Monday, December 17, 2007

I’m a John…

Well not exactly…

Thursday after my philosophy exam (which I totally nailed) I went to lunch with a class mate. He and I went to the Penny Coffee House and had a lengthy conversation about life and philosophy. Cool kid.

After we were done I walked across the street to get into my truck (RAM-50) and drive home. As I climbed in I saw a group of about 5 or 6 guys in shabby clothes with one girl. I reached down to put the key in the ignition and looked up to find the girls rapping on the passenger side window. Too lazy to wind down the hand crank I opened the door to see what she wanted. She jumped into the truck. Before I could say or do anything she asked me to take her to a shelter on the north side of town. So I pulled out into traffic. To be honest my heart went out to this kid – not more than 17 years old. I have had the opportunity to interact with homeless people on several occasions with the urban mission projects I have worked on. I know that there are many choices that have put these people on the street and many circumstances that are beyond their control that strongly affect those choices. So I decided to take her to the shelter.

No sooner were we in traffic than she spoke up. "Hey mister could you help me out with thirty bucks. I need thirty bucks. I was wondering if you could help me out and I have condoms and everything if you want."

My brain froze. I had just gotten propositioned. Me. ME!

Then my brain goes into overdrive. Millions of thoughts blasting through my brain.

"Sorry I don't do stuff like that." I say half whimpering. Silence.

I'm driving, turning. "Can you help me out though?" she says.

"No! I don't have any money on me."

"I just need 30 bucks for a ride home."

"Where's home?" I'm asking still dazed but starting to organize and rank the thoughts chasing through my brain.

"Coaldale. I need a bus ticket."

"I live in Coaldale." I blurt out - stupid brain is letting me down again. And I follow it up with…

"I could give you ride to Coaldale."

"No that's okay. Just drop me off where you picked me up." She says obviously disappointed and disinterested in wasting anymore her energy on me.

"You know," I say, "having sex with you is worth a whole lot more than $30."

"What…" she seems somewhat reengaged- maybe I have reconsidered.

"Really it should be worth somebody spending their whole life with you. $30 is far too cheap to sell your body."

"Yeah" she says. And it occurs to me that my attempt at a coy counseling tip is lost on her. Perhaps this is due to drugs but likely due to a built up resistance to self righteous jerks trying to guilt her into some sort of change. So I drop her off where I picked her up.

I told my story to police officer who lives in our cul de sac and he scared me a little. He said that I could have been picked up and charged for being in the act of soliciting for sex. A cop who knew the downtown could have arrested me. Now wouldn't that be a pretty different story if I was writing it with a court date pending…

It pisses me off that the law works like that. I was just trying to do something nice. But on the other hand I still wince in anger when I draw on the pictures of the johns in their new SUV's and minivans pulling up beside these wasted pieces of flesh. And it fills me with hopelessness for a world where grace can be a crime and where indecency can perpetuate profound brokenness…

Toothless girl sleep well tonight…

7 comments:

rynomi said...

Thanks for sharing this Dale. I know you feel frustrated right now, but at the very least you've communicated that she's worth more than she thinks. She may never have heard something like that before - it could be a small ray of hope in what seems a hopeless situation.

Anonymous said...

Tanya said...I will remember to pray for your toothless friend, I am sure that it was a "God ordained" meeting if you will. He loves her and I am glad she jumped into your truck rather than someone else. She may have still earned her 30 bucks that day, but at least someone told her she was worth a whole lot more which may have been a new thought for her. Even if you were blogging this story from jail it would be worth it to know you stopped your busy life and did your best to love as Jesus would. Isn't that what it is all about? You are good man Dale Friesen and I am proud to know you. And if you keep picking up prostitutes and telling them they are beautiful and worth something, I will be the first to post your bail. Love you man. T

Kendra said...

Well said T.
I fully agree.

hepburnmusings said...

Thanks for this buddy. Your heart is good.

Anonymous said...

Christ never said that being His hands and feet would be risk free- right?

roverT said...

That is a surreal experience man! Maybe you will run in to her again, I wonder what she would ask you then?

Bonnie said...

I too will pray for your toothless friend, what a sad experience. So far from our realm of "normalcy" if that is even a word. I pray that when she ruminates on her breif "tryst" with you which wasn't at all what she expected, that your words hit home, that some small part of what you said wiggles it's way into her heart. I too would post your bail buddy. It's a sad world that we live in, unfortunatley often we live in a paralell universe to that one, you stepped over for a minute and might have made an impact... so worth it.