Comfort Food

By: Kitty Thomas


Somebody jealous of my professional success. Someone who hated me for some imaginary reason, like that her husband thought I was pretty or something. As if I can control who thinks I'm pretty. There was always that one-in-a-million reason for some woman to go apeshit psycho on you.

And I don't hate men. There is a very small percentage of men who choose to perpetrate violence against women, despite the ease with which they can do it. Most women don't hate men. Those that do, though, probably do so not because most men are violent towards women, but that they could be, if they wanted to. This knowledge sets up a kind of helpless rage in some women. One I'd never succumbed to until today.

He still hadn't spoken. I was carrying on this internal monologue in my head because I was afraid I might say something that would get me killed. Or worse. It was naive, but I wanted to believe I could somehow alter the course of events here by saying the right thing. My words, the thing that had made me so compelling to people, were more useless than I wanted to admit. My only weapon had the efficacy of a squirt gun.

I could feel the heavy lump forming in my throat as he stepped closer. I couldn't see him because of the blindfold still covering my eyes, but I knew he was observing me, probably taking me in with amusement. It pissed me off that he held my life in his hands, and yet he might be amused with me.

I continued to wait for him to answer the why are you doing this question, but the answer didn't come.

There is a standard victim/victimizer protocol, an etiquette if you will. Why are you doing this? is the introductory question, sometimes followed by screaming or crying. I wasn't screaming or crying. I wanted to conserve my energy for my one possible moment of escape. Eventually he'd do something stupid. He had to.

After the victim's opening line, the victimizer usually says something so terrifying the victim wishes they'd never opened their mouth. This man, however, seemed to be capitalizing on the terror of uncertainty.

After all, if he spoke to me perhaps there was something human in there, something I could reason with, some tiny, frail hope I could bargain somehow. A large, cool hand rested softly against my cheek.


There was no violence or threat in the way he touched me. It was my cheek, so it certainly wasn't an overly sexual touch. Still, it was a threat to me. It said, I have no problems breaching your personal bubble or touching you at any time.

His hand remained pressed solidly against the side of my face like that for a couple of minutes at least as my heart continued to hammer in my chest. That huge, strong hand. He could easily beat me to death with it, or he could be gentle. Although at this point, even gentle was an act of violence. I didn't know which I preferred.

With violence I could have the appropriate socially-approved victim response. I knew from experience anything else could produce a very different physical reaction.





***





At seventeen I'd gotten involved with my first real boyfriend. He was cute and had that edge of danger that girls of that age are so fond of. He gave off an air of something wild and frightening, and I'd been along for the ride

We'd fooled around a lot. My strict religious upbringing didn't allow for more without fear of God's wrath coming down on me, and orgasms weren't worth an eternity in hell. Though in hindsight, the idea that some deity could be bothered to punish any one individual for what they chose to do with their clothes off, seems stupid at best.

He'd pressed me down on the bed, my legs hanging over the edge. We were in his room; his parents were downstairs. The sounds of the nightly news drifted up to the bedroom. I was lying there, my pants forgotten on the floor, though I was still wearing a shirt.

He wanted to go down on me. It was more than I was ready for at the time, and I was paranoid about getting an STD, the STD. Yes, this was how empty my education in sexually transmitted diseases had been in the abstinence climate. Still, I'd said no. I'd meant no.

He'd ignored me, spreading my legs wide for his perusal, gripping my wrists tightly against my thighs as he held me down. “You'll like this, I promise,” he said.

I struggled, but he was too strong, and I didn't have the proper leverage to shove him away. He buried his head between my legs, slowly laving the bundle of nerves there. I wanted to cry out, but I couldn't face the shame of his parents running up there and finding me half naked on his bed.

Somehow it was worse knowing I could have stopped him. It was one violation or another. His tongue on my clit, or his parents knowing what we'd been up to, thinking I was a slut.

“Please, please don't.” I'd begged him, and yet he hadn't stopped.

It was incredible how little time it took for my resolve to melt, for “Please, no” to turn into “Oh God, don't stop.”

When he was finished, I just laid there, my legs shaking from the force of my orgasm. They'd turned to jelly, and I felt weak, drugged in the post-orgasmic afterglow euphoria. The orgasm I couldn't possibly go to hell for. He looked up into my eyes, a self-satisfied smirk on his face and said teasingly, “I told you you'd like it. Now, what do you say?”

“Thank you.” It was our little inside joke. It had never previously been applied to anything sexual. The words had slipped out of my mouth before I could stop them, and on some level they were true.