Thursday, May 24, 2007

Looking for Mr. Goodbar


I'd seen this movie in passing years ago, thought Diane Keaton was her usual flippant self, didn't much feel moved when she flippantly got murdered---the whole movie was soooo "of the time" ("dirty '70s, Scorsese knock-off") that I felt jaded and unsympathetic watching it. I think the film came out in '77, based on the book that came out in '75, based on the book-experience of '70...

After almost 3 weeks in bed after being mauled by my roommate's cat, I finally got up this week to do things. Like laundry, today. And in the laundry-room (where there's a table where the building's tenants leave their castoff books---I've previously picked up a photo book of Jerry Lee Lewis's heyday and Swanberg's "Citizen Hearst") today I found a copy of Judith Rossner's '75 book, "Looking For Mr. Goodbar."

While, when watching the movie, I disliked the "Theresa" character as played by Diane Keaton and didn't particularly care if she died (that's the filmmaker's fault), when reading the book I did relate to "Theresa"'s character from the beginning, and hated what happened to her.

I've mentioned this months before on my blog, that I got raped in 2000. I didn't give details, just that that was one of the worst things that had ever happened to me. In truth, there were many other creepy details: As soon as the guy entered my apartment, he was asking things like, "Do you have a dog?" "Are your neighbors home?" "We should close the curtains---don't want anyone to see us doing drugs!" What kills me (figuratively) is that I didn't pick up on any of that stuff. I'd gone out to a gay bar to meet friends. When the friends didn't show up, I met this guy hanging around. He was a "dick dancer" at the gay bar and I thought he was perfectly safe to hang out with and do some coke with and talk with, since I presumed he was gay and would just want to "hang out" and not have sex. Wrong!

After he raped me, he asked, "Don't you have knives in your kitchen? I wouldn't let anyone do that to me." Which made me think: Really, should I have taken out a steak knife and come after the guy, and all that entailed? Or should I just have let him fuck me and be done with it? I found out later from the police that the guy had previously been in jail for a non-violent crime, but that while in jail another guy had tried to rape him and he'd stabbed the guy, and gotten more time for it.

Which reminds me also of an earlier incident, circa 1995. I'd been to a club-show of a band I really liked. As I was leaving, in the parking garage, a guy who'd also been at the show asked me if I wanted to do some coke. I was lonely and pumped up and said, "Sure." He came over to my house, we did some crank and listened to music. The guy had obviously been up for days, was shaking and tense. But still under control. I'd told him before he came over that I was gay (just as I'd told the rapist that I was gay), and that I just wanted to "party" and talk. I thought that saying that made it OK for everyone involved. In this case, it did. At one point, the guy touched my thigh, and I flinched... He freaked out a bit and said, "Don't EVER do that."... There was a bad moment, and then I apologized, and we kept on talking...

My point being: "Looking For Mr. Goodbar" was horrifying, because I could have died in either of these cases, just as Theresa died in the book. No Morality Tale involved, just a reflection of how some things sometimes happen. You hear about it all the time in the news.

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