He comes in a suit.
It’s clean. With a matching tie. His beard trimmed.
He tells me,
“If I attacked you, you wouldn’t look me in the eye.”
He and his friend had come into my work the week before. Drank too much. Tipped too little.
His friend said he wanted to hear us fuck.
They try to get me to leave with them. They say we’ll play guitar and sing. Maybe more.
They say I don’t have to fuck either of them. Or I could.
After all, the night is still young.
I get them out the door, and he stops, right in front of me.
“But I just wanted a kiss,”
I ask him it back.
“Did you just want a kiss?”
He smells like whisky, with bloodshot eyes. His skin droops and sags.
“Well and then see where it goes, but you won’t fuck me. You won’t ever fuck me.”
Another coworker is waiting at the door, trying to get inside, but he’s on top of me and I’m back against the door unable to run back inside or leave.
So I kiss his cheek and say,
“Get home safe.”
And they finally exit, let my coworker come through. Let me go back inside.
So he comes back in his suit and says
“I don’t remember what happened,”
“My friend told me I should come back and ask you out. That you’d say yes.’
He tells me,
“The other guy, the other one that works with you, said I don’t know what you did but I basically raped you.”
He says, many times,
“But I didn’t rape you.”
He sits at the counter, with his smoothed our hair and alcohol on his breath,
“I am sorry,
But it’s all moot isn’t it,
Because you will never fuck me.”
And he doesn’t understand that what happened was intimidating. That his presence makes me nauseous.
“I didn’t assault you”
“I didn’t touch you,”
“I didn’t rape you.”
Because this standard is such that
If you, a well meaning man,
Come into my work
Where I make the money I need to survive
And make me feel threatened,
Trap me with no place to run
Tell me I’m only as important as my legs will spread for you
Because, as you said,
You didn’t fucking rape me.
Because I will still look at you.
Because I will talk to you.
So nothing really happened.
Nothing happened at all.