This spring in Paris I was staying at the La Lousiane, I heard stories of the place from the pre-student revolts, when the area was under rent control, dirt cheap, the streets smelled like piss, and people like Burroughs would keep a room at Lousiane, do a lot of drugs.
But now rue de Seine is a small yuppitrap, like the rest of Saint Germain, overpriced cafes, luxury boutiques, sidewalks full of tourists. But the rooms were still badly decorated, damp & chilly, strange noises at night from the narrow hallways. The breakfast room didn't get any outside light, some milky glass to some shaft – couldn't tell what the weather was like, newspapers read under neon glare about Abugrabe prison abuses by U.S. soldiers, the media star being England, a pregnant young woman. Just looking at the photos made me feel guilty, as if I was taking part in the sadism, and then the photos must just be a small part of what was happening in Baghdad – what wasn't being photographed? Wasn't being published in the International Herold Tribune? I don't know, but automatically I used my three words of french even more to widen the gap to the occupying Americans. My butt was getting too chubby for my pants, too much time spent in airports, bad food, so I walked every day the 45 minutes down along the Seine to Palais de Tokyo. I got a helper there to add to my three words of french & teach me a new sentence, "laisse moi tranquille, connard", which I repeated to myself going up & down stairs collecting materials for the show.
A friend came to town on a stipendium to make a film, we went to a concert, made up funny dances, took the last metro home, I got out at the Louvre, some guy asked me if I wanted to have a last drink with him, we were walking in the same direction along with a small crowd from the metro, I said, no, thanks, then he asked if he could walk a way with me. I heard that the bridges are not so safe at night, even though they have been cleaned up and the guy was harmless, so I said sure. He was in Paris working for some electrical company, it sounded very boring, he seemed really boring, but it was o.k. not to be alone going over the dark boring bridge, he left me at Rue de Seine to make his way back. My street was badly lit, cars parked bumper to bumper, the sidewalk is narrow & one needs to really make an effort to dodge other pedestrians. This guy walking by suddenly gets on my side, so we bump into each other, he says something & I say "laisse moi tranquille, ganard", he is all in white, quite tall, thin & very Arabic, whatever that is. I have to laugh a bit because I sound so stupidly American, he says "Oh, are you American?", "Yes, in America we say 'Fuck off'", "Oh yes, I want to (small pause) fuck you", as he tightens a grip on my wrist, slid his hand around my right hip, starts sliding his fingers down my large butt crack, I pull away but he's got quite a grip on my wrist, I think, he thinks I like being harassed.
This reminds me of the guy in Georgia who tried to rape me & also thought I was having a good time, strangely it didn't even cross my mind that he was trying to rape me, even when he asked me to take off my clothes I couldn't believe someone was going to all the trouble just to rape someone else? Rape is hard to write about because writing has so much to do with imagination, and images of sex tend to trigger a lot of fun & pleasure, the holding, pulling, biting are all fun things, but take away any eros and glamour and you are left with a physical contact to an undesired, distasteful body. It's actually surprisingly unsexual.
At the time I had been in Florida – such a horrible swamp – visiting a friend, I ran out of cash so took on a job driving an old ladies car for her up to Montreal. I had just read Virginia Woolf, "A Room of Ones Own" & was feeling really relieved that being female in the 1990s was pretty good, just a few disadvantages but also some advantages. On my way north I drove off the highway at Jeckel Island, Georgia, to see the sunset over the ocean, a guy snuck up behind me & put a gun to my back, told me to walk down the beach, "do as I say & you won't get hurt". Because he had a stalking over his face, and of course the revolver – I already saw my dead limp body rolling in the surf –, I lied, I said I would not go to the cops if he let me go, take the car, take my money ... Then he asked me how I liked this spot & I didn't know what to say, he told me to take off my clothes & lay down, which I did, he put down the gun on a white t-shirt, put on rubber gloves, those horrible surgical ones, I was on all fours with my butt to him & he put his fingers inside of me, which also felt like at the gynecologist, I had my eye on the gun, I figured I was dead anyway, I heard him opening up his belt, so I kicked with my right foot pivoted, got the gun ... But a second later he was on my back, his hands over mine so I couldn't shoot him, or shoot the gun at all, I bit his hands but was being crushed, couldn't move much, this idiot then said to me, "now what did you do that for?", I had to explain to him that I didn't want this to happen, that all I wanted was to go. He told me to let go of the gun & he would let me go, I should trust him. That also seems very ironic, that one should trust someone who holds a gun to ones back. But I had no choice, so I let go, closed my eyes, but the sound never came. He yelled for me to get dressed, he was walking back down the beach. I was really shocked that all I wanted to do suddenly in this situation was to kill him. The cops let me know that they were sad that I hadn't shot him. But that the survival instinct will turn one so fast into a blood thirsty killer.
Recently I was talking to Margit Czenky, she said a big shock was while she was robbing a bank, she had a revolver & she knew she was not going to kill anyone – the guns were loaded, but the safety lock was on –, one clerk started flipping out & laughing hysterically, it was a total shock to her that she was scaring people to death.
This idiot in paris really moved fast, the pervert wouldn't let go, I jumped between the bumpers of two cars into the street pulling him half way over the hood, lights of a car coming down the road, he let go & I ran down the road, towards, then past the oncoming small elegant car with an elderly man driving & a gucci wife next to him, all made up, they both stared at me, also at the creep I guess, I didn't turn around, didn't stop until I got to the Louisiane, I went to bed thinking of Abugrabe, stupid sadistic scenes, a pregnant trashy woman abusing helpless darkhaired men.
|Starship Nummer 7, Seiten 43ff|