Friday, January 6, 2012

Don't Fucking Tickle Me

In one of my first ever college classes I made the acquaintance of a rather flamboyant ballerino who was in his Junior year as a Performance Art major, with a focus on dance. And when I describe Marcel as flamboyant, I don't mean he was effeminate, but that he was just everywhere and always the center of attention when he was there, with his following of younger girls who shifted regularly, and who I never really spoke a single word to. You probably know the type: he was a Junior, but I knew I had a good chance of seeing him in the lounge of my Freshman dorm if I waited around long enough. If he saw me there I would surely be bugged by him regardless of what homework I was doing or who else I was with, and I would usually have to make it very clear and obvious to him that I wanted him to leave me alone before he actually would.

Even though Marcel's personality was not something I liked overly much, he was rather handsome, and someone I definitely would have enjoyed having sex with, if he had ever gotten past his social issues. For example, there was one time that he followed me back to my dorm room, even though I made repeated attempts to shake him loose, and even tried to force his way in, prompting me to rudely slam my body into the door to lock him out. I'm not sure what made him keep trying to push his way in, or on what level he thought that showed my interest in him, but not only did he not get the hint, he kept trying to make problems for me.

It got to the point hat I was almost positive that he was following me around and knew when I regularly showed up at certain areas of campus. He would show up in the dining hall when I was having dinner with my friends, sneaking in so he wouldn't have to pay, and interrupt my meals. He was frequently in the field house around the times I had swim practice, though he fortunately never tried to follow me into the swim team locker room. As cool as the guys on that team were about gay guys, I'm pretty sure they would not have been cool with Marcel's aggressive behavior.

He would also spend time regaling me with stories of his life while I was stuck in a social situation with him, wishing I could pull myself away. I'm not sure if he thought that the stories would make me like him more or not, but if he did, he picked the wrong stories. He could have enthralled me with stories of his dancing, or how he came to that particular creative choice. Maybe he could have asked me about myself a couple of times and actually gotten to know me. However, after hearing him whine and bitch about someone he knew (but I didn't) a few times I learned to just generally tune him out, or turn the conversation to something he knew nothing about, and continue talking with my friends as if he weren't there. I ignored his excesses, disparage his achievements in class (which, honestly, were few), and outright turn down any offers he gave me to join him at parties. I began to distance myself from him, leaving whenever he entered a room, pretending I wasn't in my dorm when he knocked (my roommate really appreciated that), the whole nine yards. I thought this would convince him that I wasn't interested, but he seemed to treat me like a scampering rabbit, he the wolf trying to dig me out of the woods. As far as he was concerned, I was prey to be hunted.

The thing about prey, of course, is that there is only so long a hunted animal will run before it lashes out at the hunter. Things came to a head between Marcel and I one afternoon when I was working on some homework in the lounge with two friends and he showed up to make a nuisance of himself. At this point, my friends, who at first had found his attentions towards me hilarious, were also getting annoyed by his almost constant presence, and we were all trying to ignore him as much as possible when he practically launched himself on me. He pushed me down on the couch and began tickling me everywhere he could. I've learned that I'm only ticklish with people I don't trust or who I don't want touching me. At that moment I really didn't want him touching me, and I definitely did not want him tickling me.

I tried to squirm away, but he was remarkably strong and I was incapacitated by trying to protect myself from his attack. He had tickled me in the past, something I abhorred, but he apparently found it a cute trait in me. Normally he would do it for a short while before stopping and letting me up, but this time he didn't stop. He kept tickling me even as I crawled off the couch and onto the floor, trying to slide away from him as best I could while telling him to stop. He ignored my pleas, even as I slammed my head into a nearby chair hard enough to see stars and skinned my elbow on the dirty rug. Even as I told him I was bleeding and hurt he kept going at me.

I felt time slow down and something shift inside of me. This was not the first time someone had forced their body upon me, though this was certainly the first time it was done with tickling. Past experience had taught me that there was something I could do to stop it, something I could do to get him off of me. In that moment I shifted from what had been a generally passive treatment of him to an outright aggressive attack. I took one moment to warn him off me, another to line up the shot, and then I punched him. I punched him in the nose hard enough to send his head flying back, and his surprised body followed. I stood up immediately and clenched my fists, ready to keep attacking if I had to. Experience had taught me to fight back, but it had also taught me to prepare for the fight to last longer than just one punch.

Marcel didn't fight back. He just sat back and blinked up at me, gaping in surprise. His nose was bleeding. I thought that I might have broken it, but really didn't care if I had. I simply glared down at him and said with every ounce of menace I could gather, "Don't fucking tickle me ever again. And don't you ever touch me without my permission." Without giving him a chance to respond, I turned to my two friends who had sat and watched the entire exchange without coming to my aid once and said, "I'm going to my room. Later." I made a quick stop to rinse out my still-bleeding elbow, and then went to my room and told my roommate we probably wouldn't have to worry about Marcel bothering us anymore.

That wasn't the very last time I saw him, but I didn't see much of him at all after that. It appeared that after getting punched in the face, he finally caught on that he had overstepped his bounds and backed off. He certainly stopped conveniently showing up wherever I was, and he never tried to tickle me ever again. Sometimes I wondered if I had overreacted to the situation, but I know that I had every right to punch him that day. I'm not saying he would have tried to sexually assault me. I did, however, feel that it was in my best interests to nip his aggression in the bud before it became something I couldn't deal with.

7 comments:

  1. Fuck ya, loved this story. Good for you Ace!

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  2. It's a shame that it takes an extreme act sonetimes to put a fella off. I never had to get ti physical violence but there were times I had to be blatant about my non-interest.

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  3. Oh I would have stopped him long before you did. Getting in someone face in public and being loud when you tell them to stop/leave me alone/etc is enough to get them to stop. Anything less they think it's ok to continue or that you are just 'leading' them on so again continue to act as they have been.

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  4. Anon 10:09,

    Glad you enjoyed it.

    -Ace

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  5. Rob C.,

    When I was younger I had a couple of experiences where, if I hadn't gotten physically violent, I probably would have been raped or assaulted, so sadly that is a rather constant worry of mine now. Now that I've matured, however, I'm usually better at seeing the signs and getting rid of people before it becomes an issue.

    -Ace

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  6. Cyberi4a,

    Keep in mind that when I first met Marcel, I was only 17, and I was still pretty passive and not as good at sticking up for myself. Now, I probably would have noticed the signs and gotten rid of him sooner, but back then it was par for the course with me.

    -Ace

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  7. Is it bad that boy got a bit turned on at the thought of Sexy Sir defending Himself like that?

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