Rape 2009

Rape is my language. Rape is the way I talk to myself. I know some people have dark fantasies, sexual fantasies. I have them, too, for sure. Rape is different, rape is not joy or even pleasure. My language of love is different. Whisper, touch, skin on skin, weight against weight. Rape is the knowledge of who I am.

Rape is the way I talk to myself when there are no other ways to talk. About these bits of knowledge. I only know them through rape. I resist but I am eager to learn. I am frightened and this fear tells me something. I don't even hate the guy. I go numb but consciousness is there. The body is limp and inert. It is not like “this cannot be happening to me!” It is more like when I was eight and thought I was not my body. I just looked through my eyes. My body was a thing that I carried around. Freedom would be leaving this body, spreading particles of my mind over the horizon like a thin veil of awareness.

I told you this because I worried. I thought I could turn any guy into a monster. They see me, they resent my coldness, because sometimes I am hot, but at other times, I am cold. Icy. Completely withdrawn. Then they want to shake me. Slap me. I say, 'don't touch me' and of course they respect that. They are the good guys.

You are a good guy, a smoothie. You would not hurt me because you want other things, respect, love, maybe some money and comfort, pride that you could have me, after all. Some good use of me as I am. All of me. So you wait patiently. For a while. Then you shout at me, snap out of this! I hear you. I'd love to get hot, to push my body against yours, to kiss your temples and eyes, but not now. Then your frustration turns into anger. Then, you are almost ready to hit me but you would never hit me. This is how you are a good guy. I learn from this too. It might be your self-respect, your manly image, your fear of the kind of disgrace when a guy hits a woman. Also, you might be afraid of the consequences. Of what happens after. What would be your next move. What would be my next move. I might dump you. But there is the love, too.

“I am afraid you want me to rape you. I am afraid this is the thing you enjoy! Look, I am into any games but games are just games, just fooling around, pretending. I am not a monster.” You say this.

Oh, no no no. It's not that. I love you, I love having sex, I don't want you to rape me. Rape is not love. It is – I don' know what it is. It's learning about who I am. About how far I'd go in search of knowledge. Also, I learn about them. They tremble and sweat. They labor on my body, it is like labor, I mean when you deliver a child. I am some kind of stuff they want to dig into. A substance where they want to hide for just a few seconds. Their consciousness is out. And I am wide awake. I  am alone then and I pity them.

“Are you out for a wild ride? For another taxi driver?” You are jealous. I love this, it is flattering, but it's far off the mark. I told you about the taxi driver. It had nothing to do with you. Or with my love for you. Or sex, in general.

I was not yet twenty. Working at night. I usually left just before sunrise. The city is beautiful then. I had to walk through the center, the very center with all the luxury shops, shop windows with no one behind them. No customer, no busy or bored shop assistants. Just the stuff. Things. Lifeless mannequins gesturing toward the empty sidewalk. A completely silent world. It felt like revenge.

Then a taxi driver pulled up beside me. Want a ride? He asked. I told him I can walk fine. So where do you go? I told him. My place was in the outskirts, two hours on foot but I did not mind. Actually, I am going there, he said. I live thereabouts. Come on, let me get you home, I would go there anyway. It is still dark and a young girl like you might get hurt. All right, I said. We drove mostly in silence. He asked questions, as taxi drivers do, but I did not say much. He was a plump little man, middle aged, bold spots. He complained he'd had a divorce. He complained about his wife. He was doing the night shift so he would not think so much. I said I was sorry. 

He took me right to the door of the building where I rented a room. I said thanks and wanted to pay. Oh, no fare for a nice girl like you. I did not like that. Just kiss me good by, he said. I looked at him. He was sweating. He grabbed my hand. Don't go, he said. Don't go. I have to go, I said. I am tired. Look, look, I had not touched a woman for months. I've never touched a beauty like you. Already he was pulling off his pants and he pushed himself between my knees, moaning with the effort. It was very awkward, uncomfortable, me under his soft and sweaty body, in the front seat, with my seatbelt still on. He got hold of my slip then tried to enter me. “Oh, I am so soft, I have to get hard, I have to, I have to have this, I have to have this”. I felt truly sorry for him. Finally, he came. He rested. Then raised his head and had a look at my half naked body. God, you are so, so perfect. Everything in a tiny case. Like the very mold of a woman.

I got out. He asked me if he could see me again. I said no. I said I paid for the ride. I said I never wanted to see him again. Next day, he was waiting outside. I just passed by him. I saw his miserable face behind the windshield.

I told you this because you said I was such a perfect mold of a woman. Everything in a tiny case. It did not sound so honest. It sounded like a compliment. At forty, such words are compliments. But his words were no compliment. They were a confession about his pitiful life. They were the memories to come, about this thing, my body, that he took. That he stole. Once. Yeah, I did not mind being a thing. It was all right with me. I was a thing. I wanted you to understand that. Your smooth seduction does not work on me. I am a thing. You can take that thing, I give it to you because I love you. I give it to you because I want to have sex with you. You ask what I want. Like oral or anal or that kind of stuff. You say it helps hell of a lot when women have regular sex. They get quiet. They get content. I agree. But what I want is this: help me get rid of this body. Help me get outside. Immaterial. Not content.

I was not surprised when you walked out on me. I was clattering with coffee cups trying to get both to the bedroom without spilling. You lay stretched out, like a lovely, big animal. You prefer wolves but I think you looked like a lion. You were ready for a morning tease; I wasn't. You got your coffee, said all the wrong things and walked out. I tell this story because I know you don't understand. I don't quite understand either. Perhaps by the end, when I told it all,  I will see some meaning in shoving off your loving fingers.


I was not a thing first. I fought back. There is a degree of fear and helplessness, and you learn about your options. And then you become a thing. I watched bugs, lizards and small mice with expert eyes. I was big, they were small. They had no chance against me. Either they could get away, or they got cornered and froze there, waiting for the storm to pass. I was seven when I watched three guys, they looked old but I don't think they were past thirteen, pick three water snakes. Two big brownish specimens and a small yellow-green one. We had a family vacation by the lake. They laid them on the wide stone balustrade. The brownish ones wriggled, the small green one was quiet. It gave up, I think, too soon. First they hit the big ones with a club. They fell below, to the green lawn. Girls gave girlie shrieks and parents looked up annoyed.  Next they beat the small one. They hit it so hard that suddenly there was blood all over. The snake vomited blood right down onto the green. Looked like a fountain of blood with that nice white balustrade and the terrace and the coffee tables with wrought iron chairs.

I was frozen. I could not speak for a while. I understood that this was to be a thing. When you can't fight back anymore, you are a thing. If you don't want to fight back, you are a thing. Whatever happens is like rock against rock, rain on soil, wood in fire, snow on a tree top. The laws of physics apply and nothing else. Mechanics, of course, and some chemistry, but sophistication is not the point here.

That day, I lost the head of my doll. In the lake. It sank down deep, lay in the mud somewhere. For Christ's sake, it's the largest sweet water lake in Europe! Mom said. Forget it. I cried. For the doll's head or for the snake, or both. Dad went in and found it. Slowly he took step after step, probing the soil underwater, up to where he knew I had to stop. And then back. He found it, raised it as a trophy and came toward us, his face aglow. Here! I can do everything! I am the magic guy! Later, they fought. First it was force against force, but then, Dad became the mightiest force of nature ever, unstoppable, and Mom became a thing, almost a thing. A thing with silent sobs.

I felt I was inside a magic lantern. If Mom would stop sobbing and Dad would stop banging doors, I could come out. But it was safe in there, and I had to stay put, looking out on the world through my eyes. Mom tried to kill herself later that fall, and Dad had to move out, and then back because we could not be left alone. In a way I preferred banging and sobbing to silence. It was all silence now. Banging and sobbing belonged to people. Silence belonged to things. We were things, all of us, even my little sister. Love was there, in a way. Old forces kept the same constellation revolving around a silent center. It was all physics. I wanted to study astronomy, constellations, forces between enormous objects and the void between them.



Then this boy came and kissed me. It was by the river, but we could not see the water. From behind  the branches of the weeping willows, the waves made gentle little sounds. I did not know the boy. He was blond, good-looking, confident. I don't know where he came from. He was just there, smiling at me. His lips were wet, and he tried to lift my t-shirt to touch my breast. I did not like that. It was like he wanted to trick me into some place I did not want to go. I stood up and went away but thought probably this was it. The force between things. So I might have to marry this guy or something. Forces touch things and they rearrange or fall apart.

The next day guys gathered at the pier. We were there and some others. A girl was there from my school. She laughed and said she heard I was in it. In what? That the guy won the bet. He touched my tits. No, he did not, I said. I went back to our family camp and lay down in my tent. The things and the forces. Actually, it was a bet. I hid there for a while. I thought I should probably kill this boy, the blond one. But it seemed impractical. I would not know how to do it.

Also, the next day we saw a dead man. A corpse. His legs reached into the shallow water but his head and trunk were ashore. He wore a bright orange t-shirt and jeans. His face was blackish but also red. A drunk. We told the parents and they did something to move him away. I tried to picture the blond guy with his face swollen, black and red spots all over. He would be a thing then. I did not think that was what I wanted. Perhaps he could be a bit less lively and happy about his triumph.  But not a thing like this. I never learned what the stakes were. What he'd win by kissing me. Money? Probably booze or cigarettes.


A lot happens in twenty years. There was some sex, I learned about that. I learned you should not accept dinner invitations, especially not in New York, because that involves sucking dicks afterwards, or indignation if you were not willing to, and sometimes they would just push your head down and keep it down until they came. Thingness.

What is important is this: I was in love twice in these twenty years. The first time, I did not feel like a thing at all. I was there. My consciousness was all over my body. I was happy. One night, we made love, nothing special, just an embrace. We came at the exact same moment and I was open, like a door opened  inside, and I knew I conceived. You can never get happier than that.

Then I turned into a bitch. I don't know how it happened. I was deeply in love and a bitch and I cheated on him and I slept with a guy who told me they had a bet. The guys at work. If he can get me. So what was the bet? I asked. What did you get? Nothing, he said.

This guy, I was in love with him too. He said nasty things about me. He forced me to have sex three times a day, whenever and wherever he wanted. I was a thing again. I was being possessed. He was so jealous  he was ready to hit me any time.  He put a gun in my mouth. He pushed the gun up in my vagina. He took me in a public park, from behind. I knew rape. I was raped a lot. But this was the most painful rape I ever went through. Because I was not quite a thing then, I was alive and I knew in a minute I had to turn and face him. So finally I wanted to leave him.

I did not mind being a thing anymore, that was my way, it was not that. But I loved my first love so much. I knew I could not love anyone else, not even this abusive beautiful beast. I said good-by. He lay me on the bed and held me down. I said I had to leave because I promised. I had to get back before dawn. I had to be with him, with my first and only love, I belonged there. But my beautiful beast knew this was his moment and held me down. Held me until daybreak.

And I went home and I knew it was over. I looked at my first love, the one and only love, and I saw it really was over.


It was then that I started thinking about rape. Why I want rape. Why I rape myself. Why I have to use the language of rape to get to myself. To get that thing feeling that I knew so well. It worked so well in life. It was good currency. I perfected it until I was so good  that guys thought I was the dark living force of female sexuality, personified. But beyond that, this is what you must understand, I was a thing. And when it happened, when I was liberated, I did not spread over the earth like a thin veil of consciousness. Immaterial. I became a bitch. How can you help me then?

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