Once upon a time, a teenage me went to New York to see a boy. i barely had any money, but an ex of mine told me about a cheap hotel he’d heard of, exclusively advertised in the back pages of the village voice. $200 dollars a week DID sound too good to be true. but i was a hopeful dreamer!
when i got there, the hotel was a shit hole a place where hookers took their john.
I got in the elevator. its smell was a mix of marijuana, indian food, and death. a big black dude, no sense of personal space followed me in. i could feel his warm breath and relentless stare on the back of my neck. i’m pretty sure he was drooling too. for real. not that i think i’m hot shit or anything. i’m sure he would have drooled over ANY girl he was about to murder. but that day it was ME. ME!
We arrived at my floor. I ran for my room, and he followed. i hoped he didn’t think i was racist, cuz I’m totally not but the blood on his face and his lazy eye made me nervous, not to mention the fact that he had pressed the button for another floor.
i got into my room. it was as small as an American apparel dressing room. But not nearly as modern and bright.and the peephole was filled with toilet paper instead of glass.
there was a knock, which turned into banging! “Let me in miss. You better let me in!”
i had no cell service and there was no phone in the room. I couldn’t be a pussy right now. that was reserved for every other day of my life.
Was today really the day I was going to get raped to death? NO FUCKING WAY! I pried open the window and climbed 8 flights down the fire escape.
I called the boy I’d come to New York for. We’d had one epic make out during a previous visit & I wanted so badly to recapture whatever it was i thought we’d had. but when i got to his place, it just wasn’t there anymore. and my visit was putting way too much pressure on us.
what happened? a myriad of things i suppose.
i wasn’t in a good place emotionally and not just because I was nearly murdered hours earlier; I’d gained weight, I felt needy and aimless. And it wasn’t this dudes job to make me loved or safe. He was basically a stranger. and was it just me, or was I like a foot taller than him? I guess I’d never realized how much my head tilted down when we’d met.
I was bloated. I was depressed. and then I GOT MY PERIOD. instead of making up an excuse as simple as ‘a starbux run’ (to go get tampons and baby wipes) - which is what i would do NOW – I went mute and did nothing. he suggested we smoke pot. i really didn’t want to, so i said, ‘OK’.
the pot made me paranoid as fuck. he passed out, and I prayed I wouldn’t bleed on his white sheets. i did.
I left in the morning, without saying goodbye. and we never spoke again.
I had nowhere else to go, so i called my ex who’d vouched for the shitty hotel to begin with. He said I could stay with him. the only thing was, I didn’t wanna have sex with him at all, but I knew I’d feel obligated. He’s a dude, I’m a girl, and we’d already had sex in the past.
My ex was house-sitting in the east village. when i arrived, there were two older, cooler girls hanging out.
these girls were mean. I didn’t even have time to decide if I liked them, before they made it clear they were excluding me. they were like an exclusive club that was at capacity. so I drank to keep my social anxiety at bay. creating more bloat that I’d hate myself for later.
eventually they went home, leaving me and the dude to ourselves. I dreaded this.
we laid on the living room floor. he kissed me. i could handle this. maybe we would just make-out for a bit then fall asleep?
He pulled my pants down, I mumbled ”no, don’t. I’m having my female problem.”
my female problem? If I could have punched myself in the face to snap me out of my passive bullshit, I would have. But I was stuck so deep inside my skin that i couldn’t take ownership of myself. i couldn’t stop apologizing for myself. it was Like everyone else was perfect and allowed to exist, and I was just lucky to be there.
it would take me years before i learned how to say ‘no’. and i don’t just mean saying no sexually. i mean saying no to anything.it would take me years before i was able to stop being such a people pleaser. to be the same version of myself in every situation, to feel comfortable in silence, to hold myself accountable, to like myself. to be confident, and know i had something to offer.
My ex kept pulling my pants down. That’s weird,he must not have heard me. so I said it louder “but I have my period. you don’t wanna do that! i’m gross.”
His head between my legs, he just smiled. AND THAT’S WHEN THE GNARLIEST SEXUAL THING I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED HAPPENED:
He very cooly and calmly pulled my tampon out of my PRIVATE with his teeth, tossed it across the room, proceeded to go down on me… and I’m pretty sure I came.