One of the things we do at night is drive around in our van. We hand out condoms, drive people home, give out blankets, look for people passed out places and help prevent people from freezing to death. Naturally, I see a lot of pretty horrible things. One of the things that can be hard is handing out condoms to the girls (and transgendered, and males) working the street. Two girls struck me especially this week.
As we pulled up to the two girls on the corner, it struck me just how young they looked. It also struck me that they must be new, because they didn't have that burned out hollow look in their eyes, they still looked like girls. When I offered them condoms, they were so enthusiastic, "do you have any dark ones" the first girl asked? Those are my favourite. And so, we went through the condom bag together. The girls were so engaging, conversing with us as they poked around for their favourite colours. When we left them, they were giggling about being able to trade around so they had just the right combination of colours.
It just blew my mind. Picking the right coloured condoms for their John's should NOT be what girls this age are thinking about. Awkard first sexual experiences with boyfriends, maybe, but not this. How long before it's not fun anymore. How long before it catches up with them. Or maybe it has, maybe this is their way of coping. Either way, it's terribly sad. And yet, I'll miss it. I'm going to miss being out there, talking to them, becoming more familiar with them, driving them home, and taking them into the van when they're crying, abandoned in a parking lot with nothing. That shouldn't have to be anyone's life.