Preview to a Sexual Assault?

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OK.  First off I know the photograph sucks. I took it with my telephone.  The phone quality is about as good as the photo quality so I guess it’s a draw as to whether it’s a phone with a camera or vice versa. But I have edited the picture to highlight the off-action, the middlespace. Look at it for a minute…I’m trying to focus your attention on something.  Click the picture to make it bigger.

You may see a tranquil poolside chat. That’s because you’re a PC liberal who wants to believe that everyone’s nice. Shut the fuck up. I believe I was witness to the tip of a potential sexual assault iceberg. Here’s the deal:  I had to take the kiddo to the pool for swim team practice (hurray). I’m the only father there. I’m the guy in the giant headphones, sunglasses, and hat that’s screaming I’M ANTISOCIAL. I’m the guy who takes Gavin’s Street Boners book to a kid’s eighth birthday party so none of the other parents talk to me. I did that one today. It’s not that I don’t “like” my neighbors but I really have no patience for simple interactions.  I prefer to be enigmatic. But that’s my issue. I pay my therapist a lot of bread to agree with me and laugh at my shit.

Anyway, I was at the pool a couple of days ago and I noticed that this young, attractive, blond, white woman was talking to several young, baffoonish men just outside of the lap pool. There were about six cookie-cutter neo-thug-life black teens and three brochacho wannabe frat rat types who seemed to appear from nowhere. So first off, it’s a 9-to-1 ratio. Red flags are churning in my stomach like the waves that broke Abby Sunderland’s boat. Secondly, there are not six black teens in my community so that alone was reason to take notice.

I felt deeply that something was up so I did the brave, caring neighborly thing. No I didn’t walk over the fence and ask her, “Hey, are you OK?” What I did do was I took off my headphones, watched the action, and took the above photograph. You know…just in case.  What?!  I know….

I struggled. As a neighbor, a black man, as a pansy liberal, and as a father I really struggled with this one.  I didn’t want to presume that six young blacks and three dumb jock teens automatically had illicit and perverted notions, which is FUCKING RETARDED because I KNOW they did. I know! I was guilty of PC-justifying but I tried to fight it. Was it possible that I was the only poolside adult keeping an eye on things? Was I somehow over-reacting? I doubt both. I just believe people were actively turning the Kitty Genovese blind eye on things. I could see clearly with my own brain what was happening.

These boys approached the young woman who appeared to be walking the family dog. They surrounded her and round-robin chatted her up. Some were doing courtship buffoonery and others were keeping nervous eyes on traffic, people, and the situation. I recognized the behaviors. I believe the kids all knew each other, probably from school or something. But that offered me no comfort at all. In fact, it made me even more wary. I know statistics. One boy feigned interest in her dog and took the leash. He kind of walked to the outside of the circle with the dog. Now she was separated from her dog. The others swarmed in with goofs and small talk. They blocked her path of escape and to her dog. She was basically backed to the fence (now see the above photo). I noticed her easy, familiar smile give way to a nervous-eyed fight or flight grin.

At this point I stood up to be in clear view of these mopes. I’m old. I don’t care what they think. I walked over to the fence and hung out for a minute. I made it clear I was watching them. I walked back to my lounge and noticed that at least two of the boys now had me in their radar. Good. Then I blatantly took the photo so they knew I was on to their shit. After a few moments the woman got the dog back and continued on her walk.  Briskly.

After about ten minutes the boys took off in the opposite direction of the girl and I went back to breathing easy. I do not know if my insertion of an authority presence made a difference or not but she escaped this one. Seriously though, if they had all walked away together I believe I would have intervened. Somehow.

Maybe I’m a jock-hating racist but I’m also a dad. I’m the dad of a girl. I give a shit. And I have a phone. I could have called some cops. Or took a picture. Something beats nothing.  No “wilding” on my watch.

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5 Responses to “Preview to a Sexual Assault?”

  1. Mathieu R. Says:

    I like to think I would have done something similar.

    Don’t mess with our girls or you’ll get… a mean look from a completely nonthreatening dude.

  2. yikes Says:

    What you saw was wrong, even if it was just innocent idiotic attempts to get laid. It’s idiots like that who ruin it for the rest of us.

    You did the smart thing – all race aside, young dudes (and middle aged women) in groups are very rarely up to any good, and unstable as all hell. Worse if they’re bored.

  3. Craig Says:

    I’ve been reading this blog for awhile now, and I finally need to comment. I have a six month old girl. And I know this stuff happens. But I want to HOPE this doesn’t happen often. Like the two previous responses before me, you need to be acknowledged for doing the right thing.

    Thanks for sharing; and thank you for not thinking it wasn’t a big deal (like some would have thought).

  4. Ty Hardaway Says:

    That’s just it. It WAS a big deal. On the surface? No. But my gut was totally revealing the truth. Sure I could have done more but I suppose presence makes a difference.

    My wife quizzed me on racial variances. That is, what if it was a black woman? What if it were all white men? I came to the same conclusions.

    And, right, re: “…and middle aged women…” This is the damage middle aged women can do.

  5. j Says:

    “And I know this stuff happens. But I want to HOPE this doesn’t happen often.”
    Are you kidding? Ask any woman you know, ever, how often this happens. Like, every day in big cities. Every other day in smaller towns. It sucks to be a girl.
    I have a 3 month old daughter (and I’m a woman) and I am just basically going to teach her what I have had to learn: 1. suspect every man of potential harm to you 2. cross the road to avoid every man or group of men or boys you see – white black hispanic, whatever, just avoid men in general, esp if you are by yourself 3. put out a “bitch” vibe to avoid getting fucked with. 4. keep walking if a man talks to you.
    It sucks but it works.

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