Have you heard the story of Tanqueray? If you have not what are you waiting for? Go now to the Humans of New York Instagram page and read all about this wonderful woman with the wildest of stories and coolest of demeanour. Back in the day she went by the name Tanqueray…
We see a person along in years and are immediately predisposed to treating them in a certain way, think of them as weak, forgetting that older people have stories, have lived a life and have so much to tell. They were young once, their realities in life are completely different to what it is today, to ours as we too live it. The things they’ve seen and done standing two feet to the ground, we would almost have to develop super powers to do a tenth of it. We forget the stories that make up the person. The story of Tanqueray is a reminder that people come with histories and often times the most fascinating of them. She tells us about her difficult upbringing with her mother, who was some “prime pussy” back then, her brush with the law and her life on the road as a Black stripper making “white money” in an era where it couldn’t have been easy being a Black stripper, let alone making any money. She talks about the mob bosses and one Mr President… She moved differently, and is not here to tell those good old granny stories. Nope, she saw things, she had to do things and is here to tell her tale.
Somebody needs to make this into a big screen movie- Tanqueray, a life well lived or A Stripper, The Mob and The President: Tanqueray. A Tango with Tanqueray…it’s a work in progress but hit Tanqueray up Hollywood.
In a sea of selfies and filters, its hard to be fascinated by people who tell no stories of their lives other than the usual glossed version, and I would suppose this is why Tanqueray’s stories have resonated with so many; the realness and the rawness you feel from her, the fact that she has no fucks to give about anything or anyone but she still lives by the code that governed the streets as it did back then; she won’t name any names; if that isn’t a G I don’t know who is. She has some stories to tell, stories that prove people are more than just prima facie; they come with narratives that have made up the many facets of their lives; it is deeper than a filter glossed picture or instagram caption. People are more.
Tanqueray has been a ray of sunshine on what has been a rather gloomy few days; she is the best thing on the internet right now; her freedom and self awareness and the utter magic of her being is only just a snap shot of the bigger picture of her life. She is ray of brightness in a world slowly fading to darkness and I am completely in awe of her.
Images: Humans of New York Instagram