People are strange when you're a stranger Faces look ugly when you're alone Women seem wicked when you're unwanted Streets are uneven when you're down When you're strange Faces come out of the rain When you're strange No one remembers your name When you're strange When you're strange When you're strange ~ The Doors
Julie sang the above song to me. We were on the hill playing. She acted like she made it up. I knew that maybe she did not. This song marked a change in the neighborhood. The 16 and 17-year-old boys were smoking funny cigarettes.
I am writing this because of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s story. Maybe her narrative was not successful in stopping the nomination to the supreme court of Judge K. I believe she told the truth and with great risk to her family and to herself. I admire her honesty. So, in support of her naming those who assaulted her, I will name mine. Mike Hansen and Michael Myers (maybe more). Dr. Ford is free now yet the lies and darkness within Judge K’s being will continue to manifest until it destroys him. Maybe not today or tomorrow but eventually. That is how karma works.
The mid 1970s and early 1980s held wild times. A new sexual revolution that became dark fast. I did not live far from where Roman Polanski was arrested, at Jack Nicholson’s home, for the sexual assault of 13-year-old. I knew the girl who was drugged and then molested. I never imagined something like that would happen to me. Drugs, sex and fun was fundamental at that time. Luckily, my mom and dad kept guard. They were not always interested in school stuff, but they did keep guard. I was protected from the house down the hill. A single mom with an empty nest most nights. Except for the teenage boys.
The endless drug parties were unchecked by the adults in the neighborhood. Michael Myers, no relations to the character from the film Halloween, ruled there. Any girl 13 to 16 was not safe from his advances. The peer pressure was enormous!! Once he was 18 he continued to make his moves. That is where Mike Hansen came to my aid. He was my boyfriend who protected me from the age 15 to 17. Until Mike cheated on me and we broke up. I started going out with another boy who was a friend of my girlfriend’s boyfriend. We dated on and off for about 6 months.
Mike Hansen wanted us to get back together. One night he invited me to a party where he was living with Mike Myers. They lived in an old apartment next to a local Catholic Church. It seemed safe enough. A few friends were over and someone handed me a beer. The next morning, I awoke naked and alone in Mike Hansen’s bed. I did not remember anything from the night before until years later. This narrative gets worse because I became pregnant. As a 17-year-old my voice was invisible. I was confused and overwhelmed.
Pregnant with two boyfriends. It was not a good place for a 17-year going on 18 to be. The bad words spoken, tension and moral pressure made me crazy. Mike Hansen wanted to entrap me into marriage. I said no. The other boy was helpful, but he soon broke up with me. I blamed myself. It was not until years later that the images of that night came forward. Memories became clear to me. Around the time after giving birth to my first son at 34. Yes, slowly it was clear to me. I will not go into the years of grief and despair that I worked though.
Looking back, I remember Mike Hansen was mad at me, so I assume he or another drugged me and let me be raped by whom ever was at the party. I feel that they planned it with intent and foresight. In a sense I felt relieved that I remembered this. I felt sad too for a long time. I did not regret the abortion back then. It was intuitively the best thing to do. I realize that now.
Today I went back to the apartments. I don’t live far. The apartments have expanded. There are more parking areas. The apartments are now secured and closed from strangers. The apartment where Mike Hansen and Mike Myers lived are at the corner of Serrainia Ave and Ventura Blvd. or De Soto Ave and Ventura Blvd. The streets change as one crosses Ventura heading west.
As a kid I knew this area. I walked by these apartments everyday, Jr. High School and later in High School. A few of my friends went to the Saint Mel Catholic School right near the apartments. Across the street, where there is now a Wells Fargo Bank, there was a 7- Eleven. My friends and I could get a Slurpee for 10 cents. Why wouldn’t I feel safe there. It was where I grew up? My dad owned a building only a few blocks down on Ventura Blvd. My family had history here.
Julie Myers was a good friend of mine. Even though her brother and I never got along. Yet, like her bother, I never could really trust her. The late-night stories she told me. I listened to her tell me stories about both her brother and Mike Hansen. They were revealing. They pursued girls. I heard many stories that made me jealous and unsure. Something wasn’t right. I guess I was one of the girls too. I never believed Julie’s stories…. maybe I should have.