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Additionally, as a matter of emotion rather than fact, I must say that the instant when one finds himself encompassed by traces of an offense as horrid as this is cataclysmic, is the moment when his emotions die trying to protect him from the truth.
Giving words to one’s encounter with an experience as subhuman as sexual abuse is to use one’s most civil and sincere tongue for a subhuman language — is to feel like an intelligent human being whose conversation has been reduced to a dog’s bark.
And, because of the close relationship between that anguish and my education on the topic of sexual violence, there is a small part of me which remains grateful for any ignorance of this kind of violence — even if that ignorance does breathe life back into the beasts that I try to kill.
I do regularly eyeball that ignorance and grind my teeth because it makes the world a difficult place, but the tension in my jaws sometimes eases when I consider the ironic purity which creates that ignorance — the unspoiled quality entrenched within the bluster of one who’s never experienced the way evil can operate as a mute button.
” I am a resident of the former camp, for numerous reasons. The diversity of the accusers juxtaposed with the similarities of the accusations.
In the moment, I’m willing to consider compassion as a necessary pause, a quick breath needed for the careful assessment of what the beast that I’m trying to kill actually is.
But it is the rage which preserves the distance between me and that ignorance, that territory of the ill-informed which I never want to inhabit again but may one day try to revisit anyway — because not knowing is prettier than the scars that come with childhood desecrations and dead heroes.
But also because my father would give me piggyback rides to bed after the family finished watching another episode.
And, additionally, because what became the last night I would ever spend with my father included his smile from a hospital bed when I showed him a DVD of Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier’s Let’s Do it Again.
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