Abduction Weekend II: Quality Time with a Closet Creepy-Crawly

   I sensed when we were left the road and started to approach the house because the vibrations of the van changed after it left the blacktop.  We drove first onto dirt, and then onto what could only be gravel.  I recognized the gravel because it made a distinct crunching noise that I could hear even over the sound coming from my headphones.  I’d once spent the summer with my ex–the truly bad restraining-order psycho–and his family in East Hampton.  His folks had a gravel driveway.  I’ve never forgotten the noise tires make on it. 

      The van crunched to a halt.  The driver killed the engine.  The headphones were yanked off my head and the heart rate monitor was taken off of my hand.

      “Carry her or make her walk?”  I heard UPS guy ask.  

       “Carry.  With two of us, we’ll make short work of it.  Her legs are going to be asleep.  You go up ahead.  See you at the box.”

        The WHAT?  I wondered.

         The sound of van doors opening.  Then someone put a second dark bag on my head.  I didn’t like that, not one bit.  It was very hot and stuffy in the bag, and I was hoping for some fresh air.  Two bags was going to be absolutely miserable. 

        “We’re going to carry you.  Don’t resist,” said a voice close to my ear.  That was the stranger waiting in the van.  The one with the goatee.  

          One of them grabbed my ankles and the other–young UPS guy–grabbed me underneath my armpits.  They lifted me out of the van and once my weight was off the floor, I immediately noticed that it was true: my lower legs, and most of my arms, were pretty numb.  There was no pain, no tell-tale sting of nerve damage, but they were definitely asleep.  It was the restraints.  Too tight, for too long.  

       I couldn’t see anything through the bags.  I had no idea where I was.  I couldn’t even tell how warm it was outside or if the air was humid–nothing.  

      They moved me at a pretty good clip.  I was surprised–it’s difficult to move dead weight.  It felt like they carried me quite a way, but I can’t be sure.  

      Indoors…they had carried me indoors.  Someplace with a concrete floor, like a garage.  

      My ankles were released and UPS guy hauled me up into a standing position.

      “Stand up!” he said.

      I tried to put my weight on my feet.  My legs buckled immediately. 

      “Whatever, I’ve got her.  Move her hands around to the front,” I heard him say.

       The nylon winch ties were quickly released from my torso and I felt my arms flop down towards the floor like dead animals.  Then: the coldness, followed by burning as the blood rushed in.  

       Someone grabbed my right wrist.  Then, the unmistakable feel and sound of handcuffs.  First the right wrist, then the left.  In front of my body.  

        The nylon winch ties were taken off of my legs.  Now I was unrestrained except for the handcuffs.

       UPS guy picked me up off the ground and bundled me forward a few feet into what felt like….

       ….a closet…?!

        When he released me, I crumbled to the ground immediately.  Fortunately, I managed to sit straight down onto my ass, into a crouching position, with my legs bent at the knee in front of me.  When I tried to move my arms backward, my elbows knocked into a corner.  

       I felt a door closing shut–the door I’d just moved through.  It made a puff of air.

      My arms and legs were making that awful pins-and-needles waking-up sensation, but I could move them around now.  I reached up and snatched the bags off of my head. 

      Yeah, I was inside of a closet, all right.  It was dark inside.  The only light was through a crack on the side of the door that had hinges.  

       “It’s ready,” I heard one of the men say from outside.

      Someone passed in front of the doorcrack, blocking it out for a second.  And then: the loud, frightening noise of an electric screwdriver:

         I screamed a little bit.  It scared me.  I’ll admit it.  The closet door vibrated and rattled. 

        They were screwing the door shut.  They were locking me up in the closet.  

      The squeal of the drill, much closer to my head this time.  Whoever was wielding it was putting in a screw at about the same height as my head.  I yelped again and scooted my body away from the door.  

       And then it was done.  It had only taken a minute.  

      I heard the clank of something heavy and metallic shift around–maybe a tool box.  Someone said something I couldn’t make out.  Someone else laughed.  I heard running water in a faucet and metal sink.  Then, the sound of retreating footsteps.

       They’d left the building, whatever it was.  I sensed that they were gone.

       They’d left me in the closet.  

        I positioned my body so that my back was opposite the door.  I put my feet against the door and pushed with all my might (which wasn’t much–my legs were returning to normal, but they still felt warm and weak).

        The door didn’t budge.  Not even a tiny bit.

        I drew my knees back and kicked at it.  Pretty feeble. 


       “Hello?” I called out.  “Uh, hello?  Hello hello?”


       “Hello?  How long am I going to be in here?”


       I looked up and around me, trying to survey my surroundings.  It was extremely dark in the closet.  My eyes had adjusted all they were going to adjust, and I still couldn’t make anything out.

      I craned my neck up.  How tall was this closet?

      And there, in the corner, I saw it: a tiny red light, glowing steadily. Unflickering.

       I thought exactly what YOU would have thought in that situation, good reader!  I thought: That looks just like the recording light in a video camera.

       “Oh no, come ON!” I spat.  I was frustrated and irritated.  I’d said NO CAMERAS.  That was one of my non-negotiable hard limits.  No pictures, no video, no audio recordings!

        I started moving my feet around, trying to determine the size of the closet.  It was not large.  It was about the size of a small supply closet.  The size of the closet in my bedroom at home.

       My foot bumped against something and made it move.  Made it roll. 

      “Whaaa?”  I said, and kicked at it again.

       Something small and hard.  Plastic or metal.

       I fumbled in the dark and grabbed it.

       A pen-light.  They’d left me with a flashlight.

       I twisted it on.  A yellow beam of light cut through the darkness.  I looked around me feverishly. 

       Yup–my perceptions were right.  I was in a small, bare closet with a concrete floor.  There was really nothing else to say about it.

       I pointed the flashlight up at the little red light I’d seen in the corner.  I started to curse and swear in a most unladylike fashion.  Cause it was a camera.  A damn security camera, set up there in the corner, looking down at me.  

       I looked up at the camera and shot it the bird.  

       “Hey, come on, guys–this isn’t funny!  I said no cameras!  You need to come get this thing and take it away right now!”

         It was then that I noticed something right beside the camera.

        An enormous spider…!

        I am not talking your friendly neighborhood tarantula here.  I mean an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom monster with a legspan at least as large as a dessert saucer.  And when I moved the flashlight across it, I saw it move. 

        You can imagine my reaction, gentle reader, but I know that you want me to describe it, so I will: I freaked out.  I screamed.  Yes, I screamed, just like a scared little girl, and I threw up my arms in front of my face, dropping the flashlight, because I was suddenly sure that the spider was going to launch itself down upon me from the heights of the closet corner like the arachnid hand of a punishing God, probably to crawl all over me and frighten me even more.  With delight, I have no doubt–the spider would want to do this with delight.   The entire time the spider would be crawling all over me, it would be laughing inside of its malevolent spider-brain.

       (Yeah, I know that doesn’t make sense.  No spider would want to do that.  But so what.  How many of our fears are rational?)

      When I didn’t feel the spider land upon me, I suddenly became worried that it was crawling toward me instead, and I reached around me for the flashlight.  I needed to get onto my feet!  I needed to be prepared to stomp it when it attacked!

       I pulled myself up, knocking my head against a closet wall in the process, and anxiously focused the light by the video camera, where I’d last seen the spider.

       The ugly bastard was still there.  Right where I left him.

       Waiiiiiit…..wait a minute…!  

       That spider didn’t look like it had moved at all.

       I raised my hand over my face to protect it from a spider attack and stood up on my tiptoes, peering at the spider through my fingers.

        That spider was a rubber Halloween prop!  It was fake!  Upon closer inspection, it didn’t look remotely real–not even in the dark.

        I tittered nervous laughter.  “Oh man!  That is not okay,” I said, to no one in particular.  

       I sat back down in the corner and trained the light on the spider.  I knew it was fake, but I couldn’t stop looking at it.  I thought that if I did, maybe when I moved the light back to it, it wouldn’t be there anymore.  If I took my eyes off of it, it would magically come to life and commence its nefarious reasons for being.  

       The spider was fake.  I told myself that the camera had to be fake, too.  


        I don’t know how long they left me in there.  Probably long enough to have a late lunch.
        Then it was time for the intake interview.  

Abduction Weekend Part I: Delivered

         As it happened, I ended up being snatched off of the street, after all.  

     I never saw them coming.  Three weeks of advance notice, three long conversations with Heinrich in which we addressed major logistical concerns (did I intend to resist?  Was my living room large enough to accommodate 3-5 men and their gear? What would I say to the landlord or a neighbor in the event that we were interrupted?), and I still never saw them coming.

      Heinrich & Co. were supposed to let themselves in to my apartment with a spare key I’d provided.  That was the plan.  They knew when I was going to be home, and I knew that they were supposed to drop in on me sometime that weekend…but I didn’t know when, and the anticipation was killing me.  I was walking on pins and needles around my apartment, freezing whenever I heard heavy footsteps on the stairs or unfamiliar male voices in the hallway.  Sleep was thin and uneasy.  I kept thinking that I heard the sound of the key in the lock…the deadbolt pulling back. 

      In the end, they took me by surprise by pretending to be UPS.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I am embarrassed to report that they needed no sophisticated or complex trickery in order to catch me.  They simply called to say that they were trying to deliver a package to me downstairs in my apartment building. 

     My dumb ass fell for it.  For what it’s worth, I was, in fact, expecting a package that day from Amazon (PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum!  Works GREAT!  Miss Margo heartily recommends this product!). 

     I was not expecting an ambush downstairs from the UPS man.  So when I got a call for my apartment number, I said that I’d be right down, donned flip flops…

      …and delivered myself.  They would have gotten more hassle if they tried to order Chinese food. The van was perhaps seven feet away from my apartment building’s door, parked at the curb.  Incredibly, I didn’t even notice it. I was focused on the UPS guy standing in front of it, just outside my door.  

       He was young and I noticed a bit of tattoo on his arm that wasn’t covered by his sleeve.  He was wearing a brown UPS shirt and a brown UPS hat and carrying a big cardboard box with labels on it.  Nothing struck me as amiss. 

        “(Apartment #)?” asked UPS guy.  “You have ID to sign for this?”

          “Sure thing,” I said, walking right up to him. I opened my purse and started rummaging around in it for my wallet.  Rummage rummage rummage.

        “Hey, Miss Margo,” someone said.

         I looked up to see who was calling me, and looked up into the open back doors of a minivan.  

          There was a man in there.  A man I did not recognize–a white guy with sunglasses on.  He had salt-and-pepper hair and a goatee. He was smiling.

        “Long time no see, Miss Margo!  How’ve you been?” asked the  dude.

          Who was this guy?  How’d he know my name?  I am notoriously bad at recognizing faces, so I stood there for a second, racking my brain, trying to place him.  Was this someone from school I was supposed to know?

        Then I was grabbed at the waist, lifted, and literally tossed into the back of the van–specifically, into the arms of the stranger who’d called my name.  He embraced me as if we were friends.  

         I didn’t scream. The loudest sound was the noisy metal klang my shinbone made when it knocked against the back bumper.  That left a huge bruise which endured for ten days.  

         I remember thinking two things: Ow, my shin! and Who the fuck IS this person? 

          The van doors slammed shut behind me.  It was dark.  I looked at the windows and saw roll-down sunscreens.  With that, finally, came the dawn of comprehension. 

          “Oh fuck!” I swore, mostly to myself.  Aghast at my gullibility.  “I can’t believe I fell for that!”

           The Stranger was already passing me down onto the floor of the van.  Onto my stomach.  It was already too late to resist in any meaningful fashion, even if I’d wanted to.  He’d climbed on top of my back and pinned my shoulders with his knees.  His weight pressed the wind out of me.  It hurt.  

             Then I felt someone holding my legs…and then, a sharp, violent bind just above my knees.

           I tried to say It’s okay, I give up, but I couldn’t get enough air.

          Someone put a soft black bag over my head.

          “Okay, lift her up,” said a voice.  Was that UPS guy?  “Get her purse.”

            Then: sudden restraint around my torso, just below my breasts, tying my arms tightly against my body.

            I didn’t realize it until they took the bag off of my head, but I’d been restrained with common adjustable nylon winch straps with buckles–the types of straps used to secure kyaks and luggage to the roofs of cars, for example.  Cheap all-purpose restraints.  Heck, I have four of them in my Bag o’ Swag underneath my bed.  

          In my mind, I’d pictured the van speeding off into the night, like in a movie.  But it was the middle of the afternoon, and the guys were in no hurry.

       “It’s okay, it’s okay,” I choked out.   The restraints were very tight.  They were hurting me.

          They didn’t say anything to me.  Maybe they didn’t even hear me.  I was back on my stomach with my check pressed into the floor and the strange van guy’s weight on my back again–not quite as heavy this time, but still very forceful.  I couldn’t see anything.  

          “Here’s the blanket,” said UPS guy, and I felt my lower half being draped in fabric.  “I’ll be right back with her stuff.  Does anyone else need to come up with me to use the bathroom?  No?  Okay, I’ll be back in a sec.”

           I heard the van door open again.

           UPS guy apparently let himself into my building and ran up to my apartment, where he fetched the weekend-overnight bag that I’d left at the agreed-upon place right outside my bedroom door.  He locked the door behind him when he left and came back to the van.

          “Ready,” he said, and burst into laughter. Then: “We totally over-prepared for that.  Did you see her face when you called her name?”

            The engine started.  It made the metal floor underneath me humm.  I felt it through the bag on my head.

          Wait, I thought to myself.  Who’s the driver?

          I perked up, trying to catch voices, but the men were not talking.  How many of them were there?  Three, at least.  But where was Heinrich?  I hadn’t heard his voice!

          What if he’s not here?  What if you’ve been caught by the WRONG GROUP OF PEOPLE?

           No, that couldn’t be right–they had my housekeys and knew my name.  It had to be the right bunch.

        They adjusted the straps tied around me–made them a little looser–and put on two more.  Then someone attached a fingertip heart-rate and blood-oxygen saturation monitor to the pointer finger of my left hand.  Very prudent, a very prudent thing to do.  That was the hand of Heinrich for sure, I told myself.  Because you wouldn’t want to take your captive out of town, get the bag off of her head, and then realize you’d, say, suffocated her to death inadvertently on the drive over.  

         We went for a long drive.  I’m not sure how long it took–about two hours, I’d reckon, but I could be wrong about that.  I know that the last part was definitely over an hour because someone put headphones over the bag on my head and turned up the radio.  At first it was Spanish-Latino pop music, which was a torture which almost prompted me to complain, but then one of them must have interceded on my behalf and changed it to NPR.  

       What a fascinating life I lead.  I couldn’t make some of this shit up if I tried.  

       They took me out to a nice house…a house in the country.  You know the one: the one with a million dogs and cats on it (jesus, just KIDDING! lol).  

       Things got very tough for me very quickly. 

       NEXT: locked in a closet with creepy-crawlies, meeting the Boss, interviewed in icewater, and…a poetry recital! 

       It’s ruining a bit of the fun for next time, but I’ll post this here anyway…

       I was given a piece of poetry to memorize, which I then had to recite upon request, often under extremely, ahh, distracting circumstances.  When I recited it incorrectly, I was punished  “reminded.”  LOL still can’t believe he did that to me.  But what a great idea!

Tortured by Neighbor’s Awful Sex Soundtrack Mix Tape (Cutting Crew)

      One of the reasons I like my apartment building is that I usually don’t hear a peep from my neighbors.  The street four flights down can get a little noisy on late Summer nights, but my neighbors are typically quiet.  The walls in this building must be solid brick or I must have exceptionally quiet neighbors.  

     That changed this week.  

      Some English guys–two or three–moved in across the way.  Not the hallway, but the way between the bedroom window and the apartment across…well, a bricked-in corridor of nothingness.  It’s difficult to describe.  I’ll try to post pictures so that you can see for yourself. 

      Anyway, one of these English guys is disturbing my serenity with his SEX SOUNDTRACK.

      I’m not picking on him for his sex soundtrack.  I have a sex soundtrack myself–I  have multiple soundtracks, in fact…different soundtracks for different partners.  You probably have a soundtrack, too.  Lots of people have them.  

      The English guy across the way has a very…unlikable sex soundtrack.  It is starting to make my life, ahh, unpleasant.  At first I thought it was funny and I spammed all my friends with email about it, hooting with laughter as I typed.

       It’s not so funny anymore.  The joke is on me, I’m afraid.  

       Can you guess what his soundtrack is?  Quick!  Think of the worst, cheesiest sex soundtrack music you can imagine.

       NIN “Closer?”  Anything by Tool?  

       NO!  It’s even WORSE!  (And God, did I just date myself?)

          “I Just Died in Your Arms!” by Cutting Crew!  Shoot me now!

           It’s not even part of his Sex Soundtrack Mix Tape!  It’s the entire soundtrack!  He puts the song on repeat!  He had his girlfriend over the other night and I heard “I Just Died in Your Arms” six times! 

          Why?  Why, God, why?!

          (And, inexplicably, this video has 6,020 ‘likes’ on YouTube and only 59 ‘dislikes’…well, 60 ‘dislikes’ now that I’ve added my contribution.  WTF approves of this music?  Like Arab terrorism and the post-Industrial economy, I have been subjected to this awful fuckin song my entire life, and I resent it.  When am I not going to have to listen to bad 80s Baby-Boomer pop in the grocery store?)

Surgeon ‘waterboarded’ his mistress and ‘stuffed her head down a toilet over offensive Facebook post’

(Miss Margo note: This guy is NOT THE SURGEON…but if the name and photos were withheld, I’d totally believe it was him.  I want to forward him this article, but I’m still hiding from him.  I wonder if he knows this guy…?  I guess it’s possible; Llorente worked in a burn trauma center…

I find domestic violence to be the least funny subject ever…but I have to admit…this article made me laugh and laugh.  OMG.

And check out the lawyer-speak: The attorney for the defense, Marcos Beaton said in an email statement: ‘I don’t see anything within the narrative that suggest that Dr. Llorente prevented the alleged victim from leaving, either by threat, by force or by implication of force.’

I hope my readers aren’t too disgusted.  I think this is one of the more questionable things I’ve ever posted.

Take him to the cleaners and get him off the street, Ms. Sauma.)

Plastic surgeon ‘waterboarded’ his mistress and ‘stuffed her head down a toilet over offensive Facebook post’

PUBLISHED: 10:08 EST, 9 May 2013 UPDATED: 12:35 EST, 9 May 2013

A cosmetic surgeon is facing charges of attempted murder and kidnapping after he allegedly waterboarded his mistress in a bath tub after becoming enraged over a Facebook message posted on her page.  

Dr Orlando Llorente, 41, from Miami, Florida is said to have pushed Leanne Sauma’s head down a toilet and then forced a rag into the mouth of while pouring water over her head.

According to the affidavit, Dr Llorente subjected the victim, 36, to almost 16 hours of abuse and torture in an apartment before driving her to a CVS where she escaped from his car.

The horrifying ordeal is thought to have been sparked by a post on Ms Sauma’s Facebook page last month though details of what the message said or showed has not been released by Miami police. 

According to the police report, Dr Llorente, angered by the post, grabbed his mistress by the hair and dragged her into the bathroom on April 21st.

There he is said to have repeatedly struck Ms Sauma’s and threatened to kill her before banging her head on the floor and subjecting her to the vicious torture tactic while straddling her in the bath tub. 

The police report reads: As the defendant bangs (syc) the victim’s head on the floor, he demanded that she tell him the truth about the Facebook message.’

It continues: ‘The victim advised that she had to play along with the defendant and make him believe that she would not tell anyone for him to let her go,’ the report revealed.

Finally releasing Ms Sauma from the bathroom, the couple drove to a CVS parking lot in Pinecrest where according to Ms Sauma’s statement, her ex-boyfriend began ‘coaching’ her on what to tell people about her facial injuries.

While the victim attempted to record Dr Llorente telling her to tell her mother she slipped in the bath tub, he allegedly grabbed her by the neck as she managed to throw the phone out the car window.
In a tussle outside the car, the doctor then seized the phone and smashed it up. 

When Pinecrest Police arrived at the scene, Ms Sauma was alone in the parking lot.

Dr Llorente is vehemently denying the charges and attorneys say he is resolute that he will clear his name. 

Miami Police have confirmed that the doctor is in fact married and did ‘once upon a time’ have an affair with Ms Sauma.

After Ms Sauma’s allegations surfaced earlier this week, he turned himself in on Tuesday and was presented before a judge on Wednesday who denied the doctor bond. 

The attorney for the defense, Marcos Beaton said in an email statement: ‘I don’t see anything within the narrative that suggest that Dr. Llorente prevented the alleged victim from leaving, either by threat, by force or by implication of force.

‘Dr. Llorente voluntarily surrendered to authorities yesterday and is resolute on clearing his name. He reached out to law enforcement, through his lawyers, when these false allegations surfaced. 

‘We are disappointed that our requests for more time in which to present a thorough and thoughtful examination into the source of the allegations and the facts surrounding them was declined.

‘In fact, the City of Miami Police Department ignored repeated phone messages from Dr. Llorente‚Äôs attorneys. Had we been given that opportunity, we would have been able to show that Dr. Llorente is absolutely not guilty. We look forward to vindicating him in court.’

Llorente, who is also facing charges of robbery, battery, tampering with a witness, false imprisonment and criminal mischief in the April incident, was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim.

Abduction Weekend Story Sneak Preview: Margo Digs a Hole

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(Abduction Weekend was waaaay too busy to capture in a single blog post.  It’ll have to be a series.  There’s only so much I can present without getting pornographic, but since I keep my blog Rated R, I’ll do my best.  The weird stuff is the most fun, anyway.  You can get sex anywhere, right?

Anyway, this was one of the weekend highlights (in retrospect).  The first morning I was there, they had me dig a hole that I became convinced I was going to be buried alive in as some sort of ‘test.’  I was paranoid because they messed with my mind a lot.  Well, they didn’t put me in a crate in the hole…but they did make me fill it back in.  It took the entire morning.  Quite an attitude adjustment.  Dudebro rode me like a donkey the entire time.)      

Shackle left a sore.  I put neosporin and a band-aid on it.

       I walked with them to the edge of the lawn, where the grass gave way to what looked like a sizable vegetable and flower garden.  Heinrich had me walk ahead of them, which struck me as odd until I realized that it would afford them greater surveillance over me.  

      The dew was off the grass, but it was still chilly outside.  My skin was broken out in gooseflesh.  Otherwise, it was a beautiful late morning, sunny and clear.  

      “Halt.  Stand there,” Heinrich said when I reached the edge of the grass.  

        There was a tree about ten feet to my left.  I don’t know what kind; the leaves weren’t out yet.  Besides the tree was a wooden  crate-like structure with a hinged lid and a black plastic tube that looked like a large vacuum-cleaner attachment.  

        I stared at that wooden crate, contemplating it with foreboding.  

       That crate gave me the creeps.

       “Eyes front!”  screamed the loathed Dudebro.  I could hear the smile in his voice.  A second later, something whacked against the back of my head and fell to the ground by my feet.  I sneaked a glance down, while keeping my head straight.

        Gardening gloves. 

        To my left, Heinrich was looping the end of the chain around the trunk of the tree.  He locked it shut with a padlock, checked it, and then walked back over to me.

       “Be sure to wear those gloves,” he gestured at where they lay on the ground.  I bent and picked them up.  “I don’t want to look at your blistered, scraped-up hands working around my supper later.  Have me loose my appetite.”

       Dudebro came up from behind me.  He was carrying a round point gardening shovel with a long wooden handle, which he trust into my hands.  “Have fun with it!”

       “What?” I said.  Confused.

        Heinrich fished his stopwatch out of his pocket.  “Make for us a hole.”

       “A hole?  Where?”

       “Here.  In the dirt right in front of us.”

       “How big?”

        “We’ll tell you when it’s the right size.”

        My heart sank.

        I walked a few feet forward into the dirt, dragging my chain behind me.  The shovel was sort of heavy.  I put the metal blade against the earth, sank it in with help of my tennis shoe, pulled up the dirt, and threw it away to my left.  

         The first of many, many such movements.

          I looked up at the men for confirmation that I was doing it right.  I felt idiotic.  

         Dudebro had that big happy gloating smile on his face.  Heinrich looked mostly neutral, but when he saw me staring at him, I could see the muscles around his mouth tighten and knew that he was trying not to laugh. 

      He help up his stopwatch.  “You know, I started this when I told you to make the hole.”  

       Dudebro laughed and nodded.

      I looked down at the earth and commenced shoveling.

      They backed away a few paces–probably so that I wouldn’t be able to hear their conversation–and watched me work.

       I really had no idea what I was doing.  I couldn’t remember the last time I used a shovel for anything.  I told myself not to overthink it, it was just shoveling–the term “ditch-digger” was used as a metaphor for bottom of the employment hierarchy because, supposedly, anyone could do it.  

      It quickly became obvious that I was an inferior ditch-digger, however.  I was too weak to displace a lot of soil, and my movements were not economical, though I did improve a little as I got the hang of it.  The good news was that the earth was pretty soft and there weren’t many stones in it–it looked like this entire plot was used for gardening and had already been turned over many times.  The bad news was that the soil had a lot of moisture in it.  It was heavy. 

       I peeked up at the men to see what they were doing.

      They were watching me and smiling. 

      “You’re going to be out here a long time,” said Dudebro.   Argh, I hated him! 

      I kept digging.  After a little while, they drifted back into the house.  

    The morning wasn’t so cool anymore.  I wasn’t chilly at all.  The breeze felt nice.  I was glad that it was too early in the Spring for the bugs to be out.  A month from now, the bugs would be eating me alive.  

      Mr. White came out to look at me while he drank his morning coffee.  He nodded his head at me but didn’t say anything, so I didn’t speak to him.  After a few minutes, he went back inside. 

      The hole was getting bigger.  How big was this hole supposed to be, again?  And what was I digging it for?

      I popped my head up and eyed the wooden crate by the tree again.  That fucking wooden crate!  What was it for?  It gave me the creeps!

     I stood up and leaned on my shovel, taking a good, long look at that crate.  I wiped the sweat out of my eyes and then saw someone approaching me out of my peripheral vision.  Uh-oh!  Back to work!

     “Getting hot?  Need a break?” 

      It was Dudebro.  Of course, it had to be Dudebro.  That asshole had been riding me like a donkey all morning.

       “No, I’m all right,” I said, not looking up.  Shoveling away.  “I was just wondering–“

      I was suddenly blasted on the back with a high-pressure stream of water.  I screamed as if it was acid.  It shocked me.  I hadn’t seen it coming.

      The water turned off and I looked behind me.  Dudebro was dragging a long green garden hose.  It had one of those pressurized pistol-grip nozzles attached to the end–the kind you use for gardening or washing the car:

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      “You’re all right?  Are you sure?  You don’t sound all right to me,” laughed Dudebro.  He turned the water on me again.  I squealed like a piglet, dropped the shovel, and tried to turn to the side so that the jet of water didn’t get on my chest.  The stream was intense enough to hurt.  

      Dudebro turned the water off.  He was cracking up.

      And he wasn’t the only one.

      The other three had come out onto the porch to watch, and they were cracking up, too.  Even Heinrich, and he is not exactly prone to laff attackz. 

       “You sure scream a lot,” said Dudebro.

        So fucking frustrating and embarrassing!  I felt just like a little kid being picked on by a bunch of jerky boys.  I hated them!  

        Heinrich saw me watching and tapped his wrist.  Reminding me of the time.  

        “That hole’s not going to dig itself,” said Dudebro.

         I pretended that I hadn’t heard him, gathered up the remains of my dignity (WHAT dignity, ha! ha!), and went back to work.  Dudebro retreated back to the house.  

          I had no idea how long I’d been digging–my sense of time was getting distorted.  Probably not too long.  I was getting tired, though, and I noted that my efficiency was decreasing.  The guys went back into the house.  It was me and the hole.  

          I got the theme to Rawhide stuck in my head.  It started to drive me absolutely fucking batshit.

 (Boy, Clint Eastwood was handsome when he was young!)


        I thought briefly of my mother.  My mother gardens a lot.  She would probably be good at this.  She probably knew how to use a shovel right.  

        When was the last time I dug a hole?   I tried to tune down the Rawhide theme in my head and concentrate.  

         When I helped dig a grave for Pepper, the family dog.

         I froze.  My eyes got big.  

         I popped my head up and looked at that crate by the tree. 

         And I was hit, all of a sudden, with a jet of water from the garden hose! 

         I didn’t drop my shovel this time, and after an initial yelp, I didn’t scream, either.  I just froze up and tried to be stoical about it.  

       “You looked like you were getting hot out here, Margo,” said Dudebro.  

       Oh, Dudebro, your zingers have no zing, I thought, but of course I didn’t say that.  Stupid Dudebro!  Even his wit was lame!

        Dudebro didn’t go back into the house right away this time.  He stood there with his big happy smile, as if he was a kid at the fair, and watched me dig.  It was embarrassing.  When I turned my body to the side, he’d try to get the water on my tits, which kind of hurt.  He was doing it on purpose!  Cause he knew that I didn’t like it!

         I wished he would just go in the house and let me work in peace.  The water was making the ground muddy and now I was getting dirt on my shins and on my shackle.  I hate to be dirty. 

        Heinrich and Mr. White wandered down, presumably to check on the progress of the hole.  

         “This is taking longer than I anticipated,” Heinrich said.

          “I keep getting interrupted,” I said, scowling at Dudebro.

          Mr. White winced and shook his head. 

         “I hope you are not making excuses,” said Heinrich.  

          “Of course not.  Sorry, sir,” I said.  Diggin diggin diggin! 

          “That sounded like an excuse,” said Heinrich.

          I kept my eyes down and waited for him to land on me.  I could feel him scrutinizing me.  After about a minute, I felt that he’d decided to let it go.  Whew!  Dodged that bullet!

           Dudebro turned the hose on me again.  Just for a second.

          When he stopped, I glared at him, then looked at Heinrich, and then back at Dudebro.

           Dudebro saw what I was doing, laughed at me, and then turned the hose on again

          I stared at Heinrich.  I was furious.  Are you going to keep letting him do this?  

           Heinrich’s face got tense.  

           I suddenly realized I was in big trouble.  

           “Well?  What do you keep looking at me for?  Hm?  What do you think?  You waiting for big Daddy Heinrich to come downstairs and stop the mean boy?  Is that what you think I am going to do?”

          He moved toward me and, instinctively, I started to back away.  I moved the shovel in front of me to shield myself.  I wasn’t even aware that I was doing it.  

           Dudebro started laughing again.  Over Heinrich’s shoulder, I saw Mr. White shaking his head sadly.  

        “Do you really think I would help you instead of one of my friends?  Do you think that is what I am here to do?”

        He kept advancing.  I kept backing up.  Oh boy.

       I suddenly ran out of chain and was pulled up short.  I stumbled backward and fell flat on my back.  I’m lucky the shovel didn’t hit me in my face.  

       Heinrich stopped a few feet from me.  He didn’t even acknowledge that I’d fallen.  Even Dudebro had done that.  When I pitched backwards, I heard Dudebro yell, “Woah!”

      “He can do whatever he wants to you!”  Heinrich roared down at me.  Then–get this–he pulled his foot back and kicked a wave of dirt over my body.  

       “Now you will have to clean the dirt off my shoes later.  And probably launder the trousers as well.”

        Then he turned on his heel and walked back.

        Because I was soaking wet from the hose, the dirt stuck all over me.  

         I stood up and looked down at myself.

         I was filthy!  It was disgusting!

         I picked up my shovel and hobbled back to my hole.  The chain clinked.  I was reminded of all those movie scenes with chain gangs in them.  Shit.  At least it wasn’t Cool Hand Luke. 

(Git boss’s dirt boy!)

        Of course, Dudebro declined to hose me down after that.

Ambien (Mis)adventure & Return of the Vermin II


I complained to my brother about the Midnight Mouse Massacre.  The smartass punk emailed me this, with the note “Get real, Sis.  Mice carry hantavirus.  No mercy!” 

   He is such a smart alec!  It did make me laugh and laugh and cheered me up quite a bit, though.  lol.

     I was awakened around 2 AM by the desperate, pathetic wailing of mice.

     I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep.  Because I knew why they were wailing.

      Nothing doing.  They would not stop squeaking (and I can’t blame them), and I could not ignore them.

      Time to do the deed.  It had to be done.  

      I sighed wearily, rolled out of bed, and put my glasses on.  Then I donned a pair of latex gloves and grabbed a flashlight.

      There, right outside my bedroom door, were three little grey mice stuck in the glue trap I’d laid down for them.  

       One of them appeared to be mostly dead–suffocated in glue.  The other two were quite lively.  They were freaking out.  They were making quite a racket.  

       I sighed again and took off my glasses.  Now my vision was blurred.  

       I fetched three plastic grocery bags from underneath the sink.  Then, quickly, I picked up the glue traps and their hapless captive mice and put them into one bag.  I tied it shut, and then put it into another bag.  I tied that one shut and then put it into the third bag.

       I thought about just throwing them away into the garbage can outside like that…but that would be wrong.  They would be terrified in the garbage bags for who-knows-how-long?

        Then I thought I could put them in the freezer.  That would be faster…but still fucked up.

       Big sigh.  The mice were making the bag rustle a bit.

       I grabbed a heavy skillet from on top of the fridge and stepped out into the hallway of my apartment building, so that my birds couldn’t see The Awful Truth.  Margo, simian. 

       I scanned around for neighbors–nothing.  

       I crouched down, laid the bag on the floor, averted my eyes, and brought the skillet down hard.  Twice.  Twice, to make sure.  Two-bullet minimum, as the hit men say in mafia movies.  

       I couldn’t see any blood or gore.  Too many layers of plastic.

       I pitched the bag outside.  Then I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t.  I don’t think I’ve ever killed a mammal before.  Personally, I mean.  

       I don’t feel terrible about it…it had to be done.  It was still distasteful.  And I am so tired, and I really want a drink right now.

       I wish I wasn’t sleeping alone tonight.

       Or this morning…it’s 5:15 AM.  Rise and shine, sunbeam. 

                  *                    *                    *                       * 

 I’ve been unusually stressed at work recently (regular work, not secret job work) and consequently, my insomnia came back in a big way.  It’s terrible.  I hate it.

    I was complaining about it to a friend, who offered me 2 of her Ambien.  

     “Is it safe?  Does it work?”  I asked her.

      “Yes, it works great.  Just be sure to take it at bedtime.  If you stay up and watch a movie or TV, you won’t remember how it ended the next morning.”

        Seemed harmless enough!  I took the Ambien and hid them in my jewelry box for a last resort (and yes, I know it’s not right to take drugs that haven’t been prescribed to you).  

       A few days later, I found myself looking at the pills with red, bleary eyes.  My carpal tunnel was making my hands hurt.  My students were making my head hurt.  This degenerate scumbag I’d been researching was making my heart hurt.  

        I shot off a text message to my pharmacist friend in California: I have ambien 10 mg.  Is it safe to take?

        He responded: The Surgeon should give it to you the next time he wants to induce amnesia in you! (note to readers: don’t ask)  You should probably take benadryl instead.

         I already eat so much damn benadryl that I ought to buy stock in the company!  

        So anyway…you see where this is going: I ate it.  One pill.

        NEVER AGAIN!

        Never.  Ever.  Again.

        First of all: the dreams.  Vivid, epic, technicolor dreams.  I guess that wasn’t all bad, in and of itself, but towards the end I started having obsessive, unpleasant dreams about the Mathematician coming to my apartment, and I couldn’t tell if I was dreaming or awake, and that wasn’t so hot.  I kept trying to wake up from it–you know how sometimes you realize you’re dreaming and can pull yourself out of it…?  Well, I would wake up and hear the sound of a mouse rustling around in my room, because those damn mice came back and I’ve been obsessed with exterminating them recently.  I don’t know if I was dreaming about the mouse rustling around or what, but it was very intense and unpleasant and it upset me much more than it should have, and then I would be dreaming about Dr. Cheating McLiarpants again and it just went ON and ON….UGH!

       So, I finally wake up annnnnnddddd……

      (cause you knew there was more!)

       Hmmm!  Well, look at this!  Looks like someone’s been doing things in my apartment last night–which is really weird, because I was the only person at home! 

        I have almonds in the freezer that I keep for Parrot.  

       Well, someone ate them all, and it wasn’t the bird.  

        The empty bag was in the sink.

        There was a bottle of vinegar and a bottle of vanilla extract taken from the very top cupboard and left on the countertop.  I have absolutely no idea what I would have used either one of those for.  

        Hmmm, what is this…?  Is this an uneaten salmon sushi roll on my coffee table?  How did a salmon roll get here?  Did it grow little legs (fins?) at the sushi restaurant and run over here of its own accord?

        In a panic, I checked my phone.

       I had the sushi restaurant deliver food to my apartment.  I do not remember making the call.  Or paying for it. 

       Cold terror, then, as I realized other possibilities…

       Oh God, tell me that I did not DRUNK-DIAL ANY OF MY EX-BOYFRIENDS!  PLEASE!  PLEASE!

        I scanned my call and text history.  I was in the clear.  Oh thank you, Jesus.  No calls to anyone except the sushi place.

       I dug around in the delivery bag for the receipt.  FRIGGIN $42 of sushi!  Who the hell was I buying it for?  A platoon of marines?

       I found the rest of it in the fridge.  At least I didn’t eat it.  Gawd.

       The birds were okay, and did not seem afraid of me, so at least I know I didn’t mess with them in my inebriated state.

      Finally: I guess I did my nails.  Or tried to do my nails. I should have taken a picture of them before I took the polish off, because it was the worst manicure I’ve ever had.  It looked like I let a 4-year-old do it.  Or someone with a major neurological disorder.  It also seems that I got the clear base coat confused with the clear quick-dry topcoat, because in addition to the atrocious quality of the paint job, there is polish in my bottle of basecoat.  Uhhh…..

        I consulted my computer.  I hadn’t emailed anyone.  Lucked out there. (Tangentially: In AA, you hear amazing stories of what drinkers do to prevent themselves from sending drunken late-night emails.  Some of them are actually pretty inventive.  I heard one guy say that he set up a program on his computer that required him to do a math problem before he could send an email.  I myself used to have every email sent after 10 PM forwarded automatically to a special folder.  The next morning, I’d read the emails in the cold, hard light of sobriety.  It they were, you know, cogent, I’d forward them on to their intended addressees.  If they were, ahhh, not, I would delete them.  I used to congratulate myself on my clever plan to outwit my drunken self-sabotage.  Tell me that’s not junkie thinking at its finest.) 

      I know all of this might sound comical, but it really didn’t feel that way at the time.  Blackouts are scary, and those vivid dreams weren’t so great, either.  

      No more Ambien for me.  PASS!

                *                      *                  *              *                  * 
    Next: these mice and driving me crazy.  I managed to vanquish them for many months, but last week I noticed that they’d gotten into some food in the pantry.  Then I saw one running out of the corner of my eye when I turned on the light in the kitchen.  

       New York City living, man.  Welcome to the Big Apple, Chump!

      Back to the routine: bleach and scrub the bird cages.  Store all the food in the fridge.  Vacuum and bleach the floors.  

       I put down traps.  Eight traps.  

       I hate the snap traps because I’m a wuss and I hate to see their bloody, mutilated corpses…especially if they don’t die right away.  Ugh!  So I put down these instead: 

    “Guaranteed to Kill!” the package says.  I want to know: guaranteed to kill what?  My fucking checking account balance?  Because I’ve caught two and I was hoping that would be the end of it, but the other day I looked into my living room and saw two little gray mice running around, gay as you please, as if they were paying rent and belonged here.  It looked like they were playing tag with each other.  ARGH!

     I also invested in this expensive electronic mouse trap, which supposedly electrocutes them when they step inside.  The Amazon reviews were overwhelmingly positive, and I guess the fried mouse is supposed to look peaceful in death, as if it just went to sleep.  I couldn’t tell you, because it hasn’t killed anything yet, other than $27 at my local hardware store (I couldn’t wait to Amazon to ship it):

      There was a mouse in my room last night.  I heard it.  And no, last night was not the Ambien night. 

      I went back to the hardware store and complained bitterly.  Or as bitterly as a polite liberal white girl from the sticks can complain (I should have taken lessons from the Surgeon.  That guy was a world-class complainer.  He had no shame.  El zilcho).  

      “Glue traps,” said the Pakistani clerk.

      “Glue traps are gruesome!  And inhumane!  How would you like to die in a glue trap?”

       He looked at me like I was crazy.  “Do you want to get rid of the mice or not?”

        “Of course I do!  But what do I do when I find them alive and stuck halfway off of the trap, ripping their little feet off?”

       He laughed at me.  “I don’t know?  Call the police to protect you?  HA! HA!”

       So I bought some glue traps.  Does that make me a bad person?

       So be it.  I have to get rid of these little assholes.  My birds are all on lockdown because I have all these traps around, and I’m having to clean and bleach the floors as if I was my crazy OCD mother, and I am spending crazy money on these little tards (sez the mouse: Who wasted money on a $30 electric boondoggle, tard?  Thanks for the pasta, tard!).

        Good news: no roaches in some time.  Even a little one.

         FINALLY: Remember the huge monster roach I smashed in the last installment?  Would you like to know what C. did with it?

        She opened the locker of a mistress she dislikes and put the roach inside one of her boots!  ARRRGH!!!

        Unfortunately for C., she was not there when the roach was discovered in the boot…but she knows it was found, because the inside and outside border of the locker is now liberally powdered with boric acid.  

Return of the Vermin

     Two things: 1) I finally got the courage to smash a big cockroach, and 2) THE MICE ARE BACK!

     Okay, good news first: I was in the locker room at the Superstudio the other day–I think it was the day C. gave me my new metal bra, in fact–when a huge revolting cockroach came out of thin and and started running to and fro!

      This was one disgusting cockroach!  HUGE!  Its body was about the size of a silver dollar.  It was awful!  And it was running around so fast!

       Everyone started screaming.  Pandemonium ensued.  The freakin roach ran underneath the couch, so we moved the couch away from the wall, but it was nowhere to be found.  

       Afterward, nobody could relax.  I couldn’t feel comfortable resting my feet on the ground because I was wearing flip-flops and was concerned that the huge monster cockroach would emerge from wherever it was hiding and crawl over my feet.  

      I tried to continue answering my emails on my laptop, but I just couldn’t concentrate on my work.  My eyes kept darting towards the floor.  Anticipating the return of the mutant roach.  

     It took almost two hours…but sure enough, the SOB came back to terrorize us.

     Of course, it had to happen when C was in session, because C. would have stomped that little mofo in a heartbeat.  As it was, the only people in back were a bunch of insect wussies, myself included. 

     Monster roach came out around Betsy’s locker and she yelled and retreated over by the bathroom, and two or three other women went to look at it and they started screaming, too, and…

     ….something happened inside of me.

      I don’t really know what it was.  I just thought to myself, Enough is enough!  I am sick and tired of being harassed by this stupid fucking bug!

       I put my laptop down, strode out to the supply closet, fetched and broom, came back, and smashed the shit out of that roach! 

      I’m serious.  I was still scared, so I overcompensated.  I smashed him so hard that little bits and pieces of him went flying everywhere.  I also broke the handle of the broom.  Miss Margo, warrior princess.  

      “THERE!” I said.  “HA!”

       It was then, of course, that C. came back.

      “What’s everyone so upset about?  Hey, is that a roach?”

      “It’s a big water bug,” said Kat.

      “NO, it’s a damn roach, enough with the euphemisms, all right?  Stay right there!”

       C. went and got a little cardboard box from her locker–it looked like a box you’d get if you bought earrings at a department store.  

        She donned latex gloves and picked up the roach’s broken body in a piece of tissue paper.  She put it in the cardboard box.  She had a big smile on her face and giggled once or twice.  

      I eyed her, uneasy: “You’re not going to use that roach against me, are you?  For a prank?”

       She looked up at me: “I wouldn’t waste this roach on you, Red.  You did quite a number on him, too.  What did you think–he was going to jump on you and do a little roach kung-fu?  Kill you or something?” 

       So: someone in the world is going to get a roach.  Check your sandwiches, boys and girls. 


Toil & Trouble

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    Thank you to the readers who sent me birthday greetings!  They meant a lot to me.

    Hectic week.  The semester is almost over and the slackers in my class have suddenly realized that they need to pull a miracle out of their asses in order to pass.  

     Lo, what is that strange apparition yonder, at the end of the hallway…?
     Is that….?

     Is that a student coming to my office hours for “help?”

     Teaching has kept me busy, but it will be over with soon, and then I’ll have a little break.

      I’ve also been writing.  A lot.  Not on this blog, obviously, even though I’ve had a plenty of things worth blogging about (I’ll try to get to them this morning).  

       I have been researching and composing a minor work of what I hope will qualify as true-crime journalism.  Nothing operatic–the essential facts of the case, sadly, are already sensational.  It is the story of a family whose beloved canine was stolen, sold, and eventually killed under hideous circumstances.  The perpetrator of this strange and senseless crime is a deeply unlikable young woman with a puzzling constellation of psychological disorders and several dead dogs to her credit. The grief-stricken family’s effort to bring her to justice produces shocking courtroom drama, as well.  Yes, yes, quite a story! My piece will be released on a different blog to which I am an occasional contributor.  If I am proud of it, I’ll publish in here on my little blog, as well.   

      I am trying to utilize my talent for this one.  To make my prose artful and my findings…ahhh…persuasive.  Cause it’s a hit piece. 
Not a drive-by, either.  I am going to get Mossad on this awful person.  Mossad post-Munich, if you catch my drift.

      I need to go back to working on it.

      First, though…to inject a little titillation into this boring-ass blog entry…

    ….C bought me my piece of awesome domme gear for going on the date with Alec! lol lol 

      I wear it with black snakeskin boots with gold buckles.  I really like it.  Yeah, it’s impractical, but sometimes you have to treat yourself, amirite?  Or have someone treat you, as the case may be.

      Now, in a case like this, a thoughtful try-to-be feminist like myself confronts a dilemma: I want to show you my cool metal bra (and, because it fits within the greater narrative of this blog, I don’t think it counts as totally tasteless exhibitionism), but is it more or less objectifying to myself to just show my chest….?  Thoughtful, conflicted pseudo-intellectuals want to know! 

Not responsible for grimy mirror.  That is some other chick’s locker.

I almost have cleavage here.  Huh.  Must be the lighting.

       It’s Spring in New York and the weather is excellent–too bad I’m chained to the desk toiling away.  My carpal tunnel is killing me.

       I hired a personal trainer.  A gift to myself, for my birthday.  To hell with yoga.  I’ve decided that I hate it.  It makes me feel fat and clumsy (which I am).  

     I bought a ton of books from a street vendor around NYC.  My intended recreational summer reading:

All this for less than $30!

books for sale

          The Mathematician came over and I kicked him out of my apartment.  “Get lost!”  I slammed the door on him, ha!

         Coward.  God I hate cowards.  You reading this, coward?  Hope you like it.  Did you tell your wife and marriage counselor that you came by my apartment, coward?