I meet up with a friend who has been experimenting with cannabis infusion recipes for dinner parties. As I am gearing up to launch my business, we discuss creating an immersive experience around cannabis cooking. So, we schedule a date to chat and test out product.
My friend is a chef and owner of a high end catering service. His clients are those bougie white people that talk about art and fashion around long rectangular tables while scandalously slathering themselves with gossip about the host on the other side of the room.
We meet up at his house, where he imparts the first recipe – espresso with cannabis infused coconut oil. There’s some nutmeg and other fun ingredients in there too. But before receiving my first sample, I share a marvelous prologue about how this would be my first time consuming cannabis this way and that I was basically a baby to the whole herb thing, despite being from Los Angeles. I smoked my first blunt as I was edging out of my 20s. Take it easy, is what I told him. I don’t want to be high all day.
As I drank the infused coffee concoction, he shared another sample of his work, an infused goat cheese stuffed date. I didn’t like it. Too rich.
Our plan is to meet at his house, then carpool to our destination city, four hours away. This trip is an exploratory journey to discuss business, ideas etc, etc.
About an hour into the journey, I feel something. He told me at the beginning I had about that amount of time before it kicked in.
Almost immediately after noticing the cannabis had activated in my system, I become very anxious. I start panicking, but only in my head. My imagination runs wild and the internal dialogue is erratic. I even become severely sad and scared that I’d be high for the rest of my life.
The day goes on. Most of it I don’t remember. I am scheduled to see a relative during the day when we reach the destination city, but somehow it grew dark and I am still with my friend.
I remember going to a restaurant where we have a few mimosas. We sit close to each other. I am giggly. He says we kissed. But I am not attracted to him.
I remember getting to the car, his. I sit down in the front passenger seat and then climb to the back. I don’t know why. I tear off my panties. He joins me in the back.
I remember a few distinct things back there: His dick is out. I suck it. I stop suddenly.
The next I remember, we arrive to my relative’s house. I don’t know how in my insobriety I am able to remember how to find her address and direct him there.
I can remember feeling a sense of relief and joy to see family. We all sit in the kitchen and talk and eat his infused scallops. I speak loudly, like a drunkard.
I pass out on the couch, tired from the day. He leaves.
The next morning, I wake before the sun comes up. I don’t feel high, but I feel I have a terrible hang over. I don’t want to move, afraid the feeling will come back. But I have to pee.
I am dizzy, frustrated, unable to see clearly. I fall twice. Hit my head and pass out in the bathroom. I somehow wake up before anyone could find me there. I manage to get back to my couch palate before sunrise.
I feel miserable. I feel like I was accidentally resurrected from the dead. My revival wasn’t done properly. Whoever performed the ritual skipped a line in the spell.
My friend is my ride home. I don’t really want to go with him, but I don’t really know why. On the way back we stop, stroll on a harbor, sit and chat. He pulls out his phone and asks me if I remember what happened the day before. He shows me pictures of my bare ass in the air between two seats over a car’s center consul; there is my naked, unshaven vagina, my squinty eyes and sloppy smile. Unable to give a proper reaction, my stomach quietly knots inside of me. I feel exposed, violated, confused, wondering how this happened, why it had, if we had sex, if I was pregnant, if he wore protection.
He laughs as he swipes through the pictures, his head in my lap like a lover. I am uncomfortable with all of this. I don’t want him. I never did. But he’s my ride home.
After getting back to my rented Brooklyn bedroom within an eyesore of a dilapidated brownstone owned by an older woman, I sit silently, listlessly staring at the ceiling, out the window, at the blank wall, trying to understand or forget everything. He says we didn’t have sex, but I asked for “the dick.”
He says I am lucky I was with someone I could trust. He says I was in good hands.
I confront him months later.
He never apologizes for his actions, says that it was a consensual stream of sexual events. His language convinces me he knows his actions were indeed an amalgamated violation. He speaks as if premeditated, a lawyer coached his words. He says sorry I feel violated, but is firm he did nothing wrong. He says he wasn’t exactly sober either, as his 6’4″, nearly 300 pound self had consumed two mimosas that day.
I share this story, in a more crass, matter of fact way with my audience in my blog. My story is nearly void of feelings and reflections, as if to simply tell a story. The reactions from young women were particularly disturbing, as most only laughed at my recount of events, somehow ignoring the rape that occurred. I thought maybe it was the way the story was told. But men, the few that did respond, however, showed concern, asking if I was okay, using the word rape, despite me never mentioning the word.
I, in fact, strayed from the term because using it seemed to violate the experiences so many other people have had. The penetration, the violent nature of it, the lifelong trauma. Besides, I don’t want to be yet another statistic, dirtied by something like rape.
While I had not been beaten or even forced physically to do anything, I realized that in my insobriety I was taken advantage of, easily coaxed into acts that I wouldn’t normally perform, except with a lover, someone who I had primed, grown with in some capacity. He was a friend. Social. Someone with whom I’d be doing business. I never shared any words that alluded to attraction. I had even invited him to dinner with a boyfriend and me once.
It was a guy friend of mine who used the word via text. It stood out like a scarlet letter on my tiny iPhone 5s screen “RAPE.” The other words he sent didn’t exist. I think someone else had implied the idea once. But he wrote it out plainly. I was forced to sit with this reality.
I had been raped.