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Imagine this: it is the summer after your 8th grade year ... you are sleeping in your bed ... in the same room, also sleeping soundly in their beds, are your two friends, younger than you. Think three kids, ages 12, 11, and 9... A warm summer sleep, just a sheet over you. The three of you. This could be three boys, or three girls - it doesn't matter.

Around midnight, you feel a hand creeping over your body, stroking, caressing, reaching for your genitals. Stroking your head, stroking your belly, your legs, reaching under the sheet, slipping under the elastic waistband of your pajamas.

It feels good! You are not awake. You are in a semi-dream, semi-wakeful state, thinking of a girl or a boy you like, maybe. You've never had sex or kissed anyone romantically.

But this hand ... it's making you aroused.

You reach out, in your sleep. You reach your hand up... and you touch a whiskered face, a hairy back.

You come fully awake. If you're a boy, you're hard; if you're a girl, maybe a little wet. This diminishes almost instantly as you realize the person who is now holding you down weighs about 250 lbs, smells of beer and cigarettes, and you see the kitchen knife on the table next to your bed and wonder what it's doing there, and whether you should pick it up or not.

That's not the end of the story.


My heart raced faster, my body trembled more, when I saw this person that night and in the following days - it raced much faster than it did 15 years later when I was being fired upon by combatants in Afghanistan in 1984-85.

Isn't it interesting, what scares us most.

Tell me about the smiles of monsters. Tell me about fear, yours and mine.

Easthampton, NY, exact date unknown, but somewhere between 1970 - 1975

Richard F, sexual molester and family "friend"


Afghanistan, 1985 (author on the right)

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