14 May, 2008, 956 pm
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My friend was arrested and put in jail for an alleged rape.  At first, I didn’t think much of it, except that I had a slight stomach ache.  It reminded me of the sheer anxiety I felt when I found out that Josh was arrested and put in jail, and wondering, plain and simple, why.  But unlike the situation with Josh, I knew why this friend was put in jail.  And I felt scared for him, because he might be overwhelmed, especially because of the way people will talk when he gets back to school.  He’s a joke, whether he’s innocent or guilty.  I also felt slightly angry.

If he did, in fact, rape her, then fine.  Whatever.  I’ll be angry at him for violating all morals because his penis couldn’t wait.  And I will be so sorry for the girl.  Her whole life and trust in men, ruined.

But I’m most angry about the people at school who know very little about him who are making it all into a joke.  Or they’re saying that they definitely saw this coming, or they knew something was fishy.  No, you didn’t.  Only through rumours, which you should always, always either take with a grain of salt or keep in mind but disregard.  It’s not like you ever took the time to get to know him because everyone who has lived here all their lives knows all the supposedly fact-based misconceptions about him.  I’m an outsider, yes, but I find that prejudices are built around people for little reason on small incidents.  All the skaters are potheads.  “Poor” people are Dirties and they apparently smell bad.  Half the senior class is full of alcoholics.

What I think and firmly believe probably happened was that yes, he seduced the girl into having sex, maybe, and perhaps she was a bit reluctant, but that she probably regretted the whole thing afterwards and then told her parents or the authorities that she was raped.  Sexually assaulted and raped.  Maybe it was to save her dignity as a supposed virgin.  Perhaps she told her friends about the whole thing and they harassed her to turn him in, based on misconceptions.  Maybe they called her a slut or something because they disapproved of her sex life.  Or maybe they disapproved of her sexual orientation because perhaps they are hardcore narrow-minded lesbians.  I don’t know.

Thing is, girls can do that.  The least bit of doubt about what you did, and you can turn a guy in and say he raped you.  That’s why, on one count, a guy has got to be careful about who he chooses to have sex with.  If you don’t choose someone you trust and is fully willing, then you have the potential to be screwed by the law.

And as for the girl?  I have no idea who she is.  And maybe she’s someone like me.  But I’m assuming that she knew my friend beforehand, at least several hours or days beforehand, and going into that whole thing, I’m certain that it probably seemed like a date.  If you’re going into a date with someone you don’t know very well, especially someone that charming and confident, do a group date.  Whether or not you’re on a group date, always stay in a very public place and don’t stay out to all hours of the night.  I don’t care how romantic it would be otherwise.  You probably won’t be raped.  You could probably even get away with some making out in public at Hufnagel or Kidsburg (just don’t consent to get in the Rocket Ship or any tunnel-like structure).  And if you’re not sure if you want to have sex, just say no.  The guy should respect your decision, and if he genuinely cares about you, he’ll be able to wait.  This should be common sense.

Basically, though, my friend did not grab some random good-looking girl in the Wal-Mart parking lot and force himself upon her.  Come on, now.

I am mainly freaking right now, though, because my eyebrow magnifying mirror is MISSING from my room ever since yesterday, when someone apparently swiped it from my desk in an attempt to improve the quality of their own eyebrows.  That thing is my baby, perhaps more so than my iPod.  I use it every day for a good amount of time, and I become very stressed if I can’t find it.  And I can’t find it now.  I paid eight dollars for that thing, and it is amazing.  I hate living here and being unable to lock all the doors and windows, because it means extreme invasion.  At any moment, one of my sisters or cousins could sneak into my room and take something without my knowledge or permission.  And knocking is apparently unnecessary.  If I go over there to borrow something, though, I get stared at until I leave.  It’s not like I could go over there to grab food after school or drink all their juiceboxes or chill and utilize their normal-sized television or gaming systems or whatever.  It’s all about asking and being polite for us.  Don’t get me wrong; I love my family, but sometimes…Jesus Christ Almighty, you know?

I am very tired, and I feel that this song is accurate for capturing happy nostalgia, despite the lyrical content.  This would be a shout-out time to my frennnz.  Lewisburg and Richmond.  Guess what shirt I wore today.  Just guessssss.

A Man/Me/Then Jim | Rilo Kiley
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Here are the lyrics.  I don’t think I could really express what this song means to me any other way, really, then urging you to listen to it.  Jenny Lewis’ voice says it all.

I had one friend in high school; recently he hung himself with string
His note said, “If livin’ is the problem, well, that’s just bafflin’.”
And at the wake I waited around to see my ex-first-love
And I barely recognized her; I knew exactly what she was thinkin’ of
We sat quietly in the corner whisperin’ close about loss
And I remembered why I loved her and I asked her why I drove her off

She said, “The slow fade of love, its soft edge might cut you
And our poor friend, Jim, well, he just lived within
The slow fade of love.”

A woman calls my house once a week; she’s always sellin’ things
Some charity, a phone plan, or a subscription to a magazine
As I turned her down (I always do) there was somethin’ tremblin’ in her voice
I said, “Hey, what troubles you?”
She said, “I’m surprised you noticed.

“Well, my husband, he’s leavin’ and I can’t convince him to stay
And he’ll take our daughter with him; she wants to go with him anyway
I’m sorry I’m hard to live with; livin’ is the problem for me
I’m sellin’ people things they don’t want when I don’t know what you need.

“He said, ‘The slow fade of love and its mist might choke you
It’s the gradual descent into a life I never meant
It’s the slow fade of love.'”

I was drivin’ south of Melrose; I happened upon my old lover’s old house
I found myself starin’ at the closed-up door like the day she threw me out
“Diana, Diana, Diana, I would die for you
I’m in love with you completely; I’m afraid that’s all I can do.”
“You can sleep upon my doorstep.  You can promise me indifference, Jim.
But my mind is made up and I’ll never let you in again.”

For the slow fade of love it might hit you from below
It’s your gradual descent into a life you never meant
It’s the slow fade of the love [repeated an infinite number of times]


5 Comments so far
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When I was in middle school, I had this best friend that was in love with Jordan, so I spent a lot of time with him. I never really got along with him or liked him a lot, but we didn’t hate each other and we didn’t fight.

Anyway, I really have nothing to say. Because I know the rumors and I love gossip as much as the next person and I am not a perfect person. So sometimes I believe the rumors. Sometimes I don’t. It just depends. If I hear something bad about a person I don’t like, I believe some of it. If I hear something bad about a person I do like, I defend them. But I know what it’s like to be on the other end of a rumor. To have something going around school about you that you know isn’t true, but that people will believe anyway. It’s just the way high school is, and I’ve realized that as long as I know the truth and those that are closest to me know the truth, it’s all that matters.

People can think what they want. I almost like to hear them whispering or see them staring because hey, I’m getting attention. I’m on their minds. And maybe, if just for a little while, that makes me remembered. That makes me important. I was special enough to be a part of their thoughts for a few minutes or hours or days. And later, years down the road, or maybe even this year during freshman year of college, they were looking back over their yearbooks and remembering those things they thought about me. And they’ll be thinking, “How could I ever think that? It’s so obvious that it wasn’t true.” It was just high school. They are completely forgiven by me.

Rumors are a funny thing. The world would be such a better place without them. But in a weird way, they do their part to make people happy, be in immediately or gradually.

Comment by wellwell

Was she underage? It could be statutory rape.

Comment by wut?!

D00d. Sophomore year, I told one of my best friends, a freshman in college/alumni of my high school and marching band, that I liked this guy in my grade who also happened to be in marching band. So what did my friend do? He found my crush’s phone number and called him up. The phone conversation was brief, only a sentence long, and it consisted of “Paige Connors wants you to ask her to Homecoming.” And then my pal hung up.

He didn’t tell me until a few days later, and I was mortified. The guy, Eric, told his friends, and this led to stares and giggles during band class and lunch for the next few weeks. I thought I was going to die. Yet I still liked him for quite some time afterward. I discussed the issue and my embarrassment with Eric and rationalized that although I liked him, I wouldn’t want to go to Homecoming with him because it would be awkward. After all, it was one of those middle school-esque distance crushes. He seemed cool with it, but it didn’t even remotely start up a friendship. Besides, one of my diplomatic, flirtatious acquaintances was interested in him, and he knew it, so I let her have at him.

In the end, I realized that because he was just as mortified by the phone call as I was, he was not worth pursuing because he was obviously not interested at all. Later that year, I realized he was not worth pursuing because I didn’t even find him attractive anymore. And while I was initially angry at my friend for spilling the beans, I suppose it wasn’t that bad that he did. After all, I couldn’t keep liking this guy I didn’t even really know.

Also, my biff, Erika, said once that she likes it when people point, stare, and/or whisper at or about her when we go places. She said it’s flattering. While I couldn’t grasp this at first, probably because of bouts of teen angst, I now understand that positive feeling.

Additional rumoured details: Apparently, the girl has been raped on at least two other occasions and landed the guys in jail for it. This makes her lose some credibility. It makes it seem like she goes out with guys she doesn’t really care about so that they’ll have sex with her, and then she plays the Virgin Game and turns them in so that her parents don’t get pissed at her for having the sex drive to go out and fuck people. This also means that she threw in the sexual assault thing to give her story credibility, when it was probably just that they went behind Wal-Mart for privacy and went at it without the assault.

And apparently, she isn’t 18 like the articles say, and she is attempting to go for statutory rape. But if the jury or whatever looks at her past in being raped, I hope they won’t convict him. I mean, crying rape every time you have sex and mildly regret it isn’t a game. It’s childish and I hope she pays for it if it wasn’t really rape.

I guess I am being defensive, though, because he is my friend, at least, and he’s always kind to me, and I am concerned about his well-being. After all, he was one of the first people to converse familiarly on the first or third day of school, when I was scared shitless and depressed as a motherfucker.

Comment by indiechouette

Yeah, because with a rape conviction rate of 6%, it’s usually the girls who are lying.

I understand that it’s your friend, but what is this bullshit that girls always have to be on guard? Maybe guys shouldn’t have sex with girls unless they’re absolutely sure they’re willing.

Comment by Alicia E.

I find your tone a tad defensive.

First, yeah, if it wasn’t rape, then he should have had sex with someone he trusted completely. He should have known that if a girl gets DNA evidence, she can say whatever she wants.

And as terrible as it is that rape happens, and as unpreventable as it mostly is, there are some simple precautions that can be taken if you might be put in a compromising position. And they can save you. Definitely not in every circumstance, because you never really expect that it’s going to happen to you. And obviously, it’s not because of the promiscuous nature of girls. But in this exact case, you can look at some factors and just face-palm because it’s so dumb.

1. The girl has allegedly been raped several times before. If it’s real rape (as in she gave no consent and was forced), then that’s the most uncanny coincidence ever. But it’s still possible. If it’s not (as in she gave consent and regretted it later), then you can just discredit her altogether. Either way, don’t you think she’d have lost her trust for guys yet? Don’t you think that maybe it’s just common sense? I suppose you could argue that she is looking for a trustworthy male figure in her life after all that torture earlier in her life, and having to lock two other guys up. Personally, I would want little to do with guys after that sort of an experience, and sex would be weird and I wouldn’t even feel right having it in a healthy way.

2. My friend allegedly has a history of sexual indecency, et cetera. I didn’t know this because I moved here a year ago, but they tell me (without going into details) that if I’d been here last year, I’d understand. This certainly does not excuse him if he did it, but if the girl knew all of this, she should have taken some simple precautions. However, I suppose that if the girl is a new facet in his life, then she is probably as naive as I am. Additionally, she didn’t even go to our school, which excuses her for not knowing anything. But the red flag should have gone up when he was that forwardly flirtatious with her (because that’s his nature). And also–who really goes on a date with someone before getting to know them enough to trust them–especially when he allegedly blatantly implied sex on the phone call to see if she wanted to go to see a movie. Okay, blind dates, but this wasn’t a blind date. Of course, number two, again, if he really had a desire to change, he shouldn’t have asked her on a quick, no-commitment date and had sex with her when they’re not even dating.

I’m not trying to excuse my friend if he did it, or blame girls who get raped. And I’m not trying to say that consenting to hang out with a guy implies consent to have sex in the small print. All it comes down to is that you can’t expect other people to take care of you all the time. I’m also not saying that all rape can be avoided–the majority of times, it can’t. This circumstance is not one of them. And if a girl can get DNA evidence, she can say what she likes.

I suppose you could say that I would have to be raped in order to fully understand the emotional damage that my friend allegedly inflicted on the girl, but honestly, I would only really have the opportunity to be raped by complete strangers walking home from school some days or by complete strangers/neighbours if they broke into my house at night. I try to avoid dates on simple terms that I rarely have crushes on the people who have crushes on me, and the guy friends I do hang out with on a regular basis are either virgins or uninterested.

Comment by indiechouette

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