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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The 15 year olds that give birth..

I am always on the lookout for girls and womyn who might be victims of "trafficking" - oh how I HATE that cover-up word for male fuckin violence. I especially peer closely at females I come in contact with at rest areas.

And traveling through El Paso just north of Ciudad de Juarez, I'm extra alert. I have decided it is too late to stop in El Paso as much as I'd love to connect again with chosen family there and the womyn of Cafe Mayapan, but the heat as well as the lateness, drives me on.

I decide to make a brief stop at the rest area about 50 miles east of El Paso to grab some kombucha out of my camper and replenish my water supply before heading to Balmorhea.

This rest stop is just one short road between car and truck parking on either shoulder, a small bathroom and a couple of picnic tables - not my favorite kinda rest area but I'm not intending to hang out there.

As I drive up, I see several vehicles ahead of mine, a slender white womon stumbling frantically down the sidewalk, rushing up to the passenger side of my truck, half wailing half shouting.

She is terrified and begging me for a ride. I get out and approach her, trying to put my hands on her shoulders to calm her down as I try to see if she is visibly wounded anywhere - and as I am on high alert watching for the man who has hurt her.

I see no blood but she is violently shaking causing her tears to splatter like the recent storm. I have to ask her several times what she needs but I can't understand her or get her to calm down until I assure her I will help her.

She is 'snap' that big - not stick thin or emaciated, at least in the soft glow of street lamps, but very small, dyed blond curls swept up off her tattooed neck, with teeny cut-off jean shorts and a brief halter top that could be considered either skimpy or appropriate for this oppressive heat depending on one's values I suppose. Fear propels her words so rapidly yet I think she might also be on meth.

I hope not but it doesn't really matter.

I tell her over and over I will give her a ride, whether she's on drugs or not, whether she has money or not - but I HAVE to pee first. I ask her if she'll be safe in my truck or if she wants to come into the bathroom with me. She waits in my truck.

When I return from the bathroom, I search google for a greyhound bus station - she's on her way to Houston (far south of where I'm going) but the man she's been riding with has terrified her so critically, she cannot continue with him. She calls her father in Houston and wants him to talk with me so I know he'll buy her a bus ticket. He sounds mature and calm, especially after his daughter's panic. He tells me he doesn't understand how she gets into so much trouble.

It is after midnight and we are in fuckin Texas. I'd like to take her east, the direction I'm heading, if possible but the nearest bus stop is in Van Horn, which is almost 2 hours away and the station has closed at midnite. I can't leave her there, it would be so dangerous for her so I decide to turn around and take her to El Paso, where the bus station never closes.

We've an hour together so I get to learn more about Cheryl, including her name, even though it is very hard for me to hear and understand her between the noise of the truck and her rapid fire yet softly spoken slurred words that overwhelm her speech sprinkled with an occasional clear word.

She peers intently at me in the dark of the cab and reveals that she used to be in AA and was sober for 15 years. I think she braces herself, waiting for me to get on her case, as she's certainly not appearing to be sober now. She admits she's had a drink, well a couple of drinks but not that many. Anyway, she continues, it's the drugs that are her demons now.

I DO want to get on her case, but more, I search to say the right things to give her hope or healing or something for her to hang onto. I try to let her know I'm proud of her, being sober for 15 years and as I know she gave birth to her son (who is now 31) on her 16th birthday, I wonder if (and deeply hope) those sober years occurred for at least some of his childhood.

How the fuck can we expect children to have children and be okay in our misogynist society?

I ask her (too many times in several not too subtle ways, I'm sure) if she wants us to find an AA meeting and she tells me no, she just wants a bus, wants to get out of here, wants to figure out where she can flee safely to.

48 miles later, we find the bus station, she tumbles out the truck with her scattered things as I help her cram her hastily gathered clothes and papers into her gaping backpack and cloth and plastic bags. We hug and wish each other safe journeys.

I find my way back onto the freeway, debating whether I want to continue to travel backwards a few more miles out of my way to return to the lovely Las Cruces rest area or continue through the vast and potentially hostile Texas night.

I only need to feel the heat radiating from the asphalt to to keep me driving east, my heart heavy as I think about the chances violence will continue to plague Cheryl.


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