I recently gave up my profession as Pornstar Extraordinaire and a day came when my thousand dollar a month car payment felt exorbitant. Initially, the threat of being at the mercy of public transit terrified me, until I realized I live three blocks from LA's greatest kept secret, the Metro, and the entire system is based on something this fine city of Angels fundamentally lacks: trust.
I grew up on public transit, BART running my teen years, until I fell into the safe bubble that was my first car: a super cool Mustang. And while the car increased my level of coolness, it decreased interaction with human beings I don't know. No longer would I chat with the white-lipped bum spouting off conspiracy theories or the cute-but-too-old-for-me boy nearby. I sat isolated in that hunk of sexy black metal, constantly worried that other drivers were out to kill me and my precious vehicle. The day I got my first car, my trust of strangers started to go out the same window I tossed my cigarettes. Yeah, I know, littering is bad.
To decrease shell shock, I started experimenting with public transit, and even though the Metro doesn't actually take me any place I need to go aside from dance class, I thought maybe it will make me feel like I'm back home or in New York (where I really don't trust people). I walked to the Metro, purchased a ticket, and couldn't figure out what to do. No turnstile? No lady taking the ticket? The LAC Metro is on the honor system: They trust riders to pay. It got me thinking...
Are the people on the metro the only trustworthy people in Los Angeles?
In a city where we have more lawyers than we do friends, where non-disclosure agreements are nestled into our lunch napkins, is it possible I've found the one place I can trust people? Perhaps I should start conducting business on the Metro, seeing as how riders are trustworthy enough to purchase tickets that may never be checked. Is the fact that we are a community moved by isolated bubble mobiles to blame for the lack of trust in LA?
I have serious trust issues, as my therapist, psychologist and ex-boyfriends will tell you, so I asked my friend E-Deezy to come while I interviewed random strangers. As soon as we got underground, Deezy said he was having geological trust issues (we just saw 2012 together), and the Metro is not where he'd like to enjoy an earthquake. I felt safe, trusting that Deezy would not let me be kidnapped by random interviewees. I get nervous all by myself.
We spent the afternoon riding, I interviewed and he laughed as I bumbled from iPoded person to iPoded person. A Mother/Daughter duo, a Father/Son duo, two Younger Girlfriends, two Gay Boys, a Young Dude, and an Older Dude. Everybody purchased tickets. Almost everybody believed other passengers purchased tickets. Only the older dude said he didn't trust anybody riding because he doesn't know anybody. Which totally makes sense -- that's the exact reason I enlisted Deezy's help. It isn't a good idea to be kidnapped on your first blog outing, especially when you are cute, freckled and trying to prove the people you're interviewing are trustworthy.
The last question I asked was "Do you trust me?" I got some nervous laughter, the gay boys said they "like my shoes" which I suppose is equivalent to trust. The younger dude said he could take me down if necessary, and the older dude asked if I trust him.
Yes! Yes I trust you Older Dude! You're honest and made me laugh! I trust you Younger Dude, even though you're afraid I might fight you! And you, Gay Boys, because your excellent taste in shoes! I trust you my fellow passengers, and am honored to be in your car.
But that's a total lie. I didn't trust anybody, and they didn't trust me. It was just typical LA "Yes, of course I trust you" dialogue. I've worked in porn long enough to know when someone is faking it. And believe me, I saw a couple "O" faces.
I emailed the Metro Ethics Department asking similar questions. No response. I don't really trust the internet, and I certainly don't trust her mail to put me in the inbox and not the spam folder. When the company's entire pay structure is based on trust, maybe trusting that an ex-pornstar could blog for the Huffington Post is asking too much. She probably drives in her trusty bubble mobile to a trusty cubicle where she doesn't have to deal with my uncomfortable questions. My therapist would tell me to chillax and not be so snarky, but I don't know if I trust her either.