Dark Side: What’s the point of having a reputation?

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[From September 2018. It is a dark entry, so move along if you’re only here for the jokes.]

Our couple’s vacation was pretty weird. I would title it “Eat, Drink, Tolerate.”

It was during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Florence. We stayed at the beach, but we felt guilty. We should have driven as far as we could and once we were stuck at a closed road, we could have helped people shampoo their carpets or bag all their sad, ruined Barbie condos. We might have rescued a vineyard or something. We’re able bodied, in a early elderly way. I could have babysat someone’s goats at least, while he yelled at someone about their carpentry, but that vacation was not to be.

I had dipped in, very briefly, to the Kavanaughty proceedings. The early consensus was he was going to get confirmed, and while it was potentially awful for women’s rights, the death knells on Roe were overblown, they said. He once said the Roe decision was “settled law,” I heard. Maybe this wouldn’t be the worst thing. After all, it had a lot of competition for being worst these days. [HA. Hindsight is a hoot, innit? The people who were worried about Roe were entirely correct after all. So not funny.]

Things got weird by Thursday. I had been antsy, but avoided the news most of the days until then. My Dolt45 supporter and I were avoiding conflict and didn’t discuss any touchy topics. We were focused on the future, until we weren’t.

Entirely unbidden, I remembered being in high school in Maryland in 1982, graduating right about the time Kavanaughty did. I knew plenty of Bretts and Mikes. I could suddenly smell the beer smoke cloud that surrounded those years.

Oddly, it’s not the way girls today would imagine. I was much more afraid of drugged up girls attacking me than of boys who would push me around. They would not hurt me if I acquiesced to their proclivities, i.e. fucked them.

We all had so much sex, some of it was bound to be awful and some of it was bound to be forceful. In selecting your date for the evening, you didn’t think, “Will he drug me?” but that happened to me, too. Crap. I just remembered that. Thanks, dude. You really haven’t experienced a party until you’ve been to a party on LSD you didn’t want.

Watching Kavanaughty chuckle about his “Fast Times” years made me want to scream obscenities until I ran out of breath.

When I was raped, I didn’t think of it as rape. Sure, he trapped me in a room and threw me around a bit too much, but he obviously liked it rougher than I did, and maybe he liked me? When I resisted, he pinned me down and growled at me. My defense was to go limp as a possum and wish it all away. My friends were in the next room but shouting for help would embarrass everyone, right? It was just a bit of internal bruising and a deep case of shame, nothing to talk about, much less report. I remember that I got a long look at his driver’s license, but I couldn’t tell you his name now. At the time, I brushed it off as a bad date. Okay, by far the worst date.

I’m not sure I understand the whole “male gaze” concept, but to me it’s an infection that can go unnoticed until someone points it out to us. As a teen, I saw things so thoroughly from a male perspective that I was a prop in my own life. My internal monologue was so twisted. Did he like me, though?

Some people are credible witnesses, and then there are loads of people like me. I would not have been believed by anyone, mostly because until I was sixteen, I lied constantly. If there was a way to avoid hassle by lying, I was all over it.

I was not made of sugar and spice, but insecurity and bullshit. Some of my bullshit was pretty entertaining, but still.

So what’s the use of having a reputation? It helps to have one if you’re assaulted or otherwise stomped by authority.

You can stand up for others if you’re an upstanding citizen, and that’s not nothing.


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