I thought he was my friend.
I was hanging out at The Union with some friends. A beer or two quickly faded into shots of whiskey and more whiskey and soon, I found myself in the terrifying spot of haziness and stumbling. I remember my good friend asking me if I wanted her to walk me home, only a short block or two, but “Brad” insisted that he could do it. The last thing I remember is looking behind my shoulder as I walked out the door and telling her that “Brad is my friend. He wouldn’t do anything to hurt me.” and I believed those words as I said them.
“Brad” was my friend. He was older and often could be found at the pool table of The Union and everywhere he went he seemed to be worshiped. While he had attempted to initiate a sexual relationship a half a dozen times at least, I had always turned him down and generally he was well-receptive to my rejections. With one notable exception, which included a passive-aggressive text message about my decision to go home with another man.
I only realized that “Brad” wasn’t my friend when I talked to my girlfriend from the bar and my roomate. Had it not been for them and the blood caked on my inner thighs, then I never would have known that “Brad” and I had been together that night, yet alone that he had taken advantage of me.
The hardest part was going in to the Union a few weeks later, finally seeing him again, only to walk into him and a former partner of mine laughing about how they had both been with me.
For the longest time I felt as if I couldn’t be upset about what had occured that night, I couldn’t be angry with him, because I had slept with other men, or because I had a history of getting a little too drunk, but more importantly because he enjoys a beloved status around town.
As a young woman, new to the bars and incredibly naive, I felt as if I had gamed the system and found a place and people where I was safe. I thought that monsters in the night looked a certain way and were to be found on Court St., not the relatively tame and generally more established crowd that flocked to The Union. I was so wrong.
For the longest time I couldn’t even walk down Union because I felt suffocated. Even now I run into him at the bar or on the street or outside Tony’s, and my breathing becomes shallow and my vision hazy. I still feel so isolated and alone. I’m only writing this now because I would have wanted to be validated in my experience. I would have wanted to hear that just because a person is beloved, doesn’t mean that they can’t do bad things. I would have wanted my experience validated.
Happened on September 8, 2017
Incident reported by target
Bystander Action? No
Harassment Types: Sexual