I normally don’t write from an emotional standpoint. I find feelings troublesome in this line of work. Sometimes though there’s a trigger & long past experiences start bubbling up.
I just watched Sia’s Chandelier video. It triggered some long suppressed memories.
Years ago I met a female reporter/author overseas. She wanted to learn more about sex trafficking. I told her that I would show her where kids were being bought and sold but only if she agreed to run if things went south and never turn back. I would protect her.
The brothel was at the end of a street. It was hot, muggy, and dirty. It was advertised as a “dance” club, & in the front it was. In the back though, it wasn’t. I amazed the girls there; I was white, huge & incredibly rich (in their eyes at least). The bouncers, security & club owners we’re intimidated by me. I was at least a foot taller than them, and at least 200lbs heavier. I ordered a beer. The reporter was nervous.
The thing about brothels isn’t the sight, or the feel. It’s not the stickiness when you sit down, or the lights. It’s the smell. At first it’s hard to place, a mixture of many different things. I can smell it right now as I write this. It took years for me to identify. It’s the smell of tears and condoms, salty plastic, blood and urine. It’s nauseating. It’s horrifying. It permeates my being; I can’t get it out of my nose. Every once it a while it’s triggered, it comes back, it’s on me & I can’t shake it. I guess that’s why I’m writing this right now; to try to get rid of it.
Sia’s video was the trigger, actually the stain on the floor of her video was the trigger. It looks like this place smelled.
The owner sent an adult female over to talk to me. I can only assume she was an adult; she looked about 17-ish. She put her hand on my leg & asked if I liked her. I told her that I was just there for the beer. The reporter was starting to panic, her eyes were wide. The girl leaned in & said if I didn’t like her that there were much younger in the back. She gestured towards a door where streams of sweaty men were exiting. The smell was stifling.
We left right after that. I could tell by looking in the reporters eyes that things had just gotten very real for her.
I was unable to do anything for those children that day.
I hate traffickers with every fiber of my being. I wanted to go back & rip them apart. I could have, it would have been nothing. They couldn’t have stopped me. I was able to chat with a friend back home that evening. He was able to talk me down.
I promised myself that day that I wouldn’t kill them; that wouldn’t solve anything. I would instead spend every waking moment of my existence working to destroy their way of life. I would learn how to break the system.