I’ve been running in the mornings. The air is clean and crisp, the dawn filled with promise. I love starting my day out in this fashion. It’s great for my writing; my body feels rejuvenated by the influx of oxygen, the gray and white matter begins to fire. My morning run is the greatest gift I’ve given to myself in years.
I live at what I jokingly refer to as the “dodgy end” of Toluca Lake, a most Cleaver-esque neighborhood if ever there was. White picket fences and roses in bloom cover the landscape. It’s quiet. Serene. Safe – or so I thought.
I had been ill for several days with a flu-like sickness, so, rather than the 5 miles I had become accustomed to, I jogged 3, walked towards home, stopped at the Coffee Bean to indulge myself with an obnoxious non-fat latte, and began the final mile home.
I was headed east on Sarah Street. I felt exhilarated as the endorphins coursed through my veins, the “jogger’s high”. I mused over a project that I was working on with a partner, one that had me giddy with excitement. I was thinking about all the positive in my life; about all of the wonderful people that I know. I heard a step behind me and paused…
…and suddenly, a pair of hands thrust themselves between my legs, groping my vagina and my ass. I screamed, and turned around to see the back of a man – 5’6″ about 150 lbs, light green hoodie covering his head, light tan or grey work pants – as he ran, like Mercury, with wings on his heels, due east on Sarah, never turning back.
In just a few seconds, I had become a statistic. Once again, a victim of sexual assault.
85 minutes have passed since this encounter. I shivered until the police placed me in their car to warm up. We drove around, to see if we could spot the perp. Of course, I knew that he was long gone, but I agreed to go with them. They drove me home, and spoke of jogging buddies, large dogs and mace. This is considered a sexual crime; the neighborhood is now deemed “high risk.” Patrols would step up. They suggested I go to the ER to receive some sedation. They asked if I needed a counselor to come over. They gave me a number to call if I later needed paramedic.
I have stepped out of a long hot shower. During it, I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, until my skin bled. And yet, still I can feel that bastard’s hands on me.
As I stood under the deluge of hot water, I thought. I thought of my girlfriends Jeanne and Dari. They are both black belts.
…and I thought about turning the clock back, but not for the reasons that you might think.
If I could turn the clock back, and move it forward, I, too would be a black belt.
And I would walk today, with no change, carrying my latte, the world my oyster.
Only this time it would be different.
He would grab me. I might scream. He would take off… and I would drop my latte, sprint after him, and kick his fucking ass all the way to the Burbank PD.
Now, go write.
HRH, Princess Scribe