It’s a wonder that with so many of the negative things having occurred during my life I am not more hateful than I am. I get angry a lot and usually keep it inside, but when I finally blow my top I always end up ashamed of myself… I just lose control and do and say things with out thinking, things I later regret. So I think a lot of my experiences such as the sexual harassment I received from Alfie at my first job (See “Help Wanted… Straight Acting Only Need Apply“) have definitely affected who I am and how I react to things. I mean when you end up being arrested when you didn’t do anything wrong you see how the ire of people can override even what is moral and legal, you learn that the system is always rigged towards the more influential, the more popular, the one with more money and you (or at least I have) become bitter.
I got arrested! I went from being a victim who had simply reported what should have been taken as a serious complaint of sexual harassment to being charged as a criminal, is it any wonder women have kept quiet about their abuse for so long, the system is rigged, the victim becomes the accused, especially when the criminal is more affluent.
After I got away from Alfie and his obsession with spanking my ass I got a job at the Baltimore New American! What a great opportunity. It was a mailroom job but it was a start. I also had a few side roles such as Office Supply clerk and I also collected and counted money for a small advertiser much like a “Pennysaver” where people could publish ads for anything from announcement to for sale items to help wanted for only $1.00. Anything addressed to the Pennysaver type paper I would open and tally up, then write up the deposit. Generally most people sent the $1.00 in cash but it was a mix of checks and cash.
I remember my boss calling me into his office because I had cleaned up and organized the office supply stock room. He praised me saying that in his 30 some odd years with the paper he had never seen it so organized. He told me I made him proud in his hiring decision. About a week later I was called to report to the upstairs HR Office, I was totally expecting that I was going to be further praised for a doing a good job sure that my boss had informed the executives of the magnificent job I was doing.
When I arrived in the HR office there was a woman sitting behind a huge desk, almost regal as if I had entered the White House and in to leather chairs facing the desk sat two men in suits. I really had no idea what was going on but what ever it was it had to be pretty important. Was I getting promoted already? Was I getting a raise? NO, instead I was arrested based on lies told by the man who I had previously worked for the same man who told the unemployment office that he did not work for the company, the man that would spank my ass, video tape me masturbating, steal my identity, and screw who knows how many other young men my age out of the same. I wasn’t told why I was being arrested, only that I was under arrest, I remember the shame of being escorted through the halls of my company wearing handcuffs for everyone to see where I was guided to a waiting police car. The police at some point told me I was being charged with theft from my previous company but that was all they said. They told me that anything I said to them would be used against me but they never spoke as they drove me to the jail. They listened to me wail my innocence, I told them that Alfie had sexually harassed me, he would spank me and do other things, my story had no effect of the two plain clothes policemen other than to look at each other and snicker. I had never experienced anything so frustrating in all my life. Alfie claimed that I had stolen money but in reality he was retaliating against me for my claim of sexual harassment.
I was taken through all the steps a person goes through when being processed as a criminal. I was finger-printed and photographed and then I was put in a jail cell where I sat and sat and sat. I cried, I couldn’t believe this was happening to me, I hadn’t done anything wrong, I had to convince myself to remain calm otherwise I would have gone out of my mind. I remember standing at my cell door as officers came in and lined up a bunch of men, it was around 9PM (I had been in the cell for nearly 12 hours at this point) and I was thinking “What about me? Why can’t I go?” but they just left me there in my cell, wondering what was going on. How long were they going to make me wait. Later an officer was walking through and I asked why I wasn’t taken with the other men he told me they were going to jail, the real prison, not awaiting a trial as I was, so it really was a good thing they didn’t take me but sitting in that cell and waiting, I just wanted a change, something, anything. I guess as some point I was allowed to call home because after I went before a judge who “released me on my own (I guess the saying is) recognizance” I was allowed to leave and was met by my partner and mother at the building exit, I guess they had contacted the jail and gotten a rough idea on when I would be released, somehow they knew to be there in the middle of the night to pick me up.
I was allowed to return back to work to the Baltimore News American, my boss was very supportive and when I told him the story of the sexual harassment he said he believed me and that as far as he was concerned the incident would not affect my job, however, there was a part of my job which would temporarily be diverted to someone else and that was my collection of the $1 payments for advertiser; because of the crime I had been charged with they could not trust me to handle the cash so this responsibility was taken away from me, of course the removal of this responsibility just added more fuel to the fire of embarrassment.
Regardless of what anyone thought, if they believed me or not, the only crime I had committed was being the victim of a horrifically deformed, ugly, old sexual deviant who took advantage of my youth at my first job along with many other young boys and men.
With the financial support of my mother I hired a lawyer and explained to him how Alfie had taken me and other young men to the store basement and made us do things. I had no excuse for participating in the things Alfie made me do other than the fact that at the time I didn’t want to lose my job and even though it wasn’t said, we were made to feel if we didn’t participate we would indeed be fired. Looking back now I think I believed this was the way life was and would always be, I assumed sex like what Alfie had requested was commonplace but just went unsaid, after all when I complained to officials about what Alfie had done to me they simply told the authorities Alfie didn’t work at the place and that was the end of the story. Without so much as an investigation they determined I was a liar, I was a disgruntled employee seeking benefits which I was not entitled to receive. In seeking justice I was made to appear a societal leach looking for an easy handout. Thankfully my lawyer, in all his (paid) wisdom, was able to connect the “Alfie not working at the company” to the “Alfie that had reported me as a thief”. I remember my lawyer having spoken to Alfie and reporting back to me that Alfie seemed quite surprised that I had a lawyer, apparently he assumed I did not have the financial wherewithal to hire an attorney and had it not been for my parents I would not have been able to hire him so I need to thank my mother and father because without their sacrifice I would have probably gone to trial and faced whatever lies Alfie had manufactured to get his revenge. When my lawyer confronted Alfie with this contradiction and I would assume realizing that this would make the unemployment offices agree to reconsider my claim which might lead to even bigger things… Alfie dropped the charges reporting that he had found the financial error and it was a mistake. Done!
I believed that Alfie was out of my life at this point and I went back to work. I was overwhelmed with shame feeling as if most people I worked with had already assumed my guilt, after all who gets taken away in handcuffs during the middle of a work day? I felt like unless I explained the story to everyone I encountered at the News American they would believe the rumors that were going around, that I was a criminal still awaiting trial when in actuality all this was behind me now but I just knew they would still be thinking I was a criminal. Then came the question from a young woman asking me “Why I was gay” I had never told anyone at work that I was gay. Now not only was I a criminal but they were starting to assume my sexuality, the nightmare of high school was returning to me. I envision snickering and wadded paper being thrown in my direction. I decided not to return and quit my job. I remember my boss being very angry at me saying he stood by me during this whole ordeal but I told him I just couldn’t face the shame anymore, I said that no matter what I did or said I felt like people thought I was a criminal. That was my last conversation with the man. I remembered his name for years after that because he was such a nice guy but I can’t remember it anymore.
And so begins my life as a “Cab Driver”. My partner (currently my legal husband) talked to his boss at the cab company and I was hired as a driver. What a horrible job that was. We worked 12 hour days on commission only. We lived near the military base where my father had first been stationed when we arrived in America (See: Inge’s Folly). The best time to work was when the military guys were paid or the welfare checks were issued our business would be booming that first week of the month and we could make two or three hundreds dollars a shift (but usually it was during this one week and weekend) the other four or five weekends there would be days that after a 12 hour shift you could go home with 12 dollars more or less so we really needed to rely on that “Payday” week to get us through the rest of each month. I hated that job but I stuck with it for several months. It was trashy working with trashy customers and trashy coworkers.
One day I was driving my cab and I was called over the dispatchers radio to report to the office to take a phone call and on the other end of the phone there was a man who claimed to be a Detective. He told me that he was investigating Alfie and that he needed to meet with me. I wasn’t that dumb, I was sure that it was a friend of Alfie’s on the other end and he was trying to get to me, perhaps kill me. There had been rumors among the other boys that I had worked with at the time that Alfie had gone that far in the past, that he was capable of murder and I mistrusted the person on the other end of the phone. I knew from working for Alfie that his business dealings were not legal and I was at this point afraid of the man. I agreed to meet the person I was speaking with but had no intention of showing up.
I missed the meeting as planned. A day or so later I received another call from the man, this time at my house which made me even more suspicious, if he were really a detective that I shouldn’t be surprised that he had my number but more likely than not this was on of Alfie’s guys trying to get me alone. The man had a different tone this time, he sounded a bit angry and told me I had wasted his time, this was a serious investigation and he really needed to talk to me. I was really becoming frightened now. I was sure that Alfie was out to get me, some sort of revenge for the sexual harassment I had brought to light, again I agreed to meet the man and again I did not follow through on the meeting. I just didn’t care, I was not going to meet with some stranger that “claimed” to be a detective.
Again a day or two passed and I was sitting in the office of the cab company talking to the owner who also worked as the dispatcher during the day, when a State Police Car pulled in to the lot. We watched as a tall black officer exited the car, put his hat on and walked into the office. As surprised as I was when I had been arrested by Alfie’s false accusation I was again surprised when the police officer asked for me. I was standing behind the officer at this point who was standing at the counter addressing the owner. Since asking for me by name I nervously told the officer that I was the person that he was looking for, and after my encounter in the HR office with the two plain clothes policemen I was totally expecting that Alfie was going to have be arrested again but the response I received was no where near what I expected to hear. The office turned towards me and responded that a Detective So & So (can’t remember the name) wanted to meet with me and for whatever reason it must be pretty important to make him (the officer) a messenger, so now I knew that the Detective was not Alfie, not unless Alfie was so powerful that he could control the State Police. The officer gave me a card with the Detective’s number so I called him. It was the same voice I had heard during my previous calls with the man. He asked me to meet him at a hotel somewhere in (if I recall correctly) Reisterstown, Maryland, clear on the other side of Baltimore. A long drive for me (especially because it snowed that day) I agreed but told him that my partner (Ronnie) would be coming with me.
When I arrived at the hotel (having driven through this surprise winter storm) I told the front desk that I was there to see the Police Detective and in return I was told to go to a small conference room. My partner with me we entered the conference room to find two men dressed in jackets and ties sitting at a table, they told me to sit down across from them, and I did, my partner next to me. It was at this point they explained to me that they had either arrested or were looking for Alfie. (I can’t remember any more I just know I felt relieved) they explained to me they watching him for quite sometime and I assume raided his properties because they said they found several credit cards in my name as well as in the names of other young men, all of whom they had already interviewed. Apparently Alfie had been assuming our identities for who knows what. They told me the name of one of the older young men that worked with Alfie quite frequently and I told them, that yes, I knew him. This one I clearly remember them telling me he would be behind bars for a few years. It seems that these men were into everything from manufacturing PCP and selling PCP-laced cigarettes to credit and automobile theft. I still don’t remember all the details but I know that they mentioned digging up a buried Corvette car (and yes as unbelievable as this story is to you, imagine how I felt know that I worked for this man and performed (unwanted) sex acts with him too. Finally they told me the most shocking news, they had found a body of a man, the corpse was tied up and the man’s penis had been severed and stuck in his mouth. So Alfie was indeed involved in some sort of murder. I agreed to work with the police in any way they needed me but I guess they never did because I never heard from the police or Alfie ever again.
But… big BUT here…years later…in the late 90’s my partner was reading some old magazine and in the back there was a list of the top most 100 men in America and there was Alfie’s picture. I’m sure now that he must have taken off while being investigated. I was slightly anxious at the thought of him being on the lose but also figured if he was on the top 100 he was more than likely too busy hiding than to want revenge on one of his victims but I always worried that he may have thought that since I reported him for sexual harassment he might have thought I reported him for everything else he was charged with as well. I’m not too worried these days because its doubtful that he’s still alive and if he were he would have to be in his 70’s or 80’s if not older… but as extraordinary as this story may sound… its is all true.