Support Comes From Surprising Places
So, between the harassment from the local cops and barely suppressed disgust from local citizens, who exactly is on our side? Not who you'd think.
We have a group of church ladies who show up once a month with presents for us. I think they come from Salt Lake. It's not all religious stuff, either -- they bring us earrings, jewelry, and bracelets, and every Mother's Day we get flowers and vases. And they do have pamphlets and stuff, but they don't care if you give them a "working" name, real name, or whatever. They just ask if there's anything you'd like for them to pray for, and when they come back, they remember your name.
JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images
"It's so good to see you again, Ms. Canes!"
It's uplifting, especially when you're having a bad week and they show up with cookies. Last year, we each got a big bag of home-baked yumminess and homemade bath salts (no, not the face-eating kind). I know it sounds like this is probably some church group trying to save our souls and that I'm being naive for thinking they're just nice people. Maybe I am -- but they never gave the impression that they were trying to make us feel like a shameful scourge on the community or urge us away from the lifestyle. Even when I'm gone for months, they always remember who I am and ask about my kids and family. It's someone saying "we're thinking of you" when they are under no obligation to do so.
It's not that they support it, per se; it's that they grew up knowing that these brothels exist -- it's part of daily life around here, and it has been since 1971.
Which means we've been in town longer than most the people complaining about us ruining it.
On another occasion, I was on the citizens band radio (all of the truckers have them, so we get on there and try to get them to come in, rather than use the illegal prostitutes at the truck stops). It was Christmas Eve, and things are slow around the holidays, so I wasn't expecting much CB action. I got bored and started singing Christmas carols, like "Silent Night," etc. I got done, signed off, and 20 minutes later, the brothel's bartender came up and had a request. I dressed and went down to the bar, and a trucker couple was standing there -- a man and a woman in their late 50s. No, they weren't about to pay for a truly novel threesome. They'd heard my singing, and they wanted to meet me.
"Are you the girl who was on the radio? We wanted to let you know that was really beautiful, and we wanted to tell you Merry Christmas."
And that was it. Nobody is going to make a claymation special out of that scenario, but still, it made my holiday.
Robert Evans's first book, A Brief History of Vice, is available for pre-order now!
For more insider perspectives, check out 5 Things You Don't Know About Strippers (Until You Are One) and 3 Things I Learned From Hiring a Prostitute.
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