My Concession Speech

I have nothing to say that isn’t completely predictable, except that Thanksgiving might be called off this year unless I am tranquilized, and I don’t think “I gotta sit with my Republican brother” is going to make any doctor give me Xanax.

I would throw piss on the New York Times building next time I’m in town for their misleading predictions that said, day in and day out, that Trump had a 5%-10% chance of winning.  They were all full of shit and they all deserve a blindfold and a final cigarette.  The only reason they do not get piss on the front doors or a turd on the floor is because I know some poor janitor would have to clean it up, and the janitor doesn’t deserve that.

Paul Krugman can also eat a bag of dicks.  I really liked him in the early 2000s.  What happened?

The Collector can’t vote because he’s not a US national, but he called me to say, “Brexit was the canary in the coal mine.”

I’m not going to belabor this, because there’s no point in doing so on this platform.

I hope that Trump is as good a president as his supporters hope for, and a better president than I expect.

Otherwise, reap your fucking whirlwind.

A Bad Bad Thing

I thought a lot about whether to post this.  I think a lot before posting anything these days, because I’m not sure if he’s reading it.  I still think the blog’s a secret, and I tell myself that it wouldn’t matter if it wasn’t because I’m not doing anything wrong and there is no identifying information in it.  Yeah, I mentioned his kids, which is sort of bad, but there are about a zillion men in New York with teenage boys, right?  I’m just paranoid.  Paranoid as fuck.  I’ve always been paranoid–probably because of the double-life thing–but it’s been especially bad these days.

I did something Very Wrong.  Something I wish I could discuss with a shrink, but I don’t have one right now.

So, I’ll tell you, instead.

Please allow me to justify myself rationalize

preface this story: I know that one of the worst things you can do in a relationship is throw someone’s secrets and vulnerabilities back in their face when you’re angry.  You know–the traumatic things in their background, bad relationships, awful things parents did to them, humiliations they suffered in the course of their career.  Besides the fact that it’s a complete violation of trust, I’ve had men do it to me on multiple occasions, and I know that it hurts like hell.

I’ve done it exactly once before, during a fight with the Surgeon, and you KNOW how that guy fights–he was dragging me through the mud, but that’s still no excuse.  What I said was: “You’ll never break up with me.  I’ve changed you permanently.  What are you going to do, go back to getting blowjobs in the dark from women you secretly despise?”   Yeah, not my proudest moment (but, for the record, I was correct: I had to peel that stalker off like gum from my shoe.  They’re all stalkers.  All the men in my life have been stalkers!  What is wrong with me?).

Well, I did it again, and I feel really really badly about it, and that’s why I’m writing this post.

When I went back, the cattle prod and the dog crate were gone (or maybe he just hid them somewhere, who knows?  He did send me a photo of the cattle prod sticking out of a garbage can on the sidewalk, like it was humorous, which really pissed me off).  I was still in an angry mood because I didn’t think he’d acknowledged how frightening and degrading that situation was to me.  The anger sort of came out of left field because I thought I was over it.

I was trying to suppress it and be civil.  In the kitchen, he has a big magnetic strip on the wall where he keeps his knives.  I felt myself lingering on it.  I do that a lot.

I wasn’t snapping at him (oh HELL NO), but I was shut down and tense.

He went to his suitcase and came back with some pills.  It was ambien and valium.  And, yes, I took them.

Then it was bath time.  Unless he’s working late hours, every night is bath time with me.  Besides food, he has a weird fixation on water.

He was finishing his Scotch and left the bathroom to go get a new drink.

The thought occurred to me, and I just did it.  I didn’t think about it.  I just did it.  It was impulsive.

It was bad.

I let half the air out of my lungs so that my body would sink in the water, and I kept my eyes and mouth open.  There was no soap in the water yet, so it stung my eyes, but not too badly.

He came back into the bathroom and saw me.

He dropped his glass and it exploded.  He screamed something in his own language.  I don’t know what it was because my head was under water and I don’t speak his language anyway.

He grabbed me under my armpits and pulled me out of the tub.

He put his fingers in my mouth and I couldn’t play dead anymore.  I swatted his hand away and smiled.

“How does it feel?” I asked.

He belted me upside the face.  Hard.  And he got my ear while he was at it, which started ringing.

Then he crushed me to him so hard I couldn’t move.

“Don’t EVER do that again!” he yelled.

I lay there, limp, with my face swelling up, feeling the drugs start to work and thinking what a stupid idea this was.  He wasn’t crying, but this was the first time I’d ever seen him distressed.  I’d seen him agitated before, and angry, but never distressed. The Collector generally has perfect, unruffled composure.

Well, it was a shitty, psychological low blow, and it took a lot out of him: he just wanted to go lay down in bed, in the dark room.  Immediately.  My hair was still dripping.  He didn’t care.

He was like an octopus with his arms and legs, holding me so tightly that I had to ask him to loosen up because I couldn’t breath right.

“You hit me in the face,” I said.  Hitting someone in the face without their permission is a big deal.  I know what I did was wrong, so maybe I deserved it…?

“I’ll never do it again,” he said.  Well, that’s what they all say.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned about men on the awful toll-road of life, it’s that if they will do it once, they’ll do it again.

He moved on top of me, like he was a blanket.

“You can’t ever leave me.  I need you too much.  People like us need each other.  We complete a circle.”

The drugs were kicking in, and I don’t remember anything after that.  Ambien really knocks out the short-term memory.

The next morning, my face was swollen.  I’m lucky he didn’t get my orbital bone–I would have had a shiner for sure.  It was just my cheek, and the inside of my cheek that cut on my teeth.  It was swollen, but no bruising.

“What are we going to tell people about this?” I asked.  I normally don’t give a shit if people see my bruises and marks, except when I have to work and cover them up with stage makeup or hosiery.  Are boxers and martial artists ashamed of their marks?  Construction workers?  Furthermore, if it’s something like, say, cane marks…the average person has no clue what they are or how I got them.  It’s the last thing they would expect.

But, in this case, it looked exactly like what it was: it looked like I’d gotten belted upside the head.  That side of my face looked like a chipmunk’s.

We brainstormed on it a little bit and decided that if anyone asked, I’d tell people I had dental work done.  When I’d had my wisdom teeth removed, it caused my face to swell up in exactly the same way.

Another consequence: now I’m covering up for the man.

Well, if there’s one thing I know how to do in this life, it’s how to keep secrets for men.  Been doing it all my life.

Cattle Prod

UPDATE:  I’m not getting too many comments on this one, but I have received a few emails from readers.  The consensus is unanimous: He’s crazy. Dump him.

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This is going to be a GREAT BIG VENT!  I am dumping the Collector until he gets rid of the cattle prod and apologizes for real, and if he reads this, I don’t care!

A while ago, he bought a cattle prod (presumably from Amazon, as there are not many ranch-supply stores in Manhattan).  It’s very similar to this one.  I recognized it because we had one at my old dungeon, although we seldom used it.

 

 

 

livestock-prod
FUCK this thing

The thing is, he didn’t introduce me to it until I was tied up and blindfolded.  I could intuit his presence leave the room, and then he came back a minute later and he turned the fucking thing on close to my ear.  They make a very sinister low-pitched humming noise.  It’s not loud, but it sounds like…well, electricity.

Oh boy, I thought.  I really hope that’s not what I think it is.

Now, I don’t mind playing with electricity–either giving or receiving.  I have a pretty powerful TENS unit that I use on myself, another one that I use on clients, and at the dungeon we had a fancy E-Stim and a violent wand (of course) and those gloves that convey electricity.  I’ve even used those anti-barking shock collars for dogs (on clients, not on myself, but I guess if I had a Top who really wanted me to wear one, I could endure it for a while).  I have fried the shit out of some guys like they were Floridian death-row execution victims.

The cattle prod, though, is different.

Besides the psychological terror aspect, it’s mostly harmless and as long as it’s functioning properly, it’s not going to burn you.  That said, livestock hates it for a reason, and a human being is much smaller than a pig or a cow…and without the protective thick hide and fur, either.

He started zapping my feet with it, and I confirmed what it was right away: it makes an evil little sparky noise and the pain, which lasts less than a second, is shocking (ha, ha!) and deeply unpleasant.

I tried to be a good sport and put up with it, and I’m sure my wiggling and toe-curling and teeth-clenching were entertaining to him, but my anxiety was compounded by the fact that he wasn’t communicating anything and I was concerning he was going to start using it on my genitals or my breasts or, God forbid, my head.  I had a blindfold on, so I couldn’t see where it was coming.

I begged him to stop and he did, so I guess it wasn’t quite a safe-out, and I guess it was my fault for putting up with it for so long, but I was a little pissed that he’d sprung such a serious implement on me without discussing it beforehand.

I also made it quite clear, in as non-confrontational a way as I could, that the cattle prod was not something I enjoyed or could even tolerate for more than one or two zaps and that it detracted from my sexy mood.

I didn’t really feel like it anymore, but I went through with the session and it was okay after that.

I thought that the cattle prod would be immediately retired to the Box of “Wish-I-Hadn’t-Wasted-the-Money” tools.

(You can see where this is going now, can’t you?  I’m sure you can.)

Well, the next evening he wanted to put me in the crate while we watched an episode of Frontline PBS he wanted to see.  Okay, that’s fun, I like Frontline (though it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t) and he always gives me water and a snack or a Diet Coke while I’m locked in there.

You remember the crate, don’t you?  I wrote about it here.

Halfway through, he gets up to leave the room (I thought he was just going to use the restroom or something)…and he comes back with the goddamned cattle prod! 

“What do you want that thing for?” I asked, trying to keep calm.  As if I didn’t already know.

He turned it on.

“Collector, this isn’t funny.  You know I don’t like that thing.”

Then he started brandishing it like he was going to zap me with it.  I drew back, as much as I was able, and told him to please knock it off and don’t hit me with it.

Then he ACTUALLY DID IT, and pandemonium broke lose: I went nuts.

I almost never lose my cool and I almost never cry or scream, but I did then.  The cattle prod scared me.  And it was more than that: he was acting in a very strange and threatening way, and I was in a vulnerable position in an enclosed space where I couldn’t get away or even try to protect myself besides covering my head with my arms.

Once I tried to grab it and pull it out of his hands, but I couldn’t get any leverage in the cage because of the bars and the fact that I couldn’t draw my elbows back and couldn’t control it.

“Don’t wiggle around so much.  I wouldn’t want to miss and hit the wrong place,” he laughed like it was a joke.

“FUCK YOUUU!” I screamed, and started kicking the door as hard as I could.  Which wasn’t very, because I couldn’t pull my legs all the way back to really hit it hard.  Frankly, I don’t think it would have mattered.  It’s a heavy piece of furniture.

He stopped zapping me and watched.

“Let me out NOW!” I screamed.  I was flaying around so hard that I knocked over the cage while I was still in it.  I rocked it over onto its side.

Then he finally let me out and I ran to a bedroom with good locks on the door and cried some more.  My bare feet and shins hurt from kicking on the wood and wire.

Emotionally, I was…extremely distressed.

Then, get this: about half an hour later, he came by and rapped softly on the door and asked if he could talk to me.

“Go away!  I don’t want to talk to you!”

Then he started jabbing the cattle prod under the door like he was trying to zap my feet!

I screamed and jumped in the bed.

I stayed in there all night.  He didn’t bother me anymore.  In the morning, before he left for work, he knocked and asked me if I was still pouting and said that he was sorry and he wouldn’t do it again.

I got my stuff and Abe and booked a flight out of there using his Frequent Flyer miles.

Cattle prod needs to go and I am NEVER getting in that cage again.  He ruined it.

Defrauded of the Parrot Lotto

My parrot is almost an adult.  His head used to be entirely gray, but now it’s growing in bright sunny yellow, which is a sign of sexual maturity.

These are the words he can say: “ABE!  I’m ABE!” “Silly Beak” (his nickname); “Step up,” “Cock-a-doodle doo!” and “Toe-orrist.” It used to be “terrorist” because he chases after me and gently bites my toes of they’re painted red, like a game, but I started calling him my little Toe-orrist, and it stuck.  He also imitates the sound of my sneezes and the microwave beep.

Oh, a jerkola parrot at birdie daycare in the next cage taught him something new: “Hey, Baby!”  He loves it.  So, now I have a catcalling bird, and I feel like his friends are a bad influence.

Anyway, I have a bad thing that I do to him every now and then.  It’s cruel but I think it’s funny as hell.

Abe LOVES peanuts in the shell.  He likes to hold them in his little dinosaur foot, upon them and fling the shells all over my floor, and then devour the nuts.  If he could, he would live off of peanuts.  I have to ration them to one or two a day, because otherwise he would become a malnourished bird fatass.

The joke is: I take the peanut bag out of the fridge and put it on top of his cage.  It’s made of heavy-duty transparent plastic.

Abe crawls up there, and when he sees a huge bag of his favorite food, he goes nuts with excitement, like he won the Parrot Lotto.  His eyes pinpoint and dilate, his beak drops open,  and then he raises his wings up from his body and starts dancing back and forth.  I’m a leprechaun with a pot of gold!  BONANZA!

He runs over to it and immediately tries to grab a peanut.

Thing is, he can’t: the bag is transparent but the plastic is too strong for his little beak to penetrate.

Peanut heaven so near, Abe.  So near, yet so far away.

He crawls madly over the bag for a few minutes, trying to find/bite a way inside.  When he can’t do it, he starts squaking in frustration and glares at me (can’t tell whether he’s asking me to help him, since I AM the provider of food and peanuts, after or, or whether he’s hating my guts).

Abe doesn’t hate me.  Abe LOVE me every single day.  We hang out for hours together whenever I’m home, and I take him with me when I go to visit the Collector. On the airplane, he sits with me in his travel crate.  The vet gives me drops to put in his water so he is sleepy and doesn’t make noise. Collector is a bit jealous of him (who can be jealous of a little bird?  I never play with Abe when the Collector is home; I only make sure he’s fed and watered and put him to bed….and I neurotically dust-buster the floor because God forbid Abe molts or flings a few pellets on his furniture).  The Collector says Abe needs to be “more independent.”  I told him that is not how parrot psychology works; they need to be near their “flock.”  Leave a parrot alone too much, and it starts to develop the anxious, neurotic behaviors you see in animals in shitty zoos (and human felons in solitary confinement, I will add) : relentless pacing and self-mutilation.

I only torture Abe with peanuts once or twice a month, because it’s funny, but sometimes I do the opposite: I let him into the ENTIRE BUCKET of pellets for a few minutes, and he dances and swims around like Scrooge McDuck in his gold coin money vault.

Love that bird.  I don’t have much in my life that loves me, but he does.

The Collector’s Riding Boots

As I wrote in an earlier post, another thing that he asked me for my birthday was to tell him two fantasies.

Now, I generally don’t like to give the Collector fantasies because it allows him to put his foot in the door, psychologically speaking.  Our BDSM interests are similar enough that they overlap, so I’m sexually content.  You tell someone your private fantasies, and it’s like they’re reading your diary or dream journal.  It’s one of the reasons I respect my clients: sure, they’re paying top premium for a luxury service, but, at the same time, MOST (not all) of them are making themselves very vulnerable.

But, I agreed to do it, so I did.

The first one was the tamest thing I could think of, but still be legit.

I’ve documented my attraction to men’s footwear in the past (here, here and here ).  Now, I know the Collector used to play polo when he was young–you know, that rich-person sport that’s like golf on a horse?

I asked him, with trepidation but a longing I could barely control, if he still has his boots.

He made me wait for about a week, because he’s a calculating fucker and he also likes to spring surprises.

I came in the house and he was cooking dinner (of course.  I know it’s a wholesome hobby, but this guy has a really weird relationship with food.  I say that as a former anorexic.), dressed in a male riding habit sans helmet.

I was hypnotized. Picture Peter O’Toole in riding boots and just shoot me now.

Now, this guy is a sick fuck, like most of the sick fucks I fall in love with, except even sicker, but I  can’t deny that I’m very sexually attracted to him. Like most of my long-lasting relationships, it’s sort of the glue that keeps us together (well, he does love art, and he’s a fascinating conversationalist).  That and my Daddy issues, which are probably going to ensure I never reproduce because all the guys I like are geezers.

I couldn’t take my eyes off of him and his boots.  They even made a little rapping on the hardwood floor as he walked around.

“You…you look beautiful,” I mumbled, staring.

He was chopping radishes for the salad.  He has a big knife rack that is magnetic, a  magnetic strip down the wall.  When he uses the knife, he doesn’t even have to look down.  He can follow his fingers. I find it terrifying and very erotic.

He smirked at me.  Yes, the Collector Condescending Smirk.  If there is anything this guy loves in life, it’s knowing he has someone by the proverbial balls.

He laid down his knife.

“What do you think you can do for me, Margo?”

I took off my dress, dropping it to the floor, and sank down to my knees.  There was a time, years ago, I would have been self-conscious about doing this, but I’m not anymore.  I don’t have any shame.

He marched past me, heels rapping, and had a seat on the sofa in the big room.

“You can worship me,” he said.

I immediately scrambled over to kiss his shoes and breath in the leather smell.  I laid down on the floor so that he could press on my exposed neck.

“They’re 20 years old and they need to be serviced.  Do you think you can do that?”

“Definitely,” I panted.

“You’ll do it every week then.  And I’m going to teach you how to ride.

You can masturbate now. Let me see it.”

So I did.

Owl Snatcher

After a few days of reflection, I just HAD to post about this one…

So I’m at the grocery store, and I see an ugly ceramic owl pot-pant.  It was ugly, but it was an owl, so I had to have it.

I picked it up and realized I did not have a basket.  So, I put the owl down by the rotisserie chickens and BBQ and ran outside for a basket.  I was only gone for 30 seconds.  AT MOST.

When I came back, so crazy old jerkola had MY OWL in her shopping cart!

“Excuse me, Madam, that’s my owl,” I said.  “I just left it there so I could get a cart.”

“If you wanted it, you shouldn’t have put it down!”

A confrontation ensued.  Did I mention this thing was $8.99?  I am officially a crazy lady at the grocery store fighting over something useless.

Eventually, I SNATCHED IT OUT OF HER CART and ran away with it.  She did not pursue, presumably because I appeared to be batshit insane.

I told The Collector, and he thought it was hilarious.

Something else: he calls me a witch (not in the derogatory sense).  He says I enchanted him and I enchanted men for a living, sexually. Recently, he went to a “psychic” by Purple Passion.  He said, “I’ve never done this before because it’s not my thing.  I don’t believe in it.  But, I wanted to ask a real witch what I should get the new little witch in my life.”

Dunno what it is yet, but I’ll get it soon.

Dressing for the Collector

The Collector was in a foul mood and the best thing to say about it was that at least I had nothing to do with it: it was work-related.  The subject of his rage was a certain Irish attorney practicing in Dublin, whose primary offense, as far as I could judge, was “being recalcitrant.”

(Now, call me crazy, as I don’t know jack about the law, but I thought “being recalcitrant” on behalf of one’s clients was part of the job description.  I could be wrong.)

I cautiously tried to get him to talk about it, because most people like to talk about their problems and things that are making them upset, and I certainly didn’t want to come across as if I was oblivious (oblivious! to his bad mood! ha! ha!) to his unhappiness.

He kept scribbling notes in the margins of the document he was working on (like me, he prefers paper over screen-reading) and said, in all seriousness: “I am going to pan-fry this Mic’s balls on my stove and see if they turn green.”

“I see,” I squeaked, and beat a hasty retreat.

It’s probably a sign of an unhealthy relationship that when he gets into truly bad moods–whether they have to do with me or not–I become very fixated on figuring out what I can do to make  him relaxed and happy again.  The Surgeon was mercurial and moody, and when he got into one of his inexplicable bad moods, I’d try to reason with him for a few minutes and then hang up the phone and ignore him and check back in after a few days and viola! he was back to normal. With more normal (“healthier”) men, he wants to vent a little bit and then he wants space to be mad without someone picking at him, which is certainly easy enough to provide.  As long as he’s not taking it out on you, what’s the problem?  He comes to you for emotional support when he’s ready; you can’t force it upon him.

The reasons for my desire to “fix it” are pretty obvious: it’s no fun to be trapped in a house with a tense, dangerous animal whom you know from personal experience could turn on you.  It sort of sucks the tranquility out of life.

So, after about 48 hours of this (during which I stayed out of the apartment as much as possible when he was there), I decided that I would try to do something special in order to get his mind off things.  I felt a little bit guiltily about doing this, because I realized that his emotional well-being was not my responsibility, and if you wander into that role too often, it means your relationship has taken a turn into co-dependency or abuse.  But I did it anyway.

(Incidentally, he’d displayed very little interest in me sexually during this time, which was unheard of.  He’s a wolf; he’s on me all the time.  I actually don’t understand how a man of his age has the stamina.)

I went to my closet and picked out a dress he’d given me months ago that I’d always declined to wear:

creepazoid-dress-2
creepy dress

Now, he gives me clothing whenever  the fancy takes me (I certainly never ask), and I usually enjoy it because the man has, let’s face it, truly exquisite taste.  The only thing that I don’t like about the clothes he buys me is that they are clearly more expensive than what I can afford, which makes me feel self-conscious about wearing them–it’s not a self-esteem issue, it’s not that I feel I don’t “deserve” a few new expensive clothes, it’s that I feel like I’m somehow misrepresenting myself.  Spend enough time in New York, and you get to meet a lot of money frauds and social climbers.  I certainly don’t want to be one of those people.

This dress, though, was different.

Something about it rubbed me the wrong way, and it took me a while to figure it out–I mean, objectively, there was nothing wrong with it.  It’s a beautiful dress, in fact.  It has a ton of detail, the pleating is beautiful, I love the colors, and it’s unique.  I also really like lacy dresses this year, and this dress has lacy sleeves and overlay.   Cute, right?  Perfect for Spring.

I still didn’t like it.

He suggested that I wear it out to lunch one day and I took it out of its box for about the tenth time and laid it on my bed and took a good, hard look at it, and it hit me:

It was the dress a 10-year-old would wear to Sunday Mass or some special occasion.

What the fuck?  I mean, seriously, what the fuck?

I picked it up and walked out to him, holding it out.

“Where did you buy this?”

“A very nice boutique close to my office.  I pass by it every day.”

I scowled.  “Is this a dress for a kid?”

“Does that matter?  Don’t you think it’s pretty?  Does it not fit you?”

I turned it inside out and rummaged for the size tag/laundry instruction tab sewed into the lower seam.

“Collector! This says size 14/16!  I’m not a 14/16 in Women’s or Junior’s!  This is a kid’s dress!” I groaned.

“Well, it looked like it would fit you,” he said, all innocent-sounding.

“I’m not wearing it to lunch!  It’s weird!”

“Wear whatever you like.  I would hate for you to be uncomfortable,” he said, incredibly and completely without irony.

I put on something else and put the frilly dress back in its box in the back of the closet, just like I stored its implications in the back of my mind. Anyone who reads this blog will know that I am one of the most sexually open-minded people you could hope to meet, but I do have my preferences, and any sort of age-play where I’m in the minor/submissive role squicks me out.  God knows I got a ton of cheesy spankings dressed in a schoolgirl outfit when I was still pro-Subbing, but that was professional, so it was mostly an eye-rolling embarrassment.

So, flash-forward to the present, when I’m asking myself exactly what I can do to knock this guy out of his bad mood because being in the house with him like this is making me grind my teeth with anxiety and Abe is not exactly enjoying it, either.

Now, unless he has a super-important deadline or a mandatory business call on Skype for some overseas client, he always makes time for dinner.  Sometimes he has me pick up carry-out and eats at his desk, but usually dinner is a sit-down affair, and he cooks it himself.

With trepidation, I took the dress out of the box and tried it on for the first time.

Well, he was right: it fit…mostly.  The bust was too snug, presumably because girls don’t have tits yet, and the hem was short because girls are usually not almost 5’10”.   It covered my ass by a few inches and I could wear it in public without causing a scandal, but I’d have to remember to be careful about picking things up, but I have a few dresses like that and once you get used to it, it’s not a big deal.  Just make a man do it for you.

I ran over to his office and rapped on the door, praying that this was not going to be a terrible decision.

He said I could come in, so I opened the door and and scampered inside, smiling widely.

“I just tried it on.  Can I wear it for dinner?”  (As you know, I’m usually not allowed to wear clothing in the house.)

He sat there at his desk, looking me up and down, bemused.

“You look very pretty.  What, pray tell, has brought this on?”

I gave him what I hoped was my sunniest smile.  I do have a pretty smile; my clients told me that all the time.

“I wanted to make you happy.”

“That, my dear, is always the right answer,” he said, and rolled back his chair, standing up.

 

*                                 *                                *

For dinner that evening, he was eating a small steak and snails with greens.  I got a grilled cheese sandwich with the crusts cut off and the sandwich itself was cut into cubes.  And a salad.

It took me halfway through the meal to raise the crucial point: “Uhh, Collector, why do you get steak while I’m eating kid food?”

“It’s not kid food. If it was kid food, I would have made it with Velveeta or that awful American ‘cheese product’ you eat over here. That sandwich has Gruyère!

If he ever reads this, I am going to be in deep trouble, but sometimes the things that come out of his mouth make me question his mental state.

He put down his silverware.  “Margo, allow me to suggest something to you.”

“By all means.”

“Sometimes, in our past, when something bad or traumatic happens, it’s a bit like a train track that was executed incorrectly, made crooked, so that the train could not follow.  It either stops moving or derails.  Do you see?”

“I think the metaphor is strange, but I cautiously think I understand what you mean.”

“When we get older, and have control over our lives, we can re-create these experiences and do them correctly, in a healing way.  We can make the train track straight.”

“It sounds to me like you’re just describing Repetition Compulsion.”

“Repetition Compulsion is futile and compounds our misery and we all do it, unfortunately, to some extent.  What I am describing is something else.

Do it again.  Do it correctly.  Take nourishment from it, and confidence, and….healing.”

“But you can’t go back again.  Nobody can go back.  Childhood’s gone, and who the fuck wants to visit that swampy nightmare, anyway?”

He nodded.  “People change, as, indeed, we must.  But we still contain all variations of ourselves.  That’s what I’ve been asking you to focus on in your therapy.”

“I’ll think about it.  I’m still not sure I fully understand.”

“Just keep an open mind.  We’ll revisit it later.  How is the grilled cheese?”

In fact, it was delicious.

Pirates

Past the swimming pool, there is a grove of trees.  If you walk it, more trees.  I was confused at first because I thought, Well, Europeans (exception of Russians) already chopped down all their big trees, and don’t have any wildlife left but deer and squirrels. It wasn’t like I was going to get eaten by a bear or a cougar.  Euro forests are just big tree parks.

There is a stretch of beach where nobody can go because endangered birds nest there.  There are signs in English and his language.  Behind that, the trees.

The trees were mostly Birches. I thought, for some reason, they would be coniferous; evergreens.

I went into the trees.  I tried to be very careful because I have an awful sense of direction. It’s honestly the worst of anyone I’ve ever met; it would be comical if it wasn’t so bad.  I’ve gotten lost on fucking hiking trails.  The GPS is a balm to my soul, like a safety blanket, but I didn’t have it then.  It doesn’t work over there.

I tried to pay attention to where I was going so that I could get my way back to the beach.  Also, the ocean has a smell and makes noise.

THEN the kid came up, the eldest son.  I heard him come up because he was crunching stuff underneath his shoes.  Guys are mostly loud.

Was it a hundred yards…?  I was only a hundred yards into the trees.

I was startled.  There was no reason for him to be there.

He said that he wanted to show me where he and his brother played “Pirates.”

There were five or six boulders, each the size of a car or a bed.  It looked very incongruous (is that redundant?).  I wondered how they got out there, piled together in the middle of nowhere.  Then I remembered my undergrad geology class: they were probably moved by a glacier thousands of years ago (geology, should anyone ask you, is basically the history of rocks).

“Let’s see if I can fit now!” he said, and climbed up the boulders like a billy goat.

There was a slim crevice between the stones.  He had to take off his jacket, but he dropped through it.

He popped up and extended his hand: “Let me show you!  There’s a space under here.”

I turned around and headed back to the beach.  All the hair on my arms was standing up.

Ten Things

His birthday was coming up, and I had no idea what to buy him.  What do you get for the man who has everything…?  He was harder to shop for than the Surgeon, which is saying something. For Father’s Day I’d given him a Waterman pen that I had inscribed and a piece of a meteor that crashed in the Soviet Union in the 1950s.  He loved them both, but now I needed some new ideas.

So, I went to him and asked him if there was a gift he thought he’d like to have.

He thought about it, and then came back to me later in the day.

“There are three things you can give to me.  One is list of ten things you think you can do to be a better submissive.  You can also make a list of things you think inhibit your progress.

The other two are fantasies you have that you haven’t told me about yet.  Something that I could do for you.  Things that tell me something about you.”

Over the next week, I sat down to work on my list.  This is what I came up with:

  • Stop resisting
  • Don’t hide things.  Try to be more transparent.
  • Try to keep an open mind about situations and activities you presume are going to be bad.
  • Finish getting your hair lasered.
  • Personally follow up on the grocery deliveries to make sure all of the ingredients are there before he starts cooking so that there is no dinner crisis.
  • Think about what you can do to ensure his comfort.
  • Be present without radiating expectation.
  • Express gratitude.
  • Make him feel like God.
  • Return library books on time so they don’t call the house.

I don’t know?  Usually I’m very good at stuff like homework, but this one was challenging.  Do you think it’s good?  Or good enough?  Maybe I should take the chores off….though, seriously, life would be much more sedate and harmonious if the man never ran out of  Parmesan cheese again.

On the back of the sheet of paper, I wrote: “I’m afraid of you sometimes and this makes it difficult to trust you and be vulnerable.  Also, I think you can be impulsive.”

Then I just sat there and stared at the paper.

No One Leaves the Table

Dinner started out fine.

He’d made lasagna and I’d helped with the salad and made the table. When dinner was served, he sat at the head of the table, and I was on his right.  The young one sat on my other side, and the elder one on the other side of the table.

The older one seemed tense, sitting stiffly in his chair, and picking at his food instead of eating it, which was not normal for him.  Those kids wolf down their food–I’d forgotten how much teenage boys can eat.

Dad was talking a little bit about his day, and didn’t seem to notice his son looked uncomfortable.  He was talking about his experience in court.  He thinks having to swear on a Bible is hilarious.

Then, the kid dropped the bomb.  And he said it in English.

Let’s just say that he’d gotten himself into a problem.  He’d committed a sexual impropriety that could get him into major, major trouble at school.

Everyone froze, and it was only by the skin of my teeth that I avoided bursting out in nervous panic-laughter “Wow! Better you than me, buddy!”  There is no way in hell I’d admit this to his father in person.  In fact, I wouldn’t even tell him this bad news when we were both on the same continent.  I’d tell him from someplace safely far away, like Antarctica.

You could have heard a pin drop.  The boys and I were frozen, heads down, staring at our plates.

He put his silverware down, not looking at his son, and said, “Tell me: is this a girl from school, or some random bar slut from the village?”

“School.”

I sneaked a glance at him across the table, and he looked so anxious and miserable that I felt sorry for him.  What he did was stupid, but it wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t predatory.  He was definitely in a fucked-up situation that needed to be diffused, but it wasn’t the worst thing ever.  People make mistakes, especially young people.  Frankly, if I was a parent, I’d be considerably more upset if he’d committed a horrible act of bullying or violence, or was caught cheating on his college applications.  I’d be more upset if I found out it was drugs, or he drove drunk and killed someone.

I tried to be supportive, because he seemed scared (can’t say that I blame him.  I was scared just being there).  I said, “Well, that’s bad news, but I don’t think it’s anything that can’t be dealt with. It’s not the end of the world.  I’m sure your family can help–“.

“Be quiet, Margo,” said Dad.

I shut up and returned my eyes to my dinner plate.

“Why are you such a disappointment, (Older boy)?  I’m glad your mother is not here.”

Well, that’s just plain cold, I thought.

“Uh, this is a family matter, so I think I’ll give you some privacy and go to my room,” I said, my voice a little high and screechy.

(It did not occur to me until later that the reason the older boy chose to break the bad news at the dinner table, with his brother and me there, in English, instead of behind closed doors with his father, was that he was hoping our presence–mine, specifically–might help keep his father on his best behavior.  I could be wrong about that, though.)

I pushed out my chair, stood up, and started walking out of the room.

Behind me, he brought his hand down on the table so hard it made all the plates and silverware jump.

“No one leaves the table!” he yelled.  And this is not a man who raises his voice often.

I jumped, immediately turned around and returned to my seat.

You could cut the tension with a knife.  It was terrible.

The young one on my left reached out and grabbed my hand.  His palm was cold and sweating.  I carefully avoid any touching after the incident where he picked me up after my stupid decision to play thumb wars, but I did not take my hand away now.

“Well?  Answer my question,” said Dad.

I looked up.  Dad was tense but otherwise unruffled.  The son was twitching…probably a mixture of fear and rage.

Incredibly, he picked up his dinner plate, and, I swear, was about to chuck it right at his father’s head.  It would have hit, too, because he was sitting only a few feet away.

At the last second, he changed his direction and threw it against the wall behind him.  The food went everywhere.  I actually screamed.

“I hate you!” The kid yelled, getting out of his chair.

Oh boy I really don’t want to be here right now, I thought.

“Sit down right now,” said the father, and his voice was serious as a heart attack.

Or what? I wondered. He’s bigger than you now!  How can you force a teenager to do anything?

He stood there, red-faced and panting…and then sat back down.

“Margo,” said Dad, softly: “Get a new plate from the kitchen and pick up the food off the floor.”

I immediately got up to do it.  I washed my hands and got out a spatula and some big serving spoons.  The lasagna was not in one piece, but its remains were in one location. T salad had scattered all over the floor.  There was tomato sauce on the wall and on the floor.  The plate was broken.  If it’d made contact with Dad’s head, it probably would have knocked out a tooth or split his cheek open.

Nobody was talking at the table behind me.

He’s going to make the kid eat it, I thought.

I stood up and stared at the floor and asked if I should throw it in the garbage or down the disposal.

“Bring it to the table.”

“Uh, where?  What?”

“It’s yours now, Margo.  (Older boy) has given it to you.  Have a seat.”

I sat down stiffly and pushed my first meal, barely touched, out of the way to make room for the second plate.

Bon Appétit,” said the father, who then had a drink of wine, picked up his silverware, and resumed eating his meal as if nothing had happened.

So did I.  Thanking God that the wooden floors were clean, aside from whatever polishes the cleaning crew used.

“How is (Older Boy’s) meal, Margo?  Does it taste good?”

I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel.  I just didn’t want the situation to get any worse.

“It’s fine,” I said, mechanically shoveling food into my mouth.  But nothing was fine.

“You know, (Older Boy),” he said, conversationally, “I am not the one who is doing this to her.  You did this to her.  You caused this.”

I looked at the younger one on my left, who was not eating and looked like he was going to cry.  I felt terrible for him.

“Don’t worry.  It’s okay,” I said, which was a lie, but I didn’t know what else to say.

The meal continued in silence.  Dad finished his portion and leaned back in his chair with his wine, master of his domain.

“The meal is over when Margo finishes her plate.  How do you feel about that, (Older boy)?”

“I’m sorry.”

So, now we have another problem: I do not eat as much as a growing teenage boy.  His portion was probably twice as large as mine.

It took the better part of an hour, and by the end I hoped I’d never see another bite of lasagna in my life…but I choked it down.

He told the older boy to clean the floor and wall and to clear the table: “I’d make Margo do it, but I think she might need to throw up.”

I did.  I did indeed.

Maybe the kid is onto something, I thought.  Maybe this guy needs to be killed in his sleep.

With that, he rapped his knuckles on the table and got up from his chair.

Class dismissed.

I went straight to the bathroom.  When I got out a few minutes later, after heaving and brushing my teeth, I saw the older boy still sitting alone at the table, staring straight ahead.

I went to his father’s bedroom.

When I got up in the morning, the floor, and the wall, were clean.