Originally posted March 11, 2010 on dirtygirldiaries.com.
I’ve been gone. I’m sorry. I’d tell you where I’ve been, if I knew.
I’d like nothing more than to know where I’ve been and what I’ve done. I’d like to pull my brain out through my ear, pop it in the VCR, sit on the couch with you, a vodka and a bowl of popcorn and see what happened; see the things my brain is busy blocking out. Or maybe it’s the vodka that blocks it all out. There is no way of knowing.
“The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.” The movie in my head that we’re watching has been edited by a monkey, but not that Shakespeare monkey. I have a shit-tossing, public masturbating, screaming howler monkey. He’s collected random outtakes found on a barroom floors across the city. Blasts of dialogue. Seconds of music. Bits of light. Sound and vision run sideways, backwards, not at all, skipping, skipping, skipping. Some things look familiar. A flash of a foot, cut to a hand holding a glass of vodka – it could be mine, there is no way of knowing. Jump to nothing, nothing, nothing, an unidentifiable horizon. Pan to darkness, nighttime, maybe the lights are just off. Maybe none of it’s real. Maybe all of it is. There is no way of knowing.
I never talked about the Big Man again, I know that. I never report him to the police.
Police don’t take care of people like us. We take care of us. Except when we don’t, and then you’re on your own.
I was on my own, I knew that, too.
Remember and know are different animals.
I know I was born. My mother remembers it.
Here’s what I know: You can’t see the bruises and burns for the welts my own body has created. From my collarbone to my pubic bone, and every inch of skin in between, I’m covered with hives. My face has cracked open. My cheeks, my scalp, my eyelids, even the tender skin under my eyes, dried and cracked like a desert floor.
Here’s what I know: Rape is trauma. If it happens to you, you should see a professional, you should see several. Police officer. Registered Nurse. Social worker. Trained counselor. Trusted clergy. Medical doctor. Lawyers. Therapist. Psychiatrist. Maybe a support group.
I consulted a dermatologist who said I’d developed an allergy to commercial soap. I never use soap on my face again. Ever.
Here’s what I remember: Being raped did not affect me at all.
Thirteen years and 100 men later I will finally take another man into the same bed I was raped in. Although I will not notice it at the time, he will be look exactly like the Big Man. It will take me weeks to make the connection, despite the fact that the next morning my body is covered in hives.
Two years after that I will write about that night for the very first time. And once again, my body will be covered with hives.
Twenty-nine years after the fact, just the thought of writing about that night will send me into a depression that will swallow Thanksgiving and everything in its sway until some time around St. Patrick’s Day.
But that’s the future, none of that has happened yet. Today, like a shark, I move forward because there is no other choice. I leave the Lollipop and think, I’m going to start over, make a fresh start, a new life. I’m fine, I just need a job. And a cocktail.