June 15, 2006

The Very Last, I Swear, I Promise, Thing I Have to Say About Outing

"Saturday, August 26, 1990, 1:26 a.m." is how it began. But it wasn't Saturday, August 26, 1:26 a.m. It was Sunday. It had been Saturday, earlier, but then it was Sunday. The policewoman who interviewed me got that wrong. At the time, I didn't notice it. I just imprinted her statement on my memory. Saturday, August 26, 1990, 1:26 a.m. Except it was Sunday.

That's what happens in the middle of the night: Dates and times get confused. But at the time, I wasn't thinking about that. I was thinking that it was really horrible that I had to talk to this police officer at all, not right then, not while my boyfriend was being Air-Evac'd to a hospital miles away, and I didn't even get to go with him, I didn't even know if he was alive or dead.

Maybe I'd get to the hospital, and he'd be dead, but he'd have arrived there alive--only, I would have missed it. I would have missed any last words, because I would have been talking to this police officer.

The police officer wanted to know what happened that night. I told her, it had been his night off. I told her, I'd woken him up, even though he'd been sleeping. He'd been on a graveyard schedule. I'd been on an early day shift. We hadn't had a lot of time together, and I'd missed him. It was Saturday night. So I'd woken him up.

"And this was approximately . . . ?"

"Um. 11:30? No, maybe 11:00. I'm not sure--"

"And then what happened?"

Well, then we'd had sex. I really, really, really had not wanted to tell this stranger that. I was twenty years old and still Mormon enough, in heart if not in soul, to be embarrassed about that. But I'd also just really, really, truly told the 911 representative an hour ago that she had to hold on, hold on while I opened the door for the police, because I had to put a robe on first, I was naked, but could she hold on? In case it wasn't the police? In case it was that man come back again? But I had to put a robe on. I was naked.

Somehow I hadn't minded telling a stranger I was stark naked, but that was different. That was an emergency. This was just a terrific waste of my time.

"And then when would you say you heard the knock on the door?"

I don't know. I was half asleep, I don't know, we weren't expecting a knock on the door, I don't know. Later sometime. I don't know. Fuck, but she wants a time. Okay, 12:30?

"And what happened when you heard the knock?"

He answered the door and then I heard shots and I hid in the closet, but only after I counted three of them, only after I was sure it wasn't his younger brother with a cap gun, Just Kidding like kids do.

"How many shots would you say you heard?"

I lost count after six.


I won't go into the rest of it. My now very-ex boyfriend lived; so did I; the dude who shot him went to jail; we were on food stamps and state-subsidized health care for a long while (in case you are wondering, in 1990 dollars it would have cost you about $80,000 to get shot nine times and survive it; please don't do meth, kids!); my now very-ex boyfriend hit me (untreated posttraumatic stress disorder is a motherfucker); I left him; I went back (because he needed me); he hit me some more, I left again; etc. etc. etc., and then I finally, FINALLY left him, and eventually I broke up with him from 1000 miles away via email, THANK YOU, EMAIL, I LOVE YOU SO FUCKING MUCH YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW.

The guy who shot him got 28 years, 2/3 mandatory before parole. He could be out by now, for all I know. I know you won't believe this, but do you know what I've done? I've forgotten his last name. I can't even CHECK on this shit.

Me: Hi, I'm kind of peripherally a crime victim, and I need to check if you paroled somebody?

[Five phone transfers later]

Me: Hi, I'm trying to see if you paroled this one prisoner?

Jail Person: Name?

Me: Bill.

Jail Person: LAST name?

Me: Um. Um. It began with a "W," I think. I remember, they read his full name in court when they were sentencing him? And of course they didn't call him "Bill," they called him "William," even though my boyfriend always called him "Bill" and I always thought of him as "Bill." But I remember that his whole name, read together like that, it was very alliterative?

Jail Person: Lady, I have to ask you: Is this important?

Me: Of course it's important!

Jail Person: Lady, stay with me, here: Do you think maybe, if it were really important, you might have remembered this guy's name?

And I don't know what to tell you except, I Had Stress. Lots and lots and lots of stress. And in the having of the stress and the recuperating from the stress and the (mercifully) beginning to forget of the stress, I fucking forgot this guy's name. I am sorry. I have been a bad peripheral crime victim.

Besides, I always thought I would be (1) in Canada (2) with a name change, by now, because that's what I thought at the time was the only thing to do, because my ex and I were the only witnesses, we were the ones who put him there, and while it'd be nice to think this fellow learned a useful trade while in prison, and/or found Jesus--while it'd be nice to think he'll be totally 100% about making a positive contribution to society when he gets out, I am not that much an optimist, and you wouldn't be either, if you'd been where I've been.

Don't get me wrong: I don't fret about this every day or even every week or even, for that matter, every month, but do I worry? Yes, a little. I worry a little. I think it's only natural.

And THAT is why I blog under a pseudonym: Because I don't want this guy Googling me and getting a fucking hit. And fuck all to hell you petty-minded pseudoacademics who actually believe that what some 12-year-olds say about you ONLINE is, in fact, Potentially Damaging to Your Intellectual Reputations--and that, therefore, outing is sometimes JUSTIFIED, because why should someone be able to hide behind a cowardly pseudonym and be able to say mean, mean, awful things about you without suffering any consequences, oh my sweet savior, it is so unfair, that these anonymous cowards never suffer the CONSEQUENCES?

Because you don't have a fucking coddled precious privileged clue what "consequences" are, that's why. Now grow up. Sticks and stones, etc.--if a child on the playground can learn to live with a little name-calling, so can you, you fucking douchebags.

And the next time you dare to invoke "liberty" in defense of your idiotic "Everyone Should Use His Real Name, It's Only Fair" agenda, kindly at least remember that the people who founded this country didn't always promote liberty under their own names because they had this little problem, see, this little problem where they LIKED LIVING.

Now let us never speak of this again. Cripes, but I hate bloggers sometimes. And as much as I love and admire and respect, seriously, 99.9% of you, permit me the indulgence of not leaving comments open for this one. Okay? Okay. I don't need someone giving me the "But I Love Doughnuts" argument on this one.

Posted by Ilyka at June 15, 2006 03:48 AM in hell is other people