Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Girls in My Mind

There I was last night, bright young faces reflected on my lenses. I was cruising for young girls. Girls who looked barely in their teens - round cheeks, flat chests. I was angered as I read their masterfully written self-descriptions, calculated to attract attention. Long, silky hair, meek and submissive, loves to cook, virgin. How could the others have approved them?

Bits and scraps of news read in the past and friends’ and strangers’ anecdotes filled the blanks in my head. I imagined their life stories. Were they real? Were they mere pictures posted by scam artists to lure the depraved and the perverted? Here I am, sitting in the library of a rich university, surrounded by shiny books, shiny tables and shiny people. Here I am, paranoiacally running pictures of the seedy underbelly of transnational prostitution and human trafficking.

At work I delete and delete but they keep coming. They were supposed to be 18, but until I saw their uploaded photo, I had no way of knowing. And so at night, in the safety of my room, I cruise for young girls and note their member numbers to delete. If they were real would I be saving them? If they were real, would I be depriving them and their parents of riches? If they weren’t real, would I be saving some decrepit old man of his dollars or euros? If they weren’t real, would I be depriving a scam artist of his/her daily bread?

This was supposed to be a no-brainer job. I was supposed to save the thinking for the classroom. But I can’t help thinking the worst. When I click, delete and scan, when hundreds of lives pass through my hands, I feel sullied.

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