Monday, May 13, 2019
another me too...
For some reason…people tend to feel comfortable enough to talk to me about their issues. It’s something that I’ve noticed over my lifetime. I’m not sure why they do it. But they have. Normally, I don’t necessarily discourage people from opening up and talking to me. I think I’m in approachable person. But I have often found it weird that random people…and sometimes strangers… will open up a conversation with me. Sometimes in those conversations, they reveal things to me that they probably shouldn’t because they don’t know me that well. Maybe there is something in my demeanor or my attitude that allows people to let their guard down and be vulnerable and share their thoughts or feelings or experiences. For a long time it wasn’t something that I was cognizant of. But as I’ve gotten older, I realize that people tend to do this with me. I’m flattered most times. Other times it’s just weird.
This happened to me just the other day.
I was having a conversation at work with a coworker named Farrah. Somehow we got on the subject of college and she asked me where I went to college. I told her that I went to South Carolina State University. She told me where she went to school. She then asked how was my experience at school. I told her that I loved my time there and it was some of the best years of my life.
Farrah: "Did you party a lot when you were in college?"
Me: "Do I look like the type of guy who would party a lot?"
Farrah: "Yes, you do!"
Me: "I partied a lot. But I kept it in perspective. I understood what I was there to do. So I never let party and get in the way of what I was supposed to do. But I had a GOOD time."
Farrah: "Did you drink when you were in college? What about smoking?"
Me: "I’ve never smoked. Never will. It’s not something that ever appealed to me. I don’t knock anyone who does. But it just wasn’t my thing. As for drinking, I didn’t drink in college. Most of my friends did, so I was the designated driver when we went to parties."
Farrah: "Oh, so you never had to worry about getting drunk at a party?"
Me: "Nope! I just needed to make sure that none of my friends got too drunk and started fighting." (laughs)
Farrah: "I got drunk at a party once. And that was the last time for me."
Me: "Word? What happened? What were you drinking?"
At this point, I was expecting her to tell me some story about how she was hanging with her friends and got drunk and threw up on herself and how embarrassed she was. But the conversation took a different turn
Farrah: "I went to a party with my friend named Becky. We were having a good time. We started drinking something out of a punch bowl. I’m not even sure what it was. But it was good. But the liquor snuck up on me. I remember talking to this guy named Brett. Becky and I were laughing at Brett because he was drunk and we were drunk too. The party that we went to was far from our campus so we were going to need a ride home. Brett said he would take us home back to our dorm. By the time we left the party all three of us were pretty drunk but Brett said that he could get us home safely. And he did. By the time we got to our room I was out of it. I remember helping Becky open the door. And I remember Brett telling me that "You and Becky did great and did not throw up in my car." I remember laying down on the bed and falling asleep. That’s the last thing that I remember. When I woke up, Becky was still asleep. I was just about to crack a joke on her for still being asleep when I realized that I was naked. I don’t remember taking my clothes off. In fact...I didn’t take my clothes off! But there i was...NAKED!! From what I could tell, Becky still had on all of her clothes. But I was totally naked. To me that didn’t make any sense because I always slept in my pajamas. At that point, I began to wonder if something happened between me and Brett. My mind was racing. I rolled over, pick up the phone, and called Brett. He answered the phone. I tried to play it cool and thank him for getting us home.. He said no problem. I then asked him…
"Did something happen in my room last night? Because when I woke up I didn’t have any clothes on?"
"You know what happened last night. And you looked like you had a good time in that room."
And before I could finish my statement he said…
"You KNOW you wanted it. You SAID you wanted it."
I couldn’t believe it. As much as I tried to think about it I could not remember everything that happened but I do know that something happened!
Later on that day, he tried to talk to me to smooth things over but I didn’t want to hear what he had to say.
At this point of our story, I’m dumbfounded. Speechless. This isn’t what I was expecting her to say. But I didn’t want to dismiss what she had to say. Because she needed to be heard there had to be a reason that she was telling me the story. She told me that she never pressed charges against him because it would be her word against his. She never said he raped me. But that’s what happened. I was really surprised at how she handled it and how she spoke about the situation. She had a certain aura about herself when speaking about this and she came off as someone who was very strong in spite of what had happened. She ended our conversation by saying "I’m just glad that you weren’t one of those kind of guys like Brett."
"That's never been me."
She walked away from me and went in the opposite direction. As she walked away, I really didn’t know what to make of the conversation. There was a part of me that was stunned. And then there was another part of me that was familiar with that scenario. While I never participated in the idea or activity of getting a woman drunk to take it vantage of her, I knew that that happened when I was in college in the 90s. There was a great deal of toxic masculinity that permeated those times. And what happened? The women could either suffer silently or face public ridicule and disbelief while trying to prove that they were violated. Fast forward to 2019, not much has changed when it comes to these things...especially when you hear some men talk. Any time there is a sexual assault or rape allegation against someone, look around and take note for who is chirping the loudest. It's usually some man who let the toxic behavior slide in the 90s and now they uphold the BS. More often than not, THEY should be called out for perpetuating the toxic stuff.
And that leads me back to the conversation that I had. After she walked away, all I could think was...
"Damn, another me too..."