July 17th, 2005
|jimbojones||11:05 pm - this story has three qualities: random, disturbing, true|
Once when I was about 10, my parents had some sort of engagement that prevented them from being able to pick me up on time from a boy scout weekend camping trip. The assistant scoutmaster graciously offered to take care of me for the five or six hours that they would be unavailable after the event was over. Ha. As soon as we got back to his apartment, he found some pretense to strip down to nothing but his underwear. He was hot, he was more comfortable that way, whatever. I didn't mind, did I? I didn't give a damn. Then he wanted me to rub his back. Okay, fine, actually my mom had constant back trouble and I rubbed her back daily, I didn't mind that, I was even proud of my massage skills, so it was a little odd but whatever. Then he wanted me to rub his inner thighs. Right where the legholes of his tighty-whities ended. I actually started to, and did for a little while, but it made me uncomfortable as hell. So I was like "Uh, this is just weird. Sorry."
It didn't even occur to me that this guy was actually trying to come on to me sexually. In the slightest. It was my SCOUTMASTER, right?
We had spent what in retrospect was a REALLY disturbing amount of that weekend - including on the camping trip itself, as well as at his apartment alone (after I had declared my unwillingness to continue rubbing his inner thighs) - discussing what I would do if a gay man tried to rape me. Again, I was completely oblivious. I thought it was weird that he kept talking about this crap, but it didn't even occur to me that he was sizing me up as a victim. Luckily for me in this particular case, I might have been oblivious, but I was also a really really angry child who was ready and willing to fight anyone at any time and would never accept defeat without inflicting as much damage as I could on the way down. I knew very well the concept of losing, but I also knew very well the concept of hurting the "victor" so much he dearly regretted it. And I made that philosophy really clear during all these discussions. "But what if the guy was really big and strong, like a pro football player? You could get really hurt badly if you fought. I'd hate to see you get hurt. He wouldn't have any reason to hurt you if you didn't fight." I'd angrily reply that I'd tear his throat out with my teeth. If he tried to put it in my mouth, I'd bite it off. If I could, I'd gouge his eyes out, fishhook his cheeks, savage anything I could reach with anything that I could. "But what if the guy was so big, and so strong, you didn't have the chance to do anything like that? That you had no chance of keeping it from happening? You'd just get hurt for no reason. I hate to think of you getting hurt." It didn't matter, I'd reply. I'd hurt him. It didn't matter if the hypothetical football player was destined to win and have his way, it didn't matter how badly I got hurt for fighting, it didn't matter if it meant I'd die. I'd FIGHT. And I'd make him regret it.
It wasn't empty bravado, it was my usual mindset in those days. I didn't necessarily think I could win things, but I damn sure believed in being able to be so vicious, so utterly wolverine ungoverned, that I could make anybody wish they hadn't fucked with me, whether they won or not. That I could force people, if not to leave me alone, at the very damn least to have a healthy respect for the price they'd have to pay if they didn't.
Recalling all this from an adult's perspective, it seems amazing now that I never knew what was going on. That good old Scoutmaster Dale was a pedophile. But I'm quite sure the only reason I didn't actually get attacked that night in his apartment was how obvious it was that I was far too full of anger and defiance to be made to submit. Maybe he was (reasonably) scared of getting his naked genitalia anywhere near a kid vicious enough to bite them off if given the chance. Maybe he just realized that there was no way in hell that there was going to be any getting through any such prospect without visible marks being all over BOTH of us - much less without me "telling on him." Which I damn sure would have, being who I was. I dunno. Either way, discretion was apparently the better part of being a pedophile that day, and he put his damn clothes back on.
I didn't realize what had actually happened that day until I was 20. I don't know what made me remember that night out of the clear blue while sitting in my apartment in Charleston reading a book and listening to CDs, but I definitely remember the feeling of shock when the memory first occurred to me, and then I realized what it actually meant. I still feel guilty that I didn't realize that SCOUTMASTER DALE was himself the "gay football player" he was so obsessed with, and that I might have failed to prevent some other, more pliable kid(s) from a worse fate at his hands. If anybody was in the BSA in Birmingham, AL (troop 96? I'm honestly not sure of the troop number anymore, and there is more than one in Birmingham) in the early 80's, and had worse luck than I did with "Scoutmaster Dale" - names NOT changed, and I wish to god I knew his last name - I'm really, really sorry. I'd have done something if I'd known. And by all means if you DO know his last name and there's something YOU want to come forward with, for god's sake let me know and I'll be more than happy to appear - in court or otherwise - to tell my own story along with yours.
Current Mood: headachey
Current Music: Nine Inch Nails - Right Where It Belongs
Someone's might, but mine almost certainly doesn't. We weren't a very camera-esque family; the number of existing pictures of me as a child could probably be counted by Dubya with both shoes still on.
23 years later, I only remember the names of two other scouts - a kid named Terry I was constantly getting into fights with, and a kid named Francis [last name censored] who I was very fond of. I don't think any of the other kids in the troop had problems with Dale while I was there, at least, because I had recounted the fact that Dale kept obsessing about gay football player rapists to several of them in a group (though not the weirdness at his apt - that might not even have happened yet, the recounting might very well have been on that same weekend) and they were all clearly shocked. Actually, they thought I was accusing Dale of being gay - which, ironically enough, I wasn't - and they found it difficult to believe, to say the least.