Thursday, June 29, 2006

Take an aspirin and call me in the morning

There is absolutely nothing funny about sexual abuse.
It is repulsive.
I do however find the circumstances of one incident I had, to be completely astounding, in the most absurd way, thanks to a mother who never ever explained the “facts of life” to me and to a stepfather that was always asking me to go to the store and buy something for his headaches.
I grew up on the streets of downtown New Haven. In the summer I would mill around the streets of downtown New Haven by myself all day until my mother got off work at 4 PM. My mother was a waitress in a 24 hour restaurant called the White Tower. They were famous for twenty five cent hamburgers. The White Tower stood on a corner, attempting to look much like its name. It was a square white porcelain building with white goose neck lamps surrounding the outside top of the building. My mother was what you would call “working the counter” that day, different from “working the grill”. She had little or no time to talk to me, which wasn’t unusual. She never did talk to me.
But that’s another story for another day.
This particular day when she was working the counter, I stopped in to get a soda. She threw some money my way, said not to bother her, and told me to go to a movie for the afternoon.
I was 14. In those days, it was fairly safe, or I was told it was, to roam the city on my own. Yeh right.
Two doors down from the White Tower was the parking lot where my step father worked. Big Frank, we called him. He parked cars for a living. As I walked by the parking lot, Big Frank gave me a wave and a toothless smile. He had no teeth and was bald, but he was a fantastic guy. I entered the Crown Theatre which was right next to Big Frank’s parking lot. A double bill was playing that day- David & Lisa.
“The emotional story of a young man in a mental institution for teens who begins to understand his psychosis in the environment of others with mental and emotional problems. He finds intimacy with Lisa, a young woman suffering from schizophrenia.”
Yeh, that’s a good movie for a kid to see.
And Lord of the Flies-another G Rated Movie.
“A group of boys are marooned on an island after their plane crashes. With no adult survivors, they create their own "micro-society". Ralph is elected "chief", and he organizes shelter and fire. Jack, the head of the choir takes his boys hunting for food (wild pigs). A bitter rivalry develops between Jack and Ralph as both want to be in charge. The "hunters" become savage and primal, under Jack's rule, while Ralph tries to keep his group civilized. The growing hostility between them leads to a bloody and frightening climax”. Another good movie.
With my popcorn bucket in my lap, I watched the first movie- Lord of the Flies.
The second movie began- David and Lisa. As I watched this amazing black and white movie, David, played by the actor Keir Dullea, was screaming and ranting. David had an emotional problem that made him go berserk whenever anyone physically touched even with slightest breeze of a touch.
During this scene, I became somewhat aware of a man sitting behind me. No big deal. It was a movie theatre on a summer afternoon. Soon, the man moved and sat a few seats away from me. Once again, no big deal. I was too engrossed in the screaming on the screen and my popcorn to be distracted.
But then things changed. The next thing I know, this man is sitting next to me, grabbing my hand and putting it in his lap.
Hmm. Still no clue. Want to know what I thought??? For some bizarro reason, I thought this guy had a Bufferin bottle in his lap and wanted me to open it.
Yes, a Bufferin bottle. The kind of aspirin my step father sent me to the store to buy so many times for his so many headaches. A Bufferin bottle is what I thought, not a penis, a Bufferin bottle.
When I finally realized what the hell was going on I stood up, my popcorn went flying and I ran out of the theater crying, right smack dab into the Manager of the theatre, Oscar.
He asked me what was wrong and all I could say was that “this guy had something in his lap he made me touch”.
Believe it or not, it got worse. Oscar grabbed me by the hand, dragged me to the reel booth, had the movie stopped, had the house lights turned on and then ordered me to take him to where this guy was sitting.
I did as I was ordered. Oscar picks the guy up out of his seat, punches him in the face, his nose starts to bleed and he drags me and the Bufferin guy out to the street.
The police are called, my mother is notified and I am driven to the police station sitting in front seat of the Police Car like a criminal with Bufferin Guy in the back seat with the siren screaming. It gets even worse.
At the police station, my mother is screaming at ME,“what did YOU DO”, because she had to leave work. The Detectives are asking me questions with words like, erection, hard, discharge, semen, ejaculate……and on and on.
Yeh, I really like the movies. And thanks Mom, for protecting me and telling me things I should know and comforting me after this incident. And thanks Big Frank. I have never ever, nor will I purchase Bufferin. My head could be pounding like a drum. It would be less painful.
Oh yeh, Bufferin guy in the theatre? He was an exchange student studying at Yale and was deported.


Blogger Carrie Wilson Link said...

Oh my God, Suzy, unbelievable. You NAILED the innocence of a child. Your voice is so resonant. Don't stop, you're on a roll! I want more!

10:43 AM  
Blogger jennifer said...

Great work, Suzy, you are brave and brilliant! Go!

11:28 AM  
Blogger Go Mama said...

Wow, Suzy. You started off with a bang! What courage to get it out there. Nicely done.

1:36 AM  

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