Does anybody remember this entry: The Boy in the Back of the Van?
I recently unpacked a box of photographs and found my mother’s diaries, including the one for 1973, the year my family went along on Dad’s travel camp and I met the boy in the back of the van.
Mom rarely kept up with the entries over the summer, when she was even busier than normal. So this diary has entries about getting ready for the camp—mending and airing sleeping bags, washing camp dishes, sorting supplies—but the dates we were actually traveling are all blank.
It was the end of July before she wrote again. And here is the second entry that month, written July 31:
Finished ironing this a.m. at 2:00. (Two boys from the camp) came over & we looked at the slides (the boy in the back of the van) took on the trip. Katrina wasn’t very friendly & thought (he) was mean but it was her own fault.
Aaaannnd there it is. It was my own fault.
Oh, I know she meant that it was my own fault he was mean since I wasn’t friendly.
But I’m equally aware that sexual assault was always the girl’s fault in my parents’ mind. Don’t believe me? Click on the link above and read the comment my sister wrote.
Mom writing this in her diary—because I wasn’t exactly thrilled to find my molester in my home—is perfectly apropos and ironic.
It was my own damn fault.