CABLE, MT



      I
wasn't sure I could do it. I spoke brazenly on the phone, like a dog on a chain, like a dog who barks louder maybe because he's on his chain. Well, that's speculative isn't it? So I tossed off my chain.

      I got up there on Tuesday. It was way past dark. She was at the bar but went home to meet me. She had tried to talk me out of it before I came up and she started again but I made her lead me back to the bar. It seemed part of her was pleased and intrigued with what might happen.

      She pointed him out. He was bigger than I expected. Of course I had pictured him ugly and so he was ugly. I left. She'd given me directions to his apartment and I made my way there. He lived above a tobacconist. I would wait for him on the stairs.

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        I realized I didn't know what she was going to do. I couldn't imagine she'd warn him, or get the police. At worse perhaps she'd show up with him and try to talk it out. But that would still be a betrayal so I didn't expect it.

      I put what I'd concealed on its side, into the shadow of the step, and held a decoy which I'd thought of on another operation. Once before I'd waited in the hall with a single rose that I'd bought at the airport. When neighbors passed me they smiled and greeted me, thinking I was on of course a different mission. This guy had misrepresented himself as gay, so I figured I'd enhance his false pretense. Ha!

      Was I thinking straight? If I was seen at all, an investigation would reveal me. It could go that far of course. I didn't know how badly I would hurt him.

      I was uneasy about how hard to hit him. I'd read that where amateurs fail is in cringing at the point of impact. I could imagine that instinct holds us back from upsetting the equilibrium of someone's well being. But would I overcompensate as a result and fracture his skull? It didn't occur to me that I would kill him.

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        What was I after? She had not forgiven him, but word had gotten out through her friends and as a result he'd tried to approach her about clearing his name. She told me it was sufficient punishment that he was in a panic about his reputation: he'd have trouble pulling this on another girl. I intoned that his reputation had little to do with how he'd gotten past her defenses. She was drugged, she doesn't remember anything. She remembers fighting him off in the bathroom.

      For me the issue was that she was violated. Or might have been. Her body, in the scheme of things my body, our shared sexual temple, had been sacked or might have been. Not knowing, it became untouchable as if it was.

      I was avenging myself. I was frustrated that she was in large part responsible for having been drunk enough, or for having entertained miscreants among whom lurked a social criminal. What she did was out of my control. That she could now be pregnant or terminally infected was the untenantable. There was nothing to do about it except get rough justice. In the name of deterrence for a next crime, whatever.

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        Every campus should have a secret greek society for meting out swift retribution. Two other suspects at the party, whose faces she couldn't later differentiate from typical party guys, had made an early remark about slipping her something. They joked that while she had left her drink unattended someone could have dosed it with a "Roofie." Would they have made that joke if somewhere outside lurked a Frappa You Upsilon, behind the trees on a dark quiet week night?

      Thus a founding member, protector of sacrosanct, sat waiting for this jerk to come home, hopefully alone, hopefully stumbling drunk. If he wasn't the one, let him sort it out with whoever was. He was complicit as was everyone who was there, stoned or drunk in the various rooms inattentive.

      Let him stumble with his head bleeding, his eyes dilated from a concussion as he scrambles for sympathy and protection. I will have told him that I would be back to hear his confession but tonight I was showing him my anger. Later he could tell me the specifics about what he did and what mud he'd

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  dragged into my life, then I was going to fuck him up again. He brought this on himself for being a dumb shit, for being a thirty year old dumb shit with no business on a college campus except apparently to rape college girls. Was I envious? Was I furious because I didn't dare try what he was doing? Well isn't that hard to say? But tonight I was making sure he ran smack into the consequences that keep me at bay.

     It started to get light and as I write this now I am thinking about angry dogs.













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