My ‘pedophile experience’ began with a cute little nine month old baby called David. And it began in the park. I was ten and living in LaSalle, Quebec.
In those days most kids had the freedom to roam about the neighbourhood, It certainly seemed danger-free, and for the most part, it was. By today’s standards, we would be horrified.
I used to wander the nine blocks to the park (we lived on the corner of Ninth Ave.) and hang around the swings. Friends occasionally showed up. As long as I came home for lunch or dinner, it was assumed to be fine.
Little David came to the park in a stroller, with grandpa pushing. At that age I adored babies, and would rush over to play with David. I was not paying any attention to the old man; however, he was paying attention to me.
At the edge of the park there was a winding path that led down to a creek. The path was lined with chokecherry bushes. We children would pick them and chew them to get the pits, laughing at the sour faces we made and the bitter taste when we spat them at each other.
One day the old man suggested he, baby and I go for a stroll down that path. Naturally I went along. Halfway down the path he sat on a fallen tree while I played with baby. The old man opened his zipper, pulled out his penis and urged me to come closer for a better look. I do remember him saying “It’s nothing to be afraid of.” Funny the things you remember.
I was a little shocked, nonplussed and very disgusted. It probably showed, and he folded himself up and put himself away. We walked back up the path to the swings.
I often think that if I had told my parents what happened, it might well have become a traumatic event in my life. Their reactions would have been far stronger than mine. But as it is, the ‘dirty old man’ is just another memory from my childhood. Along with drowned men and houses burning down – far more traumatic events in my young mind.