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Not that they all aren't, but yesterday's Modern Love column in the Times was excruciatingly painful in that "can't look away" fashion that is the column's stock in trade. Basically it's an extended love letter from a woman to her former stalking (and, depending on your view of the situation, sexual assault) victim. Apart from the ridiculousness of the piece itself, there's the oddly jarring feeling that this is pretty much the world's least subtle "call me" invitation in history, but printed nationwide in the Paper of Record. If you haven't read it, be warned: It's rough sledding. And as if that's not enough, Gawker has obtained a copy of next week's Modern Love. It works the same thematic territory, and follows after the jump.

I Raped The Fuck Out Of Her

SHE was standing in the aisle of a crowded predawn bus, oblivious everyone around her. She turned her head slightly and looked at me. That's when I knew we were meant to be.

I smiled. "Hey, pretty lady," I said.

She looked alarmed, and got off at the next stop. But I know women; it was obviously a signal for me to follow. I kept my eyes trained on her direction, exited at the next stop, and swiftly trailed her, taking care not to be seen. But somehow she drifted off. So coy!

A couple of weeks of careful surveillance later, I found myself in front of her building early in the morning, during the fifteen minutes when her doorman ran to get coffee at the deli on the corner, leaving the building unprotected. I slipped inside.

I took the elevator to the ninth floor and knocked softly on her door. No answer. I kept knocking, the raps becoming harder, louder. I starting counting sets of 5 until the total reached 20. I went up to the rooftop. It was two days before Thanksgiving, and gray. The wind whipped around me, and I thought back to that bus ride, the way she looked in my direction, the anticipation of love.

I went back and knocked again. I could do nothing else. Who would reject this kind of desire, desire that walks through security doors and knocks and knocks, refusing to go away? Isn't this what we all dream of, feelings so strong they flout the rules?

I even envisioned this moment becoming a story for later, when we told others how our romance started: "He raped the shit out of me," she would smile.

She opened the door a crack. She was wielding a baseball bat. I took it as a sign; I'm a huge Yankees fan. "Get out of here," she said. "I'm going to call the cops."

They say nothing beats chloroform if you need to knock someone out quickly, and they're right. Seven hours later, after we had expressed our love four times and I actually removed the gag once (trivia: You know how when someone's getting raped, they yell "Rape?" Well, when they're getting raped in the ass, they yell "Ass rape!" Who knew, right?) the police busted in, and, well, that's where the story gets interrupted.

It's a couple of years later, and my life has changed in a few ways. I now have a cellmate who tells me every day, with a lifer's unabashed enthusiasm, how happy he is to see me. But because of rampant overcrowding and the good work I've been doing in the prison library, I'm pretty sure I'll be out in six to twelve months, ready to be reunited with my true love. I know that the time we've spent apart will only make us stronger; at the very least, the time I've put in at the gym has certainly made me stronger. Fear not, lady in 7F, I'll be back soon! And if you've moved, no big deal. I'll find you. Count on it.

I Couldn't Let Go of Him. Did It Make Me a Stalker? [NYT]