Becky Hayes and Big Blue Nights
Hayes recounts the remaking of a life after a rape @ The Morning News Earlier this spring, stranded in Chicago for work, I experienced a jock’s dilemma: My team was playing in the college basketball finals and I needed to find a bar to watch it all go down. If I chose wisely, and if we won, I’d float down Michigan Avenue on a sea of fellow Kentucky-blue fans. If we lost, I wanted a quick exit and anything but a repeat of last year, when a pack of Connecticut boosters drove me to the streets in tears. So I chose a hotel bar and prayed for a benign international crowd. In case you missed it, we won—Kentucky, 67; Kansas, 59. And there I was with a double rainbow on my face, surrounded by a bunch of suits stirring their gimlets. But who cared because the moment was all mine, and I invited it in. The wait was over, the bad luck spent.
Because for so long, the Ides of March were never about basketball.
In New York City, in March of 2003, I was raped in my apartment by a repeat offender in the neighborhood where I could afford to rent. He said he’d seen me around; he said he wanted to impregnate me and take me back to Puerto Rico. I was 23.
It was a Thursday, a day after the Iraq invasion. It was a Thursday and then, at the bar, it was Friday and I wanted to go home. God yes I was drunk, and walked from the cab to my apartment in the fawn Adidas sneakers my mother bought me when she came to visit Ground Zero. I gave her the tour in those shoes, with the borrowed pride that was going around back then, and argued that New York was the only place to live.