more from the interview

“I have spent years chasing the tail of my darkness.”

“Yes?” Dr Axelrod responds, lifting his eyes from the notebook he feverishly writes into. “And what have you discovered?” His eyes lock with Marissa’s. He needs her to spell it out for him so that it’s on record.

Marissa smiles again, then looks down at the floor before continuing. “I didn’t even remember I was raped. I blocked it out. I blocked out a lot of my youth, but there was always something inside me that ached so bad. The sun would be shining, people would be singin’ and dancin’, but something felt dead in me for so long.”

She looks at Dr. Axelrod again. “When I met Stan,” she continues. “Something changed. It was like things weren’t so fuckin’ dark anymore. It was like the sun was shining down on me, too, and I could finally sing and dance with everyone else.”

“Mmm.”

“I know it sounds corny and cliché but it’s how I felt; things were just so fuckin’ great between us.”

“Marrisa,” Dr. Axelrod says. “When did you remember being raped? What happened to make you remember?”

“Oh doc,” Marissa sighs. “Can I have a smoke first?”

“Not allowed.”

“Of fuckin’ course,” Marissa snaps. “Fine.”

Marissa shifts, bringing her knees into her chest so that she hugs herself on the chair. “I didn’t remember till after me and Stan got married, obviously. I mean, who’s gonna marry their rapist? That’s just sick. So one night we went out to the bar and had some drinks and stuff, and when we got home, we started going at it. You know. And we’re both kinda drunk and it’s getting really heated and stuff and all of a sudden, he pulls at my hair.” Marrisa closes her eyes again and holds her hands to her head. “He yanks at my hair and just kinda snaps my head back a bit and just holds it there for a second too long and that’s when it comes back to me like a motherfuckin’ semi runnin’ me over.”

She opens her eyes and looks at Dr. Axelrod who’s writing in his notebook. “I let him keep drillin’ me and when he finally came and released my hair, I looked at him and it was like I was nine again. It was like I was laying on that cold stinky clammy garage floor. In the dark. All alone.”

Marissa inhales deeply before resting her chin down atop her knees and exhaling. “He rolled over and outta bed and went to the bathroom, and I re-lived the nightmare from twenty years ago in my head. I started shaking bad and he came back to bed and saw me shaking and went and turned the heat warmer. I started screaming like mad but I don’t think it happened outta my head, ya know? Because he just turned the notch on the thermostat and went and sat by the computer.”

“Did Stan rape you when you were nine?”

“Yes.”

“Did you confront him after remembering?”

Marissa didn’t answer. She just sat in the chair hugging herself, rocking a bit.

“Did you confront him about the rape after remembering?” Dr. Axelrod prodded again.

“Not until I killed the motherfucker.”

**********************************************************************

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