OK, let us get one thing clear from the start. I was wracking my brains about why your approach was so offensive, so comically offensive, and it struck me: you look tragically (but hilariously) identical to Richie Aprile from the Sopranos. You know, that incredible character who was a sexual submissive but also enjoyed snorting coke while killing prostitutes? Yeah, him. You look exactly like him.
So, I’m sorry about that, for you, I mean, but here’s the deal: women don’t really enjoy being approached, in the dark, with very few other people around, on a Sunday evening in the rain on the Blvd. St. Germain. Or anywhere else, at any other time.
To be more precise, it is not arousing to have Richie Aprile venture into my sphere, you know, my personal space, and be told, “Je cherche. Avec vous Je cherche pour l’amour. L’Amour.” Your delivery was so pathetic that I laughed in your Richie-face, and waved my hand. “Non, mon ami, pas ma. Pas ma.”
So it was all innocent, and safe, and funny, yes? Richie dude, you were even kind of civilized about my laughter. “D’accord, d’accord, Ciao.” Good boy.
I hurried one way, you strolled in the other, and I didn’t think about it much again until I got home, got undressed, and got in the shower. And I realized that I was fucking angry. At you, dude, but really you don’t count, you’re an easy one. I am angry that women have to deal with that bullshit, and of course ever, ever so much more and worse, every single minute of every single day.
As I looked down at the water streaming off my little, bony body, a fairly vulnerable body, biologically speaking, I had the following inner dialogue:
“Dude, I would not sleep with you if we were in paradise and you were the last motherfucker standing, and the only way to introduce our people to paradise would be to fuck you. Nope, not even then. Of course, dude, with those angry beady black eyes you’d probably try and rape me at that point, and then I would have to kill you. And then I would be the last man standing. In paradise. Alone. And so condemned to take it all down with me.
So let it be understood, Richie, that my aversion to you is fucking mythic. It is not, “Non, mon ami,” which I said of course out of a deep fear; it is primordial, as if you are Aecteon (fat chance, but try to imagine), and I set the hounds on you and my women friends eat your flesh. It’s that sort of aversion.
It’s nothing personal. I’m sure you’re a very fucked up but kind of harmless guy. And you know, I kind of relate: I see people every hour I would love to sleep with, men and women both. But see, part of being a human being is recognizing other people’s humanness, and their right to be safe humans, existing as they please on this beautiful planet. And you violated that right when you amusingly approached me, thinking maybe… just maybe this one will be broke, or drugged, or need some food… and I’ll get lucky.”
I thought other, even angrier things, and then I thought that having this inner dialogue so filled with anger with Richie-Dude is deeply unfeminine, unseemly. Because just as people find what Richie-Dude did tonight creepy and gross, and what other, more destructive men do to be horrible and terrifying, women are never supposed to be angry.
We can be violated. We can be sad. We can be vulnerable, and have those little flashes like a burnt out star against a night sky. But we can never be the burning, the steady burning, of a raging sun.
Or a bonfire made for catching those fuckers who constantly violate our space and bodies, and incinerating those violations like the dear popes before us used to burn sinners.
Richie-Dude, you made me that angry. Well not you, but what you represent. The predators, those who take advantage, those who violate, then penetrate, then discard. It is uncomfortable, Richie, writing these words. I’m supposed to be lovely: a yogini, a mama, a lover to my husband but otherwise chaste, sweet to look at, articulate, but never, ever angry. Even our great mother Gloria Steinem is looking… well packaged and gentle these days.
Not me. I wish I could crack through her smile, and shake her: our work isn’t done. It hasn’t even begun. And Richie-Dude, nothing personal, but I would like to punch you in your fucking face, and teach you a lesson about respect. God did I really just write that? Will anyone still love me after I reveal such anger? Does it matter?
Je cherche pour l’amour, aussi, Richie-Dude. Et egalite egalite egalite…
Merci bien, et bon journee – Rachel Murane