I have decided to include significant stories from my life, as these experiences have undoubtedly shaped me to become the person that I am. When I share the story of my healing, many do not understand why I chose to go about it in such an unorthodox way. What makes abundant sense to me has confused and frightened others. I credit my extraordinary life experiences for molding me into a person with the ability to accept cancer as a gift, and to heal from that place.
Da and I arrived in Cusco, Peru- the gateway to the Sacred Valley and the heart of the Inca people. A jetlagged group of 16 Japanese participants trailed behind us. We were to acclimate to the high altitude before we started our 4-day trek to Machu Picchu- one of the seven wonders of the world. At 3400 meters above sea level, Cusco stood taller than our destination.
The quaint town is a World Heritage Site- a historic capital of the Incas. In the main square stood the Basilica Cathedral. The Spanish Conquistadors had built it after they demolished the sacred temple of the native people. Inside the cathedral, I wondered how such a deep sense of peace could permeate from a building built on the ashes of decades of violence.
The low amount of oxygen in Cusco brought on headaches and general heaviness that resulted in slowing down our pace exponentially. It was like learning to live underwater- pressing against the atmosphere and sucking life through snorkels. I eventually summoned the energy to venture out. Exploring the stone corridors of the city, I admired the brightly woven clothes worn by the indigenous people. The explosion of colour looked fabulous against their dark complexion.
It was on one of these excursions that I was approached by a smiley man who was eager to talk to me. Thinking it was a good opportunity to practice my rudimentary Spanish, I tried to decode his ramblings without much luck. He had a sheepish look about him. When I finally said “no entiendo”, he unzipped his pants and pulled out his pecker! Unfortunately, this was not the first time I was dick flashed in public.
In Japan, Trench Coat Flashers are part of the norm, just like the Chikans in trains known for their various groping techniques during rush hour. These perverts- camouflaged amongst other salary men, would remain anonymous because the victims usually do not want to make a public scene.
I was eleven when a Flasher followed me from the train station on the way home from a school dance. The street was quiet except for the quickening sound of feet behind me. I turned around to see an erect dick that jumped out of the man’s coat like a jack in a box. He resembled a featherless bald eagle, triumphantly spreading its wings to show off what was between his skinny bird legs. As disturbing as it was, it was usually a momentary indecent exposure. A situation I could easily run from.
The Peruvian man exhibiting his member wasn’t going anywhere. He just stood there in a matter of factly way, smiling at me as he held out his brown weiner like an offering. It would have been comical had it not been for the utter shock that froze me in place. Under the circumstance, it took longer to kick start my defense mechanism to get my legs moving. It was like breathing through a straw as I sprinted back to the hotel in slow motion. It would take me years to stop running from men who violated me; to speak out and be outraged. Thankfully, I grew my own set of balls through life experiences. I don’t run anymore.
The story of the Peruvian Pervert became the highlight of our last dinner in Cusco. We blessed our journey and retired early in preparation for Machu Picchu.
LESSON: GROW MY OWN SET OF BALLS.