That feeling you get when you suddenly become aware that a certain incident had changed your entire life for good. Hey, not “good” as in, Gooood. I mean an experience had negatively altered your life for good. Has it ever happened to you? You try as much as possible to forget, to supress, blank it all out like your pages Dear D. Sometimes, I dream about it, that my life is a clean white slate like yours. Those images, they just never leave, they vividly claw at my imagination, making me succumb to the headshake syndrome that deceives me into thinking that at the shake of my head the gory would be all gone…gone! Gone!Gone!. Have you had such instances Dearest D? But then, how could you? You are so plain. Gullibly innocent. White and without the runny black ink of trepidation.“Hold tight then, thy reins, for I shall very soon rain down upon thee all that of the years had left me drained” Ha-ha W.B. Yeats has got nothing on me.
My Dad raped me. Or was it mutual? Was I too drunk to remember a thing?
Dear D, two things are utterly crucial for you to note and absorb. The first being that I was just only thirteen, my age, that is. My physiological make up made this very hard to believe though, and that is because I had the build of say, a twenty year old. Taller than most girls of my age, and being endowed and curvy curvy, I was and still am, a sight for sore eyes. My plus size boobs and sprout backside gave me, well you can call it plus size attention from plus size and far much older men than I was. Undue attention from men, including my own father, I guess.
The second noteworthy thing is that at thirteen, I could and was allowed to confidently flaunt a filled champagne glass and gulp it down without my parents batting an eyelid, and even if they did, it was only an empty charade just to appease their conscience that as parents they exercised a little bit of caution to curb my excesses. Besides, the journey leading to the whole drinking paraphernalia dated way back. In early 2002, just a few months before my tenth birthday, mum enrolled me for a “fine dining and etiquette” summer course in Scotland, in the United Kingdom. I shall save you the whole vivid and savvy details of what went down amongst myself and my co-course participants.
However, and In all honesty, we weren’t tutored with alcoholic drinks, we had fruit wines for the wine lessons, but who were we deceiving, the participating schools and organisers knew that most of the students enrolled in the summer school were pooled from different continents around the world and were mostly of the upper class. To most of us, the word “decanter”wasn’t a word we accidentally stumbled upon in the dictionary or by virtue of this high sounding etiquette jargon summer b******t. We lived it. We grew into it. We knew to spell it by association not as a result of some monumental four walled tutorial. For crying out loud, the wine bar in some of our houses could easily pass for someone else’s living room. Anyways, my Asian roomie was able to smuggle in a bottle of champagne with the help of one of our top tutors. Haha, yeah…Mr Macmillan how could I ever forget.
We drank till late. We woke up late. We were found out. We roped Mr Macmillan in, our parents/guardians were informed and in my case, my mum. Yeah, my mum. She stayed with me the whole three weeks in Scotland, not in my hostel of course. She lodged in a four star hotel like a mile from my school. You should note that my mum doesn’t do four stars, with hotels. But under this unusual circumstance, sad but true, she did. The five starred hotel she very much wanted was way way far from my school, more like it’s in another borough entirely, so you see, she had no choice but to swallow her pride, and usually my mum’s pride is larger than an elephant’s head. In my opinion, this particular hotel she was circumstantially staying in is so cool, but being my mum and under this circumstance, factoring in her injured pride, I need not tell you how she nagged the poor members of staff to “death and destruction” all on top of one missing star. The truth is, if you changed the status of this same hotel to a five star under a different name, my mum wouldn’t know the difference.
Well, mum was informed alright about our/my drinking orgies, but I wasn’t scared of her reaction or anything. So much so she feigned anger in front of our hostel guardian and then later in the day when we went shopping, she asked me for the name of the wine my Asian friend brought, the one we got drunk on, and then she took me to this wine store and bought the most expensive red wine on the shelf. You could guess how shocked I was when she went:
“I am a red wine person, you should be too”. Of course I took to the white, simply because I hated to become any of the fanciful pleasure my mum stood for. Little did I know.
To cut a short story shorter, mum simply viewed alcohol as a tool for social integration amidst the upper class. Although she favoured only the wines, not the rums, vodkas, beers or their antecedents. She encouraged us to have names for favourite items, activities or hobbies such as, food, drinks, places, experiences etc. you dare not be caught napping without being able to offer a quick response for the name of the perfume you wearing, your wristwatch, your favourite wine, places and so on and so forth.
“If it’s got a name, it’s got class” she would say.
“If there is no name then its lame” she is vanity personified, that woman.
Dear D, it was important I made those sub digressions about my age and the wine thingy, like you would have guessed, those two were critical to my situation at the time. I was too young for comfort, I got drunk and on top of it I was violated by my father.
I never was brought up with the orientation on playing the “wait till you’re married” virgin card, but I secretly desired the “happily ever after, knight in shining armour” fairy tale theme. I fantasised about the magical moments of “losing your virginity to the right man” bitter sweet experiences I read about. I wanted the candles and the hot tubs with red roses and petals blah, blah, blah stuff.
But then, all this drunkenness…
Nagging headache. I’m hung over.
- 00 am. My bedside clock chimed.
And then… wait a minute. What is this?… a Post-it note, stuck directly above my vintage bedside clock. I couldn’t miss the handwriting for the world. Dads!
My stomach churned.
I rolled over and tilted sideways to pluck it off.
“Who is your first?” it read. I swallowed hard. Is this a joke?
Well, your next guess is as good as mine, perhaps close. I lifted up the remnant of my evening dress from last night’s unforgettable event. Bloods don’t lie.
Dear D, if you’re shocked, for my sanity sake, please feign that you aren’t.
Right now, my fingers hurt. I need a drink. The Red, and yes, just exactly like mum.