..and then I go back further and think about how it felt when Ryan simply was not coming back. Not ever. My bed was empty and it was a fact that would never change. And people think- I couldn't do it.! But the question is, what do you do, then. As a human your reaction is to scream and shake and cry. But what I know, and this is more real than the other stuff, is that there comes a time when you get tired. And you are no longer crying, but just sitting there, in the silence. Exhausted and empty. Of everything. And it's in that moment that you realize that you are not the first person, nor the last person to lose. And that moment you are feeling is as real As being born and dying, and is common to all people.
And that's when you can sleep.
And you do that over and over again for as long as it takes until the storm quiets and the distraction sets in.
When I first moved to Calgary, I answered an ad offering a room for rent on Kijiji. The room was in a penthouse apartment by 17th ave, and my friend and I could live in it in exchange for 'light housekeeping'.
This is where we met Dennis. Dennis had tan hands from fake tanning and liked slushies from Mac's that made his mouth turn blue. He's not the kind of pimp you see in the movies. But he was a pimp.
Dennis wasn't offering a room for rent in exchange for light housekeeping after all. We spent two nights in the room then decided it would be best if we exited the entire situation. Dennis didn't frighten me, although maybe he should have. He was too stupid.
What frightened me upon learning of this world were the Johns.
The nameless, faceless men who use the services with complete disregard for the countless victims.
“The main users of women in prostitution are regular men who are in regular marriages, study in regular educational programs, and have regular jobs, some of whom are entrusted with upholding the very laws that they violate. In other words, studies indicate that prostitute-users in general are not marginalized men, unlike the women they use and abuse.”((Janice G. Raymond, 2004, Prostitution on Demand: Legalizing the Buyers as Sexual Consumers, Violence Against Women, http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/Raymond%20Prostitution%20on%20Demand.pdf).)
Soon after meeting Dennis, I saw in the newspaper an initiative in the city to catch 'johns'. If you were found soliciting prostitution your car would be towed for a week, thus disrupting your life, and forcing you to explain yourself.
I have no idea if it still happens.
I have no idea what happens to Johns because no one ever talks about them.
When a little girl went missing a few months ago, along with her mother, the whole city was inconsolable. It was later revealed that she had been working as an escort and the pimp was responsible for the murder.
Again, I wondered, why aren’t we talking about the John’s?
The name alone, is suspicious. A John. A man that could be anyone. Your brother, your father, your co-worker, your neighbour, your friend.
Well I'm not buying it.
I want the John's revealed for what they are.