51. James Gets Fingered In Public: Part II: A Million Maybes

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Alright. So I had a LOT of responses to my last blog. Click this beautiful blue hyperlink if you have yet to read it and you haven’t recently eaten a full meal that you don’t want to barf up.

If you’re like, “Fuck, James, reading is hard; I already read it but I can’t remember jackshit cuz I’m malnourished and ambivalent,” here’s a quick summary: I went on a date with this guy, and after dinner as we were walking down the street, he tried to finger my butthole. That’s the quick and skinny (just like his finger, #shiv).

Many people that I talked to about my last blog had this to say: “James, why didn’t you do anything? James, why didn’t you say anything?? If that happened to me, James, I would have smacked his hand away! You need to tell people that they’re bothering you, James; otherwise how will they know that you don’t like it? James, you need to stand up for yourself. James, you need to put a stop to people like that; now he’s just gonna go do that to someone else! James!!”

Now. Listen. First of all, everyone who had these sort of responses, I have talked to them calmly and explained my side of the argument to them. So if you’re reading this now and thinking, ‘AH MY GAHD! I WAS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE!! DOES JAMES HATE ME?! IS THIS BLOG TARGETED AT ME?! I THOUGHT JAMES WAS ONE OF THE NICE FAIRIES, LIKE ELLEN DEGENERES! BUT HE’S JUST A MEAN OL’ QUEEN LIKE THAT BIANCA DEL RIO!” No, I’m not mad at you. We’re good, bro. Now read this with an open mind and an open heart, and know that this isn’t a personal attack on anyone.

Now let me address all the kinds of responses that I received:

1) “James, why didn’t you do anything?”
I did do something; I walked faster, and I prayed HARD to Jesus that my asshole would chomp his finger off.

2) “James, why didn’t you say anything?”
Have you ever tried to clamp your asshole shut while talking at the same time? Try it now. You’re holding your breath, aren’t you? Now try to talk without breathing. Do you sound like someone who is being crushed by a massive bookshelf of encyclopedias? Yeah, talking is HARD while consciously closing your anus (read: ah-noose).

3) “James, why didn’t you smack his hand away?”
Well, children, have you ever opened a bottle of champagne? Well, if you haven’t, I’ll tell you what it’s like: you need to ease the cork out really slowly or else it will explode and champagne will spew everywhere. Now, while his finger was clogging my hole, my stomach was digesting an exorbitant amount of Indian curry (I don’t know when to stop eating so I just stop when I feel nauseous). Well, pretend his finger is the cork in the champagne bottle that is my poop chute. Now, if I had smacked his hand away, this champagne phenomenon would have occurred… but replace the beautiful, buttery, effervescent champagne with my red-hot, spicy, dark brown diarrhea-spray. Now, I was embarrassed  enough that this gentleman was elbow-deep in my rectum; I didn’t need to be even more embarrassed by sharting out my whole life in the middle of the East Village. These things need to be handled much more delicately.

4) “James, you need to tell people when they’re bothering you; otherwise how will they know something is wrong?”
Alright, out of context this is a very valid point. I absolutely believe in communication. Once, someone was clipping their toenails in my bed, and I politely asked them not do that again because it is fucking disgusting. When people responded to this blog saying, “Why didn’t you do something?” I calmly explained to them why that statement hurt my feelings (which I will get to later on when I’ve exhausted every single poop joke). But in the context of this blog, I shouldn’t have to tell my date that what he was doing was inappropriate. Because we are taught certain life lessons when we’re being raised as well-mannered children. We learn that it’s rude to chew with your mouth open. We learn that it’s rude to walk around someone’s house while wearing our dirty street shoes. And most of the time, we learn that it’s rude to publicly fingerbang a respectable suitor in the middle of the god damn street. Clearly, this motherfucker learned at some point in his life that this kind of behavior is appropriate or acceptable. Maybe no one ever told him to stop in the past.

Maybe I should have told him to stop. Maybe I should have swatted his hand away. Maybe I should have said something to him. But don’t get it twisted: he should not have behaved like this in the first place. And I shouldn’t have to tell someone to not do something like this to me. And when people ask me, “James, why didn’t you do anything,” you don’t realize how hard that is for me to hear (unless something like this has happened to you in the past). Because when you ask me any of those questions, what I’m hearing is, “It’s your fault, James.” Maybe that’s not what you’re intending to say, but that’s definitely what I hear. It’s my fault, because I didn’t do anything about it. It’s my fault, because I didn’t say anything. And now, if this guy behaves like this in the future to someone else and someone else has to write a light-hearted, foul-mouthed blog post about their devastating date where they were sexually harrassed, that’s my fucking fault, too. But listen: you weren’t there. It wasn’t you. And maybe you would have said the perfect thing, slapped him in the face hard enough to leave a mark, and stomped away indignantly with a sense of pride and your head held high. But I didn’t do that. I’m not a superhero; I’m just James. I didn’t stand up for myself in that moment when someone was violating my body. I didn’t. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t say something that fundamentally changed him and made him realize the wrongs of his ways. I just walked away as fast as I could, tried not to cry on the subway and then I wrote a blog to come to terms with what had happened to me. This is how I stand up for myself. I make jokes, because it makes all of the pain of the thing so much more tolerable. This is all I’ve got. Jokes.

Now I don’t need your apologies if you had one of those responses; I just need you to practice empathy. Because in your head, maybe you would have done a million brilliant and heroic things. But maybe you would have responded the same way I did. And I pray to GOD that if this happens to me again, I’ll have something amazing to say or do. But if I don’t, I will be kind and patient with myself. Because it’s not my fault that this happened to me. And if this or anything like this has ever happened to you: it’s not your fucking fault. Some motherfuckers in this world will test you, because they had someone fuck them in the head too many times and they can’t tell right from wrong anymore. It’s not your job to fix them. And if they fuck you up, just leave. Just leave. You don’t need to say something witty. You don’t to do something righteous. You can just walk away. And if anyone says to you, “MEH WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY ANYTHING; YOU SHOULD HAVE SAID SOMETHING; STAND UP FOR YOURSELF”… come to me. Because I’ll say the only thing I wanted to hear:

“I’m sorry that happened to you. Some people are fucked up. But you can do better. He doesn’t deserve your breath, your time or even a handful of your chicken-tikka-massala diarrhea.”

#DONTGIVEUP

JAMES

here’s a hopeful picture of the Brooklyn Bridge to get you through your terrible days:

51

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