Guest Columnist #62 - Amyl

    I am contributing this column to Slug & Lettuce anonymously. I have never felt the need to hide my identity before. In fact, I've always been pretty aggressive about placing my words and my emotions out there for people to see, feel, sympathize with, criticize, or ignore. There's a couple of reasons that I'm not going to put my name to this column. One of the reasons is because what I'm about to share with you doesn't just concern me. I am not the only person who got fucked up and damaged by what I'm going to tell you about. There is a whole crew of people, a whole group of friends, I might even be willing to say a major section of the local New York City punk scene who are suffering and feeling a lot of fucking pain because of something that went down here recently. And I want everyone who is hurting about what happened locally to feel as if their pain has a voice. I may not write it the way that other people might write it, I might miss important details, but at least the facts are out there and we have been heard. At least -everyone knows and can take action so that this never happens to another woman again. Let me tell you what happened and then tell my other reason for not putting my name to this column.

    Basically, Amyl was at a party and a woman that Amyl is friends with told her about some stranger at the party who kept trying to hit on her and kept trying to touch her. The friend was freaked out and so Amyl went over to help deal with the situation. She told the guy to leave her friend alone. The guy got mad. Things escalated and she went outside with the guy and a bunch of the local punks followed to make sure Amyl was okay. Things must have settled down to a certain degree because everyone went back inside. Amyl went walking past the guy to go to the bathroom and as she walked through the doorway, the guy took the door and shoved it closed, slamming it into Amyl. So she took the door and swung it the other way back at the guy. The next thing she knew, he had taken a swing at her and she was down on the floor and bleeding like crazy. He didn't just punch her. He didn't slap her or hit her with his fist. That would have been fucked up and terrible enough. What he did was slash her. He had a razor or some kind of blade in the palm of his hand and he slashed her in the face. There was so much blood and so much confusion that nobody was quite sure what had happened. Friends rushed Amyl to the hospital and the guy ran off.
    Amyl had to get three layers of stitches that go from close to her ear, down her cheek, and almost to her mouth. She had a more mild cut on her neck that she thought had happened when she fell down, but the doctors told her that the edges of the cut were too smooth for it to be a scratch and that the guy had actually sliced her in the throat too. I heard about what had happened the next morning from my roommate and I anxiously waited until that evening to call Amyl to see if there was anything I could do. She asked me to come over and so I raced over.  She hadn't eaten yet, so I made her some dinner and cleaned up a bit and was just there with her while she made phone calls and talked with friends. She was so scared. She was so hurt. It was as if it wasn't just her face that had gotten cut, but as if her spirit had gotten wounded too. As if her soul would also carry the scar of that night. I know it sounds dramatic, but I don't know how else to describe the effect that this had on Amyl.
    Whenever I think about what happened to her, it's as if my mind can't seem to grasp it. Even writing all of this, my eyes burn with tears that are right behind the surface. How could this have happened? This fucking guy couldn't handle rejection and so he permanently scars someone? This complete and utter waste of human existence couldn't handle a woman standing up to him and calling him on his shit and so he slices her? Is he such a fucking loser that the only way he feels he can make an impression on anyone is to cut them up? I guess so. Amyl was helping a friend of hers deal with a guy who was bothering her at a party. For that, she had to get three layers of stitches on her face. Amyl stood up and spoke out for her friend. For that, she has to live with this for the rest of her life. The scar may fade and disappear, but do you really think that her memory of this ever will?
    The person who did this to Amyl is named Ducky. He's hung out in the punk scene for quite a few years and has lived mostly in the Bay Area. Last time anyone here heard, he was at a party in Oakland denying that any of it ever happened. But the fact is that he has been positively identified by Amyl from photos that people at the house had of him. Another fact is that once he was able to sneak back into the house, he grabbed his stuff and ran away. That was the same night that he slashed Amyl. The fact is that he threatened to slash another person at a show on the West Coast. The fact is that he bottled a woman in Minneapolis because her friend had rejected his sorry ass. Do you see a pattern? Do you see something that goes way beyond just casual coincidence? Now, you may think that this doesn't involve you and that it sucks, but that basically it's not your problem. I want you to think about that for a moment. If you're a woman, think about the fact that it could have been YOU. Could you handle what Amyl is now being forced to handle? A permanent physical scar on your face. A memory that you will never be able to get away from. It could have been you. It could have been any of us. Ducky doesn't give a shit who he hurts. He is willing and capable of inflicting this kind of damage. He does not care. And if you're a guy, I want you to think about the women in your life that you love and that you hold close to you. Could you handle this happening to your girlfriend. Would you be able to face your friend knowing you hadn't been able to stop this man from hurting her. Or your face your sister if it happened to her. I don't know anyone who is strong enough to handle this except for Amyl because she has been forced into having to deal with it. And Amyl is strong and she will survive with power and passion and force. But Ducky should have never done this to her in the first place. And now, it's up to you to keep yourself and to keep your friends safe from this person. He is wanted by the police in California, he is wanted by the police in New York. I believe strongly in punk justice, but I can't advocate anyone trying to face him down when violence comes to him so easily and with no guilt or remorse. I don't want to find out that Ducky did this to someone else. I don't think my heart could stand the pain.
    Which also brings me to my other reason for not putting my name on this column in bright, bold letters. I'm afraid. I want to speak out, but I want to do it with the safety of numbers. With my friends wrapped around me like a protective force. I don't want to be the target for some sociopath who wields a knife and/or razor. I need to know that I'm going to be safe, and with someone like Ducky running around hurting the women in our punk scene, I do not feel safe. But I also need to know that the other women in the punk scene are also going to be safe. I need to know that my fear didn't stifle my voice completely. The information needs to get out there as far as it can because he will keep denying that this happened. But I know better. We all know better. No matter what he is trying to say happened, believe the fact that he sliced her in the face. Once you see the scar on Amyl’s face and feel the hurt in her soul, you will believe it too. And it will scar you just as deeply as it has scarred each of us.

This is written for all the people and from all the people that are friends with Amyl. We are there for you, Amyl. We love you.