No Rest for the Wicked

     UPDATE: I have added a (mostly) facetious POLL to the sidebar over there.  

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      My mother discovered that the salsa is missing.

       Yes, that salsa.  The salsa that I returned to the store to get money so that I could buy body lotion. 

        I was hoping that it would go missing completely unnoticed.  I would never notice a jar of salsa was gone from my cupboard, unless I’d literally just bought it hours before.  A clever thief could probably steal half the things in my apartment (what apartment, ha ha?) and I wouldn’t notice they were gone for ages.  I don’t pay attention to that sort of thing.

        My mother does pay attention to that sort of thing. 

        “Margo, have you seen the new jar of salsa?” she screamed from the kitchen.

        “The what?”  I kept typing on my laptop and didn’t look up, pretending that I had no idea what she was talking about.

         “I bought a fresh jar of salsa at the grocery store last time!  Have you seen it?  Did you eat it?”

          “Nope, sorry.  I haven’t eaten salsa in a long time.  I don’t know where it is.”

           “Well, dammit, it’s got to be here somewhere.”

           Then she started to take everything out of the cupboard.  She was determined to find it.  I felt guilty. 

            “Mom, don’t worry about it.  I’m sure that the checker at the grocery store just forgot to put it in the bag.  That happens sometimes,” I said, throwing the poor innocent bagger (who, unlike me, is employed) under the bus.  

             “I guess that’s what must have happened,” she said, but she didn’t stop looking.

            I left the kitchen, feeling guilty.  Oh, that jar of Pace Picante Mild (my mother has shit taste in salsa), it was coming back to haunt me.  

             “Are you sure you didn’t eat it?” she wailed.   

            “Positive,” I said.  Not a lie this time.

            When she was finally done putting the stuff back into the cupboard, she went to the receipt bag, where she keeps all the receipts.  I watched her go with growing foreboding. 

           “I can’t even find the receipt to check and see if they charged me for it or not! I must have thrown it out!  But when did I throw it out?”

            “Dunno.  Mom, do you want me to go to the store and buy a new can of salsa?”

            “Never mind!  I just won’t have salsa tonight, I guess.  I’ll make something else.”

             It was finally over…the but Incident of the Disappearing Salsa will be repeating itself soon…several times.  Because I also returned a jar of peanut butter, a jar of 1-a-Day vitamins, and a 2-liter bottle of Coke.  All of these items had multiples in the pantry (except for the salsa), which is why your pathetic, impoverished correspondent chose to TAKE THEM TO THE STORE AND RETURN THEM FOR CASH.  It was less than $15 all told.

           I will see this same scenario play out again the next time Mom realizes that something is missing.  What do I do?  I can cop to it, so that she doesn’t drive herself crazy looking for the item, but that is going to raise unpleasant questions, such as: why did you lie the first time? And, much more significant: Why didn’t you just ask me for $15?

           Late at night, feeling both sad and anxious, I fell back on what I knew.  

           I had a little relapse.

           I logged on to the local Craigslist and started hunting the Casual Encounters and Men Seeking Women and Misc Romance ads.  All the personals ad, basically.

          Keywords: fetish, shoe, feet, generous, domme, trampling. 

          I dislike foot fetish sessions because I’m ticklish on my feet and I don’t like the feel of a stranger’s mouth there, but I’ve done a million of them.  Aside from the unpleasant physical sensation, they don’t bother me at all.  I have no emotional reaction about them one way or the other.  

         Which would make doing another one safe, I told myself.  It wouldn’t be a relapse.  It would be more like a slip

         Sure enough, I found a guy named Stanley who wanted to worship a woman’s shoes (in NYC there would be a dozen of these ads, but here, there was only one.  And it was a BAD ad.  No useful information at all.  My response was a total Hail Mary). 

          I responded with a bullshit story, saying that I was cleaning out my closet and was going to sell my shoes on the internet.  

           Have u done this be4?  Stanley asked.  I recalled that his ad had stipulated “NO PROS!” (pro what?  Professional shoe sellers?  Pro dommes?  What the fuck?)

           I took a calculated risk and said Nope, never done this before with a stranger, but my boyfriend liked to play with my shoes, so I have heard of things like this.

          The next morning, I put on a pair of well-used ballet flats and rode my bike over the Stanley’s sad little apartment (“You better not flake on me, Stanley, it’s 90* outside,” I wrote).  My first home-town outcall, Ladies and Gentlemen!  

           Stanley looked like a sad little weird white guy.  Just a weird old guy, you know, the type that sits in the park all day.  But his clothes were clean and he seemed nice.

           I leaned against the wall by the inside of the door and lifted my right foot.  He got down on the floor and took my shoe off. Then he took off the other one.  Then he huffed them a few times and lay down on his back on the linoleum floor and put the shoes over his face.  He seemed to forget about me entirely.

           I watched for a few minutes and them leaned over the tapped him on the shoulder.  He sat up, reached into his front pocket, and paid me $45, the agreed-upon amount (hey, I was desperate…and for a 10-minute session, that’s not too bad…though that’s not counting in the time it took me to bike there).  Over email, Stanley had told me that $45 was all he could spend.  Looking at his apartment, I believed him.

           I got back on my bike and took a pair of flip-flops out of the basket and put them on my feet.  Then I rode to the grocery store and bought replacement items for the things that I took.  Tomorrow, when she goes out to walk the dog, I’ll put them in the kitchen (right now, they’re hidden in my bedroom).

            I have enough money left over to put an ad on Backpage.  Backpage isn’t as good as Eros (though, to be fair, I’ve met some of my best clients on Backpage, including Fortinbras and Mr. Wolf), but it’s cheap, and I get work on it.  My mother’s going to be away this weekend and early next week. The market for professional BDSM here is very small, but I could still work.  Even three or four sessions would give me enough money to tide me over for a while so that I didn’t have to resort to returning groceries for money. 

            Margo, you cannot have CLIENT WACKADOODLES come to your mother’s house, my mind screams.  What if they BEAT YOU UP AND ROBBED HER?  What will you do FOR SECURITY?
         
         I’ll tell them that I’m not alone in the house and the other girls I work with are in the spare bedrooms.  The guys will believe me.  I’ll put on the spare TV.  The men are always nervous, anyway.  I can invite company over!  How is this any different? (except that I know exactly how it’s different)

           What about the DOG?  Are you going to do BDSM in front of the DOG?  And your High School PORTRAITS? 

            Yeah, that’s kind of gross.  Little bit gross. Yeah.

            You could do OUTCALLS!  

            And what?  Ride your bike to a wackadoodle’s house?  Take Mom’s car and get a ticket for driving without a license?

            I don’t know what to do.  I don’t want to do it, but I feel like I ought to be doing SOMETHING.  Hunting for fetish guys on Craigslist felt a little sleazy and guilty, but I also felt productive, and back on stable ground.  It was familiar.  I feel terrible not working and I need to make some money.  I don’t need to go shopping or buy anything big, but I’d like to be able to stream a movie on Amazon or buy a new e-book to read at night, you know?  I’m trying to get a library card, but I need a state ID for that, and my ID is New York.

             Don’t know.  Not sure.

             I have the rest of the week.  Maybe someone will call me about a job.  If I get a job offer, I’ll stay put.  Promise. 

             P.S.  If you want to buy some shoes please let me know and I will ship them to you overnight.


15 thoughts on “No Rest for the Wicked”

  1. You have excelled yourelf. This piece is at once so painfully dark and comically absurd, we are almost in Samuel Beckett territory. It cries out to be written up as a short story.

    With reference to your mother, you said somewhere that she has OCD tendencies. She is therefore, I bet, extremely observant. Beware. She will register the slightest change to the physical environment, or even a change in mood on your part, and jump to a zillion conclusions that you never even thought of.

    “What about the DOG? Are you going to do BDSM in front of the DOG?”

    ROFL That one made my day.

    Mother (returning from absence) – So, what went on while I was away, huh?
    Dog (looks straight at daughter) – Ich beschuldige Margo.

    1. It did not feel absurd when I was doing it…but now that I think about it, it would make a really funny 5-minute short movie. The entire thing is…well, if I didn’t know for a fact that it happened, I wouldn’t believe it.

      Nobody would buy it in fictionalized form. Nobody would be able to suspend disbelief.

      She is OCD. She has a special fork that she uses to comb out and straighten the tassels on the rug. When I threw parties in high school (“parties”–like 4 or 5 girlfriends drinking candy wine coolers in the backyard), I’d take photographs of a lot of the stuff in the rooms we were using, so that I could make sure that everything was in the exact position. Like a detective re-creating a crime scene. I usually pulled it off, but even when I didn’t (some twit left a bottle cap in a potted plant–the only evidence), I feigned innocence.

      I could tell her that I had a few people from AA over for dinner. Or that I landed a last-minute editing gig, and my client came over for an hour to go over the manuscript. How could she complain about that?

      Living here is like living is like living in a museum or a minimum-security jail. I never felt like it was my home, even when I was a child. I’m just surrounded by other people’s stuff that I have to be careful not to mess up. It’s not comfortable.

      ICH BESCHULDIGE MARGO lollllll that is pretty funny

      thanks for your comment, as always

  2. i’m sorry that your unemployed. I was too last year and it was scary. this story is very funny, though. I don’t think there was anything wrong with selling stanley the shoes. I’d sell my shoes if I could but I’m just a guy and nobody wants them.

  3. Dear Miss Margo,

    Wow! I didn’t even know that you could return peanut butter and diet coke to the supermarket and get cash. I’m not sure about entertaining gentlemen callers at your mother’s house. I can imagine some lovesick wackjob needing some Miss Margo attention and showing up at her house. With outcalls, at least they wouldn’t know where you live.

    Sorry that you’ve been laid so low. Sometimes life just sucks.

    With my family, I am always thinking of ways to make bizarre occurrences seem mundane. So, you stealing food for pocket cash and your mother realizing it was gone is just part of setting boundaries in your new living situation. Happens to everybody. Like deciding whose soap goes in the soap dish or not finishing the milk late at night and leaving none for the other person’s breakfast. Boundary issues — they happen in every family.

    There are better days ahead. Promise.

    John

    1. John! Why wouldn’t a grocery store return your money if you had the receipt? Haven’t you ever bought food or produce that was spoiled, and had to return it for good stuff or a refund?

      Yeah, two other readers have contacted me privately to tell me that seeing clients in my mother’s house would be, I quote, “fucking crazy.” My mind is still worrying at it, though.

      I do not think that realizing that stealing food for pocket cash is impossible without being caught is similar to drinking the rest of the milk. That analogy bombed, sir.

      Better days ahead.

      Thanks for reading.

  4. Hi. Please don’t be offended by my suggestion, but how about a Cam Model? I have a close friend who likes the work and money. Flexible hours and you can set your own limits. myfreecams and chaturbate. Be strong!

    1. Hi! I’m not offended by your suggestion at all. It’s a perfectly good suggestion. A lot of women make decent money at it, and it’s very safe.

      The reason that I can’t do it is that I simply cannot afford to have the fellow on the other end of the screen record the video or take stills via screenshot. As every woman knows, once someone takes pictures of you, you never know where it’s going to end up.

      I also don’t think that I would be very good at it. You have to have hustle to get customers, and I have zero hustle skills. I’m also not much of an exhibitionist.

      It’s a good suggestion, though, and thanks for the support.

      <3

      MM

    1. Huh? Why did I lie? Isn’t it pretty self-evident? What was I supposed to say: “I stole your food without asking and returned it to the grocery store for cash?”

      I couldn’t think of anything else to say. If I was smart, I would have told her that I brought it as part of my contribution to an AA picnic, but I didn’t think of that in time.

      I still don’t think that telling the truth would have been better. Am I wrong?

    1. lol. Dawn, you ought to be my emergency call when I’m desperate and feeling the gravitational pull of fast dangerous money.

      Seriously, though, I’d love to catch up soon.

  5. okay…it’s apparent that you are on thin ice there and you need to get stronger so you can move the fuck on. What to do?

    You suggested selling your shoes, I’m in. Sell your writing, in. Both ideas move cash into your pocket buying you time and time without temptation. Let me know the details. I wanna help. ss

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