Heads-up: this is not for the faint of heart.
On May 13, I participated in a reading through LipService West, at the urging of my friend Idan Levin. LipService West hosts monthly readings of writers (and others) telling true stories from their lives. Idan had heard me wax on about a number of subjects and knew there was something to share. So, he introduced me to the organizer, Joe Clifford, who welcomed my submission and even helped me edit. Joe is an incredible writer – it was an honor to work with him.
I had been writing about my experiences at Harvard, and as an artist after Harvard…. but nothing really panned out as something to share. Then I had one of those bad life experiences: attempted mugging and assault on the streets of Oakland at 7 p.m. on a Sunday by a teenager.
When I was attacked, I was carrying a huge bag of ice hockey equipment, and a hockey stick. If you’ve seen a hockey game, you know we are all slightly insane and hit each other over the course of the game. You wouldn’t know that sweet little me is also known as the enforcer or goon in my leagues at times. But none of this really matters – assault is not a hockey hit. I hit the guy off with a stick, went into the rink, and played my hockey game alongside 11 guys who I skated with weekly.
I decided to write the story of this Oakland hockey team – because in a moment of female vulnerability, I was surrounded by men, athletes – guys who might not talk about feelings so much… But these were the people who got my back when I needed them most.
Here’s the video of the reading. Reading my story that night helped me get through it and let go even more so of the fear and anger and sadness I had carried for several months. It also drew several listeners to talk to me about things that had happened to them, and how they fought back even in their healing.
If you want to read it, here’s a link to the whole piece. Thanks for everyone who helped me through this.