Locker Room Talk

Now imagine you are a Carolina girl in a navy blue and rose-colored dress made of the softest fabric. You’d bought the dress that very day in White Plains, exploring the city before heading back to your host’s estate. Imagine your shoulders are bare in the dress and the sun is going down in Tarrytown, New York, where you are a writer-in-residence. After attending an outdoor ballet performance and reception you are wandering in a sculpture garden admiring antique roses and stonework a century old.  You cannot contain the joy you feel, and it spills off in your conversations with strangers, while the dancers mingle with their private audience.

When monsters come to steal, they come for the life within you, the light within you. And suddenly, in front of a sculpture of David (you, lost in its beauty) the monster appears in the form of a security guard a retired police officer, he says, and you feel safe. You feel embraced, protected—you are behind gates. The guard calls for someone to drive you back to your guest house, itself a work of art. You are living in art. Your dress trembles in the shyest breeze as you climb into the truck. The guard holds the door open, like a gentleman, and in the opening between your thigh and dress, he inserts his hand. He squeezes your bare butt cheek twice, then slams the car door, quickly signaling for the driver to go. You freeze, stunned.  The night comes falling down around you in blue sheets. Words with nowhere to go pile up in your cheeks.


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