Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Narrow Escape

 ten years old
Are we living in a world with more sexually deviant men than we realize? Or have we just taken the shade off this subject? Over the last several years many sexual scandals have been unearthed - the Roman Catholic Church; the Franklin Affair; Jimmy Savile; British politicians at Dolphin Square; Lost Prophets singer Ian Watkins; the Jerry Sandusky scandal; Jeffrey Epstein; and Bill Cosby - all vilified in the press. There are many other cases, too many to mention.

As a child growing up in Montreal, Quebec, I was flashed numerous times by naked men in cars who were handling their wankers as they sat waiting for me to walk by, either by myself or with girl friends. It happened so many times, in fact, I thought it was a normal part of growing up. However, one day I was almost kidnapped. This is the story of what happened to me and my friend Elizabeth when we were ten years old:

One morning, Elizabeth and I decided to go get an ice cream at the shopping center which was located beyond a large field behind my house. We pedaled furiously through the field (because evidently the boogeyman was in there somewhere) until we reached the service road that ran behind the shopping center.

To get on to the road, we had to stop and lift our bikes over a metal guard rail that ran parallel to the road for about 50 feet. Nobody was around. Elizabeth lifted her bike over and rode away towards the shopping center,the front of which was down the service road about 100 feet. I was about to mount my bike when a light blue delivery truck stopped opposite me. I looked over as the driver's door opened and a short, bald man with a pot belly climbed down and walked towards me.

“Hey,” he said as he started towards me. I wasn’t sure if he was talking to me and turned to see if anyone else was there. When I turned back I froze. The zipper to his pants was undone and bobbing up and down between his fingers like a flagpole in a Fourth of July parade was his penis. He fondled it as he continued towards me. He doesn't know his dink in his hand! I thought. I stood frozen and stared at his penis as he stopped a few feet away from me.

“Can you tell me where Morgan's is?” he said. I gawked at his penis and remained silent.
“I asked you, can you tell me where Morgan's is?”
“It's over there,” I said, pointing up towards the other end of the road.
“Okay, thanks,” he said, moving towards me. Suddenly, I gripped the handlebars of my bike and ran as fast as I could around the corner of the shopping center to where Elizabeth was waiting.

I told her about what happened and then we went into the drugstore, ate ice cream, bought comics, bought some gum and wandered around the other stores. An hour later, we decided to go back to Elizabeth's house when I grabbed Elizabeth's arm.

“There he is.” I pointed to the blue truck in the parking lot across from our bikes.
“Where?” she asked. I pointed again and as we looked, he waved.
“Right there. That blue truck. That’s him! He waved at us!” Elizabeth looked and he waved again.
"What are we going to do?" I said.
"I don't know. Let's wait until he goes."

We left our bikes and walked around the shopping center again, until we decided that he had to be gone. But when we went back,he was still there, sitting in his truck.

“Let's go really fast,” said Elizabeth.
“I don’t want to go.”
“I have to go home.”

Elizabeth got on her bike and I followed her around the corner of the shopping center to the guardrail where she lifted her bike over. I started to lift my bike when the blue truck drove around the corner and stopped in the same place as before. This time, he quickly got out of his truck, looking around as he hurried towards me, his penis in his hand.

“Hey,” he said. I stared at his dick, my knees shaking.
“I want to show you something. I just have a little thing I want to show you,” he said, coming towards me. He was near and just as he reached for my elbow, I dropped my bike and leaped over the guardrail and ran back towards the corner of the shopping center, with him running after me. He loomed over me and I stopped and crouched and sat on the ground against the wall of the shopping center, putting my hands over my head.

Suddenly, we heard “Hey! Hey!” coming from the field and we both looked up. Some older boys were running towards us waving their arms and the man hesitated before running back to his truck. He raced off.

The older boys ran up, out of breath and I told them what had happened. They watched out for me as I rode home through the field to Elizabeth's house.

Back at Elizabeth's house, the police were there asking questions and I don't know what was worse, the pervert or answering the questions from the policeman. He stood writing in a notepad. What was amazing is that Elizabeth had memorized the license plate on the truck before she took off.

The policeman asked me my name and how old I was and asked me describe what the man looked like and what he said to me.

"And what was he doing when he asked you where the store was?" the policeman asked, looking at his pad, his pen poised. Everybody was looking at me and I blushed.
“Well...” I said. “Well, he had his thing out." I pointed to my crotch and looked away.
"And when he came back the second time he said he wanted to show me something,” I said.
“So he stopped two times?"
"Show you what? Did he say?”
“No, he said he just wanted to show me something."
"And what was he doing?"
"Well, he had his - his - his thing out."

I told of the boys who had run up to me just before the man drove off and that I didn't get the license plate number.

I didn’t tell my parents about the incident, but a few days later my father told me a detective was coming over to the house to discuss what had happened. The living room was cleared so he could talk to the detective alone. When he arrived my father showed him upstairs and they sat hunched over the coffee table talking quietly. My father suddenly stood up and called for me.

“You and Elizabeth are going for a ride with the detective to see if you can identify the truck.”
"Right now. Go get your coat on."

I got in the car with the detective and we picked up Elizabeth. It was a rainy night and the wipers scraped slowly back and forth across the windshield as we sat silently in the front of the car until we reached a covered parking lot somewhere in the center of the city. The detective stopped the car, leaving his headlights and windshield wipers on. Through the rain slicing through the beam of the headlights, he pointed over the dashboard to a vehicle.

"Is this the truck?" he asked. I pulled myself up and looked over the dashboard.
"Yeah, that’s it,“ I said. My heart started to pound. Elizabeth nodded.

I looked at the license plate and thought how amazing it was that Elizabeth had thought to memorize the number, something I would never have thought to do.

The detective drove us back home. The house was still dark when I went into the living room; everybody had gone to bed except for my mother.

“Did you see the truck?“ she asked.
“Yeah, we did.“
“Okay, get ready for bed. It‘s late.“

My father didn't mention it again, nor did my mother, but I suppose they knew what happened in the end to the man in the blue truck. There were times when I started to ask my father what happened, but every time I did the image of that man fondling his penis loomed up and stopped me. The whole thing was just too embarrassing for any of us to talk about.