To Black Men Who’ve Survived Sexual Assault: We Must Speak » VSB

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To Black Men Who’ve Survived Sexual Assault: We Must Speak

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***Author’s Note: The following piece is not me trying to silence or dismiss the suffering of other communities. This stems from my longing for an intersectional conversation on sexual violence. It is my attempt to talk about the pain which is inflicted when rape culture and toxic Black masculinity converge. I do not know what you will take from this. All I can promise is this is my unapologetic truth.***

I have been involved in a number of social justice collectives over the past three years. In some of those spaces, I found a family and we sustain each other in the midst of a multi-pronged assault on our Blackness. In others, I have come across people who say they believe in liberation for all but really seek to place themselves atop existing oppressive structures.

Putting their ideologies and strategies aside for a moment, I noticed a common thread running through these groups. The thread being the idea that there is power is sharing one’s story with others. It is an understanding that speaking your narrative provides room for personal healing while simultaneously granting those around you opportunities to work through their own trauma.

I was vehemently against it initially. I considered story-sharing to be another mechanism designed to exploit Black suffering. Most of the people who were brave enough to share their pain were Black people – specifically Black women. Their stories focused on intimate partner violence, rape, and state-sanctioned brutality toward them and their families.

More often than not, there were White people in their room who expressed how moved they were after hearing these horrendous stories. This angered me the most. I asked myself why are we always the ones called to educate at the expense of retraumatizing ourselves? Why was it that a majority of White people could not bring themselves to act until we exposed our abused and scarred bodies? I wanted no part of it.

While I understood it was a courageous and conscious decision for people to share a piece of themselves, I hated the idea of Black pain constantly being served for public consumption. I promised myself that I would not participate in it. I kept that promise until was sexually assaulted.

I was raped in the fall semester of 2015. I was raped by a Black woman and it hurt me. It hurt me to know a Black woman – someone that I ride for and with in this movement – hurt me in such a way. As a result, my grades slipped, I distanced myself from my community, and convinced myself not to seek help because I did not want a White person capitalizing off of my pain.

I would be lying to you if I said my rigid conception of Black masculinity did not keep me from getting the help I needed as well. There were a number of things I said to convince myself I had not been hurt:

These things do not happen to men, especially not Black men.
You are a leader. You do not have time to waste on this White shit.
They are going to make you talk to a White psychologist and make you leave school. You can’t afford it.
Just move on and get back to work

I want to spend some time on that last one.

It is my personal belief that White supremacy is so unrelenting, it forces Black people to view self-care as self-indulgence i.e. ‘my people dying every day so I am being selfish/failing my community if I am not constantly working.’ Eventually, we become okay with not being okay.

Furthermore, we tend to dismiss resources designed to support us as ‘White people stuff’ because we do not trust them or we believe in gritting our way through traumatic and life-altering events on our own. These sentiments have contributed to our community perpetuating a code of silence on sexual violence.

In 2014, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported for every Black woman who reports rape, at least 15 do not report.

The Black Women’s Blueprint stated at least 9 out of 10 Black women have been victims of pedophilia, street harassment, and/or sexual assault; or they have a friend, cousin, sister, aunt, mother, or grandmother who has been victimized.

15 percent of Black trans people experienced sexual assault in K-12 education according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Robin D. Stone, author of No Secrets, No Lies: How Black Families Can Heal From Sexual Abuse, states 1 in 6 Black men report childhood sexual abuse. She continues by saying fears being perceived as gay by other men and a distrust of police often lead Black boys to remain silent.

The statistics scream out but the silence is deafening. It is heavy. I can almost touch it.

In maintaining this silence despite such overwhelming numbers, we as Black men say to ourselves and each other that we see no problem with the violence impacting our community.

I am not saying we have to speak about it in front of White people, but we have to speak about it.

As Black men who have survived sexual assault, we cannot remain silent considering the violence being done to our children. They should not have to go through what we went through. If we have these conversations, we can help lance the sense of shame and embarrassment that has become synonymous with revealing assault.

If we fail to do so, we contribute to a culture of rape which will undoubtedly lead to more Black girls and boys walking around broken. If we fail, we also deprive ourselves of a healing process – a process which can see us move ever so closer to becoming whole again.

Again, I do not know what you took from this piece. It was my attempt to share a personal narrative with the understanding that holding it in does nothing except eat away at me. It was my attempt to say explicitly that I, along with other Black men, am hurt. I am fucked up. I am in pain. I am broken. If nothing else, I hope these conversations move us to a point where we can be broken together and help put some of our pieces back in place.

Josh Odam

Josh Odam is Brooklyn's resident spaceboy. He is a third-year dual-degree candidate in Political Science and Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is fluent in English, Vulcan, Klingon, Shadiness, and Trash-Talking and divides his time between UMass and residency at the University of Wakanda.

  • OG Mermaid

    What they forgot to teach us…

    It’s time to write a real piece,
    to give some man or boy somewhere some real peace.
    Word to the wise
    Reader discretion is advised…
    Try to dream of a world where rape doesn’t exist.
    Because in the minds of men…it doesn’t.
    Not the man, rapist,
    but the man, victim.
    The boy who couldn’t take showers at night
    because daddy was still awake,
    nor doing the day
    because auntie always came in to play.
    In this world sodomization, molestation
    and victimization of men and boys
    it’s an urban legend
    that gets swept under the rugs
    instead of exposed,
    cause it could be our next door neighbor.
    Socialization of man
    began we told them not to cry
    and never show fear,
    so who are they suppose to tell
    when they’ve been violated?
    Who do they go to become vulnerable,
    because someone may label them as un-dateable.
    We wo-man scream for someone to understand us,
    but we can’t turn the tables
    and play the same role cause
    we weren’t program that way.
    This is for the boy
    whose been waiting to escape,
    with dignity and ability
    to tell his own best friend
    cool with since he was ten,
    that he was once a victim.
    Chances are you could be sitting next to someone right now
    and y’all discuss sports, girls, cars, and clothes,
    but never how your uncle’s best friend molested you,
    afraid they might think you’re a homosexual.
    Ladies, if victims tell at least 1 person,
    Men are destined to tell at least no person.
    Quiet as kept, we women don’t want
    To talk about if the man we like(love),
    Was once touch,
    It would be too much,
    Cause we selfish like that,
    We think that it’s about us,
    “I wonder if he’s gay, although I hope he’s okay.”
    I’m not sayin there needs to be a news cast,
    Or public notice,
    Some don’t even grow up with father figures,
    But what about the ones that do,
    And what about the one’s that suffer abuse.
    What about your home boy, or brother,
    You’ve been knowing for ages,
    Never told you what really went on down the street at the “Paiges.”
    Just saying lets have real conversations,
    About speak real pieces,
    To give someone, somewhere some real
    peace.

    **I wrote and performed this poem a while back during an open mic night at my college; The context was in regards to male victimization as my final thesis was studying the complexities of dating and intimate partner violence. Although they taught us in school that men are and can be victims as well, no one wanted to touch the topic; they were too concerned with focusing on the “how” portion of the conversation. Thank you for sharing your story, and know there’s strength in the telling/sharing of the story, although it may not feel like it. Suffering in silence has been too much of a norm for us. Warmest regards**

    • Got a link to a site with your work? I want to share this. Lovely stuff.

      • OG Mermaid

        Unfortunately it’s only uploaded to on my facebook page, under my notes section. I’m not exactly sure how to share it from there, Do you know of any way to share it that way? I think you can click the share button at the top to share it to your facebook or twitter, if I’m not mistaken. And thank you for the compliment.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      That was beautiful and well thought out.

      • OG Mermaid

        Thank you; I was honestly nervous when writing it back then, it was written to be performed; the anxiousness served as my reminder for why it was necessary.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          The anxiousness was proof of how important the topic was to you.

    • Dope

    • LMNOP

      Wow, you are very talented. I think one of the truest measures of a life well-lived is when you are able to use the horrible parts of your life to bring something positive into the world.

      • OG Mermaid

        Thank you, and that is a powerful and very real statement, thank you for that.

  • ChokeOnThisTea

    Whew. This is both heavy and necessary.

    I know two black men who were sexually assaulted as children. It breaks my heart. One didn’t get the help he needed afterwards and even admitted to doing the same to other children when he became a pre-teen/teenager. *Heavy sigh* This is not often addressed (in any community really), so great job on bringing this to the forefront.

  • RewindingtonMaximus

    I’ve revealed a lot about myself on this site. Stuff I won’t even tell my own loved ones. I always question why I do that. This is a cool place to come to, I know that. But I honestly realize talking to strangers is easier than talking to people who know you. Strangers won’t ignore the plea for help in the same way a loved one would.

    By that admission though, I still haven’t told my family about being s e x u a l l y assualted years ago. I doubt I will. I’m not interested in how they feel about it, it’s just not something I want to do. I don’t even like talking to men most of the time, because I’m tired of having so many retarded versions of masculinity be brought up. I don’t trust anything, because I have no reason to.

    And yet I know you’re right. Keeping s h i t to myself never really worked, it just made me assume it did. And I’m hurting more as I get older because I’m responsible for my downfall. Black men always want the world to finally conform to their wishes after being ignored for so long, but won’t even take the time to understand we aren’t even granting our own wishes. I don’t like keeping this anger inside. I don’t like being vulnerable and confused. I don’t like having to pretend to be “Mr. Happy Negro” because my size, skin color, and height scare the fuck out of people. It’s to the point where I’m not even sure if I’m fighting to be myself or fighting to learn how to be myself.

    So yes, we do need to talk. We have a lot to talk about. And we need to stop acting like we have all the answers. We don’t. We aren’t even close. But at least admitting that is a start.

    • Kas

      I’m not going to pretend to be able to understand with what you are dealing. However, I will say that emotions are not just a good thing, but a necessary thing. There is everything right with feeling sadness, weakness, and pain. None of us men are as tough as we portray to the outside world. Hopefully, you have someone in your life that allows you to be you around them and understands you sometimes need a shoulder to rest your head on without needing to know the specifics of why. The first step in dealing with something is admitting there is something that needs to be dealt with. I’m blessed to have had and have someone that I’m comfortable being vulnerable around. I hope you find the same.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        That’s my problem automatically. I have people I am comfortable with. I have people I care about. I have people want to protect. But I don’t have anyone I can let all this s h i t out with, nor do I want to. I have a problem. I am the person everyone comes to for help. I am the person everyone comes to when they need answers. I am the person people turn to when they need a signal of strength, because I’m still here after all of the things I have been put through. But I trust NO ONE with my burdens. I can tell people secrets and deep fears, and still not allow myself to depend on anyone. I’m just that flawed.

        And until I get to the bottom of my trust issues, I’m stuck. Can’t even front. I’m far better than I’ve been at previous times, but I’m still stuck and I have to suck it up for now.

        • Kas

          Semi-anonymous comment boards do have their uses. Regardless, you’ll survive because that’s what you do. However, perhaps a trained professional is worth looking into. For whatever reason we find it easier to bare our souls to strangers. Also nice that we can later choose to not see them. Anyway, I hope I wasn’t being to presumptuous by offering my advice/take on your situation. You seem like a good dude, and I just wanted to be supportive.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            I appreciate the advice. I’m doing therapy. I’ll see where it leads. I tend to be flaky and non-committal with almost everything.

            Convos like this are why this method works, and you’re a good person for the wisdom you offer. I just know the road to recovery is way beyond this for me, and I just have to accept that.

            • Betty’s Babygirl

              Sometimes it may take a minute to find a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist you click with. Please don’t get discouraged but also don’t hesitate to step if you’ve given them a chance and you’re no feeling them. And be prepared. Therapy can get worse before it starts to feel better. Remember you’re probing around and in a wound in order to excise the poisoned flesh. You got this and as you see we gotch you.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                I’m trying one currently that seems to be going well. My last one, I just stopped going because he wasn’t giving me the results I needed, and his attitude rubbed me the wrong way. I recognize you have to treat it like dating, and just keep shopping around until you find someone you can connect with.

                It’s all odd but I am a student of psychology, so I know the awkwardness must come before the subtleness and I’m ok with that.

                • Betty’s Babygirl

                  See playa you’re already ahead of the game :) I KNOW YOU GOT THIS.

                  • RewindingtonMaximus

                    *daps*

                    I’m trying. I got so much work to do but trust me BB I’m trying.

                    • Betty’s Babygirl

                      That’s all we can do is try cause that’s the path to succeeding. I’m on the path for different reasons w/my weekly therapist visits. Chile I could tell you some stories. Ain’t no shame in my game….tat ALL

                    • RewindingtonMaximus

                      Haha I hear you. We all got our issues, and there really shouldn’t be any shame in asking for help.

                      My main reason is I just don’t want to spread my crazy to other people who don’t deserve it. So I’ll find a way.

            • LMNOP

              I am the same way, and ish I can’t talk about with my closest friends I sure as he!! Can’t talk about to some random counselor.

              This is actually a completely unhelpful comment, I have no suggestions, but hopefully it works better for you than me.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                I think that’s the route I need to take, taking the time out to actually research more information in regards to trauma. I just tend to shut down when I’m not entertaining myself though.

        • fxd8424

          *Hugs*. My heart hurts for you. I can see my eyeballs are going to be sweating profusely today. I always think that we are all d@mn lucky to make it through this life without being assaulted. And that’s sad on so many levels. I’m no expert, but if you were assaulted by a relative or someone close to you, it’s possible that is at the root of your trust issues. That you were violated by someone you trusted and feel ill at ease with trusting anyone. Keeping it inside is self-destructing and mental suicide. Please seek help, but in the meantime, we are here for you.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            I know I had trust issues long before I was assaulted. I think it just had gotten more severe afterwards, because I didn’t recognize how much more information I kept to myself, while still revealing enough information to fool people into thinking I was opening up to them.

            I appreciate the kind words. Life goes on. I’m going to find my way properly. I just wish people understood, especially from a psychological standpoint, that everybody out here isn’t in their right mind, and that needs to be respected.

            • Betty’s Babygirl

              “that everybody out here isn’t in their right mind, and that needs to be respected.”

              And not made light of, stigmatized, made to feel less than or become fodder for the gossip mill.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                Exactly!

            • Epsilonicus

              I learned from the rooms of NA that “secrets kill”. Now how to put that in practice…

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                They really do. They tear you down from the inside.

              • Kas

                Sounds like you and RM are about to figure that out.

        • Asiyah

          “I am the person everyone comes to for help. I am the person everyone
          comes to when they need answers. I am the person people turn to when
          they need a signal of strength, because I’m still here after all of the
          things I have been put through. But I trust NO ONE with my burdens. I
          can tell people secrets and deep fears, and still not allow myself to
          depend on anyone. I’m just that flawed.”

          Same.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            I always knew it. We got that connection girl.

            • Asiyah

              LOL awwww xoxo

          • Betty’s Babygirl

            Stop. We are not flawed. That’s not a flaw. That’s called being human. Cut yourself a break. If we’re not going to who will?

            • Asiyah

              “Cut yourself a break. If we’re not going to who will?”

              That’s been my thought process as of late. That I have to cut myself a break because nobody else is. And they don’t owe that to me. I owe that to myself.

              • Betty’s Babygirl

                Yes! We’re are our harshest critics. We say things about ourselves we wouldn’t dare say to someone else. Fake it ’til you make it. Suddenly you’ll discover how much you love yourself. Then you’ll attract people who are worthy of your friendship/love who you can lean on.

          • LMNOP

            I had no idea how common this was. I’m the same way too, and it feels so lonely and like something that is just deeply broken and wrong with me, I didn’t realize how many people feel the same way.

        • MALynn

          “I have a problem. I am the person everyone comes to for help. I am the person everyone comes to when they need answers. I am the person people turn to when they need a signal of strength, because I’m still here after all of the things I have been put through. But I trust NO ONE with my burdens. I can tell people secrets and deep fears, and still not allow myself to depend on anyone. I’m just that flawed.”

          Shakes ALL the d a n m tambourines!! This is me in a nutshell. I complain so much about this. I even blame God for it. Like:God, bro…you made me strong and forgot about me? I feel like people who “whine and bitch and cant be alone” get ALL the help because people know they will sink without a support system. Nobody checks in on the “Strong” people because people think we dont need nothing.

          I don’t even know how to relate to the pain of going through what you did. What do want you to know is the way you are feeling (that paragraph I quoted), you are not alone in feeling that way. *hugs*

          • Asiyah

            “Nobody checks in on the “Strong” people because people think we dont need nothing.”

            *nods head* and if you ever break down in front of these people, they have the audacity to say something along the lines of “I never took you to be this weak.” Like yo…YO…I hear you complain about the dumbest things and I don’t call you weak. Show me some respect.

            • MALynn

              YUP!! It’s like people don’t realize that even the strongest batteries need to recharge sometimes. And you can’t drain someone and then say you didnt expect them to be weak. I moved far far away from my “support system” a year ago. Since I’m no longer within driving distance, I’m basically alone. No one checks in, no one asks how can they help. Some even stopped calling/texting. Them same folks are quick to ask “when you coming to visit, I miss you!”

              Bruh….no.

          • Detroit Skater

            truth!>>> “Nobody checks in on the “Strong” people because people think we don’t need nothing.” …but we (i) do…

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            Thank you for that. It’s true, it’s like people don’t think the people are pillars in their lives need support. I never saw a bridge that didn’t need repairing, or a building that didn’t need demolishing at some point. People are the same way, we need support.

            I guess it is just simply we don’t make as much noise as those who ask us for help. Our pleas for help need to be loud, and apparently we are as quiet as mice.

          • Kemse

            “Nobody checks in on the “Strong” people because people think we dont need nothing.”

            My mom continues to fascinate me for this very reason. To this day she still epitomizes that fierce stereotypical black woman independence that carries this “Don’t need nothing or no one” attitude.

            As a result, the more emotionally expressive I became in adulthood, the “weaker” she perceived me to be. Most of the older black women she brings me around are this way. I can’t imagine how much more restrictive it is for men to be emotionally expressive.

        • Epsilonicus

          “But I trust NO ONE with my burdens. I can tell people secrets and deep fears, and still not allow myself to depend on anyone. ”

          Bruh, we may need to connect offsite because I am literally working through this right now.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            Eps, I’m always here dude. I put my e-mail above, you can hit me up whenever.

          • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

            This has been the last decade of my life.

        • fxd8424

          “I am the person everyone comes to for help. I am the person everyone comes to when they need answers. I am the person people they turn to when they need a signal of strength.”

          I’m that person up to this point. But that’s because they think things don’t bother me. Which is not completely accurate. Things bother me, just maybe not the things that typically bother them. I don’t have any assault secrets, but I’ll take other secrets to the grave because people have a way of using secrets and true confession moments against you.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            I’ve been told by my previous therapist that I am a silent sufferer. I will not reveal my pain to the world and that makes people think I feel none at all. I believe that term is highly accurate for people like us. We are so used to seeing others manipulate information as soon as there is an advantage to, so we vow to not let that be us. But I already know with that mind frame, that means I’d literally trust no one.

            I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to assume that I can do this all by myself forever. It is already wearing me thin.

    • Man…reading these accounts makes me feel so sad. Mostly because I feel like as men, y’all don’t have the platform women have to feel HURT. Like, whenever y’all try to express a physical, emotional or spiritual hurt, or try to ask for help, y’all are told that’s not manly. I can’t imagine not feeling entitled to your own feelings on a regular basis. A woman wants to cry because she’s got her cycle and the kittens were too cute…have at it. A man wants to say something hurt him DEEPLY and it’s serious and it’s real, they’re told to man up…I’m sorry.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        Thank you love. I mean in some respects, as women, it isn’t always your fault. This is what you were taught to believe. You all were told men aren’t supposed to feel, the same way we men were. But I always ask people, since we are adults, how can you prove your logic is absolute truth? And most people cannot prove that, which is why I implore people to always rethink their belief system, because only maturity can help people see the gaping holes in all of the things they’ve believed all of their lives.

        As a woman, you can’t take on all of the burden of helping men out. It is too much, same as it is for me to do that for women. But what you can do is listen. That’s really all it takes. As long as you offer that, you have no clue how helpful you’d be to someone.

        • fxd8424

          “You all were told men aren’t supposed to feel, the same way we men were”
          Luckily I had a hard head and knew better. I used to tell my younger brother, it’s okay to cry. But deep down I knew he wouldn’t because society’s messages are 24/7, 365.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            A never-ending cycle of being told “Man Up!” without being told what that means.

    • I’m sorry to hear about your pain, man. I want you to know that we are all vulnerable and confused. Some of us are just too confused to realize it. I understand not telling the family. Just because people share your DNA doesn’t mean that the’re that bright or that understanding. Your VSBs out here for you man. You can vent with us.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        Appreciate it man. We just need to make that universal for everyone. That we can all vent here without fear.

  • Betty’s Babygirl

    You’re more than half way there to healing. Writing this article opens the door to freeing yourself just that much more. Keep moving forward knowing you are not on the road alone. Often when one is victimized or suffers from undiagnosed mental illness they self medicate. They become addicted trying to keep the demons at bay. The more you attempt to suppress feelings the stronger they become. Being resilient and getting help are not mutually exclusive.

  • Mizwest

    Your story hurt my heart, I’m right there with you. Thank you for sharing.

  • RewindingtonMaximus

    I honestly don’t give a damn, so I’ll just put this out there. Josh, if you don’t mind talking, my e-mail is defineintellect@gmail.com.

    We clearly have war stories to discuss, so I guess it wouldn’t be any harm in comparing scars.

  • Chris Junior

    This was powerful. I just (finally) began therapy two weeks ago to deal with my anxiety which stems sexual abuse I suffered as a child at the hands of a male relative. It lasted 7yrs. It was another 7yrs before I even told anyone. Being a black boy who enjoyed art & reading more than sports, I was constantly called all kinds of “faggots” in school. The last thing I wanted to do was confirm anyone’s insults. So I held it all in at the expense of my mental health–always paranoid, on edge, anxious, etc. But I finally got the strength to share (in 2008) and it has been an amazing journey since. Rocky, but amazing. Last summer, while registering to (finally) get back in school, the pressure of it got to me and I had a major panic attack….I broke. I cried so hard that it scared my girlfriend. But it was in that moment I finally realized for myself what my mom and friends had been suggesting all along and I couldn’t be happier to finally be in therapy. The handful of sessions so far have been great and I’m looking forward to growing from there.

    • Kas

      .

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      True strength right there.

  • What saddens me most is how man men have been wronged, assaulted, and violated…and so many of them just hold it. They just HOLD it! This is so upsetting. Broken people everywhere, and men have no outlet.

    • We take it out on each other. It’s where n igga moments come from.

      • I can believe it.

      • Kas

        Funny, how we are quickest to hurt the ones we love the most. I guess because we know all will likely be forgiven.

        • The cycle of violence, man…

          • Kas

            Luckily for me, it isn’t quite that deep. But the quick to anger used to be a real issue for me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to be more self aware about not taking out my issues on my loved ones.

  • fxd8424

    Sometimes the close relative is your father. I grew up with a family that had 5 children (boys and girls). The father was raping all of them and going to church on Sunday to get his praise on. Needless to say, they all had issues. Adulthood rolls around and they are all in therapy. One of the boys committed suicide – just couldn’t handle it – even with therapy.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Damn. That is just horrible.

      • fxd8424

        Sadder still that mom knew and allowed it to happen.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          Too scared to do a damn thing, and wants to be in denial to keep her “perfect” life intact.

        • Kas

          Giving her the benefit of being scared of her husband, but even then . . . everyone has to sleep at some point.

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      I thank the Creator everyday for my Father. Thank you God.

  • Leggy

    “crude conversations with boys who fake laughter often.,” Warsan Shire
    He says ‘I don’t get it, why are you still a virgin at 24?’
    He says ‘I don’t believe you, I’ve seen you walk, virgins don’t walk like that’
    He says, ‘That ain’t natural, people are supposed to fu ck.’
    He asks ‘Why though? No offence though.’
    I ask ‘When was your first time?’
    He says ‘I was 12’
    He says ‘I know what you’re thinking, that’s too young.’
    I look at his knuckles, he has two good hands.
    He says ‘She was older than me.’
    I ask ‘How old?’
    And he says ‘It’s better that the girl is older, that’s how I learnt all things I know’
    He licks his lips.
    I ask again ‘How old?’
    He says ‘I could use one finger to make you sob’
    I think of my brother in prison and I can’t remember his face.
    I ask again ‘How old?’
    He says ‘Boys become men in the laps of women, you know?’
    I think of my mothers faced lined with her bad choices in men.
    He says ‘If you were mine you wouldn’t get away with this sh it, I’d eat you for hours, I’d gut you like fruit.’
    I think of my cousins circumcision, how she feels like a mermaid, not human from the waist down.
    He says ‘I’d look after you, you know?’
    I laugh, I ask for the last time ‘How old?’
    He says ’34.’
    He says ‘She was beautiful though and I know what you’re thinking but it’s not like that, I’m a man, I’m a man, I’m a man. No one could ever hurt me

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Definitely insightful right there.

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