I am approaching the anniversary of my rape differently. I will be posting pseudo diary entries chronicling the events in real time, be it on a 43 year delay.
May 29, 1974
Richard took me to the village in a cab. He got me a cheeseburger and fries in a restaurant. Richard lectured me about health food. The place had big windows and I watched all the gays going by.
I don’t remember anything else about Wednesday. If it weren’t for the cab ride and lunch I wouldn’t know Wednesday ever happened. I only recall eating 3 times in the first 3 days away. During previous annivesary weeks I made a point of keeping myself well fed. I don’t remember where I slept or even going to the bathroom. I do know there was one small window where you could see the chrysler building. Was it the bathroom? I don’t know.
He lived in a duplex on Lexington Ave somewhere in the upper 30s. The furnishings reminded me of a stuffy grandmother’s: old wood, elegant lines, nothing comfortable or inviting. I don’t have a mental picture of the layout except the front room was longer than it was wide. A big desk faced the front door. I think a kitchen was behind it. I sense something was to the left. If it weren’t for my last night there, I don’t think I would have realized it was duplex.
What struck me most was the overwhelming stench of vitamins. There were bottles everywhere. He smeared them on his skin as if they were preservatives. His appearance was very artificial, even for the 70s. His hair was dyed sandy blonde. His tan was impossibly dark for that early in the year. You could tell at one time he had been beautiful. His efforts to retain it transformed him into something slightly grotesque. Generously, I thought maybe it read well on camera. He said, despite his age of 35 he was still working. That is all he ever told me about himself.
I’ve searched online for a model named Richard Dupont. He tended to be grand so I assumed it was his fictitious stage name. Google will pull up hits instantly! But they are for the twin brothers; Richard and Robert Dupont discovered by Andy Warhol. Last year I did a project at Longwood Gardens which was founded by Pierre Du Pont. A genealogist is on staff to track the extensive family. There was a Richard of the appropriate age, but beyond that fact there is no trace. At least now I know where the duplex and furniture possibly came from. What he called himself professionally I will probably never know. Which is for the best, I don’t need a photo of him on my screen.
Today I celebrate the changes I’ve been making around food. For years I only ate not to be hungry. I’ve come to see nutrition in a different light, as a way to love myself and work towards my goals. Though my diet is limited, it includes vegetables for the first time in 57 years! I am working on my serious food aversions. There are so many common foods I’ve never tasted. A friend recently asked how I liked potato salad. My old technique was to deflect and say I didn’t like it. Instead I was honest and spoke a very strange sentence “I don’t know, I’ve never tasted potato salad” (That is no longer true today!).
This series continues with ’74 Fold – Thursday
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