…hort years, I can tell you that drinking so much that you pass out doesn’t absolve you of anything. The groping. The cruel words and laughter. The sexual boundaries pushed. The sexual boundaries violated. Horseplay. We forget the looks of anger and disappointment. We forget the wreckage. We forget women.
I went to a bar (an Irish pub) in the town I live in many years ago. I was sober, out with a couple of friends. It was winter, and a Friday night, so the place was packed. As I exited the restroom near the back and strolled by a group of young men lined up waiting for one of the two single-facilities to open up, one of them reached out and struck me so hard on the ass that I nearly fell. It was not a love tap, it was violent and unwarranted and unprovoked. Thankfully, I managed to course correct and spun on a heel, seeing the guy who slapped me as he stumbled back into his buddies from the momentum. He was drunk, as were his friends, but of them, he was in the worst shape, barely able to stand without assistance. In my 20s, I was more audacious and fiery, and his friends noticed this as I threw down my coat and began making a heated march towards my assailant. I planned on slapping him hard enough to knock him down, just to see how much he liked it, and I had three heavy rings on one hand primed for it. They immediately formed a protective bro-wall, sheltering the coward as they placating me with apologetic, “He’s drunk. He doesn’t know any better.” I was disgusted but unable to breach his preppy crew of “brothers.” Ultimately, they were thrown out, but not because of the attack on me. And yeah, I call that an attack. A besotted man hit another person without provocation. I certainly didn’t feel flattered. Other than my friends, no one else stepped up; no one else demanded justice; no one, including the employees or owner, called the police. Cell phones were not nearly as commonplace, so by the time I had found a phone and called someone they would have been gone. I wish now I had, but I know it wouldn’t have been taken seriously; brushed off with a casual, “boys will be boys” attitude. I would have been treated like I was the one overreacting, and was, at least by those running the establishment.