The Thin Lizzy

July 27, 2019

“You know, I really should go home,” I say. “It’s almost 2, and I’m tired.”

“If you’re tired, you shouldn’t be driving,” he says. “I can take you.”

“You live way across town,” I remind him. “That’s stupid. I can be home in ten minutes.”

He flashes his white, wolfish grin. “You’re a total lightweight and you’re coming home with me. I have an excellent couch.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Jesus, you’re a difficult woman.” He skewers me with his eyes and his smile. “Just come on. Gary and I can drive you.”


“Yeah, Gary.” He points in the general direction of a car.

“You named your car,” I say.

“Just look at him,” he gestures, “Isn’t he totally a Gary?”

“Ummm, maybe?” I laugh. “I thought all cars were female.”


“Yeah. Bertha, Dottie, Dixie, Daisy, Henrietta?” I give him the side eye. “Cars are always chicks.”

“Obviously not, because he’s Gary.” He opens the passenger door. “Get in.”


I lean back in the seat and close my eyes for a while.

He snaps a tape into the deck.


Guess who just got back today/Them wild-eyed boys that had been away/Haven’t changed that much today/But man, I think them are crazy…


“You know who this is, right?” he asks.

“No. No I don’t. I mean, I’ve obviously heard the song before…”

He looks at me like I have grown three heads. “Uh, Thin Lizzy?” he sneers. “Did you grow up in a barn?”

The air in the car has changed; it’s charged with something I can’t place my finger on but my instinct is to run.

I don’t.

“Just North Dakota,” I say, and press my face against the glass.

“Thin Lizzy is the best,” he says. “They are totally underrated. The guitarist? Gary Moore? One of the best motherfucking guitar players on the planet.” He gestures at the dashboard of the car. “Thus, Gary.”

“Aha!” I laugh. “That’s so cute. I get it now.”

He doesn’t like that I laughed.

He veers the car into a hard right and stops on the side of the road.

“You’re a bitch,” he hisses, pressing me into the side of the car. “Who do you think you are? Let’s see you laugh now.”

I don’t want his mouth but he smashes it into me anyways and he tastes like tequila and Camel Lights and when he shoves his hand up my shirt, grabbing viciously, I try to hit the lever on the car door but I’m squashed so hard against it that I can’t.


So I do the only thing I can think of.

I bite.

I sink my teeth between neck and shoulder and hang on like an animal. I bite until I feel blood and pieces of skin.

He hollers and lets up enough so I can get the door open.

I run.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

elizabeth July 28, 2019 at 5:38 am

Never has the following observation by Margaret Atwood been so apt: “Why do men feel threatened by women?” I asked a male friend of mine…So this male friend of mine, who does by the way exist, conveniently entered into the following dialogue. “I mean,” I said, “men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power.” “They’re afraid women will laugh at them,” he said. “Undercut their world view.” Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, “Why do women feel threatened by men?” “They’re afraid of being killed,” they said.

Your instincts served you very well that day.


Dana Talusani July 28, 2019 at 1:30 pm

My instincts should have never let me get in the damn car, but I’m grateful.


denise August 1, 2019 at 8:18 am

I have so much to write in response to this and I just don’t think there are enough words. I wish as I’ve wished before, that I could just come over and we could sit in the Colorado sun on your front porch. Thank you for sharing this. Your words, and the spaces between them, are electric and this experience is tragic. I have had a similar experience and the way it lives on within us is its own current. xo


Papa Guy August 4, 2019 at 8:39 pm

Damn! Dana…


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