“Lolita” with a Happy Ending
She was 13 and she was on my telephone every night at the radio station asking me to play her favorite songs. Lots of kids did in those days when AM radio dominated the media.
I was a popular deejay who played the hits and spoke to the stars: About the closest thing you could find to a “rock star” in most towns worldwide. I was in Ottawa, Ontario the Capital City of Canada and it was no different than Roanoke, Virginia or Stockton, California or anyplace where people look for something to listen to.
I’ll call her “Maryanne” for want of a name, but I can never forget her story because she wrote to me almost everyday as well as calling.
Maryanne was hoping I would fall in love with her and take her away from the small town she lived in.
She wrote that she would do anything for me that I wanted. Anything at all. What bothered me most was “the detail” of the letters and what she was offering.
She would (and I paraphrase) “Clean the chrome off of my trailer-hitch and screw me like all be-damned!” She even offered up to “do it with her girlfriends if I was into it.”
Her writing and her conversation were two different things completely.
In writing, these letters were something for “Penthouse Letters” or some similar fantasy sex magazine. Yet, this same girl was speaking to me shyly over the phone and never spoke that way aloud.
I was disturbed.
I’ve never had a “Lolita” fantasy, but this was now on offer and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I could, of course just stop speaking to her and ignore the letters. But, even then something told me there was more to do.
This is only one incident out of thousands I could speak about where someone in public gets admirers and stalkers who believed I had some special power to heal them. Any stable adult can appear attractive to someone disturbed.
Maryanne disturbed me.
I happened to share an office with a radio psychologist named Dr. Dean Tower who walked in on me one day as I read a new letter from Maryanne.
I wasn’t much more than a teenager myself then, and I showed the letter to Dr. Tower for advice.
I told him about the shy conversations compared to these blatant proposition letters and his advice was simple: “Confront her about them the next time you speak to her.” He continued: “Ask out loud why she’s offering sex and if she really means what she writes.”
He said the only way I’d ever get the truth or be able to help her was if I was willing to take a risk and actually speak about what she was saying to me.
“Real love” is a risk when you seek it. It’s also a challenge when you risk showing real care and concern as in this case with a child I did not know.
Maryanne called like clockwork that evening.
She knew my shift ended at 10 pm but that I’d talk to her after hours, and that evening was the first time I ever had to confront someone about an offer of salacious pedophile sex. I was nervous, but I jumped right in asking if she really meant that she wanted to have outrageous sex with me on the first date? The phone went silent.
Then I started reading aloud some of the offers she was making to me.
“Dead silence” on the telephone.
I changed my tone and asked her “What’s really going on with you?”
She was tongue-tied.
So, I asked her gently to “Please write me a letter and tell me about you and why you feel this way” adding that I’d like to help in any way I could, but to leave the sex offers out of the deal.
Maryanne’s next letter was lengthy going into detail about how her loving Grandmother had recently passed away. The Grandma who had loved and protected her all her life. She also spoke about a brother who had abused her sexually and how she felt so alone and confused.
I was able to direct her to a counselor for teenagers and told her to tell the truth about what was happening in her life.
Later she checked back with me to say “Thank you!” and I thought nothing more about her until a few years later when I was approached at a personal appearance by a beautiful young woman with a child.
She greeted me like a long-lost friend introducing me to her husband and child. Then she told me she was the “Maryanne” of all those years ago. Kissed me and thanked me for being me.
The rewards of doing the right thing are small. They can even seem insignificant until you see what good can do and feel the warmth of love and respect in return. Most times you never see the results of what you do, so don’t expect to.
Sometimes it comes with a kiss on cheek and a “Thank you!” from someone grateful that you just happen to be the person you are!