And the hits just keep on coming. So many things I’m thinking about since posting on Saturday. Oddly, one of the first things I thought about was the Hungarians I met at Madame Rosa’s. I realized that I have no memory of them beyond walking into the movie theater with them the next day when Fox and I joined them to see Angel Heart. I can’t remember the end of our time together, can’t remember if I made other plans with them. Can’t remember a thing.
And that isn’t significant, but it kind of is, too. I have the ability to remember ridiculous amounts of minutiae about things that are far less important than movie dates with cute Hungarians. Yes, obviously my brain had other things to focus on. It was busy suppressing all thought of Alain. It’s a wonder I remember anything from that time.
And I find myself angry with Alain for that, too. For the fact that I can’t remember now, but also for the fact that I know I didn’t speak to Sandor again after that movie. I liked him. A lot. And he was a good dancer and funny and smart. And, importantly, attracted to me. And maybe nothing would have come of knowing him. Maybe we would have gone on a few dates and found that we really didn’t suit each other. Maybe we would have been together for years. It’s another thing Alain took from me that morning.
The other thing I think about is the women who were supposed to be my friends. I think about them and about my decision to remain friends with them. It wasn’t even a decision. It never occurred to me to break off ties with them. They were so quick to damn me, and I didn’t fight back, didn’t tell them to fuck off. It’s true that one of those women ended our friendship, but that was years later and was a choice she made.
So what does any of that mean? What does it say about me that I would maintain friendships with people who thought so little of me, that I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to reconnect with Eva now that she has said she wants to hear from me? (And how interesting that the friend she chose t0 pass along that message just happens to be the woman who told me I must have “wanted it” all those years ago?)
Commenters on the last post were appropriately appalled by my friends. I suspect that, if I reminded either woman of this story now, at least one would be appalled, too. (Oh, that’s unnecessarily mean: they would both be appalled.) But that doesn’t change who they were then, what they said then, doesn’t change how completely their responses shut me down.
I like what Raivenne said about telling our stories exactly when they need to be told. I’ve been wondering why this moment was suddenly the time to tell this. Am I finally far enough away from the barely-more-than-a-girl woman I was 25 years ago that I’m “safe” to tell? Is it the last couple of years I’ve spent working with young women, hearing their stories and uncovering more of my own as I see myself through their eyes? Is it the inspiration of the many brave women and men who have posted their stories on Violence UnSilenced?
Whatever the catalyst, this was clearly the time. I have a feeling my understanding of a lot of things is about to undergo a major revision.
I’m going to take this process off-blog. At least for the most part. There’s being open and sharing and then there’s why-doesn’t-she-just-buy-a-journal navel-gazing. Wackily enough, this whole experience is reminding me of a too-funny Paul F. Tompkins stand-up bit I heard recently on The Sound of Young America, about the classic prank gift of canned peanut brittle. HR3 has been like my own personal “snakes in a can” moment. Silly, but the comparison works: when you open the can of peanut brittle, you are shocked that what’s inside isn’t at all what you expected. When I got pissed off after reading about HR3, I had no idea I was opening this particular gag gift, no idea I’d be in this place today.