La Pièce de Résistance (enlabelleaurore) wrote,
La Pièce de Résistance

I'm afraid to go to the bank.

Years ago, I think it must have been late 2004, I posted an entry in feminist_rage. It was the story of how I was raped, by an acquaintance, and how nothing would ever come of it, because the physical evidence was gone long before the memory-clouding drugs were. This same person did this to several women I knew, and none of them were willing to go forward with it. So it went unrecognized, and everyone went on with their lives. This was in October of 2003. I ended up moving 1500 miles away, in part to go back to a city I loved and called home, and in part to ensure that I wouldn't ever run into him on the sidewalk. I just couldn't face it.

In August of 2008 that is exactly what happened. I was at work, on Bourbon Street. I had walked up to the front door of the strip club where I worked, and who was walking past but this guy. He recognized me, even though I turned and ran back inside, and he went to one of the door men (coincidentally one who was a friend of mine) and told him to deliver a message to me...that I was expected at his bar for a drink after work.

This was nothing but a taunt. He knew I remembered and he wanted to get a reaction out of me. A reaction delivered by my unknowing friend. A drink at his bar after work was how the whole thing started. I, of course, would not take the bait, and instead got an escort home several strong by good friends.

I lived in fear of seeing him. New Orleans is a very very small town. But as soon as he was there, he was gone. I didn't run into him again, even in the microcosmic French Quarter. Until last winter. I went to the bank to deposit my paycheck, and he was there in line. Two or three people ahead of me. Winter, early 2010. It's been more than seven years since I was raped, and I still stood in line and shook. I desperately hoped he wouldn't notice me. But who doesn't notice a girl with a hundred tattoos and crayon red hair standing in line at the bank? He finished his business, declaring loudly that he worked at the Alibi (a strip club industry watering hole and total dive a few blocks away), mostly for my benefit I'm sure. Then he went and stood in front of the door, silently staring at me until my shaking was so bad I could barely communicate with the teller. He walked out just before I finished my banking. I told my boyfriend about it, and his answer was "you won't go to the bank alone anymore." I appreciate his genuine desire to abate risk, but that didn't help, when two months later, I drove past the Alibi and him, standing outside on the sidewalk, smoking a cigarette, and obviously on duty. He didn't notice me that time. I thanked whatever deities happened to be listening.

Months have gone by. I don't know if he's still in town. But I live in a different part of town now, and I drive several miles out of my way to go to the bank.
When do I get my life back?

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