More On Prostitutes
Recently, Channel 2 news "exposed" prostitution in Creve Couer Park. Golly! There are men having sex with other men? In a public park? Here... in St. Louis? *gasp* I never knew!
Get over yourselves, channel 2. Go back to chasing Alderwomen who pee in trash cans. Quit scaring the many citizens who enjoy their parks. Better yet, use those investigative reporters to cover what's being done about the problem. Give us some good news for a change.
One day, C and I skipped school and went to Tower Grove Park. She wanted me to meet some friends of hers. So we went to the park and walked up to a group of guys who were sitting on a bridge. As we were talking, a car pulled up and a young man got out. My friend said, "This is the guy I really wanted you to meet. Isn't he cute?" If I could put little anime hearts all around the word cute, I would. I could certainly see them hanging in the air around her.
He was cute, with his blonde hair and blue eyes. He was tall and well muscled too. I could see why she was crushing on him. And, of course, her crush made him off-limits for me. None of the other guys had any interest in me, so I stared at the trickle of muddy water beneath the bridge while she giggled and posed.
I was starting to think it would have been more exciting to be at school. This staring-at-the-water shit was boring. I started praying for a fish, a frog, even a mosquito to liven the scenery; when something even better happened.
A car came cruising slowly down the road, the driver staring confusedly at me and C as he passed. He turned around and passed us again, then parked about 50 feet away from us. One of the guys said to us, "Hey! You need to go somewhere else. You're scaring away the customers!" Suddenly, the light dawned. These guys were prostitutes. I didn't even know boys could be prostitutes. I thought it was solely women's work, like dishes or childcare. I mentally scoffed at any woman who would buy sex, and then realized that C's "cute guy" hadn't gotten out of a car with a woman; and the parked car didn't hold a woman, either.
Well! That was an eye-opener!
The whole way home, I tried to get my friend to give up her crush. "He's a faggot! You can't date a faggot!" I exclaimed.
She replied, as if this made perfect sense, "He's not a faggot. He just fucks faggots and takes their money."
She thought it was funny; her guy ripping off the gay men. She laughed over how they got "taken"; thinking he was gay, when in reality he wasn't. I totally didn't get it. If he were ripping them off, then he would be beating them up and taking their money, not getting paid for a service he provided... And if he wasn't gay, wasn't he the one getting ripped off? Sex is supposed to be enjoyable. I just couldn't imagine him working at a job he hated, when there were less invasive jobs available. Even at 16, I had a lot to learn about the world.
The next time we skipped school together, we went back to the park. We sat on one side of the bridge and the guys sat on the other side. That way, we could talk without interrupting their flow of business. We became somewhat accepted when we helped pick gravel out of the cute guy's back. He had been car surfing, and gotten a nasty case of road rash, so we cleaned him up. I started carrying Bactine and bandages, after one of the guys had gotten beat up by a customer.
In the neighborhood; if you'd been beat up, your friends would have hunted the bastard down and delivered retribution. These guys just took it as a hazard of the job. They never stood up for each other. It sickened me that they would just shrug off a "fag bashing", nurse their cuts until they were healed, and go back to work. If the beatings weren't too bad, they would be working the next day. They said it brought bigger tips sometimes.
I hung out with the prostitutes long after C had given up her crush, and moved on. The funny thing was, the park was the only safe place for me. Walking down the street, I'd get propositioned left and right; but in the park, they were only interested in the boys.