I’ve said hello to Jennifer numerous times before. Our dogs play together at the park. But she, like me, is just one of the many humans that stand around like air traffic controllers directing our dogs closer or commanding them to take off and run.
“I’ve been coming here for years, and I know everyone’s dogs pretty well but I don’t really know their owners.” Needless to say, Jennifer was more than happy to be interviewed for this project as long as she could keep her eye on Kyla and Butters, her two dogs.
Born in L.A., she moved to the Island of Oahu at a very young age. With her jet black hair and island features, she had no problem fitting in. But like any kid with big dreams, the island was just too small for her. When she was of age, she moved back to Los Angeles and has been here ever since. Her story, like so many of us Angelenos, is not nearly as glamorous as the visions we had for ourselves. But her story is as exotic as her.
Jennifer is a fitness instructor. And not your run of the mill type either. Taken her years of experience as an exotic dancer (a.k.a stripper) Jennifer has turned it into aerobic workout - teaching pole dancing classes to people of all ages. She has some as young as teenagers and people as old as me, women and men, who want to build up their core muscles and stretch their comfort zones a bit.
"Dancing, yoga, palates, and hiking is where I find my peace." As a sales representative in the cannabis industry, one could say Jennifer helps all sorts of other people find their peace. We talked allot about the legalization laws, pot shops, and the underground drug world. She does not use her products and believes, "There are a lot of people who shouldn't be using them" either. But I was more interested in getting to know Jennifer.
When I asked her to tell me a story that she would only tell a stranger, she said “I just did. My family doesn't know what I do, or what I used to do.” She smiled with me when I told her how I thought it was funny that people are willing to share their intimate stories with me. Jennifer knew exactly what I was talking about.
"At the clubs, men would always confess some of the craziest things to me" (none I care to mention here). “Like your project, people would just unload their secrets on me because they just assume that they will never see me again.” I eventually told her people like to confess to me, but for different reasons. Then I confessed to her about what I do. She didn't judge me. I didn't judge her.
This conversation reminded me how messed up we have made life. It seems the people we see all the time we hardly know, but we have no problem getting to know the ones we we’ll never see again. Imagine whatour world might be, or look like, if we reversed that. Maybe it might be our dogs who would be standing around watching us chase each other the park.