Posts tagged ‘Crime’
In the 90s a book came out that was later made into a movie. This book was the first book published from the pen of John Grisham, the lawyer turned author. In my opinion, it’s his best book. In some ways, it’s a modern day retelling of To Kill a Mockingbird. In Grisham’s A Time to Kill two ne’er do well good ol’ boys pick up an underage black girl named Tonia Haley and beat and rape her so severely that the damage from the rape makes her infertile.
Her father, Carl Lee Haley, realizes that in his mostly white Mississippi town two white boys will never be convicted of harming a black girl and that they will most likely go free. Carl Lee confers with a local counselor, the struggling defense attorney, Jake Briggance, and asks Jake if he’ll defend him should he need it. Jake, himself the father of a young girl close to Tonia’s age, agrees to defend Carl Lee should he need his services. Following that conversation, Carl Lee takes a shotgun to the courthouse on the day of the rapists’ arraignment and shoots the two men down in cold blood, accidentally shooting a peace officer as well, in the process.
The rest of the movie is about the fight to keep Carl Lee out of prison and away from the gas chamber. A Time to Kill is a story about a hate crime, specifically focused on race relations. In the end Jake gets Carl Lee acquitted by asking jury members to close their eyes while he describes the rape of a 9-year-old girl in gruesome detail. When he’s finished presenting the picture of a little girl tied up, raped, beaten, urinated on, and left to die he says, simply, “Now imagine she’s white.”
I want to tell you a story. Don’t close your eyes or you won’t be able to read the story, but you can see what I want you to see in your mind’s eye. This is the story of a little boy. This boy lives in a small Texas town that’s fraught with racial strife. The boy is Hispanic, and he’s 11 years old. He’s also a straight A student. His mother has been hospitalized recently with some health problems, and his father is an unemployed construction worker.
The boy has spent a lot of time hanging out with older kids in a bad neighborhood lately. People in this neighborhood have spotted him there on numerous occasions. They wonder what he’s doing there and why his parents don’t keep closer tabs on him. The boy is also on Facebook. On his profile, he says he’s 13 so that he’ll look older and tougher than he really is and so that maybe, just maybe he’ll attract older girls. He’s made posts involving drinking and sex.
One day the boy is out walking after school when three older boys offer to give him a ride. He accepts. He knows these boys, and he’s hung out with them before. They’re all African American, and they’re all much older than he is. They’re high school age. The boys all drive to a small blue house in the bad neighborhood, one that belongs to the aunt of one of the older boys.
The house is empty except for the four boys. There are no adults present. They go to one of the bedrooms of the house. They’re hanging out. Maybe they watch TV. Maybe they drink a beer or smoke a little pot. Suddenly, one of the older boys says, “I want you to suck my cock.”
The young boy is stunned. This request seems to come from left field. He tries to laugh it off.
A second older boy stands up and says, “You’re going to suck all our cocks.”
The little boy says, “And what if I don’t.”
The first older boy chimes in again. “First, we’ll beat you. Then you can walk home.”
The little boy looks at the older boys, and he realizes that they are serious. Any one of the three of them could pulverize him. The little boy doesn’t even weigh 100 pounds. These are big guys. They lift weights. They play high school athletics. One of them is double his size. His chance of taking on all three or of escaping is nothing.
The boy submits to the rape. The older boys take pictures and videos on their cell phones. The sexual activity takes place in a bedroom and in a bathroom. While the boy is cleaning up in the bathroom he hears the older boys talking on their cell phones and inviting some of their friends to also come over. The aunt who owns the house has come home, and one of the older boys takes him out of the bathroom and sneaks him out the back of the house and into the car.
The little boy has gone silent. Perhaps he is in shock. They made him do things he didn’t want to do, things that hurt him. He is bleeding. The older boys drive him to an abandoned mobile home in a trailer park on the edge of the bad neighborhood. He’s been here before. The yard is strewn with trash, and there are household items that probably belonged to the last, evicted tenants, lying on the curb.
More older boys and even some men show up, and they all use him sexually, too. Sometimes he is made to service more than one man at a time. He is afraid to say anything because there are now several men in the trailer, perhaps as many as 20 or more, and he is afraid that if he protests or fights they will beat him. They continue to take photos and video as they cheer him on. The little boy is tired, sore, and hurt. He wants to go home, but they won’t take him home until they are done. The attack takes several hours.
Finally, they do take him home, and in his humiliation he says nothing. He showers and goes to bed and resolves never to speak of it. He doesn’t want to shame his father or hurt his mother, especially with her health issues.
One day soon afterward he is called into the principal’s office because one of the perpetrators of the attack has emailed or texted pictures and video of the boy’s rape to several of his classmates. He is afraid and alone, but he tells the truth.
That’s a sad story, isn’t it? You feel sorry for that boy. You never question where his parents were during the attack. You never question why he accepted a ride with three older boys. You don’t think, like I once heard another blogger say about a rape victim, that the police were sent in to do a father’s job, as if only single mothers parent rape victims. You know, or at least you assume, that since the boy is posting about experience with drinking and sex that implies he’s no longer a virgin. You know that he’s working hard to appear older than he really is, with his Facebook profile, his clothes and appearance, and the friends he hangs around.
But you never thought he deserved what happened to him, did you? You never thought it was a racial conspiracy to get a whole generation of black men, did you? I hope you never blamed the boy for not protesting or trying to run away. I don’t think you probably thought that the boy had brought this on by his behavior or his appearance, although if his rapists were homosexuals it seems conceivable that they just couldn’t help themselves, or maybe not. What do you think? Do you think the actions of any 11 year old boy could cause a man to somehow have to rape him? You think this is a horrible crime, don’t you? And you think the boy’s not at fault for what happened to him at all. Now imagine the boy’s a girl.
When I was five years old I used to walk to and from school. I was in kindergarten. One day when I was walking home from school I noticed that I was being followed very closely by three much older girls. They caught up with me, cornered me at a tree, and beat the ever living shit out of me. They beat me up so badly that to this day I, mercifully, have no memory of it. I remember being cornered against the tree, and that is the last thing I remember.
I had done and said nothing to provoke them. I didn’t even know these girls. And at five years old I was probably the tiniest girl in my class. I was a little, cute, blue eyed, freckled, blonde girl with a button nose and a bounce in my step.
When I got home, my mother flipped, of course, and the next day we met with the school principal. I wanted to take care of the whole problem myself. I did not want my mother to take me to school or to meet with the principal. The girls beat me up, and I wanted to make sure they were punished. The principal thought he knew who the girls were. They were three sixth grade girls, and he wanted to know if I could identify them. I told him that I could. My mother wanted to go with me.
I said, “No, Mommy. I want to go point them out by myself.”
At a very early age I decided that I was nobody’s victim, and I also knew that I could stand up for myself. I did not need my mother to do it for me.
Many years later, in my mid-twenties, two teenaged boys once decided that they would try to “carjack” me. I was coming out of a Half Price Books in Dallas when one of these boys (who couldn’t have been older than fifteen) inserted his body between my car door and myself and told me that he had a gun, and he wanted my car keys.
Now, when something like this happens to you, you think you know how you would react, but the truth is that you don’t until it happens. Because if you had told me that something like that would happen to me, then I would have told you that I would have given up the keys. I had insurance on my car, and it isn’t worth my life.
However, what happened is that I decided that I was not giving up my car keys to two punk teenage boys unless they actually did have a gun. So, I felt the outside of the bulge in this kid’s jacket pocket that he was pointing at me. And it turns out that the bulge was nothing more than a fist.
So, I looked him right in the eye, and shouted emphatically, “No!”
Then I took the keys, turned my body around to face the passenger seat and fought with this kid over the keys while he and the other kid pummeled my head and torso with punches and called me filthy names. I almost lost the keys, and then it occurred to me…make noise.
I took the keys, turned my body around to face the driver’s side door, and then in slow motion, I took a deep breath. It wasn’t actually in slow motion. It can’t have been, but whenever I see it in my mind’s eye, I see it play out like the instant replay of a football play. The second kid, the one farther from the door, saw what was coming first. He bolted before the sound came. The first kid didn’t catch on as quick and got a full blast of my scream straight to the ear drum before he shut my car door, locked it for me, and ran. The funniest part is that he locked the door. I guess he was worried about my safety.
Of course, I was a little shook up, and once I regained my composure, which didn’t take long, I looked for these little shits because I was literally going to hunt them down in my car. I’m not sure if I would have run them over or not. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. When I didn’t immediately see any sign of them, I drove back to my home and called the police and filled out an incident report.
The dispatcher for 911 actually had the nerve to ask me why I had left the scene of the crime.
“Uh, because I felt so safe there?”
Now, I’ve had my sanity questioned over this incident on multiple occasions. I can’t say as I blame people. And what I did I did as an immediate reaction to my circumstances and not because I put much thought into it in advance. But I personally am proud of my decisions in this situation, because when I thought about it afterward, I thought that if I gave those two boys my car keys, I gave them the power, and there was no guarantee that they would have only taken the car. They were stronger than I was; it would have been no contest. I was skinny at the time, so I couldn’t have even sat on them to injure them.
Anyhow, this is how I know that I am no victim. Tried and tested. If some man ever decided to rape me, then he’d better be prepared to kill me as well. If some guy ever did that to me, then I’d make sure that he spent as much time in prison as humanly possible. And that’s his punishment if he’s lucky.
Because if I really get my wish, then he’s going to be urinating from a hose into a medical supply plastic bag attached to his hip for the rest of his life. Forget any of that Bobbitt surgery nonsense. I will fix it so that any man who rapes me won’t get the opportunity to do that to anyone else ever again without investing in some toys. I won’t just throw it in a field. I’ll throw it in a meat grinder and make a patty out of it and fry it and feed it to my dog.
Like I said, he’d better kill me.
Psych! You just thought I was done writing about the Rat Bastard. Well, you were wrong. We need to explore the actual end of the Rat Bastard and me. There’s some more stuff after the break up. This is because 1) I turned into that psycho chick that everyone, including me, hates, and 2) I’m a glutton for punishment. Also, I just thought of some more stuff about him that pisses me off.
After the breakup I thought about what I really wanted to do with my life that I could actually manage to do. Having already tried to obtain a position as a technical writer or any kind of writer and failed, gotten hit on by a single man who was a tech writer for Trilogy, failed, gotten hit on by a married man who was the editor of a trade magazine publication, and failed again, I was pretty sure that my career goals and aspirations were never going to come true. That ship had sailed. I no longer wanted to get married. You have to actually buy a lottery ticket to win the lottery. I knew! I could have a baby!
I knew on my salary that I couldn’t afford to pay for sperm. Trust me. I actually researched this. I knew that I would want to raise this baby on my own. Who would be a better sperm donor than my ex? I knew, after all, that he wouldn’t want to be responsible for a child, that he would be incapable of being responsible for a child, and having already abandoned two previous children, had a really great track record of not interfering in his baby mama’s or children’s lives. By this time, I was so mad at Rat that I wouldn’t want him to be in my child’s life. Why would I want to saddle a kid with THAT? No, this plan was perfect. He’d just provide genetic material and then get the hell out of my way.
I was thinking really rationally at this point. This is evident from the fact that I realized that I couldn’t afford to pay for sperm but didn’t make the leap of logic necessary to figure out that if I couldn’t afford sperm, then I couldn’t afford a baby, either. Whenever pesky thoughts like these floated past my brain, I just rationalized them with, “I can go live with my parents. They’ll be thrilled to have a grandchild.” That would take care of any coherent thoughts I might have had. I’d then go back to trying to figure out when I was ovulating so that I wouldn’t have to have sex with the Rat unless it was likely to be fruitful and purchasing folic acid tablets and pre-natal vitamins so I’d be sure to be fertile.
The Rat was in on this plan, in the beginning. First off, I’d never trap some man into impregnating me, not even the Rat (although I’m sure that if any man deserves to have this done to him it would be the Rat). So instead of entrapping him, I just played the guilt card of how he had totally broken my heart, tore it up in pieces and then fed those pieces to the wolves, so that I had no heart anymore to break. I told him he had ruined my life and made me miserable. I told him he had wasted two prime, babymaking years of my life with his lying and his spineless inability to come out of the closet, his using me horribly and dicking me around. And then…I told him that a baby would fix all that. So, in the beginning, the Rat was totally down with this plan. It was sort of like an opportunity at redemption for him.
The last time I had sex with the Rat Bastard was the last time I had sex with anyone for years. If I had known then what would happen, I would have enjoyed it a little more. If I had never met the Rat Bastard and still had the ability to believe in fairy tales, then I might say that the Rat Bastard refused to have sex with me anymore because he knew that my babymaking scheme was a horrible mistake and that he was saving me from myself, that he was saving a baby from being born into this world for what may be the world’s worst possible reason. But the more cynical side of myself that knows the Rat Bastard says that the Rat Bastard knew that I was still seething with rage, and he probably figured I’d sue him for child support at the first available opportunity. I wouldn’t have, but he didn’t know that.
When Rat refused to continue to participate in the babymaking scheme that’s when I really went psycho. I insisted that he part with every picture he had ever taken of me or of us. I insisted that he give me back anything that might serve as evidence that I had ever known him. I told him he wasn’t allowed to talk about me and that as far as he was concerned I didn’t exist. I sent him an email that said that he was good for only one thing as far as I was concerned, and that was providing sperm. And if he refused to provide said sperm, then I wouldn’t so much as walk across the street to spit on him. I destroyed all the photos and gifts I’d ever gotten from him. I purged the evidence. He did as I asked and brought me all the pictures, etc., and I destroyed those as well. I was so angry with him that I fantasized about hurting him, physically. If I could have figured out how to do so without consequences I would have done it…in a heartbeat.
He got a new job on the graveyard shift, and I started calling at different times during the day, when I knew he would be sleeping, and then hanging up. And that’s when I had my “snap out of it” moment, because it was left to The Train Wreck to confront me. I had to stop with the phone calls or Rat was going to go to the police and press charges for stalking. Once, when we were still together, I had awoken in the middle of the night to find the Rat Bastard in mid-coitus with my unconscious body. There was no foreplay or warning, and I was fast asleep. It hurt. It made me sorry I hadn’t gone to the police and pressed charges for rape.
As I previously mentioned, that was my snap out of it moment. I came back to reality and started channeling all my resentment in more positive outlets, like drinking. The last time I had sex with the Rat Bastard was the last time I saw the Rat Bastard, and I have no desire to do so. I gained a ton of weight, no doubt mostly from the drinking. But the weight was a good thing. It meant I didn’t have to worry as much about attention from men. I could focus on learning how to be a successful spinster and catch up on my reading, and my drinking. And that really is the end of the story of The Rat Bastard.