"Pushing herself to move forward in pointless misdirection, she found herself confronted by her surreal commute and the reality of her most recent memory, an unwanted sexual experience."
an excerpt adaptation from WOMAN BE COOL, a novel by Tanya H. Van Cott
“Why didn’t I fight? What the hell is wrong with me?” she said, trying to remember the sequence of events from the night before. “I was never interested in him. I couldn't have given him the wrong idea?”
Hot platforms, refrigerated cars, gusts of air, odors made more intense by the heat and fragments of conversations from hundreds of bodies always standing in close proximity. All trying not to ever touch or look at one another. Left alone with only her thoughts to accompany her, surrounded by others, all alone in their thoughts, she pushed herself to move forward in pointless misdirection, confronted by her surreal subway commute. Struck by the reality of her most recent memory she replayed the events, eyes closed while the subway rattled, shook and sped forward.
“A night of freedom and fun in a summer that lacked either, didn’t I deserve that? I did drink more than I should have or was used to, but doesn’t everyone do that now and then?”
She justify accepting rides home from different coworkers, mostly men, ones she hoped, she prayed, she could trust because as a cocktail waitress she frequently had to spend more than half of her tips on a taxi ride home, to a less than safe, outer Borough of New York City. And up until the previous night they were all without incident.
"I enjoyed laughing and finally feeling light. I didn’t mean to let my guard down, but I trusted them, I trusted him. I thought I was safe. Fuck!"
Her smile never divulged the heartbreak and loneliness she struggled with daily. Loneliness caused by a different young man one who purposefully kept her a bay. Men did show interest in her and tried to break through her veneer. Some showering her with miscellaneous kindnesses; like a dessert sent up from the kitchen nightly from a boy who had a crush on her; a drive home in a limousine when no other fare could be gotten; a carefree ride home, top down, in a convertible from a waiter who made ten times what she made and one bartender, who promised her a safe journey home after a night of freedom and fun.
"I’m the only one to blame for what happened,” she said convinced, clutching onto the cold chrome structure of her commute.
That journey was not in the direction of her choice though. A drive through a tunnel, was the first indication the night took a wrong turn. Underneath a river, into the darkness of streets that were unfamiliar. She tried to overcome her sense of confusion and intoxication. Blaming herself, for not being clear with him about which way to go she quickly realized she was in danger when his hand started caressing her inner thigh. She pulled away politely, trying not to tip the fragile balance of mood in the car. She tried to engage in more direct chatter about bridges, tunnels and wrong turns. But he pulled the car over in a dark spot just off of the highway, simultaneously pulled up her skirt up and her panties down. Miles away from where she wanted to be, even then, she blamed herself.
Still trying to understand the course of events she thought, “Why did I let him do it? I just wanted to get back to the apartment. That was my main goal. That’s why I didn’t fight? Because I was fucking scared, that’s why! Scared to be left on the street somewhere, scared to be hurt by male rage, eve now scared to say something." Something dark controlled her destiny, something that seemed out of her control.
Still in deep thought, as the subway hurled through space, she opened her eyes and looked more deeply into the faces she shared her daily journey with.
“Are they all as alone as I am? If I could just see everyone else’s struggles, my own might seem trivial.”
Was there an escape from her own ridiculous loneliness?
“Maybe getting off this ride at another stop would do it,” she said. But the doors just opened and then closed, opened again and closed again.
What is the likelihood that New York City spawned two separate real estate heirs, between 1943 and 1946? Both media crazed, and crazy?
"Could the asbestos Robert Durst and Donald Trump's fathers ingested in the 1930’s on various large scale construction sites have given rise to their son’s insanity?"
Both men with distinctive facial tics, a penchant for lying with a straight face, and for talking to themselves, on and off camera. Shouldn’t we be scratching our heads? Is Donald Trump, Robert Durst in disguise? And most importantly, will we let Donald get away with Murder too?
Bill Maher said it best in 2016, when he said there’s “a slow moving right-wing coup” happening in America and faults the media for the election of 2016 reaching “peak insanity. Less than one year later America has its first dictator, President Donald J. Trump. A leader who called a rally participant, not aligned with his views and only armed with a sign that stated “Republicans not for Trump”, an assassin; a woman not interested in his advances, a pig; and journalists, exerting their first amendment right, liars. A man who, despite his age acts and is treated like, a child by those nearest to him. His twitter account taken away from him close to the 2016 election for fear he couldn’t be trusted not to undermine his own campaign efforts to get him elected.
It only took our judicial system thirty-four years to catch up to Durst and get him in jail charging him with a federal weapons charge, not for the three murders he's directly connected to; his missing wife, his longtime female best friend and a neighbor he cut into tiny pieces. And in April 2016 we only sentenced him to seven years in a federal prison, despite the highly acclaimed HBO documentary “The Jinx”, where Robert Durst incriminated himself for murder while being tape recorded.
"Our thirst for insane, white, old men, and real reality TV is coming to a head during our two hundred and forty first year as a nation."
We capped off our anniversary by electing the craziest leader in our history. And watch the unraveling of our constitution daily. Will it take thirty plus years to catch up with Donald Trump? And finally charge him with something? None of us may be here at the rate the unravelling is happening especially with WWIII being flaunted by Trump like a new toy gun he wants to make sure we all understand he has.
Why don’t his followers see? Why can’t they see the truth, that he’s a used car salesman and will say anything to get them to buy the piece of shit he’s pushing. That’s a question I ask myself everyday as I bump into supporters, shocked by their blindness. One day it was a woman in her 70’s, obviously a hippie holdover, gleefully admitting she was a Trump supporter. Really? Was she that eager to shed her younger self and finally embrace her parent’s ideologies? Why was she willing to discard all the freedoms that she and her sisters fought for as women? How did our nation lose her?
And what’s in it for the young black man I saw standing behind Trump at one of his rally’s? Was he paid to stand there? How much do you think to be worth the humiliation? What’s in it for my daughter’s classmates, all eleven-year-old girls, who have no idea what a Trump presidency will take away from their futures as women yet still eager to support him on the playground?
As I make the beds this morning I think, does a Trump or a Durst even know what it's like to make a bed? Clean a toilet? Care for a sick child or parent? Do these billionaires have a clue what real life is like without their assistants, housecleaners drivers and accountants and lawyers, protecting them? What would their lives be like if they hadn’t been born with a silver spoon in their mouths?
I bet both would have been locked up long ago.
From the oped files:
Is Donald Trump Robert Durst in Disguise © 2017 Tanya H. Van Cott
Tanya H. Van Cott is currently finishing up a novel trilogy that captures a snapshot of our current social, political, and personal challenges as a nation and especially as women and men, within the Global community.