“me too”

October 16th, 2017

i’d almost forgot about it. it was long ago. an abandoned memory buried somewhere in my subconscious.

i love film festivals. i stopped going regularly a few years ago, but for a significant part of my life, film was my church, my home. to be at a film fest was like magic to me. a moment to disappear, to visit other places, to hear people’s stories, to travel in imagination. to be at home and to not be alone.

i was 16 when i first started going to the rotterdam film festival. i’d watch three, sometimes four movies a day. it begins in mid january and lasts about ten days. this meant i was skipping the first two weeks of classes, every year. oh well, priorities.

this one year, fallen angels was supposed to premier at rotterdam. at the last minute this changed, and the premier went to berlin instead – the bigger shinier more prestigious film fest. however, chris doyle, the famous cinematographer, was already in town. and he was giving a talk. i went, had a chat with him, tried to explain i was a fan and was running a website for wong kar wai and his movies. he told me he had a photo exhibition a few days later, gave me a vip ticket. star struck, exhilarated, i went back home.

did i go to the photo exhibition? hell yeah. i remember i was the only one there with a backpack. everyone seemed older, everyone seemed to know what they were doing. im pretty sure i was the only student. when chris saw me, he walked over, chatted with me and introduced me to some of his friends, explaining they were working for the now defunct fortissimo. at some point, we went for dinner, a bit odd, with a group of people i just met, but two people stood out. one was an asian male, and was not giving me good vibes. the other was also an asian male, and seemed friendly in a big brother kind of way, making sure i was included and that i didn’t feel out of place. he even said that he had a gift for me. “for me? wow ok”. he asked me to go with him to get the gift. we started walking, and before i know it, we are inside his hotel room. he got his gift, gave it to me, and i remember thinking .. “ok? this is what you made me walk all the way for?” but ok, a gift is a gift. it’s at this point that i’m sitting on his bed, and he started putting his arm around me. and he is starting to touch me. and i remember just feeling confused, wondering what was going on. wondering what he is doing. but i also remember moving away, instinctively. feeling uncomfortable. it didn’t take too long before he gave up, and we went back to the table. i remember the other guy winking at my “friend”, a wink that didn’t make sense to me until after we got the bill and i left.

at the station, waiting for the train, i am trying to figure out what had happened. i remember that it felt wrong. sometimes it takes the mind a bit longer to realize what your heart, body and bones already know. i called a friend. asked the friend to swear to keep this a secret. telling my friend, that something had happened, to convince myself it was at least somewhat real, that i wasn’t making this up. i didn’t know what to do otherwise.

i was reading this yesterday: “all touches change. and no touch can ever be taken back. remember.”

alyssa milano is asking people to tweet “me too” if you had ever been sexually harassed, that if all who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. copy, paste and share.

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book and sword : gratitude and revenge

is the first novel written by Jin Yong. The protagonist is Chan Ka Lok, who is the leader of the Red Flower Society. The book title refers to Ka Lok being famous for being well-versed in culture and martial arts, but also for having to make a difficult ethical decision. My father named me and my brother after him.

The subtitle is from a poem Desiderata