It’s the same again. There is a clock, with an off kilter tick. A phone. It is the phone I remember, because it’s the phone of my teenage years; a true rrrrrring from a slippery plastic box on the wall. There is blurred chatter, then someone buzzes indistinctly at me, and it’s obvious I have lost a battle, because I am grabbed and chained. I don’t understand. I know I am pleading. I am begging people to explain but I’m talking through treacle.
So if you will bear with me, I’d like to take you through a kind of album of hurt and hope – a Spotify list of scar tissue, if you will.
Some of you may know a few of the lyrics; others may know every song from start to finish. If you are fortunate, then you will be hearing it for the very first time, and with luck, it will not be played out in your personal experience at any level. But what my all singing, all dancing playlist is attempting to demonstrate to you is why we need to find answers to the crisis which continues to build in our society – and I don’t mean Australian, or Western, or an individual country’s society – but society in general. It’s the crisis of a culture which isn’t dealing with the root issues behind the endemic rise of domestic and family violence, and violence against women.
What troubles me more than anything I think, in the fallout from this case, is what has happened with the law at the heart of it. Brock Turner was not sentenced appropriately for his crime. It's as simple as that. He raped a woman. He raped an unconscious woman, he left her unconscious next to a dumpster in the dirt, and he has been sentenced to six months in county jail. Possibly.
This is not the rule of law. It is the rule of lore. It is the result of privilege, and a closing of ranks by upper-middle class educated men around one of their own. It is a travesty of a system that I have had a great deal of faith in, and which I wish I could continue to hold in esteem.
No amount of dodging, ducking or putting of metaphorical fingers in ears and yelling 'la, la, la!!!' as loudly as possible to my psyche is going to cut the mustard.
Not this time.
It's those one or two seconds of fear-drenched icy realisation, the skeletal fingers up and down your cerebellum, when you just know. If we were in The Great Escape, it's time for Steve MacQueen to start revving up the motorbike.
It's the moment to go over the barbed wire of cynicism, and escape any feelings, or stay by your side, and face down the bastards together.
I've not to this day worked out what was more hurtful; the names you sprayed like poison at me, or the fact you genuinely couldn't remember them afterwards.
l'm also not sure whether I'm more ashamed of the fact I allowed you to hit me more than once, or that I stayed to allow it.
Red wine coating walls like blood. The smell of bleach as I scrubbed them clean, mixed with the taste of angry, delirious, tired tears.