Why didn’t I remember that chapter 2 of Memories That Smell Like Gasoline was about rape, rape and the way you remember, the way it stays in your body and keeps you so scared and helpless. I didn’t remember until now, now when I’m sitting here at the dinner table with Ned, my body scared and helpless except then I’m sobbing, and sobbing as a kind of hope, right? And Ned looks so concerned, which makes me cry more, and then he says: Did something like that happen to you?
But does he mean a trick gone wrong, turned into a rape in a truck on the side of a road you don’t know, like in the book, or does he mean a trick gone wrong, turned into a rape that you see again, when you see him or when you don’t, or does he just mean a trick gone wrong, or does he mean rape in general, or is rape ever general, or just rape, does he mean have you ever been raped, and who hasn’t been raped?
I haven’t told Ned about my father, I mean I told him I hate my father, that I hate both of my parents, that when I was 13 I decided I had no respect for them at all but still I was trapped and now I’m not trapped anymore so I don’t want to talk to them ever again. But I haven’t told him why. I don’t know if I want to.
But now Ned’s saying has that ever happened to you, and I just nod my head and continue sobbing. He comes over and rubs my back. I’m sorry, he says, I’m sorry that happened to you; I don’t want that to happen to you again. And that makes me cry more, I can’t believe I’m crying this much, when was the last time I cried this much. I can’t believe I’m crying with Ned. Again. I’m crying again with Ned. All because of this book, this book that means so much to me.
Ned hands me another cocktail, and do I want this cocktail, yes.