I had a Spanish teacher in high school named Señora Raymer. She gave me a book called The Road of Lost Innocence and told me I’d appreciate it.
The book was about a woman trafficked as a sex slave. I felt so passionately about the book and the author that I vowed to do something, anything, to help women who have been forced into such unspeakable horrors.
I was going to right the wrongs. Vindicate the victims. And make a friggin’ difference.
Until I realized I wanted money more. Sex slavery and rape were replaced with college and partying. A lot of partying. Name it- I was on it.
Then I met a guy named Jim who would bring the very same passion I felt in high school bubbling up like lava in a seemingly inactive volcano.
He didn’t care how I got down.
Jim didn’t care if I used his apartment to crash. Or if I hung out in his bathroom with a debit card, a straw cut in half, and some good powder. Because after a few lines of white, he could do whatever he wanted to my body. A lesson he taught me freshman year.
My professor of real life.
I said, “no.” I tried to push him off. But it didn’t matter.
After a while I stopped caring, too geeked to fight. So I let him finish. He apologized afterwards. Jim, always the gentleman. At least he wore a condom.
That was the first time. On his uncomfortable bed in his crummy college apartment.
The next time Jim and I met at a mutual friend’s house party. I trusted our mutual friend. I did not trust Jim. I remember talking to a scrawny chick who introduced me to Lana Del Rey’s Off to the Races:
And I’m off to the races, cases of Bacardi chasers
Chasin’ me all over town ’cause he knows I’m wasted.
I love that song. Memories of bathrooms, cigarettes, beer, and runny noses. I can almost taste my addiction.
I went to the bathroom. As I was peeing I noticed I had put my panties on inside out. Since leaving my apartment, I had been wearing inside out panties. And was none the wiser until I had to tinkle.
When I fixed them and came out of the bathroom into the empty bedroom, Jim was waiting for me. He intercepted before I could return to the party. Was I high that night? Probably. I can’t remember.
We started making out and he pushed me against the wall. I didn’t mind. Then he pulled me towards the bed and I minded very much.
Jim wasn’t always a condom guy. I didn’t want to take the risk. I feared he might’ve been packing an STD or 3. Frat boys, you know?
He already showed me he had no problem proceeding without my consent. Luckily we were at a party and not alone. I managed to escape with my dignity.
A few years later, Jim was passing through my city. He wanted to come visit me. He was having financial trouble- something about parking tickets and his car.
I had mixed feelings about Jim.
He was sweet sometimes. He got out of hand twice in the four or five years I had known him. It would be okay if I let him stay.
And it was okay.
I began trusting him again. He had a wild streak but so did I. He was an okay guy. I was getting used to him. He came back to visit me three months later and stayed a week. It was a good week until it wasn’t.
It was early morning and he wanted it. I didn’t want anything except for him to leave because I had school work to finish. He tried to get me in the mood anyway. I had things to do. He was persistent.
I said, “no.” I fought. Not as fervently as the time in his apartment, though. He asked me if I was on birth control to which I also said, “no.” He didn’t wear a condom. Didn’t apologize, either. Some gentleman.
How I despise that word.
No was supposed to protect me. No should have white knighted me. When I said no, Jim should have stopped. But he didn’t because no means nothing to men like him.
If he had been violent like the villains in my book instead of firmly disregarding my wishes, then I would’ve recognized the act for what it was. Or maybe not. Who knows?
JIM WINS 2-1
Time to cut my losses and move on, I guess.
I am left with just one final thought…
How could I ever fight for the sexual rights of women when I can’t even defend my own?
Lo siento, Señora Raymer.
You were wrong about me.