Part Two of series that’ll be as long as I need it to be:
“Being vulnerable in the face of sexual assault (when you’re pretty sure it was your vulnerability that got you assaulted)”
Now that I’ve moved past the etymological implications and diversions of the word “vulnerable,” I need to get busy being vulnerable. Seems like the best way to be vulnerable would be to interact with people.
Of course, it was a “people” that assaulted me. There will have to be some work to do before I can go back to feeling my standard annoyance in crowds rather than dread.
Fear has a way of flattening. Going to a bar or a party is like one of those tactical ranges you see in cop shows. Two-dimensional cut-outs pop into view, and you have to decide RIGHT THEN AND THERE whether or not the old lady with the grocery bags is packing heat. Except I have to peer into the cut-out’s mind and figure out whether or not they’re not going to listen to me if I say no —either that night, or a few months down the road. I shouldn’t have to go all Minority Report just to grab a beer and be around people.
But not all people are that smirking loser, although sometimes it seems all people are smirking-loser-adjacent. Since I confronted what happened, it’s been very easy, too easy, to recall all his behaviors as threatening. Then it’s a quick step to concluding that every action by every person is a threat.
But, there must be literally dozens of people in Greater Columbus who are not him. And nothing like him. If not, I’m screwed anyways. Continue reading