“We need to get you stabilized,“ a green lion said. She thinks of the therapist this way, to distract from her disgust with the frumpy freckled red haired grocery checker slash psychologist.
“He didn’t rape me and I won the fight, I’m ok.”
“You might need to be hospitalized,” the other doctor, her regular Dr Fargo said. “You’re going to have a heart attack if this keeps up, “ he said, writing in her thickened file.
She looked at her hands resting in her lap, blood disappeared, an illusion, constantly, the room felt hot. Dr Fargo spoke softly, gently, “ You’re very angry.”
“I’m angry because nothing is changed. Nothing,” she said.
He didn’t look at her while he thumbed through the file. Finally he closed it up and said, “ I can give you prescription to help you sleep but you must be very careful.”
She watched his eyes narrow as he bit his tongue, might she want to take them all, he knew her frenzied thoughts denied her pain and suspected she might do herself in.
She stayed awake, afraid to sleep again, to be defenseless, to be attacked in the dark by a monster from under the bridge, beaten, dragged by her neck, thrown over the wall, left for dead by a stranger. She woke up sprawled on her belly in the dirt next to the cinder block wall next to her house .
“Do you have any airplane glue?” she asked at the pharmacy, the clerk smiled.
“I don’t think they make it anymore, “ the clerk answered, taking the small pages to the back to get the drugs.
When she woke up, the sun shining cast light through tree branches overhead, her eyes hurt, she felt cold from the dampness of the earth and the sight of crimson bloodstained covered night gown made it all seem worse. A heart shaped blood splatter painted on the fabric and stuck to her skin under V neckline of the white satin gown, right over her own heart. She got up in the sunlight, no longer breathless or shaking in fear from the fight. She checked her head and body but could find no wounds and she didn’t feel any pain.
The fight played a tape in her mind, lights flickering like a strobe, it flashed as though it happened again and again, “How strange,” she whispered, as she walked barefoot around the wall into the house following the blood, stepping in it, staining her feet. The front door splintered and broken, opened by force. She recalled being asleep, listening to some music she liked on the radio, she remembered hearing the door break, it didn’t seem real.
Like a ghost she wafted through the rooms. She stopped and stared at the layers of white down comforters disheveled on the bed covered in more blood.
On the floor a shiny wet eyeball looked up at her, it looked dark, dead, missing it’s person. She picked it up and held it in her hand then took it to the toilet and flushed it down. She removed her gown, tossed it on the heap of bedding ready to wash, pulled on some jeans and a tank top, slipped into flip flops, found the keys in her bag and got in the car to drive herself to the clinic to ask Dr Fargo is she ok.
Several people sitting in the waiting room, made her feel uncomfortable, embarrassed as she lowered her voice and told the receptionist, “ I think I might be hurt, someone beat me up and threw me over a wall last night.”
Suddenly, she sat in a room with a police detective and the green lion slash grocery clerk, the psychologist. She felt dizzy and wanted the Dr to look at her forehead which by now throbbed in agony. Instead, the detective asked questions. She answered but couldn’t think, her head hurt. “Did he have sex with you?”
“No. I don’t know who he is. It was dark.”
The detective wore a bullet proof vest and turned on a small recorder, propped it on his knee, took notes. Soon, he spoke into the radio pinned to his shoulder and asked for more cops and she wondered when she would see the Dr. “I need to wash my hands, “ she said.
Please wait till we get some samples,” the detective told her.
The detective asked more questions. He gave her a pen and some papers to sign on a clipboard to protect her identity, he said, and to file an order of restraint against the attacker. Then, after she signed with some difficulty as her vision blurred and she said she couldn’t read it, he asked for her house keys.
“Why do you want my keys, the door is smashed open, you can go see. I don’t know who he is, he hit me in the head for a long time, he pinned down my forearms, here, and held his fists up in over me, I heard him say ‘since I’m going to jail for this I might as well finish the job”.
“Then what happened?”
She couldn’t say it. “ I fought back, somehow I loosed my left arm and fought back. Then he stopped,” she didn’t want to tell the police about the eyeball.
“I need a cigarette,” she said. The green lion and and a bigger, oafish looking cop followed her out the door where she sat on the steps and lit a cigarette and saw the man across the street with blood all over him, drenching his clothes,, macabre, three cop cars and one one eyed man, the loser, the Victim himself who didn’t stand a chance now, “There he is, that’s him,” she said.
The big oaf cop nearly fell down the flight of steps to get to the street. The bloody man sat in the gutter with his arms out to be cuffed.
“Is the doctor going to look at my head?” she asked the green lion.
“We’re going to go to the emergency room, “ said the green lion.
None of it made any sense. She laid on a table while the nurse looked between her legs. “This won’t hurt, “ the nurse explained as she poked a stick into the victim.
“My head hurts,“ the Victim’s constant complaint, although she understood this incompetent nurse is no doctor, she’s a zealot. No real doctor would look between her legs when it is her head that’s in need of care. The Victim looked intently up at the ceiling lights, wondering why she needed a rape exam. “He didn’t rape me.”
“Honey there’s blood and semen all over your bedding, the detective took allot of evidence from your house,” the nurse said.
The nurse looked into the microscope and said, “There’s no semen.” The nurse stuck a needle in the rape victim’s arm, leaving a large bruise. “We need your DNA, “ she said.
The entire day wasted. No doctor looked at her head. Several nurses looked at her condescendingly, unable to grasp how the victim refused to cry, “My head really hurts.”
The nurse sat in a chair making notes, ignoring the requests. “Most women don’t fight back,” she said, “You’re very lucky. It’s ok to cry.”
“My head hurts too much to cry. I’m ok. I hurt him. “
The nurses were talking to each other not to the victim, “That bastard,” one said to the other. The other nurse took the evidence, vials of blood and samples clasped in her hands, holding them in her arms like a new born child, the other nurse disappeared out the door.
“The doctor will see you now, I’ll get him while you get dressed in these green sweats, aren’t they nice, donated to the crisis center,” after her little speech and handing the Victim a package of green sweats, the zealot left the Victim’s examination quite satisfied about the rape crisis and proud of the horrible clothes she’d passed down to the poor victim.
Being The Victim does not suit The Victim as she wonders what did the rape nurse do with the jeans and tank top she came in here with, looking around for her own clothes and desperately wanting to shed the flimsy victim’s hospital gown .
Soon, a robust, chinese looking man in a white coat stepped into the examination room where the victim sat on the table fully dressed. He looked at her head and said, “You’re ok.”
“I’m ok, you’re sure?” she asked.
The chinese doctor repeated himself, “You’re ok.”.
Another cop car ride, the green lion sat next to her not talking and staring straight ahead at the road, pretending it’s normal to ride in the back of a cop car with a rape victim wearing green sweats donated to the rape crisis center although the Victim never said anything about a rape.
On the other hand, The victim felt embarrassed and humiliated being in a cop car, wearing stupid clothes, like a criminal.
“I feel hot and I can’t breathe, can you please open the window, please,” she asked.
The window came partly down at her pitiful request and stinging wind blew on her face. Late in July, a summer’s day and here she wore these Green ugly baggy polyester unbreathing sweats, numbness, exhaustion overwhelmed her. She wanted to be home in her bed as the car traveled like a slow motion movie west. The sun went down, the car turned on Lover’s Lane off the main road. Darkness and coolness made her feel better, she knew soon she’d be let out of the detestable cop car, riding on Lover’s Lane, the trees hang over the Lane like a canopy in the rain forest, almost there.
Neither the cop or the psychologist said anything all the way from bottle necked traffic in the city, further on the freeway north through the vineyards to her home where yellow tape stuck on the front door, crossing to the side of the wall, black letters, Do Not Enter. Crime scene tape on what seemed scatheless.
Her pine pyramid in the redwoods looked great in spite of the crime scene tape and the smashed door. Home at last, she sighed in relief but couldn’t get the car door to open, she panicked and lost her breathe, and stared wild eyed around at the green lion and the oafish cop who were sitting looking at her as though she might next be their Victim as well.It seemed an eternity sitting in the car before the cop finally got out came round and opened the door for her. She got out, said thanks, albeit without sincerity, a formal farewell. The green lion said something about feel free coming to her office anytime. “Yea, sure,” the Victim said.
Her house seemed ok, too, until she went into the bedroom. The bedding gone, cops removed it. She climbed onto the mattress and threw up.
She showered and cried alone, sobbing like a child, wondering if her Victim would survive her defensive attack.
In the kitchen she found nothing to eat, she drank a glass of water then curled up with a blanket, lit a candle, listened to a hooty owl outside the window, and never slept, although her eyes closed, the movie played again and again, and the sense of the eyeball in her hand, like a treasure, a prize, and it felt as though she held it all night.
The attacker, over six feet tall and weighing in over 200 pounds , graying hair and rosy skin of an alcoholic and rotting teeth, seen by the ER doctors, he lay all night on a bed in the hall, medicated and blanketed, dreaming of his Victim, imagining she stood over him, doting and kissing his face, apologizing for taking his eye.
Next day, they took him to jail, locked him in a cell alone where he dreamed of her continuously, watching her as she dressed and undressed in her house on Lover’s Lane. He’d slept under the bridge all winter, watching her, following her,, knowing she’s the One he wanted. He drank wine from the bottle. No longer could he resist the temptation, a hot night in July when he stood at her front door, knocked quietly, and presented himself, chivalrous. She let him in, took him to her bed and he released his Love to her, carried her out the window and they flew away together.
His eye patched up, more drugs administered as he lay dreaming of his bride.
The Victim stormed into the clinic where she confronted the green lion, “I want to know who’s responsible for the rape charges against this guy,” she said.
The green lion cowered, hung her head and looked at the floor, “ The detective….”, she said, but the victim saw the lion couldn’t face the truth, the attacker received his punishment from the victim, it’s over, let him go, she thought.
She called the jail, spoke with a receptionist inquiring about visiting hours. She drove there, checked in, walked the maze to the visitor’s rooms and saw him waiting for her. He couldn’t believe she stood on the other side of the glass window, he cried, he said, “I’m sorry.”
She moved from one side of the window to the other, looking at the damage done to his face, his eye bandaged, his skin a blue shade of purple, the monster, a real man debased by injury and whatever went before, no longer a shadowy image but a child at her mercy. “Please forgive me,” he begged.
“I forgive you. I’ll make this right. I’ll stand by you. There was no rape, they got it all wrong.” He nearly stopped dead hearing her promises, “I love you,” he said.
As though she’d reckoned her senses, she felt empowered by his phrase, and reveled in her insanity, primitive waves of arousal, and sentiment avail, acumen and discernment moved her to act as though he, her Lover, now, would learn to appreciate her rather than rot in prison.
She sat in the chair, pushed it back a few feet, raised her leg, raised her skirt and spread her legs open, laughing as his jaw dropped and he stood up leaning against the window his left eye saw what his heart craved, and she connected to his ambition what he missed in the attack a few nights ago.
Driving home from the jail, satisfied, her intention renewed in confidence, she stopped at the mall sporting goods store and tried a few handguns, readying to assume her role as Defender of Justice rather than Victim of Violent Crime by a Homeless Drunk.