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