I think it was Chopin who pushed me over the edge.
I hate to say it like that, because it sounds like I’m blaming him for my decision to drink. He’s an awful person and I’m sure the list of his sins and transgressions is very long indeed, but it’s not his fault that I picked up.
I was well on my way by the time I saw him. I’d had late-night (early-morning?) sessions twice that week and decided to sleep in the dungeon rather than run home in the blizzard at 4:30 AM. We have cots and linens in back for the women to use. Both nights I’d asked the manager for a hit from her bottle of Glenlivet in her locker before I went to bed (“bed,” ha…ha…ha).
A drink before bed. A bullet to the brain. That’s really what I used to call it, you know. As in: “Oh, I’ll turn in shortly…I just need one bullet to the brain.”
But I digress. Where was I…?
Chopin came to see me. I had no idea he was going to visit. He didn’t book in advance. I was sitting in back, chatting with my new Top via IM, and the receptionist came in and told me that Chopin was coming for me in 15 minutes and he was in a foul fucking mood.
I didn’t have time to prepare myself. I hate to rush preparation for a session. I like to think about what I am going to do to him, and in what sequence. If it’s a roleplay, I like to rehearse a bit. It’s…professionalism. I can definitely wing it if I need to, but I like going into session with everything in order, right?
With sadists like Chopin, though, I like to have a little advance notice so that I can get my armor on.
I had no time to prepare.
I started to panic. I wanted to run away, actually, but what could I do? Where would I go? Also, I wasn’t going to throw the new receptionist under the bus–he would have given her holy hell if he came all the way to the Studio in the snow and was told when he got here that I wasn’t available.
So, I went through with it.
I don’t even know why this fucktard likes me. I’m way too old for him–by ten years, at least. He never sees women my age. Ever.
Oh, wait. I do know why he likes me! He told me!
(Get out your barf bags)
“Do you know why I came back for you?” he asked me.
I was strung up from the ceiling, standing on my toes. He was playing Rachmaninoff on his tablet (and thanks for ruining the Piano Concerto No. 2 for me, asshole). It was so dark in there I could barely see, which, I suppose, is just as well.
You came back for me because I did something really, really bad to sex workers or children in my previous life. There is no other explanation.
He gave me a pretty sound caning, which was far and away the easiest part of the session. I really don’t care about the pain. I know that’s incomprehensible to most people, but even if I’m not turned on in the slightest and getting it from some douchebag I secretly despise, like our favorite piano-playing sadistic surgeon dentist here, enduring the pain is basically like manual labor to me. I may we well be mowing someone’s lawn or helping them carry boxes down the stairs. If he’d kept his mouth shut, everything would have been fine, but Chopin is a talkative motherfucker, and everything that comes out of his mouth, you’ll wish you’d never heard.
He gave me hell about “leading him on,” as if any woman in her right mind would do such a thing. He said that he’d like to make me cry, but there was no way I was going to give him that satisfaction. Besides, I never cry in sessions. I’ve left a few looking like I got hit by a bus, and I never shed a tear. I didn’t even cry for the Attorney, which is probably why he’s STILL emailing me.
Then he returned to the topic at hand.
I could barely see him in the dark, but still wouldn’t look at him. It’s a trick I have: when the going gets rough, minimize as much of the sensory input as you safely can. It reduces the memory. I wanted this man (“man.” ha, ha) to take up as little space in my memory banks as possible.
“I came back for you because you said you were a teacher. I like that. I need someone to help me train these sluts. I have a new one coming up from Washington. She needs an older, elegant submissive woman to look up to. You can set a good example for her.”
He let me down and gave me his email address and $300. Chopin is notoriously cheap–it’s one of the ways he fucks girls over–but he gives me a lot of money. I take it because I earn it, but it’s a bribe and I know he’s just trying to manipulate me. I know he’s not doing it as a gesture of appreciation, and that makes the money feel a little dirty to me, however much I deserve it.
Afterward, the receptionist asked me how it went, and I told her what he said to me.
“Stop talking,” she cut me off. “I can’t handle that.”
Then you’re in the wrong line of work, I wanted to snap at her, but I didn’t. Who knows what issues she has.
I told my English friend, Betsy. She shuddered.
“Margo, I’m so sorry. He’s vile, isn’t he? Here, want to have a drink with me?”
Why yes, yes I would. An ocean of Scotch to wash it all away, please.
Ten days later I was standing at the bathroom sink in my mother’s house, wretching up Pedialyte. I couldn’t keep anything down. Withdrawal. Physical withdrawal. It finally happened to me.
“What are those marks on the side of your thigh?” asked my mother, concerned (she was holding my hair. Bless her heart.).
I hadn’t had time to put on pants when I rushed out of bed. I was standing there in my underwear and a tank top.
“I don’t remember,” I lied.
Ten days clean.
I think it was Chopin who pushed me over the edge.