Last nights outreach to prostitutes was….strange. In a way I have never experienced in my three and a half years of doing this work. When we got out to the track it was scarce – hardly any people anywhere. After driving down the track for a while girls started coming out of nowhere. There were tons of them. We were excited to be able to interact with so many of the girls – most of them new. However, unlike most other nights, none of the girls were really interested in receiving the gift bags or talking with us. They were all very insistent in avoiding eye contact or concerned with getting away from us as soon as possible. One group of three women that I ran into began laughing about how they believed we were the police as they walked away from us. (as a side note: it has become very clear to me these last three years or so through this work I do that I would make TERRIBLE vice. Seriously, most people I run into on the street think I am a cop, I don’t know what it is about my look….probably that I’m so physically fit!).
The other thing that happened which was a first for us was a John started following us. We’ve been solicited before, but typically left alone as soon as a John figures out we’re not actually out there as a working lady. But this John was different, he for some reason would not stop his pursuit. We noticed him following our car as we drove off so we got on the freeway in an attempt to lose him. It worked for a while, but then he found us about 20 minutes later further down the track. Our team leader ended up making the wise decision that we needed to call it a night and leave since he seemed rather unpredictable showing up wherever we were and pulling over every time we were out of the car honking and trying to get our attention.
It was frustrating, because even as we were driving down the track to leave we saw around another 10 girls that we didn’t get a chance to talk to. Nights like that are a bit frustrating – and you feel like there is so much more you could have done. And most of all I don’t know why WE were the target of this man’s interest when there were at least another 20 girls out on the track that night, but it is what it is and I know we made the right decision in leaving. I pray for the girls we did not get a chance to talk to, that we would get an opportunity to interact with them in later weeks. And for those that think I’m vice, that I’ll eventually get to break down those walls and build some trust. And perhaps I am most thankful that I was given a glimpse into what these women have to face each evening – when they are stalked and perused by creepy men, except they don’t have the option of hopping on the freeway and heading home.