Sunday, December 18, 2011

Letter to the peeps

Ok I just sent my email out to 35 of my people. So now, it's like, real. I'm really doing it. I'm making a piece about rape. *#@#%! We shall see the response. Here's the letter:

Hi everyone,

I’m writing to only a few of you. You are the ones who have been there for me at one or many points in my life; you are the ones who are still there for me; and you are the ones who believe in me.

As many of you know, on May 16th, 2010, I went to the San Francisco Bay to Breakers race where I was drugged, then kidnapped and raped by a stranger. This was followed by a 4 hour hospital exam where I was scraped for evidence; put on post-rape HIV medication for 60 days; enlisted by the SF sex crimes unit for a do-it-yourself investigation and confronted with the shame and isolation of victim blaming and self blame. It was a strange, difficult, and complicated time.

Last October, 2010, I went to the Bioneers conference where I heard a woman give a speech about violence against women in India. It was a fine speech, but it was scholarly, statistical, and impersonal. I got a fiery knowing in my gut that I could do better and that I needed to perform about my rape. This performance was a way I could contribute my strengths as a performer and writer towards a greater and much needed cause; this was MY work.

In the past year, I have put in countless hours writing, performing, taking performance classes, rewriting, performing more, and so on. The piece I have written is about my rape and it raises awareness about rape against women. But it is equally about the complexity of being a human. Universal themes have emerged through the specifics and uniqueness of my story: self-doubt; shame; need; suffering; forgiveness; healing; and love.

I have exhausted my finances in the initial stage of this project. The writing is done. It is an edgy, fearless, moving, humorous, and strong piece of work. The next steps are crucial. I financial support to work with my director and dramaturge in order to transform my writing into a high caliber piece of theater that I will tour at colleges nationwide and theaters in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. I am a solid performer.  My director and dramaturge are highly talented people who are deeply invested and believe strongly in me and my piece. With their direction I get better and better and my piece shines brighter and brighter.

FYI: Once the piece is further along, I am confident I can get financial backing from foundations, organizations and a producer. If you happen to have contacts in these worlds, or contacts of anyone who might want to support, that would be very useful to me as well.

I'm including a link to video clip of a recent performance in its most elemental, work-in-progress stage.

I’ve also included some text from the piece in the body of this email as well as attached it.

To sum it up, my piece is going to make change. And I'm impassioned, devoted, and oh so gratefull to be using my gifts towards it. I'm not stopping with this piece, like I said earlier, this is MY work in the world.

Thank you so much for reading.

Please contact me if you have any questions at all. I didn’t want to overload you with information. This is just the bones of it.

Please know that whatever you choose to do, I am so grateful to all of you for your love, your friendship, and your support.



Donation Options:

One time payment via Paypal:

By mail:
Heather Marlowe
1333 4th St. #5
San Rafael, CA

Writing Samples by Heather Marlowe

The Beast Women and Me

“Heather tell me your dream from last night,” my therapist says. I have the red fleece blanket around me. It smells like incense in her office. My eyes are closed and I can see my dream unfurling like a scroll.

"I am a carrying a torch and I am in a cave. I am leading half beasts/half women through the cave and we are running."

"And what happens next.”

“I know exactly where I’m headed. There is no doubt in my mind. We run and I start shouting. I can see him ahead.”

“Who can you see, Heather.”

“The king. Now I am roaring and the beast women have fallen behind and it is just me. I’m  running towards the king in my bare feet. And when I reach him I stab my hand into his heart and he starts to scream. Then I start pulling it from his heart.”

“Pulling what.”

“It’s my loss. I am moaning and seething and grunting and pulling and ripping it from the king. Then I turn around and run out of the cave, holding it above my head as it tumbles out. It is a golden, shimmering river and it twinkles and glows and illuminates the dark cave. The other beast women run with me in silence while I carry the river high above my head. And it just keeps coming. My sparkling loss keeps coming out.”

The Perks of Being Raped

1) Friends take you out for sympathy rape dinners and buy you treats. But it only lasts for a couple weeks tops. I got free Puerto Rican, pho, Chinese, Mediterranean, sushi, and ice cream from Bi-Rite.

2) If you’re in a shitty living situation, you can break your lease because you got raped. I left my shithole apartment immediately.

3) You can get out of late fees from parking tickets. You still have to pay the base level ticket but they will wave the late fee on the account that you were raped. I saved myself $356 dollars.

And that’s about it.

I did think about calling my chiropractor and asking if there was any kind of discount I could get if I’d just been raped.

Then I got to thinking about other things I could use that would make me feel better. Like, they really should give you a rape goody bag with these items:

Free massages and chiropractic adjustments, not done by a man

An on-call personal bodyguard for up to 6 months

A drastic haircut and color plus a backup wig

A gun of your choice

Some sort of Rape Bible -- like a be-all, end-all resource

A lifetime membership for self-defense classes, specifically the classes with the mock assailant so you can get your rage out in a contained, productive manner

Cooing my Bruises to Stay

For a week after the rape it was easy to understand that it wasn’t my fault. When the rape doctor took pictures of the bruises all over my inner thighs, my inner arms, my butt, my back. When I saw all the marks I understood. That there was a struggle. When she measured the bruises -- purple and blue blot evidence that something violent happened. The vaginal tears, the anal tears, the sharp pain in my pelvis. The semen all over my belly. All evidence that something wrong happened to me. Even though the rapist told me, that he raped me because I wanted it. The bruises were proof that it didn’t want it. That I tried to fight. That I was held down. I remember sitting in my friend’s shower hours after the rape examination and rinsing the rape off of my body. I didn’t want to wash it off because the stench, the grime, the fluids -- I wanted it to belong to me forever as proof. I soaped my body and I stared really close at my bruises. I remember kissing them and caressing them and cooing at them.  You are so pretty, I told them. And please could they just stay. Please don’t heal. Don’t go. Because when they go then it is just me left over. With no memory of anything. No evidence of anything but the words from the rapist saying, “you wanted to have sex.”

The same with the drugs, I wished I had taped the rape doctor saying, “oh honey, please let it all up. Just let it all come up. There you go. You were drugged, this is what drug facilitated rape looks like. Let me get you a pill for the nausea.” I would listen to that tape over and over.

Titles of some other segments of my piece:

I only know what I know

Hipster Invasion of Privacy

Stumbling and Vomiting through Geary Street

Sid the Vampire

Genki Ramen Rebirth

Waterbottle Drugging

Detective Work on my Own

Drug Rape is a New Crime

It’s my Fault because I had a Mimosa

Just my Hands go to 4th and Anza

Mining Rapeland

Tina says Get a Grip and Get a Job

Steely Sleep Retard

Seven Labyrinths of Hell

My Rapist Suckled Breast

How Comforting when the Rape Hotline is Busy

Why can’t I be a Straight A Rape Victim

My Maybe Rapist is Cute

My Daydreaming Body Parts

Rape isn’t a Big Deal

I’m my own Private Rape Detective

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