April 24, 2020

the smell on the street

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” -William Wilberforce

In a world so rundown with distraction, it is easy to choose ignorance over knowledge. For some, it is a conscious choice to bury their head in the sand. For others, it is a lack of tangible experiences. The sights, sounds, and smells of the sex trade create a memory that is not easily erased. Many people have a heart for justice, but do not have any experience that can aid in comprehending the weight of the red-light district. For everyone that is choosing to say “no” to ignorance, let us paint a picture of this injustice found on Walking Street

Advancing onto the street, it smells like poverty covered by foreign money. The smells of sewage, garbage, and body odor are coyly masked by intense perfumes. It reeks of deception. The street is shabby, at best. It is thick with humidity and pollution. Littered with fast food wrappers, beer bottles, fake eyelashes, and condoms. It is obvious that there has been an effort to cover up the dirt with flashy decoys. With each bar that is passed, a new song blares into the street. Their rhythms in a constant battle to be heard; mixing together like oil and water. The street’s only lights are artificially flashing from each of the bars. The strobes of red, blue, and green are illuminating the faces of the men; the bodies of the women. 

He has a shallowness in his eyes that searches deep, exposing the inner places of privacy that had previously been preserved by clothing. He stares intensely, hoping that the intimidation will ward off anyone seeing the reality of his brokenness. He clings tightly to his woman for the night, using her as a crutch. She dances lazily outside of the bars, unsure of what the night will bring. Her arms are used to cover the parts of her body that should be hidden by clothing. She toes the line between the desire for food for her family and the preservation of her dignity. 

The street is screaming for glamour, although the mask it wears is easily distinguishable. The street itself makes a heart beat a little faster. It stirs up a new face for sexual brokenness. A new compassion for minorities. A new yearning to see each of them provided with a better option. The street is darkness. A darkness not only seen with the eyes, but felt throughout the body. It is a weight that sits heavy on the shoulders and deep in the chest. A deep seeded wrongness. It is the weight of injustice.

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