Okay, so I left off last time with the time I was molested, at the Shasta Hotel. Mother and Orville split up and we had to leave that hotel and went over to the Shasta. I don’t know how she paid for it but we were there a week or two, I guess. I really don’t recall.
One day Mother was in the room, and I was out in the hallway reading a book. There was something like a small sitting area, with a sofa and couch, a table or two, and a wall of windows behind the couch. There were several books available, all Reader’s Digest Condensed stories. Back then Readere’s Digest magazine would take popular novels and condense them to get the main parts of a story but make them shorter for quicker reading, usually published in their magazine. Three or four times a year, they would also publish a collection of these condensed stories. Anyway, I was reading one of them, and one of the other hotel residents came and sat down nearby. I just wanted to read, but he kept talking at me trying to make conversation. Things like, “How old are you?” and “Do you like reading?” (Uhh… no shit, Sherlock, I’m sitting here reading!)
He told me he had several other books in his room that he thought I’d like. I said something like “okay, bring them here.” No, he wanted me to go to his room to see them, too many to bring them all out. He kept at me, wearing me down. I finally went with him to his room and sat on his bed as he reached down to a box and pulled out four (FOUR!) dime store comic books, some sort of action hero tales. At that time I had no interest in that sort of action hero/crime-fighter comics. I held them in my hands thinking, “why would I read cheap comic books when I could be reading real books?”
Next thing I know he’d pushed me backward on the bed and he’s lying on top of me, asking, “Would you like me to make you a little girl?”
I had no idea what that meant, but I knew I was a boy and I didn’t want to be a girl, so I shook my head and said, “No.”
Then he asked, “If I was a white man would you let me make you a little girl?”
I should mention that I was 13, a fairly scrawny kid and a few inches shorter than I am, and he was quite tall, rather big around and broad, and one of the blackest Black men I’d ever seen.
Again, I said, “No.”
He said, “That’s the right answer.” At least I didn’t give any indication of being racist, which was a good thing as this was in 1968 when race relations in this country were horrible. But being made into a little girl was about me and not the race of someone wanting to do that. In all of this he never undressed nor forced me to undress, which was a good thing.
Just then I heard my mother calling down the hall for me and I tried to sit up. The guy finally let me sit up but wouldn’t let m leave or call out, but he wouldn’t let me leave until I kissed him. He asked me several times, said I couldn’t leave until I gave him a kiss. I finally gave him a kiss on the cheek and was allowed to leave.
Obviously I went back to the room Mother and I had, and she could tell I was shaken up so I told her everything. Everything. When I had done, she said something I would never forget, word for word. She said, “Well, you should have known better than to go with a stranger. Now you stay here, I need to go to the liquor store.”
Yes, at 13 from a boring middle class upbringing should have known better. How the hell I should have or would have or even could have known better is beyond me, as it was so far out of my worldly experience at that point. But what was suddenly quite clear was that Mother’s need for vodka was more important than anything going on my own life.