Earlier this year I attended a five week writing course. For an assignment the teacher asked us to write a story about our first day of school. As most of us couldn’t remember the event she changed the topic to, A first experience – any subject.
With the Me Too movement in the media I decided to write a piece on a personal experince which occurred to me while visiting Disneyland.
My First Trip To Disneyland
The bus turned into the car park and a prickle of excitement exploded in my chest. Disneyland. Wow. As a little girl I used to dream about coming here. Odd dreams where I never actually entered the park. Each time I got too close a deafening siren or a paralysing odour struck keeping me outside rolling on the ground not knowing whether to clutch my ears or my nose. This time however I was wide awake, not sound asleep back home with my subconscious playing mischievous tricks.
A big brown paw waved to me from outside the window and I pressed my forehead up against the cold glass to see who it belonged to. A chipmunk, either Chip or Dale, although I was not sure which, to me the pair looked identical.
The bus pulled to a stop, and the driver turned around and spoke to us passengers about the pick up times. Upon completion, I gathered up my belongings and stepped towards the exit door. My childhood dream only moments away from turning into my adult reality.
With direction from the Disney map, I manoeuvred around the park visiting the different lands, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland, and Adventureland. I undertook one ride after the other, Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain and the Matterhorn Bobsled. I walked up and down Main Street peering first into one shop then another. By midday the stomach grumbles set in and hungry I stopped to eat.
Later that afternoon I wondered into Toontown and found myself outside the house of Mickey Mouse. A sign said, photos with Mickey inside. Cool, he was the reason I was here. I went in and joined the end of the queue. An oldish fat man with a cowboy hat on his head came and stood behind me, and the line moved slowly forwards. Zombie like I shuffled along with the tide.
Out of the blue, a hand rubbed up against the back of my leg. The old guy, I knew it was him without turning around. I inched away. His actions were possibly an accident. There were lots of people gathered in the room, and we were all crammed in tight.
I followed the queue down a hallway and eventually saw an employee up the front organizing people through a door. I guessed Mickey might be in there.
Suddenly the old man’s hand was back, only this time on my bum. For a second nothing happened, then he squeezed the check, and gave it a rub. This was no accident. I stepped away from him pulling a face. If only I had someone with me to share what was happening.’ But I was all alone, without a friend, without family, and with no support. What if this sleaze bag wasn’t only guilty of being a filthy pervert. What if he was a rapist, or even worse a cereal killer?
‘I need one more person to come into the next room and have their photo taken with Mickey.’ the female employee up the front abruptly yelled out.
What a lucky break. ‘Me,’ I responded. ‘I’ll go.’ I pushed my way forwards, bumping into several people in my haste to escape.
Five minutes later, after my photo with Mickey, I scurried out of Toontown, trying to put as much distance between myself and ‘Creepy Hands’ as possible. The last thing I wanted was for him to follow me around the park and loom up in The Haunted House with his miserable fingers at the ready.
I spun around and saw no sign of him. Regardless I was not going to allow the incident to ruin my day. I still had much to do, The Big Thunder Mountain Railway. It’s a Small World, and the Disney Parade. Busy, busy, busy.
I hope you like my story. It certainly made my trip to Disneyland memorable. Not that it should reflect on the Park itself. There are people like that old man in all sorts of locations…just waiting for an opportunity. Regardless of what happened to me, I would go back Disneyland tomorrow, if only it wasn’t such a long way from where I live