"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta." *Nabokov.
Do you ever wonder how or why people can desire something so much? Like a sickness, something that swells inside of them and takes control. The summer of my 14th year, the summer spent in Montana, I wondered about this a lot. And even though I Knew the character's desire was morally wrong, I couldn't help but desire to have someone desire me. (As an adult I cringe. I have reread the story and see what I didn't see before: Control. Mr. Humbert did NOT love Lolita, he wanted to posses her, and while this may be desirable to a child, to an adult it is a revoltingly frightening thing).
My answer came by way of misunderstanding and naivety. Ah, being a child can skew not only the eyes, but the understanding of those conversations and visions that change us, if not forever, at least for a significant amount of time. In Montana, at least in the summer of 1990, children were allowed to accompany their parents into a Bar. I rather enjoyed my father's and my time at the Bar. We would order nachos and play darts. It was fun. This is when I spotted a group of younger girls. The girls, let me see, I remember them as looking old, twenty-two, twenty-three, but in reality they were only fifteen through seventeen. One was actually staying in the same motel as I was.
Sunday was our only day off, and it was Sunday that I went off by myself to the small laundromat the motel had. As a girl who wanted to be a writer one day, I liked to talk to people, and boy, the girl had a story to tell.
Have you ever talked to a stripper? Outside of a strip club? She was nothing like I thought she would be, in fact, without her make-up and outfits, she looked a lot like my friends, which in a way was both comforting and sad all at once. She ran away from home when she was thirteen. She didn't like her step-father, her mother didn't care about her, and she thought she would do better on her own. She said at first it was easy to find people to help, but as she started "growing-up" the same men that once treated her like a child, started seeing her as a potential mate. (I use all these terms lightly.) At fourteen she met a man that got her a fake ID and talked her into stripping. He sold her on the idea, talked about the money, about becoming independent. She wanted to be independent. And though she talked a big talk to me, I could see, she was far from being independent.
I want to keep this post short, so I will leave you with something she told me, that stuck with me for a long while. "It's okay to hate men because I honestly believe they hate us. How else could they stab themselves into us? How else could they simply get up and walk away after saying they love us? How else could it be that everyone I know, every girl, was molested or raped by a man?"
Now to be fair: She was a stripper, a fifteen-year-old stripper, and though we hear stories of medical students stripping to pay for school, we all know that many of these women have issues about sex and sexuality. But, to the impressionable mind of a fourteen-year old girl, these words imprinted on me and made me see men in a different light. Remember: I was just cheated on by my boyfriend.
Are men evil? No. But we must remember, much like the fictional character being obsessed over his sick relationship, many children can form and lump people together, they need only be pushed in this direction. It was a tragic dance, a recipe with tainted ingredients that shaped my mind over the next few years and turned me from an innocent girl filled with hope and love, to a man hating, man destroying succubus. My mission was to seek out an innocent boy and destroy any light in him.
Okay, I shall talk more about this at another time. And remember: Don't get mad at me, I have, as an adult, sought out many that I have hurt and apologized, and even though this doesn't change my actions, I think it is a good start.
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