It was my research editor who told me it was completely nuts to willingly get fucked at gunpoint. That’s what she called me when I told her the story. We were drunk and in a karaoke bar, so at the time I came up with only a wounded face and a whiny, “I’m not completely nuuuuts!” Upon further consideration, a more explanative response probably would have been something like: Well. You had to be there.
“There” would be Haiti, where I’d just spent two weeks covering the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that shook the country into ugly chaos. There, a local regular at my hotel restaurant who is not accustomed to taking no for an answer had gotten desperate. After proposing for the 87th time that I have intercourse with him, he was grasping for anything that might change my mind, trying eventually, wildly, “We can do this at gunpoint if that sells it for you.” And actually, it did, yeah.
There are a lot of guns in Haiti. Guns on security guards in front of banks and gas stations. Guns on kidnappers who make a living snatching rich people, guns on rich people who are afraid of kidnappers. Guns on the gang-raping monsters who prowl the flimsy encampments of the earthquake homeless. Guns in the hands of the 12,000 United Nations peacekeepers, who sometimes draw them too quickly in civilians’ faces and always sling them carelessly across their laps in the back of UN trucks, barrels pointed inadvertently at your face while you drive behind them in traffic. On that reporting trip, I’d been fantasizing about precisely what the local guy proposed, my back against a wall or a mattress with a friendly gun to my throat. But the plan was vetoed about as soon as it was hatched, when I asked him if his firearm had a safety and he said no. Like I say: I am not completely nuts.