The Heavy Pour

Reasons I Didn’t Tell Anyone

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #99. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.

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Three fingers of analysis when two will do.

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I was 6

I had never seen a penis in real life before

Let alone balls

Let alone in a public place

Let alone hanging out of an old man’s too-short running shorts

Let alone being manipulated by a bony grandpa-hand

Let alone right next to my head as I knelt down to look at the board games on the bottom shelf of the kids’ section of my local thrift store

 

I was 12

I still climbed trees

I still had mud-clod wars

I still asked if my friends wanted to ride bikes

I still played pretend

The floor was still lava

I was still surprised after he looked at my body like that and breathily exhaled a drawn-out “hi” while never making eye contact

I was still surprised after my mother sing-songed, “you’re so stuck up!” when I ignored him, loud enough for him to hear

 

I was 16

I was at school

It was “safe”

He was just there to fix the teacher’s computer

I liked computers

I liked that someone could have a job fixing computers

I didn’t know what he meant when he asked, “what will you give me for fixing the computer?”

I was surprised by the way he laughed and looked at my tits when I earnestly said, “my thanks?”

 

I was 20

He was “joking”

He was a teacher

I had already learned by that point that being the girl who “can’t take a joke” fucking sucked

It would have been a “thing” for the rest of the rehearsal and performance

People in the department still talked and often badly about the girl who was locked into a bedroom by another teaching associate

They said she got him fired

This was nothing compared to that

It wasn’t even the worst thing that happened to me

 

I was 33

She wrote the most powerful letter I’ve ever read

The bystanders who interrupted the rape openly wept upon recounting the night

I still had to hear about her drinking

I still had to hear about his steak

I still had to read his father thought his 6-month sentence was “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action”

 

I am 34

My generation’s “no” is soft

My generation is weak

My generation doesn’t know how to fight

We don’t leave fast enough

It’s stupid and naïve of us to be surprised that a man thinks “next time” really means “after another glass of wine”

It’s stupid and naïve of us to be surprised that a man saying “let’s just chill over here on the couch” really means “suck my dick”

It’s stupid and naïve of us to be surprised when a man tries to take our clothes off after we’ve put them back on after all that

It’s stupid and naïve of us to be surprised that a man keeps sticking his fingers down our throats after all that

We already didn’t leave fast enough

 

These are just bad dates

These are just bad dates

These are just bad dates

I’m ok and it was just a bad date

I’m ok and everyone has bad dates

I’m ok and no one needs to know

No one needs to know

I’m ok

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Sara Clemens thinks too much about things, generally. She runs a site called Videodame and retweets stuff on Twitter @thesaraclemens.

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