This blog isn’t about Paris Hilton. Never has been and never will be. All that is wrong with our culture can be summed up in the networks frenzy to interview her. I used to love pop culture.
Trivia has been trivialized.
New York, present day
Maris paced back and forth. She needed a sign. Just one sign that things will be better.
A few weeks ago she had given into temptation. Allie had convinced her, after a couple of straight shots of Tequila, to go to Harrigans, a humongous bar, with live music, on the Upper West Side:
“We’re too old. I can’t remember the last time I went to a bar just to drink.”
Allie swirled in her new baby doll dress that fit perfectly but looked way too young for her:
“Come on. It will be fun. We haven’t done anything like this…”
“Since the year, fourteen years ago, the cabdriver kicked us out of his cab, you fell onto the sidewalk, and I had to talk the policeman out of taking you to Bellevue?”
“Maris when was the last time we had real fun?”
“Last week at the beach?”
“Doesn’t count. You know what kind of fun I’m talking about.”
They went to Harrigans. The one and only improvement over the old days was the lack of smoke. A band, that was to leave a negligible effect, was playing whiter than white boy blues.
Allie was strutting around. People were staring at the 49 and holding woman with the long blonde hair, white with baby blue flowers baby doll mini dress.
Maris thought she was beginning to truly resent this immature f–king bitch who is determined to go down, in every sense, in a blaze of alcohol fueled glory.
Maris hadn’t known what to wear. She was wearing a black and gray with a red arrow thin cotton tee, and cargo pants. Some boys tried to buy her a drink. She declined having no wish to talk or flirt or have anything to do with 20 to 30something boys.
Allie was loving the attention. She began dancing by herself, and soon was surrounded.
It made Maris sicker than she could have imagined. How could Allie have been her best friend since college? Men laughed when they asked about Allie. One had actually asked if Allie was dead yet. She had always defended Allie but couldn’t anymore.
She left the club. Maris almost ran off Columbus. On Amsterdam she ran into an old friend from high school, Jake. He had been divorced for almost a year and claimed to feel lonely. Maris had heard stories and wasn’t sure the lonely part was true.
But when he offered to take her to Cafe Luxembourg, she agreed. They sat at the bar before their table was ready and sang along with the piano player. Conversation was easy. The wine was constantly replenished. Maris went to Jake’s apartment in the new Trump buildings on the river.
It was an almost magical night. Jake was going to Europe for several weeks and leaving on an early morning flight. She slept until noon. When she went to get her cell, she realized that she had left it on vibrate all night.
There were too many messages. The sweet one that made her smile and blush was from Jake. The others were from the police and Roosevelt/St. Luke.
The detective asked her to come to the 20th Precinct. Allie had been given a date rape drug in her drink. She had been raped multiple times and beaten. She was expected to regain consciousness, but they didn’t know what the long term affects would be.
Maris literally ran to the hospital. She barely recognized Allie who was bruised, swollen and hooked to three machines.
Two weeks later Allie had regained consciousness, but made no sense. The doctors had done all they could physically do. Allie had no family, she spoke to, and had appointed Maris to make any decisions in an emergency. Fortunately Allie had good insurance that covered long term rehab.
The social worker at Roosevelt recommended that Maris see a therapist because she felt so guilty. If she hadn’t left. If she hadn’t ran into Alex, and taken her cell out of her pocket, she would have heard Allie’s message where she said she had met some guys and….The message ended there. Maris would have ran to the club if she hadn’t given into temptation. She felt as if she were the world’s lousiest friend.
The therapist, her old one, Ellen, kept telling her that there was nothing she could have done. Allie had been on the fast track to trouble for years. She knew Ellen was right, yet…..
Maris hadn’t told Jake any of this. He had met up with some friends and was on a yacht traveling the Greek Isles. He knew Allie. Anybody who had been in New York in the 70’s and 80’s knew her. The city had been littered with drunk and stoned girls but Allie had always made an impression
Once Maris wrote on a men’s room wall in Amsterdam’s, a grilled chicken and pick up place, “For a good time call Allie….” She had given a fake number.
OK Maris wasn’t perfect. She liked to play stupid jokes, drink too much, drug too much, sleep around too much, but she had always been a kind-of lady.
She had grown out of drinking, drugging and f–king too much. Well, Jake but she knew him. He hadn’t emailed or called in a few days.
The doorman called. The mail had arrived. Maris went to the mail room. Flitting inside too many catalogs, junk and broker things, was a thin blue envelope.
Maris noticed that Jake still had the same almost calligraphic handwriting he had in high school. No wonder he was such a successful graphics designer.
This was a sign alright. Her hands shook as she opened the envelope.
The story is pure fiction. It’s loosely based on stories I heard about some women my age, I knew when we were truly girls. I’m not really Maris but yes I have spent too much of my time saving people. I don’t anymore because nobody I personally know would do something like this.
Women do. Date rape drugs and date rape is on the rise.
See the no longer wonder child but wonder woman Cooper’s blog for a more serious look at rape.
No matter what a woman or girl wears, no matter how provocatively she dresses, rape is a serious crime. Or should be.
I decided that I probably will post once a week during the summer. One week 3WW; the next week Friday Flashback.
I can’t leave New York until I finish the one thing that is really important to me, and if I stay much longer I might kill people such as the Asian women who bumped into me in Fairway and began to giggle. I understand that giggling might be a sign of embarrassment in their culture. Their giggles turned into real laughter and it felt to me and the people around me that they were laughing at me. The check out woman apologized for them. Wasn’t her fault.
This is America. I can’t learn 42 different cultures and languages. I tried when I worked in the second most diverse SSA office in the city. Something is really wrong when people can’t make the slightest effort to learn American culture and the language–at least “hello” “good bye” “excuse me,” “I’m sorry.”
When I travel to other countries I try to respect the people. American’s aren’t horrible people. We deserve to be respected also.