Monday, June 06, 2005

SHPOS Post # . . . 2: The Litvak v. Subway Child Molester

Oh, man. Tonight I feel great; spent most of the day at Jones Beach with wonderful people (and some good cheese and fruit) and I'm just a little sore from my training at at Renzo Gracie's Brazilian Jujitsu academy yesterday morning.
Didn't even wake up with a hangover from my first (and definitely not last) time at the excellent mecca of Czech culture, the Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria.

The only thing that kept the weekend from being perfect was my subway face-off with a child molester on the subway.

Now, for a tangent. I was once almost molested by an adult when I was a kid. Which, I gather, isn't at all unusual. But it's a good story, so I'll tell it now.

In sixth grade, the local PD sent an officer around for the important job of telling us to say "No" to drugs. And I did, actually, no thanks to Captain D, whose crime prevention efforts consisted of entirely forgettable presentations which I have entirely forgotten.

At the end of sixth grade, we all went on a week-long trip called "sixth grade camp."
We got to select various activities, like spelunking, burning designs in wood, rappelling, etc.

I was terrified of heights, so (of course-- if you know a Litvak) I decided to do rappelling. The theory was, of course, that I could expunge the irrational connection in my mind between heights and death by exposing myself to heights without dying.

Now, at the top of the cliff was me-- a little shrimp for my age-- in a climbing harness, attached to a rope, attached to the waist of Captain D. The rest of the rope trailed down the cliff.

I was clearly exerting a lot of effort not to s--- my pants, so the Captain reassured me like this:

You know, [Litvak], I once had a son named [Litvak]. [Litvak] Paul D. But he died when he was just a baby.

With that, I was off that cliff and fast.

At the bottom, I was quite shaken. And not really by Captain D's comments so much as by the experience of walking 50 feet perpendicular to a cliff while suspended on a rope.

Before our group got back on the bus, Captain D gave me the leather necklace badge for Rappelling. He asked me if I wanted to take a walk down the trail to talk.

Now, I was pretty naive, so I didn't suspect he wanted to molest me. Luckily, I was also pretty guarded about sharing my feelings with strangers (Litvak trait #7), so I declined and got on the bus.

Years later, I learned that Captain D had been arrested. Turns out he'd been molesting boys from the deseg program for years. It all made sense when I found out, of course, and I was creeped out to no small degree, but I never had a suspicion until then.

I take some small pleasure from knowing that, as a cop and a child molester, Captain D's time in prison was particularly unpleasant.



Back to this past Saturday.

I was on the uptown N going into Astoria. I'm sitting on the left side of the car in a row of seats that faces across the aisle. Sitting to my left is my special lady friend, Tenderfoot.
No doubt Tenderfoot is particularly thrilled that her debut on my blog includes a scenario with a child molester and that I've given her a teasing nickname. Cheers!

Sitting across from me is a West Indian man in his forties, well-dressed. It's in the 80s and I think he's wearing a sweater.

To his left on one of those pairs of seats that faces the front of the car is his daughter. She's about four years old, squirming around, eating crackers and chattering. She's wearing jeans, her hair's all done up in little braids and ribbony bits, and she's carrying a shiny plastic Louis Vuitton knockoff handbag. Cute kid.

We get to some stop or other, and the SHPOS walks in. He seems unsteady on his feet, moving in slow motion.

He's thin, with long shiny limbs, wearing turquoise short shorts and a light t-shirt. Very tan (I won't guess his ethnicity, but he wasn't white or black). Sparse hair, maybe in his fifties, unhealthy-looking.
In his right hand he's holding a folded rag. No, I still don't know why, and I don't want to know.

He walks over to the seat where the little girl is sitting and turns his back to the side of the chair. With his right hand stretching out behind him, he slowly lowers himself onto the edge of the seat while guiding the little girl off with his hand.

She has enough sense to move off the seat and stand in front of her dad. Who's f---ing clueless.
"That was weird," I think, along with half dozen other people who saw.

But now the SHPOS, sitting on the seat sideways, keeps his right hand out behind him. He strokes the front of the little girl's thigh. I'm not sure I'm seeing right. She squats down in front of her dad, not exactly sure what's going on. The SHPOS puts his hand on her hip. Dad is completely inattentive, has no clue. Only a second has passed since the SHPOS has sat down, but I now know what's going on and I'm on my feet and in front of the guy instantly.


He stands up and gets in my face. He's shorter than me, and I outweigh him by at least 30 pounds, but he's leaning forward with his chin in an unmistakably threatening pose. He doesn't speak-- I can't tell if he's too f---ed up to talk or just doesn't speak English.

I tell him to move down the car, and that people saw what he did.

Dad doesn't have a f---ing clue, and I don't want to start a s---storm by telling him, either.

Now the SHPOS is kind of nodding his chin at me like he's threatening me but can't talk. And his right rag-hand is too close for comfort, but my left is up. The only thing that worries me is that his left hand is by his ass pocket.

I'm pretty sure that he's too unsteady to hurt me, and that what I saw in his back pocket was a fifth of whisky (or some other more culturally appropriate beverege).

But it could be a knife, and I just do not feel like getting slashed by some f---ed-up pervert on the subway.

So my adrenaline is pumping awfully hard, and I have a feeling I'll be safer standing on this guy's throat than convincing him to go away. Plus I think it would be a real character-building experience for him if I were to stomp the living s--- out of him.

After a few long seconds he moves up the car a few steps, then kind of leans a step closer to Tenderfoot and looks at her. I step in front of him. He backs away down the car and sits down, glaring at me.

I sit down. I don't want to provoke him, so I'm sort of staring halfway between where he's sitting and where the dad and girl are sitting.

I ask the guys to my right if they saw what happened. They did, and were as shocked as I was. Not that they gave any indication of backing me up when I was facing off, or afterwards.

The dad is oblivious. When we reach his stop, he asks what station it is. He and his daughter leave.

A few minutes later the SHPOS gets up again and walks toward us, and I stand up. He turns around, walks in a little circle around the pole near his seat, then sits again.

Then, before his stop, he walks toward me another time.
I don't stand, but put my hands out like "Okay, enough, stop." And he leans his head to the side to let me know his stop is coming up. He gets out.

My fingers are trembling, I'm itching to throw someone on his head, and I'm generally disgusted.

Soon we reach our stop, and the beer garden.
Thank God for beer.

1 comment:

Jack Roy said...

You always have the cutest stories.

All that happened to me this week was I got five straights in poker (of which I folded three) and unpacked all those boxes that you might have some memory of moving.

(Thank you again, by the way.)

Oh, and once I saw'r a blimp!