If I Could Turn Back the Clock

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

About princessscribe

Screenwriter. Creator of things. I love tacos. "Midlife on Fire" Volumes 1 & 2 now available at Amazon.com.
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16 Responses to If I Could Turn Back the Clock

  1. dari says:

    I’m crying for you, Darling Friend. Call me when you’re able. Love you much. xoxo


  2. I’m so sorry this has happened to you. I want to offer you a different perspective… probably because I just came from my therapist’s office, but try this on and see if it helps:

    That perp made a choice today to cross a line. He made a choice to violate another human being. You can’t speculate as to why, or even try to understand or predict his past, present or future state of mind. It was his choice. HIS choice. Don’t own it. Don’t let his choice define YOU. You were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn’t deserve the violation.

    Does it change the fact he violated you? No. But don’t own it or let it change the love you feel for the woman you are. Let your self love pour over you and rinse his poor choice off.

    PS. If you were a black belt, he wouldn’t have had a chance to run away. You would have that fucker in a chokehold before he knew what hit him… and his nuts in your hands as you squeezed the life out of them. Trust me. I’ve done it. Maybe that’s a violation too, but that was my choice. I own it.


    • Like I said, if I could turn back the clock, I’d just be prepared enough to take him out. I would take him to the pain.

      I’m not going to take self-defense. I’m going to take martial arts. I don’t want to defend myself against these fucktards, I want to put them down.


      • Martial arts is about so much more than self-defense. It’s about clarity, state of mind, readiness for not just a fight but for the endurance we need to survive… emotionally and physically. I’ve practiced for ten years. It has changed my life. It’s also the best training for a writing career I know. It’s helped me handle the endless obstacles in front of me without fear. I’ve had my nose broken, ribs cracked, almost every toe demolished and a torn ACL, but I never quit a fight. Never. I will never give up on myself. The only way I can ever lose in my career or in the ring is if I choose to walk away… and that ain’t happenin’.


  3. I’m so sorry, Anne. And I agree with Jeanne to the extent that I cannot add much to what she has said except to say that you strike me as far too powerful a woman to let something like this be much more than a speed bump in your path. He’s the statistic. You own the story.


  4. Jeff Kirschner says:

    “Now go write.” Amazing (yet utterly appropriate) that you’d end this post in signature fashion. Kudos.


  5. Michelle Shy says:

    murder him in your screenplays. over and over again. i would go see that movie. over and over again.


  6. I am so sorry my friend. I’m grateful that you are alive and able to share this with we who care about you.


  7. reviewbrain says:

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. I think (hope) simply by sharing this horrible experience you are on your way to recovering from it. You can never be a statistic; you are far too lovely and talented for that 🙂


  8. lizamartz says:

    Oh, man, this made me cry. I hate what happened to you. It’s happened to me twice and both times I cowered and tried to pretend it wasn’t what it was. And after I was mad at myself for being a wimp. But, seriously, was I to blame? Hell no! Send the energy from that creep straight back to him. You didn’t deserve the attack and you don’t deserve to carry his crap. (and let me know if you find him, I’d like to help the others join you in kicking his ass straight out the top of his head!)


  9. Maureen Brady Johnson says:

    Add my shock and sorrow for you. I have three daughters and a grand daughter…I want them to live in a world where they can take a run by themselves and love life…but I will share your horror with them…but we will all move on in the company of the wise and watch out for pure evil.


  10. Thank you all for your love and support. I just expressed to Jeanne that, in a strange way, I consider this a gift, for it pushed my determination to not live as a victim to TWELVE (sorry Nigel) and… I’m enrolling in a great martial arts program that I can’t wait to dive into. In six weeks, I hope this fucker tries again. Plus, it’s been fun to say “fucker” as much as I have today. 😉


  11. R J Halstead says:

    So sorry. You are not, and never will be a statistic. You are a sensitive, sentient being undeserving of the callous actions of a wretch who will never deserve you. He will get what he actually deserves soon enough . Look after yourself and don’t allow his actions to influence how you view and appreciate your own body or other men. Hope you feel better soon, Richard.


  12. Everyone has voiced much what I would say to you. I’m sorry to say that I can intimately relate to your story. I never call myself a victim, because long ago, I chose the banner of survivor instead. When times like these happen, I always say to myself: “You are a beautiful child of God and no one person nor deed can ever change that. Amen.” I find this empowering and healing, maybe you will too. In any case, you know how to reach me if you want to talk. XOXO


  13. Jenni Chiu says:

    Someone told me to read this because I would know what to say. But I still feel ill equipped.
    I’m sorry this happened. You didn’t ask for or deserve to be violated in such a way.
    I too have wanted to turn back the clock… and I have murdered perps in my dreams.
    You are stronger and more kick ass than you know.
    Skin that’s scarred over is tougher. Just fact.


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