There had been odd benefits to this job. The commute wasn't so bad – cabs waited for me at the 3am end of my shift, and I gave lines of cocaine as currency. (A dirty old man once thought it a nice present for a girl like me. He was mistaken.) I liked the weird hours, the underworld glamour, and the better-than-minimum pay. And it supported my lifestyle – there was plenty of time to paint and sculpt, and to haunt the nightclubs.

But all the charm and intrigue wore right off on the night of the paraplegic handjob.

I stomped down O'Farrell Street, wiping away my tears so that no one could see my vulnerability. Suddenly, things looked as bad as I knew they had been, and I refused to suffer along with those who settled for it. I left my tips and license in the studio, nonessential losses.

I kept on walking, and I never went back.

What made you hit the road?