State Fair
Written by
Laura Eitniear
July 2014
Written by
Laura Eitniear
July 2014

(I am seeking feedback on this piece, please realize this is a memoir piece from the past. I am looking to publish this later, so be tough on me!)

I had turned 15 in December, I thought I knew all that there was to know about taking care of myself. I did, right? I mean I knew how to make a sandwich, how to throw a right hook, and how to spot a joint from a mile away. This is what life is made of, the simple things.


Never, in my life did I think I could survive something so violent that I would hide from it for more than 25 years, but I did. The state fair was in town, back then it was held every May at Keystone Race Track (now Parx Casino). I went with a friend I had known all of my life, but I would soon learn that friends aren't always who they appear to be.


Amber* and I walked around the fair several times, riding rides, buying food, and checking out good looking guys. I noticed a carnie watching me, so I approached him with Amber in tow. His dark blonde hair was cut in a mullet, the popular style of the time, his sea green eyes seemed to hold no soul, but still, he was kind of cute, and he was paying attention.


We talked for a bit and he asked if we smoked weed. My eyes must have lit with recognition of the relaxation I always felt after a joint, but I nodded toward Amber, "She's a good kid, she doesn't smoke."


"I'm on break in ten minutes, why don't you come back and we can hang out?"


It sounded like a great plan to me, until he smiled and I saw his teeth, rotted from years of little or no care, and his breath wafted my way putting me in mind of the smell of death. I wasn't so sure about this guy. I quickly pulled Amber away and we went back to riding rides and eating food.


As we descended from the Merry Mixer the carnie was there, waiting for us. In an odd way I felt trapped, but I was always the nice one, and I knew how to take care of myself. Right?


We walked, and the carnie, whose name I never learned, seemed to be showing a lot of interest in me. He even went so far as to give Amber some money to go get us a soda, I tried to leave with her, but before I could he grabbed my arm and told me to hang back and we could smoke. His grip was a little bit tighter than necessary, but when I looked back at Amber I could no longer find her in the mass of people attending the fair.


My options seemed clear, so I agreed and we burned a very fat one. It seemed to take forever, and still no Amber. I was already paranoid from the excessive amount of marijuana in my lungs, so I kept trying to tell myself everything was okay.


The carnie and I must have realized that Amber was not returning at the same time. I felt my confidence fading as he grabbed a handful of hair and pulled my face toward him. His rotting teeth and bad breath were seriously invading my personal space. I tried to shove him away, but he held tight to my long, brown hair. Steeling myself for the pain I pushed harder and he stumbled, losing his grip on my mane.


Quickly realizing the opportunity to save myself had appeared I ran, stumbling over my own pot infused limbs. I had two choices, run toward the crowd where there were many police, to arrest my sorry, stoned ass. Or, I could hop the barb-wired fence and make it through the woods to a friend's house, hopefully she'd be home.


I took to the fence, scaling the eight-foot barrier like ... he caught my foot, yanking at my ankle he drug me to the ground. Holding me down he swiftly tore at my jeans and Bon Jovi T-shirt, exposing my youthful body to him and the tall weeds surrounding us.


It was there that he violently raped me, he left behind nothing more than a lifetime of scars that I can't share. The stench of his rotting breath on my face as he penetrated me, the pain with which he held me down at my wrists, yelling about what a slut I was and how it was all my fault. It wasn't so much that I was too stoned to fight back, it was more like I had given up my own rights to be human, to be beautiful.


When he was done I saw his fist coming for my jaw. I have no idea how long I laid there, unconscious, I only know that I was humiliated.


In the 1980s when this occurred rape was still the girl's fault, so I never told. I never told about the carnie that stole my soul, or the joint that got me raped.


I have held this secret for far too long, and now, as I write these words I feel the ache of yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, all of the days since this happened. It was this incident that shut down my heart.


*Name changed to protect the innocent.

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  • Laura Eitniear

    Thank you, Brenda. Your input means a lot to me. :-)

  • Brenda Burling

    To 'LIKE' this seems to trivialise this piece, something i would have no intention of doing. It is beautifully written, depicting a harrowing  event. I truly hope you find peace in sharing it and hope you find a platform for it.