Okay. So I wasn’t raped, but that airport worker’s hands had gone far enough into my pants to find my ‘second virginity’ and snatch it from me. All this hoopla in the media this week about full body scanners and patdowns just reminded me of my own ordeal last month. (Put your drink down if you’re having one. This won’t be pretty.)
As the kids and I were leaving Kotoka to return to Atlanta, we had to go through an ungodly number of security checks. I recall 3 off the top of my head. Nestled among the over-priced local art were bill boards warning travelers that ‘they would be caught if they tried to smuggle drugs in or out of the country(!)’. That was a really nice touch. It made me feel warm and fuzzy: The last images I would see before getting on the World’s Rudest Airline (*cough* Delta! *cough*) would be of young Black men wrestled to the floor by law enforcement with their hands cuffed behind their backs. But what did I care? I was going home.
The final security check point at the departure hall had 2 American TSA agents checking everyone’s passport and boarding pass for the umpteenth time before we were herded to an area where the men were directed to go to the left and women to the right. It struck me as weird, this division of the sexes, but I was too focused on moving my 3 kids through the ravines and hurdles the airport staff were shooing us through to realize what was going to happen next. I wish I had paid more attention…because at least then I could have prepared myself for the impending anal/cavity search.
I watched in horror as the 3 ladies in front of me got a rough pat down and with a toss of the head were directed towards yet another metal detector where they had to remove their shoes, jewelry and other offending items. I tried to steel myself for what was about to happen next. I don’t like to be touched; and I certainly don’t like to be touched by people I don’t know; and I for sure don’t like palm-to-vaginal contact between myself and a perfect stranger!
I prayed it would be over quickly. The girls were walking ahead of me, so they got the brunt of Aggressive Ama’s hands first. She rubbed them between their thighs, down their backs and under their armpits. Aya flinched at the contact. I had the baby harnessed in a front carrier, and I looked on as Ms. Aggressive lifted her up and rubbed her hands all over her, almost making contact with her diaper. Then it was my turn. I felt my flesh turn cold. She lifted each of my massive DD breasts, and I swear I felt her turn my nipples. Counter clockwise. Twice. She directed me to spread my legs and got underneath each butt cheek and rubbed her hands along my privates, as if almost willing me to be carrying drugs so she could wrestle me to the ground and straddle me. After what seemed like an eternity of her invading every crevice of my body, she announced that we were free to proceed. I looked around and nobody else seemed to be disturbed by what we had all been made to endure. They were all sitting there mindlessly watching a Nigerian film, sports or the romantic comedy staring Katie Holmes that were playing simultaneously on the flat screens in the departure hall. Is that supposed to be my consolation prize for dry hump rape? 10 minutes in front of a frikkin’ flat screen before I have to walk (outside) to board my airplane?
Well, at least I know where to place the blame if a VD manifests sometime in the next coming weeks. I may have lost the bulk of my dignity, but at least I’ve still got that.