’s Crazy Bitch Lesson #3:  Always be polite, even if they’ve seen you naked.

                                                                                ***

 Anna and I agree to meet.  I decide to do some research.  I Google her.  I’m hoping to find something—anything—to use as a starting point in our interview. 
Within thirty seconds I know more about Anna Evans than I ever expected.

                                                                                ***

Excerpted from bios on various modeling sites:
I am a NYC based model and performer.  I am available to fill your theatre, shock your audience, soak your panties, and various mindfuckery.  I am a beautiful real life fetishist who can make your target market so turned on they masturbate frenetically over the keyboard in the public library.  I am available for hire as a model, performer, and hostess.  I frequently travel to several major cities in the US and Canada.  My credits include the NY Times, gallery showings and coffee table books.  But, most importantly, your next door neighbor’s porn collection.   

Excepted from interviews in fetish magazines:
Anna Evans: I feel a fetish is something you cannot have successful sexual intercourse without…there are, in my opinion, very few true fetishists in the world…I don’t consider myself a fetishist…I’m very definitely into spanking, hair-pulling, and asphyxiation.  Not appealing to me…anything to do with shit.  I’m just not that excited about feces.  Anything to do with pedophilia really fucking disgusts me.  I prefer to wear exquisite heels when I’m having sex…I have to work harder to have an orgasm without heels.

Anna’s poetry, excerpted from online journals and her blog:
Stare at my vagina/(there’s a chastity belt on my secrets)/intellectual dick tease/I’m a coward/I don’t want to cry/It’ll ruin my makeup/fleshlight flash, glossed red leather lips/stick to skin/Pout purr professional/sex goddamn symbol/baby. (Mirrored Smoke Brassiere)  

                And that’s just the beginning.  Anna is all over the web. 
Anna featured at the Montreal Fetish Weekend.  Anna walking the runway at FetishConThe San Francisco Fetish Ball.  Anna nominated for Best Model by the Bondage Awards.  Anna Evans Nude Workshop: One of our very popular workshops that has received rave reviews.  Anna Evans is an art/erotic/fetish model who is very comfortable with her body and a pleasure to work with.

Then there are the photos: Anna in corsets and eight-inch red platform heels.  Anna tied up.  Anna sprawled naked in a hallway with her limbs bent at awkward angles.  Anna in white feather wings and a black vinyl bullet bra.  Anna naked except for a rubber clown mask; a naked female model chewing her nipple.   Anna topless in a garbage dump; regal purple fabric draped from her waist across the twisted scrap metal.  A disturbing close-up of Anna’s tearstreaked, mascara-stained face.  The tears look real.

 I walk away from the computer.  I am surprised, to say the least.  And, to be completely honest, a little scared.  I went looking for a Burlesque performer.  Instead, I found one of the foremost fetish models in America.  

                                                                                ***                       

We make plans to meet at the Beauty Bar, a hip East Village watering hole complete with a manicurist and great martinis.  There’s a bachelorette party that night, and the bouncer informs me the wait will be an hour.  So I figure I’ll just text Anna to meet me at the sports bar next door.
I’ll pinch myself later for this stupid idea.  Anna isn’t exactly a sports bar type of girl.

                                                                                ***

I’m waiting for Anna at a sidewalk table outside a sports bar on 1st Avenue.  Just like that first night, she’s late.   Later I’ll ask her if being tardy to the Burlesque show was a calculated move.  “No,” she’ll say innocently, “I’m always late.”  In all the times I’ll meet with her, she’ll remain true to her word.  “I got lost,” she’ll tell me later that night, even though she’s been in New York for over a year and the city is a grid system.  “I have these guides.  They show me where to go.  I mean, usually they lead me everywhere.  But since I came alone, I don’t know my east from my west.”
She’ll always be late.  At the same time, Anna’s timing will always be perfect.  You’ll be so taken with her appearance that you’ll immediately forgive any inconvenience.  I’ll find myself thinking, well, it isn’t her fault.  It takes a lot of time and energy to be Anna Evans. I’m on my second drink when she saunters from between two cabs. I’ve been worrying I wouldn’t recognize her.  Turns out, that isn’t a problem. 
 Smoke billows up around her from a street vent. She’s wearing a black satin corset with brass closures, a short skirt with visible garters, six-inch spiked heels, and an enormous jeweled feather attached to the side of her head. 
Anna can make even the grimy, New York sidewalk look glamorous.
Later I’ll compliment her outfit, and she’ll dismiss me with a flutter of her hand.  “Oh this?” she’ll say,  “This is just my day corset.”

                                                                                ***

 Anna’s Crazy Bitch Lesson #4:  Always make an entrance.

                                                                                ***

Anna walks up to railing separating the outside tables from the sidewalk.   Instantly, the bouncer bum rushes her from the doorway.  “Wanna come in?” he says.  “Come on in!” Half an hour earlier, this same bouncer asked for my ID.  He never looked me in the eyes and acted as though doing his job was a huge inconvenience on his time.  Now he’s like a kid at a toy store—one who’s seeing an action figurine he wants more than anything in the world.
“Hmmmm,” says Anna, barely glancing at him.
Next to me, I’ve been listening to two guys discuss their girlfriend-issues.  Their suit jackets hang on the backs of their chairs.  They are the kind of guys who frequent sports bars because they actually like sports.   One guy is telling the other that yes, he does want to get married, but he isn’t sure.  He likes his girlfriend, but maybe she’s not the oneMaybe he should wait to see if something better comes along.  Then again, she might work out.  She’s okay.  A nice girl.  Sweet.
Now he’s seen Anna. “Come sit down!” he says excitedly, scooting to the edge of his chair and leaning over the barrier. “You should come sit with us!”  I’ve never seen a man look more animalistic.  He’s like a salivating dog in a Brooks Brothers shirt. 
                “I don’t think so,” says Anna. 
                “How come?” 
                “I don’t like straight guys,” she tells him.  
                There is a pause.  I can see the wheels turning in his head.  “Well, uh, I’m…” he says, confounded. 
                “And I don’t only like guys who wear eyeliner,” she adds, cutting off his stuttering.
                “I can wear eyeliner!” he says.  His hands are shaking. 
                “I don’t like sports bars,” she says in her whispery voice. 
                “Why?” he asks. 
                “I don’t like sports.” 
                “How come?” 
                “I don’t like sweaty guys,” she says, with finality.  
                “We could go somewhere—” 
                But Anna has already lost interest.   He is no longer entertaining, and she gazes across the street.  “Ready to go?” I ask her.  
                “Um-hmm,” she says. 
                 We cross the street, and I can feel twenty sets of male eyes burning into us.  Burning into Anna, actually.

               It is nine p.m., the sun has already set, and we are headed towards a bar called Otto Shrunken Head.  I will never actually see Anna in the light of day, and it is hard to even imagine her doing everyday tasks like buying groceries or going to the Post Office to buy stamps.   Just walking with her makes you feel as though you’ve entered a completely alternate universe.  This is Anna world
One thing I’ve learned about New York City is that you often feel invisible.  But now I know there is an exception: walking down the street with Anna Evans. Here are the responses we get within two blocks:
“Hey beautiful!” says a large black man.  Anna nods politely.
“Love your outfit,” says an obviously tipsy woman with a group of friends.  “Thank you very much,” says Anna sweetly.
“Where you goin’?” asks a random man. Anna raises her eyebrows at him, as though his question is not worth dignifying with an answer.
“Can I have a cigarette?” says a street person to me, though his eyes never leave Anna.  “Of course you can,” she says with a faint Southern draw.  “You’ll just have to walk right around the corner to the Bodega and buy one.”
He doesn’t argue.  Instead, he trots off down the street, still looking at Anna over his shoulder.
I try to tell Anna about my project.  We have to walk slowly because of her heels. “So what you do…the whole…fetish thing…interests me,” I begin awkwardly. Just saying the word fetish makes me feel both dirty and extraordinarily unsophisticated.  “I’m looking to meet women who make unique choices and understand—”
“Here’s the thing,” says Anna, cutting me off.  “I just like fucking.  That’s what my whole life is about and has been for several years.  I’ve traveled all over the world.  I make a living doing this.”
“That’s amazing,” I tell her.  And I mean it.  In this city of wannabe everything—the struggling actor, musician, writer, artist—she is working. I know, from my research, she is successful and makes money. 
“And the wild part?”
“Yes?” I ask expecting whips and chains and dog collars.
“I’m only 5 foot 7.  Without heels.  And I’ve done international runway.  How the fuck does that happen?” 
                I want to know the answer.  In fact, I have about a gazillion questions for her.  But I still want to explain myself to her first.  I feel uneasy.  I’m worried that this woman—an internationally renowned Fetish model—will think I’m weird for wanting to interview her.  I want to reassure her that I’m not a stalker or a super-fan or another hanger-on.  Then again, I kind of feel like a hanger-on.  Again, I try again to explain the concept of the book.  Again, Anna cuts me off.
“If I vibe with someone,” she says, “I go with it.  That’s how I live my life.  Have you ever heard of the non-stop party wagon?”
“No,” I tell her.
“Well, you should Google the phrase.  I’m a firm believer in it.  The whole concept is this:  you just say yes to everything.  And you’ll go places you never could have gone…not ever.  I say yes a lot.  I got to fly first-class to Australia and walk a runway.  Just because I said yes.”  

                                                                                ***

 Anna’s Crazy Bitch Lesson #5: Join the non-stop party wagon.  Say yes.

photo: Thomas Warming

                                                             
 “So, you were saying before…that your job entails…that you just like…fucking?”
“That’s right,” says Anna sweetly.  And then she comes alive.  It seems I’ve hit on a topic with which she is extremely comfortable and has a great many opinions.  And when a famous Fetish model gives you her thoughts on sex…well, you’d be a dumbass not to listen. “I’m one of the freakiest people I know in terms of my work and outfits.  But, believe it or not, I don’t even own a sex toy.  Well, that’s not true.  We have one.  But just for decoration because it’s funny looking.  We keep it on the dining room table.  But in terms of vibrators, I don’t use them.  I’ve only used them on other people.”
“Oh,” I say.
“This is how I feel about sex… people who are good at sex are confident. I can’t respect a woman who doesn’t like blowjobs, honestly.  And if a guy wants to know how to please a woman?  Well, it’s all about clitoral stimulation.  That’s what a girl really wants.  And guys should listen to that coming from me.  I’ve had a lot of sex with women.”
“So you’re bisexual?” I ask.
“I’ll say bisexual because it is the easiest thing for people to relate to.  But honestly, if it is attractive, I’ll probably try and fuck it.  I mean, I’ve slept with a lot of people between genders.  My ex-girlfriend and I hooked up with a tranny one time.  We thought he was a guy.  Got his pants off and he had a vagina.  It was very upsetting.  Very upsetting.” “You’re hot!” says a guy passing us.
“Thank you so much,” says Anna sweetly. 

                                                                                ***

 Anna’s Crazy Bitch Lesson #6:  Take a compliment with grace.

                                                                                ***

According to her website, Anna is 5’7.  Her collar is 13 inches.  She is sixteen inches from shoulder to shoulder across her back.  Her bicep is 10 inches.  Her wrist is 6.  Base of neck to shoulder:  8 inches.  Bra size:  34 C.  True waist:  25 inches.  Corseted:  20.  From shoulder to cuff:  21 inches.  37-inch hips. Her ankle is 8 inches.  She wears a 7 1/2 in shoes. We have the same shoe size.  In terms of similarities, that’s about where it ends.
Spending time with Anna Evans, I am very aware of these differences.  I feel short and mousy.  At the same time, I feel as though I’m on display.  I remind myself that it is Anna they are watching.
After a while, you get used to the staring.  

                                                                                ***

 Crazy Bitch Lesson #7:  Don’t apologize for anything, especially for being yourself. 
                                                                           

                                                                                *** 

 We are sitting at the packed, tiki-themed bar. I try to avoid these kind of edgy, hip hangouts on Fridays.  I know just getting a drink—let alone a place to sit—could take hours. Within moments, two guys have jumped up, relinquishing their coveted barstools to Anna and me. Anna smiles politely and sits, daintily crossing her legs.  I order her a drink.  Something about Anna makes you feel as though it is your responsibility to take care of her.  I pay for the drink.  I realize this is what she expects, and you find yourself giving Anna what she expects without question.
The shy, withdrawn Anna seems to have disappeared.  Though she never becomes physically animated, she talks freely.  She is always aware of herself: how she is sitting; who is watching; the ever-changing sea of rockabilly patrons around her.  In this crowd of fashion-forward hipsters—the guys with Elvis hair and the girls in seamed stockings and Bettie Page dresses—she still stands out.  Just like at the Burlesque show, she is different than everyone else.  At the same time, despite the corset and heels, she somehow makes them look as though they are trying too hard.
Even though she has warmed up, her body remains formal.  She sits up straight, sips her drink carefully, and smiles vaguely.  She is the Miss Manners of the fetish world.
Considering the outfit, I wonder if she is comfortable.  I ask her about her style influences.  “What I’m really going for,” she says, “is hyper-feminity.”
“Did you make that up?”
“I don’t know,” she says.  “Maybe.”
“What is it?” 
 “Well, I’m wearing six inch heels.  I can’t walk.  I’m wearing a corset.  I have a twenty-inch waist.  I need help getting out of a cab.  I can’t bend.  That’s hyper-femininity.”
“But don’t you feel…weak?
“I feel strong.  Hyper-feminity is how you define it.  Butch-dyke lesbians with short hair, Doc Martens, doing what they fucking want…that’s hyper-feminity for them.  That makes them feel powerful.”
“Hey,” says a chubby guy who has pushed through the crowd to stand next Anna.  “Our band is playing in the back.  Psychobilly.  You’ll love it.  You should come hear us!”
“Hmm,” says Anna, her eyes flicking over him.  “Maybe.”  She turns to me.  The band guy stands there, looking as though he isn’t sure whether to be pleased or disappointed.  He opens his mouth to speak, and changes his mind.  He pushes back through the crowd.
Hyper-femininity, I think.  Anna glances at her empty glass.  Immediately I scan for the bartender.  

                                                                                ***

 Anna’s Crazy Bitch Lesson #8:  Define your own feminity.  It should make you feel strong.

                                                                                ***

Pretty soon I’m learning the Anna lexicon.  If something is interesting, she’ll say it’s cute.  Really interesting: Cute, cute.  Extremely interesting: Fuckable.  Anything can be fuckable, from people to a pair of shoes.  Silly: Pish posh.  Extremely dismissible: Pish posh, posh pish
                Anna is highly quotable.  After a friend has vomited on the street:  “At least we got it off the jacket.  Puke washes away, but you can never get back a Dior jacket.”  Later, when sneaking a cigarette before her show:  “I don’t do drugs now, but I’m not gonna lie.  I won’t bullshit anyone and tell them drugs aren’t fun.  Drugs are fun.  My life on drugs was pretty sweet.” 
It is easy to forget that Anna is only 23.  She seems much more worldly and self-aware.  But on occasion, especially when she is excited, she peppers her speech with the same slang regular kids her age use—amazing things are sick; enjoyable interactions are sweet
                Anna is never boring.  Even via twitter.  While other people name the book they are reading or the band they or listening to—or painstakingly list what they ate for dinner—it is not Anna’s style to bore her audience with such monotonous topics.
11:15 am, June 7th:  I think it’s important to have an orgasm everyday.
4:43 pm,  May 14th:  Evolution, schmevolution.  I’m just biased towards tall+thin and heels help that illusion
2:06 pm, April 6th:  The most elegant older lady just go on this train!  (It is one of my goals in life to translate glamour/sex appeal into elegance as I age.)
2:15 am, March 2nd:  I’ve been surrounded by oiled up muscle boys wearing nothing but socks on their dicks for a couple of hours now.
4:43 pm, February 17th:Am I too old to spend Wednesday in a pillow for watching Tim Burton moves?  More importantly, do I have enough pillows?
9:15 pm, January 4th:  I hate transfers where I have to get out and walk.  Surrounded by Spanish graffiti and the smell of blood.
10:15 am, December 24th: Anyone know how to get piss off of leather?  

If someone is uninteresting, Anna’s already childlike voice becomes even higher.  She sounds breathless, as though discussing the topic does not deserve her energy.  When asked about those people who judge her choices?  Anna becomes barely audible:  “I think those people are very limited.  I pity them.  I try not to think about them.  I got a lot of shit to do.  Sometimes I don’t schedule myself time to sleep.  I’m not shitting you—I don’t have the time.”
When pushed harder to respond to detractors, she sighs and says, “Damaged.  Drug addict.  Insane.  That’s what people think.  You have to not care what people think.  I’ve heard rumors about myself.  All the time.  Just this morning.  Another model wrote me from Seattle.  Said she heard I fucked photographers to get work.  I guess this photographer told her he fucked me, in hopes of getting her to pose.  I’ve never met him.  I don’t know him from Adam’s housecat.”  She smiles.  “It was a pretty shitty rumor, but I was amused nonetheless.”

                                                                                ***

Anna’s Crazy Bitch Lesson #9:  Let ‘em talk.                             

                                                                                 ***

 But for all the haters, there are fans, too.  A few days later, after seeing Anna perform again, I watch a woman pose for a picture with her outside the venue—an underground club named, ironically, Happy Endings. The woman posing is probably in her early twenties.  She’s attractive in a conventional way.  Her clothes are tasteful.  She is well-spoken and obviously educated.  And she’s a fan. 
“I’ve seen Anna perform a bunch of times,” she tells me.  “I love her.”
“Why?”
“Because she’s amazing.  I love how she dresses.  I’ve seen her photos, and she’s gorgeous.  I love how free she is.”
“Have you ever thought about doing something similar?”
“God, I wish.  I wish I had the body.  I’m so self-conscious.  But I love how comfortable she is with her herself.  And her friends.  How they just go out there and do what they want.  They are the stars of their shows.  I think it is the height of self-confidence.  I love seeing Anna’s shows.  I make my friends go.”
“Have you actually been introduced to her?”
“No,” says the girl.  I bring over Anna and introduce them. 
“Lovely to meet you,” says Anna—
The girl from moments earlier—the one with so many opinions—has faded away.  This new girl is awestruck and speechless.

photo: Thomas Warming

                          
Anna and I spend an hour talking at Otto Shrunken Head.  I learn that Anna’s favorite writers are Walt Whitman, Poppy Z., Ayn Rand, Baudelaire, Saul Williams and Anais Nin.   Her music taste leans towards goth:  Siouxsie, Bauhaus, Sisters of Murphy, Skinny Puppy.   She’s 23, a Leo, and has worked as a fetish model for several years.  Before New York she lived with an ex-girlfriend (“her meth use broke us up”) in Philadelphia.  Her interest in fetish modeling began with her involvement in the goth community.  Looking for clothing on websites, she ran across fetish shots.  She had photos made, posted them online, and was working as a model with a few weeks.  “It happened fast,” she tells me.
I want to know more about her past, but getting information proves a bit more difficult.  She tells me she’s from the deep South (“scary,” she adds) and she moved a great deal as a child.  She lived in lots of small towns.  She dropped out of college a few credits shy of graduating, and is desperate to learn French and Farsi.  She’s interested in Psychology.  For a while, she thought she might want to be a Sex Therapist.  She still might want to, one day. 
 Anna’s father was a fundamentalist Baptist minister, which doesn’t shock me.  He converted to Episcopalian—which does shock me—after he was reprimanded for allowing African-Americans in his church.  She tells me she is still close with her family, “which surprised a lot people.”  And “Yes.  They know what I do for a living.”
I push for more.  I really want to know how she got into fetish and about the angry-looking, perfectly symmetrical scars that line her arms and biceps.   I want to ask her what it is like to be tied up, or to have every man within ten feet stare at you with lust. 
Mid-question, Anna tells me she must step outside to make a phone call.  Twenty minutes pass. I go outside to find her. 
She’s gone.
Somehow, though, I knew she would be.

I get a text around 3 a.m.:
I had to leave suddenly.  You’re amazing and I can’t wait to see you again!

                Then she lists her schedule for the next week:  a performance at a local bar on Tuesday; hosting a goth night with her boyfriend on Thursday; and another burlesque-style performance at an underground club Saturday.  New act!, she writes.  Should be sick!  Then she puts a smiley face. 
                I am suddenly reminded, despite her seeming sophistication, that Anna Evans was born in 1987. 
                At this point, there’s no use in trying to stay away.  Sure, she isn’t exactly the Crazy Bitch I was looking for…but then again, I’m learning that Crazy Bitches are never quite what you expect.  Besides, there is so much more I want to know.
I decide to go to go see her new act. 
                I will never look at a black cabbage patch doll in the same way again.

Excerpt from nonfiction book.
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Una risposta a Crazy Bitches by Maya Sloan

  1. http://google.com ha detto:

    “Crazy Bitches by Maya Sloan |” ended up being definitely entertaining and educational!

    In modern world that’s tough to execute. Regards, Natasha

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