One time, in Mexico, I was almost gang raped and/or sold into sex slavery. I was living in Yuma, Arizona, which is located right on the US/Mexico border. A woman I barely knew invited me to go club hopping in San Luis, Rio Colorado (Mexico) with her. So I went.
We were sitting in a little hole-in-the-wall cantina when a man who totally could have passed for Don Quixote came up to us holding a very large, old-fashioned camera. He spoke very broken, hard-to-comprehend English, so after awhile I put my very broken, hard-to-make work Spanish comprehension skills to work and told him to just tell me what he wanted in Spanish.
What he wanted was for me and my pretty friend to help him advertise the hole-in-the-wall cantina. He wanted to take our picture standing in front of the cantina. We were flattered and said sure why not. He looked like someone’s grandpa, completely harmless, a nice little photographer from Mexico.
So we went outside and he took our picture. Then, he pointed across the street to a seedy pool hall, and let me know he was also working on photographing for ads for that place, too. Could he persuade us to let him take our picture outside of it as well? We looked at each other, shrugged, and said sure. (At no point did it even occur to my naive, 26 year old self that dude was not even paying us for all this, and god only knew where the photos would end up.)
After he’d taken a couple of pictures of us outside the pool hall, he asked if we’d be willing to go inside and take pictures in there. My friend (we’ll call her Jane) said, “Yay! Let’s go!” and we started to step across the door threshold.
…….several years prior to me starting to set foot inside a seedy pool hall in what was essentially Eastern Tijuana, I visited a psychic named Marian. Marian told me many amazing things that blew my mind because there was just no way she could even know any of those things. And one of the things she told me was that I have 2 guardian angels who keep watch over me. One is an older lady, who’s surrounded by the color lilac and is in God’s family. The other is a young man, surrounded by yellow. The young man, Marian told me, died very young and he’s deeply protective of me. Marian said, “He’s telling me he’s not ever going to let any kind of harm come to you.”
……..So. When I started to set foot across the seedy pool hall’s threshold, this is why I believe I stopped. A big, invisible, yellow angel guy stopped me. (Yes, yes, yes…I do sound crazy, but I’m in the South. We embrace our crazy down here…unless they stalk and harass you, and then we elect them to high political office.)
Jane was already all the way inside the hideous pool hall, but my foot would literally not leave the pavement to go into the pool hall. And then I looked good and hard inside of it.
What I saw was really poor fluorescent lighting. About 10 pool tables. About 25 men. Exactly 0 women.
But the thing that gripped my innards with real fear was the knowledge, the realization, the fact, that NOBODY WAS PLAYING POOL. This was a pool hall. And not a single man was playing a game of pool.
Instead, they were all lined up along the walls, some with pool sticks in their hands, some with just beer bottles. But they looked expectant. As if they were waiting for…something. Maybe a show to begin. I don’t know.
All I know is my foot would not leave the pavement, my guts were melting with terror, and I grabbed Jane and said: I don’t want to do this. This feels really really BAD. I want to go. NOW.
Jane pouted. “What’s the big deal? It’s fine. He’s just going to take our picture.”
And from behind me, I could hear Don Quixote saying in bad English, “Jas. Jas. Yust one peek-chur. Yust one.”
Every single survival instinct I have kicked in then, and I turned and walked off, telling Jane I was going home, NOW. So Jane sighed and followed me. We got back in her Jeep, with Don Quixote behind us, begging us to come back, it was fine, it was safe, we weren’t going to be hurt. And Jane peeled away from the seedy pool hall, leaving Don Quixote behind, with his hands in the air, going, “Come back! I promees! Come back!”
After about 5 minutes of driving in silence, Jane turned to me and went, “Okay, party pooper. Where to next?” And I wanted to strangle her. (“Uh, hello? How about the United States?! I want to go back there, please. Where I know the laws.”)
That’s my almost-got-raped-in-a-Mexican-pool-hall story.
Tonight I had to go private on Twitter and block a stranger because he’s connected to the individual who stalked me. I don’t know why that man followed me, but I looked at his page when I saw him follow me, and I saw him giving advice to the person who stalked me, and nope. If you’re giving advice to a stalker, you and I do NOT need to be connected on any level, sorry, period, end of story.
I’m trying desperately not to delete the Twitter page, because I worked hard on that page, and I kind of like it there. I want to be myself and not feel oogy or nervous when I’m there. At this time last year, I was able to do that. And I’ve tried, with some level of success on some days, but I’ll be honest: the stalking has really soured me. Some days I’m fine, and kind of like the old me…and then something like this will happen and I’ll be all: nope! I don’t understand why this person can’t just grow up and move on. I just don’t. I do not.
But it feels just like that seedy Mexican pool hall. I do understand that.
I hate to block people who haven’t done anything, but I think I might have to, just to be safe. For the record: blocking is only immature when you’re doing it to spite someone. Blocking because your guts are melting from terror is a shield, the only one Twitter actually gives you. It’s my only defense on that place, and it’s not much of a defense, since there are ways around the blocking. Thus the privacy decision.
I am paranoid. I am skittish. I am lonely. I am sad. I miss my old life. I miss February 2015, before I even knew this person was a thing in the world. I am freaked out. I am really tired. Tired of being scared and paranoid and lonely and sad and skittish. And so is Twitter really worth it? I’m asking myself at this point. Probably not.
Jesus Mary and Joseph this is exhausting. I mean, aren’t you exhausted? I know you’re enjoying your popcorn immensely. I’m very exhausted, and when he sends me tumbling down the scary well again, I have a hard time focusing and concentrating on top of it. Right now, I want a nice, brave man who’s sane and not obsessive to wrap me in his arms and tell me it’s all going to be okay, and one day soon I’ll feel safe and happy again. I want to lie in strong, powerful, protective arms that are full of real kindness and goodness. I do not want to rescue myself. I do NOT want to be Xena Warrior Princess. I want to be the princess trapped in a castle, and I want somebody with strong arms and a gallant sense to go out there and punch my goddamn dragon in its fucking head. If only my yellow angel weren’t invisible. I sense he’d be really perfect at this.