And then you ran out of money. And then you took us to this small, strange town where we had nowhere to stay. And then, and then, you pimped me to some sex-crazed 20-something year old in exchange for a stay squat in an abandoned house?
Remember the abandoned house? The one near the banks of the river Yonne? The one with the huge back yard, fenced off with chain link, chain link that had a hole just large enough for a person to crawl through? Yeah, that one. As you led me through the house, I imagined what kind of family might have lived there, and how and why they abandoned a house with such character. We entered the house through the side door, which opened onto the kitchen, a small space that I imagined once had served as a charming kitchen. The kitchen opened up onto a hallway, which led to some rooms and also a staircase. Upstairs we walked through more rooms. The peeling damask wallpaper spoke to me of grander times for this lonely and filthy place, which smelled like piss and shit.
Eventually we came upon the room where squatters slept. Four wooden pallets, one of them broken, lay on the floor, amongst a sea of tallboy beer cans. The house had no heat, nor running water, nor electricity. As night approached, I felt colder. I covered myself with every blanket I could find in that place, even though I wondered what sorts of bugs and vermin might have nestled themselves within. You assured me we had this house to ourselves. My heart sank when two young strangers showed up, claiming this house as their squat, displacing me to a broken pallet and taking most of the blankets away from me. One of the strangers behaved like my vagina and my breasts were some kind of communal property. I suppose he believed himself discrete by creeping closer and closer to me. He could not keep his hands off of me. This, despite my attempts at pushing him off of me and shrinking away from him.
I never said anything, though. I found I just could not. And now, I’m serving as my own Devil’s Advocate, subjecting myself to quite a cruel cross-examination inside my mind. Do I feel certain that I did not consent? I mean, I did not verbally say no. Instead I shrunk away from him at first, and then only once you’d sold my vagina to the only bidder for a shitty place to stay I could say “Well, I don’t really want to, but it seems like I don’t have a choice,” or something along those lines. And so, we made the deal, you made a deal.
I felt hurt that you could sacrifice me just like that, it seemed so easy for you. I wanted you to feel outrage that a stranger with raging hormones had made the moves on your girl. I wanted to feel like I mattered to you, like my vagina was a sacred place, for you and you alone. But you did not feel outrage. In fact, far from it ~ you babbled some shit about how you loved me more for going through with this, this transaction that I now can only refer to as rape. And there it is, that word, rape. Rape, rape, rape. I cringe at the sound of it. Rape. I feel unqualified and unworthy to use that word in conjunction with any sexual experience I’ve had. Still.
And so you sat there, in that chair, drinking straight from a bottle of Balblair 1989 whiskey and chain smoking Pall Mall cigarettes, watching. Did you get a thrill, watching me slide off my pants and knickers as daintily as possible, then assuming the position of submission? Or maybe you got turned on when I spread my legs as wide apart as possible, until my hip ligaments felt like they would tear away from the bones they were designed to hold together? Or perhaps, when the stranger lowered himself onto and into me? He did not need to bare himself the way I did. This left me feeling exposed and vulnerable.
I remember thinking that I could be this stranger’s mother. In fact, he was likely several years younger than Logan. And I also remember thinking that I didn’t even know his name. He’d come inside me, left traces of himself in my body’s most sacred place, and I did not know his name. Did that make me a slut, a pathetic whore? And why can’t I stop thinking about the fact that the stranger performed much more gently than you ever did? He didn’t hurt me like you did, didn’t thrust himself into me with force enough to split my perineum wide open. And he did not last long: he simply went in, came, then went out. It took a matter of minutes. And that was that. Perfunctory. Passionless. A transaction. A dirty one. I felt dirty.
Once again, sex being used as a currency; this time to buy warmth and safety, basic primal needs I should never have to purchase with my vagina. I feel ashamed at what I had allowed to happened. And devastated that you allowed it to happen! I feel as though I didn’t resist enough, that perhaps I could have done more to avoid what did happened. That, in a way, I made myself complicit in your pimping of me. Most devastating of all though? The fact that I felt the sight of you deep in my gut, like an interminable ache.