One summer afternoon, when I was 4 or 5 years old, I was raped by a next-door neighbor. If the act itself was gruesome, the aftermath was surprisingly uneventful, beginning with the fact that my mother, despite knowing what had transpired, did nothing. As for me, I did what everyone tries to do under similar circumstances: move on and be normal. With the exception of the occasional nightmare that visited me in the years that followed, I was convinced that there had been no lasting damage. How miraculous it was that I had emerged unscathed.
This could very well have been the end of the story if not for my freshman year in college, when I found myself being pursued, some might say stalked, by a male professor who had somehow determined, at least in his own mind, that I was gay. He had also determined, or so he said, that I was a good writer, or a great writer, hyperbole I happily accepted without question since I was in need of any and all approbation.