Complicit

He’s likely dead now since it was 36 years ago and I’d reckon him in his late 60’s/early 70’s then. I was 19, home from college. I was visiting as a favor to my mom. He’d been bugging her for months for me to stop over when I came home. He started giving me money when I was in high school; $5.00 here, $10.00 there, when our paths crossed. I didn’t make much of it.

My dad died when I was 13. I thought he was being kind.

“I’d kill a motherfucker over you!” he declared after I’d been sitting on the couch a while. “I’m sure that won’t be necessary,” I replied, surprising myself at my calm. Pornographic material covered the coffee table. Not the high glossy Playboy magazines I’d snuck into the house when I lived at home. Rather it was some particularly raunchy, grainy black and white depictions of beastiality. Women in pointy coned bras whipping each other. Orgies.

I was surprised but not overly concerned for my safety. He scooted into the kitchen for cookies and koolaid. The juxtaposition threw me a bit. I passed on the koolaid. I may have taken a bite of a cookie.

Took me a minute but I put it together. “I have to go,” I said calmly, “I have a date.” Which was true. I’d timed the whole thing to give myself an excuse to leave, not knowing that I’d really need to leave.

He made pretext of “showing me something” in his bedroom before he’d unlock the deadbolt. The key was in his pocket. I firmly refused.

He tried to play coy. Cheerfully declaring that I wouldn’t be able to leave until he was “satisfied.” I calmly but firmly informed him that “if he didn’t open that goddam door, I’d put a chair through his front window” to leave. He actually looked hurt as he unlocked the front door. “When are you coming back?” he called as I walked down the porch steps.

I never saw him again. I now wish I’d reported him. But he had some standing in the community and I didn’t want trouble and I had some vague notion of not wanting to embarrass him further.

But what of his next “guest?” Perhaps someone who was not as confident as I was or as physically imposing. I towered over him. What if the next person was intimidated by the old man’s position in the community?

I put the whole episode behind me and moved on. But I’m reminded now as so many people come out to tell their stories of encounters with sexual predators that he could have tried it again. And that he could have been successful.

And that if he did harm someone, I’m complicit.

Tuesday Is The New Thursday…

… at least this week it is. Shouldn’t come as any surprise after a weekend of flailing at work from the paying job. But at least it pays. The news doesn’t help. After day whatever of Judge Roy Moore and a year of the current presidency, time weighs heavier.

I keep waiting to get numbed by the news. For all of the backbiting and mudslinging, the mendacity and the hubris of very stupid people, to build a callous. Surprisingly, and perhaps thankfully, it doesn’t.

And I try to do my part. I need to contact my state representative about the incredibly reckless legislation currently being proffered to expand firearm use in Michigan. And I need to contact my House Rep over the new tax bill.

It lightens the load a bit.

Archeological

Time well spent organizing the home office today. I’m tired of the dining room table and I need the additional flat screen.

Threw out a lot paper. Too much paper. Sorted some books I forget I had. Old photos. Old tech.

Some dormant projects I might revive. I wish I knew what I was thinking when I started some of it. Barely makes sense now.

No real money found (about 42 cents). But I turned up some interesting artifacts.

Could really use the money.

Home Front

Back to Michigan tomorrow after a brief sojourn home in St. Louis. Much has changed. A lot of people are missing. A few among the living. It’s strange how important it still is after all of these years to reconnect with familiar surroundings.

I wonder if the context will remain after those remaining have passed on or passed out of sight.

And I realize that it is presumptuous of me to assume that I’ll be the last one standing.