(This post deserves some sort of disclaimer or caution or explanation. But the truth is I don’t know how to do that properly. It deals with a tough piece of history. I wrote it because there is hope and new life in living out in the open. And no, the story did not end there. Thankfully.)
It certainly didn’t look like this that Tuesday night at the end of the summer. And there was no sign that said “Keep Off”. Not that I would have listened. I wasn’t much into listening those days. Especially to authority figures or signs erected by authority figures. What happened in that dock slip changed my life. It changed who I thought I was. It changed what I believed about people, about the world, about love. There are other things that led to this moment but I can’t write about them yet so instead I will write about this night.
There had been a raucous party with plenty of drinks slipped to anyone who wanted them. And certain illegal substances that I won’t admit publicly to having seen. And I was sure I was in love. I could feel that love. The love I made up, I mean. The love I pretended to be falling into.
And she’s buying her stairway to heaven.
My biggest desire in life just then was to leave childhood behind. I had an adult body and I thought an adult mind. I hadn’t considered that I still had a child’s heart, a child’s judgement, a child’s naivete.
When I was a child I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, and I reasoned like a child. When I became a (wo)man, I gave up my childish ways.
That dock slip became the scene of a crime. With everything moving too fast, with too many noises in my head, with too many disadvantages, my no’s were ignored, trampled over, smothered. And by the time it was too late I realized I’d been wrong all along about being an adult. Did it last a minute? Did it last an hour? I still can’t be sure. Time evaporated and all that remained was the truth that I was wrong.
There’s a truth that can’t be spoken. There’s a pain goes on and on.
And only then came the obedience to the authority figure. “Clean yourself up, I’ll drive you home.” In a long list of bad decisions that night I obeyed. I got into the truck with an inebriated rapist. Not sure that home was where I wanted to go.