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  • When I was still in a crib, my parents hired a neighbor boy to babysit. When they got home, he was in the crib with me. I don’t know and never will what might have happened.
  • I was flashed the first time when I was probably about 9 or 10, in Riverside Park. I started developing at about 12 years old; the most popular boy in my class in junior high took to singing “Sophie’s is bustin’ out all over.” (People reading this probably think that’s kinda funny. It wasn’t.)
  • At a summer camp social, I was informed by another girl that the boys (visiting from another camp) were taking bets about who could get me in the bushes and feel me up. (Boys will be boys, right?)
  • The street harassment was probably the most traumatic for me because it was just relentless. Lots of hissing and kissy noises and leering and Mira, mamacita. Everywhere all the time always always always. I don’t remember many specifics except once I paused on 59th street and bent down to tie my shoe and a fat old guy walking by said “Blow me.”
  • Once I completely lost it in the middle of Broadway and started screaming at the top of my lungs at someone who said something. I got home a wreck, my parents gave me port wine to try to calm me down.
  • I took to wearing a vintage nurse’s cape both as hippie fashion and to hide my body. It didn’t help. Mostly it caused sales clerks to follow me around in stores. I’m still not comfortable walking past men, even though I’m too old for them to bother looking.
  • When I was about 13, a man started chatting me up in the park one day. I talked to him for a while and then (shame, shame, shame, shame) agreed to go to his apartment because he was a filmmaker and wanted me for a movie. (I know, I know. I was very young.) On the way, I stopped into a local newsstand/candy store and ran into someone I knew. The guy bolted. To this day I get queasy thinking about what might have happened had I not stopped in that store.
  • Also around that time, a guy I thought was cute came up to me at a party and said, “You have pretty big tits for a kid your age.”
  • And my dentist, who I’d seen since I was a very little girl, insisted for the first time that I kiss him good-bye. On the cheek, if I remember correctly. But still–ew.
  • In high school, my closest male friend insisted, angrily, that the only reason a teacher chose me for a project was because of my tits.
  • Another high school friend, a guy, recently told me that he remembers a teacher touching me inappropriately. I have no memory of this.
  • When I was 17, I had breast-reduction surgery. I hated them that much.
  • Friends and I met a bunch of life guards at Jones Beach and spent the evening with them at a club. I flirted ineptly with one who later got me alone in the parking lot and was pushing me down on a car when my other friends showed up. Bullet dodged.
  • When I was 19, I was raped on a beach in the Bahamas by a man I had just met.
  • Hanging out with a bunch of arty-farty friends one night, I reluctantly went along with the suggestion that we all go skinny dipping. I probably did not have my own car or I wouldn’t have gone, it’s not really my thing. When we were all in the pool, a guy I’d met just that night took my hand and put it on his dick. I pulled away and hung out on the other side of the pool until I could leave.
  • A boyfriend caught a peeping Tom on the ledge of my bathroom at one place I lived.
  • I also caught one clinging to the balcony of my room on a cruise ship in the Galapagos.
  • I was flashed in the stacks of the public library. When I told the librarian she rolled her eyes like, “Not again,” and called security. (She was rolling her eyes at him, not me.)
  • I was riding my bike with my husband. We passed a bunch of young men and one yelled, “She’s got a fat ass.”
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