Car Shopping UPDATED!

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    UPDATE:  I am now the proud owner of a late-90s Toyota Camry.  It is the same age as my students this semester.  I’m taking it to be smogged and then registered at the DMV this Saturday…

     …and then, my friends, I am released upon an unsuspecting public. 

      This is going to be a busy month for me.  I’m moving into my own place in March.  I’ve also decided that this is going to be the last semester I teach college as an adjunct professor, unless I decide to come back and teach later in life for sentimental reasons.  I don’t know why I’ve suddenly found it in me, after years of painful denial, to put a bullet in my academic ambitions, but I have…and it’s time.  Scholarship is my vocation, but the profession at this level is a dead-end job.  Time to sacrifice the dream on the alter of reality.  

      Time for a new dream.  Something New and Improved.  Dream Redux!  The Dream is Dead.  Long Live the Dream.  
            *                                          *                                 * 


 I have six- (maybe 😎 month plan.  I’ve hammered it out over a few weeks and recently put it on paper.  I just spent an hour and a half going over it with my counselor (I hired a new one.  She specializes in addiction recovery and doesn’t give a fuck about Freud.  She’s all about goals.  That’s fine.  I can explore my neuroses back in New York).  

         To get back to New York, I need at least $10K when I land.  $15K would be better.  First + Last months’ rent + security + broker’s fee…I’m looking at $6K just to move in, and more like $8k if the landlord wants more money up front.  I’m also going to have to fly back there at least twice to find the apartment and, hopefully, to go to job interviews.  I can stay with friends while I’m there, but the airfare is $600 per trip.

       I have to make money.

       To do that, I need a car.  It can no longer be avoided.  I’m riding to class after I get done at my office monkey job, and it’s cold and dangerous in the dark, not to mention the fact that if I get hit by a car and die, I could be the biggest joke ever: impoverished college instructor dies riding bike to school she graduated from 7 years ago!  Dead in a snowbank in my tweed jacket, surrounded by scantrons and graded bluebooks!  No fucking thank you!

         I need a car.

         I no longer have a driver’s license…I didn’t need one in New York!  I let my old one expire and just got a NY State ID card instead.  I couldn’t foresee a time that I would have to drive.  I hadn’t driven in years!

         Well, I went to the DMV, and they told me that they would not give me a local driver’s license because I didn’t return the license plates when I sold my last car.  I was in the process of moving and I just didn’t do it because I was lazy and irresponsible. It’s taken me about five hours on the telephone and $200 in fines to get this cleared up, but I should have a license this Saturday.

        Then I need a car.  I need a car so that I can commute between jobs and go to job interviews for a better job than the office monkey job.  And to get in trouble

        I am moving into my own apartment in March.  April at the latest.  I can’t live with my mother anymore.  I could move out now, but the car comes first.

        What kind of car can I get for $2000–$2500?  I don’t care that it’s going to be old and decrepit, only that it’s reliable, because I can’t afford to take it to the auto shop.  It needs to last eight months.  I’m thinking a Honda or a Subaru.  All my cars have been Hondas.  Those riceburners are tanks.  My first car was a 1984 Honda Accord.  It looked exactly like this, only I didn’t have tacky chrome rims (who puts chrome rims on a fuckin Honda Accord?): 

           It was a tin can and it would shake over 55mph, and I couldn’t go faster than that going over the mountains, but that it was mechanically sound.  It worked PERFECTLY.  Nothing broke, ever (well, the AC quit, but it was like that when I bought it).  

         Let me crowdsource this one: if you had to buy a car for less than $2500, what would you buy?  I don’t care what it looks like.  I just want it to be reliable.  What is the best car I could buy for my purposes?

         Car.  Apartment.  Another job.  Secret job

       P.S.  More Sexy Stuff in the next installment.

      P.P.S.  NAPA THIS WEEKEND!  I’m all packed.  I sneaked one of my sexy leather domme outfits into the bag so that I can do the doubles session with my friend.

Visiting Heinrich: Argument, Snarking, Theatrics & Questionable Manhandling

   This is the continuation of my visit to see Heinrich.  I’d just shown up at his house with a potted plant and then hid in the bathroom to avoid awkwardness. 

    
   I was talking–probably more like jabbering, as I was nervous and self-conscious and he was standing there with an intense, morose look on his face–when he suddenly leaned in, grabbed my upper arms, and kissed me.

      Now, I don’t know the scientific name for this particular dude makeout-tactic, but I’m sure that every woman reading this will know exactly what I’m talking about.  In my mind, I think of it as The Swoop Kiss: you are engaged in dialogue, or watching something nearby, and a guy rushes in and plants one on you.  I think men think it’s dashing or something.  You see it a lot in movies. 

         It irritated me.  It made me a little angry because he was forcing a reaction, and, well, what am I supposed to do with this…?  If I kiss him back, it’s going to be interpreted as approval or encouragement of the behavior.  If I stop him, it’s taken as a rejection.  Why should I be put on the spot like this, and worry about hurting his feelings when he’s the one antagonizing the situation?

        And here’s something else: I hate it when men interrupt me or talk over me.  It’s a pet peeve of mine…a sore spot, actually.  It got to the point where I started calling men on it in seminar.  

       I pulled my head back.  My arms were held stiffly at my sides.

      “Heinrich, come on,” I said. 

      He stopped and looked down at me.  I didn’t have my shoes on, so he was taller than I was.  He was still holding my upper arms.

      “What…?   What, hmm?”  he asked, but apparently it was a rhetorical question, because he didn’t wait for me to answer.  Instead, he kissed me again.

       I did something I’ve never done before: I bit his mouth.  I did it without thinking, and I did it fast.  I gave him quite a nip. I was surprised at myself.

        He stepped back and raised one of his hands to his mouth.  His forehead was all bunched up, surprised.  “Margo!  What was that?”

        “You know better than that.  What’s the matter with you?”

      “Ah! So you do not like for me to kiss you.  Yes?  You do not like me, when I am gentle to you.  You only like it when I hurt you.  That is what I am useful for, yes?”

         Oh, well, call the poor man a WHAAAMBULANCE!  I thought.

         “Of course!  Of course!  What else are you good for, Heinrich?”  I yelled at him.  

          …and, in doing so, I made an error.  His grasp of English is very good, and while he understands the spoken word quite well, he doesn’t always “get” sarcasm.  He doesn’t recognize it.

          So, I guess he took me seriously.  

          There was a little snarky back-and-forth.  I pointed out that his lip was red and slightly swollen where I bit him.  I said that it looked really butch and he ought to tell all the people at work that he got in a fight with a geriatric Jewish French professor.  He shot back that that if I’d traveled all this way to enjoy his sexual expertise I’d done myself a disservice by not telling him that and giving him the time to think up something really special.  

            Oh, I know, I know all about it, I am a professional, after all, I said in a jeering tone of voice, yeah, not my proudest moment, I cringe remembering it now, so unbecoming of me: I don’t know how many times I had to explain to clients who rolled in off the street that there was no way I could execute some 3-ring circus of a session if I only had five minutes to plan it out and get ready! 

             I was actually hurt, but I didn’t want to show it, and I was angry, too, and upset and surprised that things had gotten ugly.  I’d never seen Heinrich in a temper before is when he had the Friend-Zone Meltdown on Skype, so this was a new experience.  I know that friends have fights sometimes, but I’d never had one with him before.  

         I should have called time out, and sat down in another room.  I should have said, we are getting off to a bad start here, let’s start over.  But I didn’t, and he didn’t either.  I wonder why?

       “Well, Margo, if that is what you want of me, I will do my best,” he said.  He was smiling, but it was a bitter smile, like the smile you have when you tell your neighbor that OF COURSE you don’t mind if their son practices the drums in the garage every Sunday morning. 

           “I have no doubt of it!  When did you have in mind?  I have to say, when I got here, you didn’t seem too keen on dinner,” I said.

         And with that, he grabbed me, turned me around, and threw me over his desk.

         Now, I have had sex, and been beaten, on a few desks in my day.  Very handy pieces of furniture, desks.  I’m a fan.

          However, I had never been treated to the full, operatic surface-clearing gesture that always accompanies these scenes in cinema.  You know, where the papers flutter and the books fall off the edge and the guy shoves the phone off the desk to make room.

          Heinrich swiped over a pile of catalogs and a jar full of pens, which went flying, and knocked over the desk lamp.  I tried to catch it, but by the time I saw it start to fall, it was too late: it went right over the edge.  I heard something break (that shit looked expensive, too.  Isn’t it amazing how expensive lamps are?), and then the light binked a few times and went out.

         “Oh shit!” I said.

           And then I laughed. 

          You never, ever want to laugh at a man in a tense sexual situation.  Men don’t take it well, as the ghosts of many murdered girlfriends and sex workers could easily tell you.  I was laughing at  the murdered lamp, but he didn’t know that.  He thought that I could have been laughing at anything

            He grabbed my hair in his fist and got between my knees and gave my head a little shake.  “Is this better for you?  You like this, yes?”

        His face was up close to mine.  I was a bit taller than him, because I was sitting (mostly) on the desk.  

        “Do not bite me again,” he said, and pulled my hair back.  He had an impressive handful.  It hurt.  I didn’t care at all. 

        “Go ahead and try it.  Try it and see!”

         It was pretty interesting, watching Heinrich do the calculus in his head for that decision.  I’m not sure what I would have done it his position.  Quite a risk, there, either way.  He almost went for it.  His face came in, and I’m sure it wasn’t a feint…but then he thought better of it, and pulled back.

        “Think I’d bite your mouth off?”
         He swore under his breath, reached across his body with his left hand, grabbed my arm, and and flipped me over.  I fell off the desk a little and got my feet on the floor.  I’d have bruises on the backs and front of my thighs the next day, from where the edge of the desk dug into my flesh.  He didn’t let go of my hair.

         “What should I do with that mouth?  Should I put a cage on it, like an angry dog?”

           “There’s nothing to bite facing this direction,” I told him.  

           The situation was fucked up and ridiculous, and the interesting thing was that I was not afraid, even though everything had the potential to be dangerous for me…dangerous for both of us, really.  We were pushing each other instead of communicating, I had no idea what he was thinking, whatever the hell was happening could not even be called a spontaneous BDSM scene.  It was the sort of situation where people could do and say things they don’t mean and really regret later.  

           …and I wasn’t scared.  I’d felt considerably more anxious when I was hiding in his bathroom. 

           CONCLUSION TOMORROW.  I want to be sure he’s comfortable with it.
      

Who Does Napa in February?

     Update:  I just talked with my friend Kate about our trip next weekend.  I really hope this works out, because the client sounds like a decent guy and probably a lot of fun, to boot.

       Check this out: one of his fantasies is to be tied up…and then ignored!!!  WHAT A DREAM CLIENT!  He wants to be mummified and then parked on the floor or in a chair while we talk on the phone, play on the internet, or get ready for dinner!

         It would be best, and more humiliating for me, if both of you did not acknowledge my presence in any way, he writes!     

    oh wackadoodles, how I have missed you!

                        *                         *                        *                   * 

     Yeah, yeah, I got your emails (of which the comment left by paltego is but one example) complaining about the sudden break in narrative.   What can I tell you.  I didn’t post the rest of the New York trip because I felt shy and because (I’ll be honest) I’m worried about what people will think…which is interesting, because usually I don’t care.  Especially on this blog, my little safe spot in the world!  I talk about all the dangerous, stupid, or crazy things I do (or think about doing) here.  In day to day life I present as an accomplished and well-rounded individual, but here, I let it alllllll hang out.


      That said, I have news:  I’m going to San Francisco and Napa next weekend.

       Naturally, there’s a catch…it’s a working vacation.   One of my domme friends has a client who wants to spend the weekend with her.  She’s never done overnights or extended sessions before, and she’s never been to California, and she doesn’t know this man particularly well…so, she’s apprehensive.  She says she’ll do it if she can bring a friend.  I’m out West now, so she asked me.  He’ll pay for my hotel accommodation and train tickets there, and hourly going rate if I do a doubles session with the two of them.  Otherwise, I’ll just be chaperoning. 

         What’s not to like…?  The guy sounds legit.  He already bought her plane tickets and gave her a 50% deposit.  His references to other dommes checked out.  What’s not to like?

       I finished my first week of teaching.  I’m back in the Humanities Department, teaching the first college class I ever taught.  It’s a bit of a trip.  Eight years later, better credentialed but no wiser, and life’s slapped most of the youth off my face.  

       I also outlined a plan…Margo’s Six-Month Plan.  I’m moving back to New York in the summer.  I’ll need another job to do it.  The Italians just aren’t paying me enough (hilariously, though: the local college pays its adjuncts more than TWICE what the schools in New York pay theirs).  Another job, and it might have to be a Secret job, because I want to be back in the East Village.

       I’m going to talk it over with Heinrich this afternoon.

           

Mystery Assignment!

         SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!

        Heinrich gave me an assignment…!

        A MYSTERY assignment!

        I have a paper of writing.  I have to copy it down in my handwriting and mail it back to him.  I don’t know what it is that I’m writing because it’s in his language.  I recognize some words, but I can’t read most of the sentences.  I can’t use my old textbooks or the Google translator.  I can’t ask my old German professor, either (“Trust me.  You do not want your professor to read this,” said Heinrich).  

       I’m going to copy it down right now.  I wonder what will come of it!  Heinrich has something planned.  He’s quite a planner, this one.

       EEEEEEEEE!

Reader Mailbag: “How Did You Get Started in the Biz?”

              Am still too apprehensive to post the rest of the New York trip.  I think it might look weird to outsiders.  

        In the meantime, here’s an installment of Reader Mailbag!   

   “Why did you decide to start working in the Biz?  How did you get started?”
                                                    –Random Internet Stranger

      Translation: “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?”

      Well, I decided to do it for the same reason practically everyone else goes to work: I needed the money. 

      I needed it badly.

      And I was desperate.

       My story is not unique.  I have seen many women–many women–come into the Biz scared to death, on food stamps, living in temporary housing, or with a looming appointment in Housing Court, or because they were illegal or quasi-legal immigrants without the ID to get hired in industries in which they were experienced.  Some had criminal records which made it hard to find a “normal” job.  
      

      In my case, I’d just left my psycho Ex, John, and moved into an apartment where my name wasn’t on any of the bills, so that he wouldn’t be able to find me.  The cost of the move (first and last months’ rent, plus hiring movers) and the lawyer’s fees involved for taking him to court for stalking and harassment left me with about $300 in the bank. 

       It was also May.  I was employed by my University as a research assistant, but the contract for my job ended with the Spring semester.  I typically relied on my savings and freelance work to get me through the summer until school/work started again, but in between class and work, final exams, court, and the stress of avoiding John, I hadn’t been able to secure summer employment.

       I was in trouble, and I was vulnerable.  The only people I knew in the Tri-State area were associated with my school.  My family was thousands of miles away and didn’t have the means to help me even if I asked them to (which I hadn’t).  In fact, I had yet to terminate my relationship with my degenerate father, who was still calling me for money.

      With unemployment looming, I applied to various jobs, most of them of the “fast cash” variety: restaurant industry, tutoring, pay-per-word writing gigs.  I prepared myself to sell my jewelry. 

        And then I saw an ad in the back of The New York Press, a doomed little alternative-weekly mag.  It was sandwiched between ads for Asian massage places, gay hookup chat lines, head shops, and the like (you know, the ads everyone reads furtively on the subway).  

         “Attractive women wanted for house of domination in Manhattan.  Fetish, fantasy, and roleplay only.  No sex.  Experience preferred but not necessary.”

          I thought about it.  I cut the ad out and put it into my purse.  And after a few days…I called. 

         “Have you ever worked in this industry before?” asked the receptionist.

         “No, but I’ve done BDSM for years in my private life.  I know what it is.  I have gear.”

           She asked me to describe myself.  I started stammering my professional qualifications.  My credentials.  Ha!  Ha! 

           She started laughing and then cut me off: “No, what do you look like?” 

          Tall, slender, blue eyes, reddish-blonde hair.  Good face.  Good skin.   No tattoos. 

          She scheduled me for an interview with the boss the next day at 4 PM.

           (Note: sad but true: in every dungeon I’ve ever worked, white girls get preferential treatment in hiring.  Management wants to keep a few women of color on staff in order to have dommes for every fantasy…but just a few.  I’ve seen gorgeous, friendly black women come in for interviews and not get hired because the dungeon already had “enough black mistresses.”  It sucks.  The sex industry is really, really racist.)

         I rode the PATH train to Harold Square.  I wore a conservative black sleeveless sheath dress, stockings, and low heels.  Normally I’d wear office clothes to a job interview, but what do you wear to interview at a dungeon?  Leather pants?

          The dungeon was very close to the Empire State Building.  I walked by the door twice, looking for it.  There was no sign, of course.  Just a glass door with number decals.

            I pushed the button and announced myself, and then she buzzed me up.

         I took the elevator up, and when the door opened, I stood in front of a huge metal door with DANGER stenciled on it, and a big BEWARE OF DOG sign.  The door had a tiny window.  The glass was foggy and had chicken wire through it.

        The door swung open and I was greeted by the receptionist who’d spoken to me on the telephone.  I can’t remember her name now, but I remember her face and her voice.  African-American, mid-30s, pretty, with short hair.  She was very energetic and she was funny.  Later, I learned that she’d been working the phones at massage parlors and escort agencies for years, and also as a phone sex operator when phone sex lines were popular. 

         She asked me if I needed to use the bathroom.  Then she put me in a room to wait for the manager.

          It was a little room with a purple vinyl loveseat and mirrors all over two of the walls.  The lighting was dim.  There was a dresser with an ashtray and candles.  A fake silk plant in the corner.  And on the wall: a rack with paddles and cuffs and floggers.

        I could hear female voices and the sound of high heels on the wooden floors.  

         And then: the unmistakable sound of someone getting a spanking.

          Was I nervous? Yes.  A little bit.

          The manager came in.  He was wearing jeans and a button-down denim shirt.  He had long-ish, wavy sandy-brown hair and glasses.  Let’s call him…Paul.

          We made small talk, and then he explained what the dungeon was, what the work consisted of (more or less).  He told me that he was running a legal establishment and he didn’t want any problems with the cops.  He spoke easily and took notes on a yellow legal pad.  He looked at me over the top of his glasses.

            “Did you ever teach?” I asked him.

            Academics.  I always know when I’m speaking to one.  Yeah, Paul was an ex-academic.  Smart guy.  I liked Paul.  He was always straight with us, always fair, usually friendly.  

          The interview was pretty mundane.  It lasted maybe 20 minutes.  I don’t see any reason to reproduce it here.  

          One thing that he did tell me, though, which is relevant:

          “This job will change you, and it will change your sexuality.  You say you’ve done this at home.  This is not like what you do at home.  Sex does not look like what you think it does.  This job will change you.  I tell everyone that.   I’m honest.  I can meet the eyes of every girl I’ve hired in this place if I run into her on the street, because I’m honest.”

             I had no fucking idea what he was talking about then…but now, I understand.  

             He hired me on the spot and told me to come back the next day.  I would be trained by sitting in on sessions and watching the experienced dommes work.  There was no hourly wage, no benefits.  The mistresses were paid in cash at the end of the shift. 

            That’s enough for now. 

      

       

      Sex work is not easy money.  It is instant money.

Visiting Heinrich (Margo Brings a Poinsettia & Hides in Bathroom)

      I was at the hotel in time for check-in.   The hotel was notable because it is the only 4-star hotel in Manhattan in which I have not had professional BDSM sessions, crazy dates, or marathons of violent sex with my ex, the Surgeon.  I love hotels, absolutely love them, but for me, the hotels of New York are haunted with emotional memories and the ghosts of sessions past.  I could tile my bathroom floor with the hotel keys I’ve collected over the years.  If there is a hell, and it’s like the one in Dante’s Inferno, I’ll be lugging a clanking 25-lb bag of BDSM gear through endless hotel corridors in a pair of skyscraper stilettos.

       Checking in was a different experience because it was the first time in a LONG time that I didn’t feel like I had a blinking neon sign above my head saying SEX WORKER or HOME-WRECKING WHORE (protip to any sex worker or sleazy adulterer reading this: after a modest and conservative business suit, the best thing to wear when checking in is a pair of hospital scrubs.
Mention you want an isolated room because you’re working on call or on rotation.  Wear a pair of crocs if you got em.  Hotel staff will give you a credibility pass.).  

           Anyway…where was I?  I checked in.  The room was large by NYC standards.  It had a couch and a table (the furniture was beautiful but not conducive to BDSM rigging…it’s The London in Manhattan if you want to look it up).  I would be able to have friends visit me there if my time with Heinrich didn’t go well. 

        I texted Heinrich to let him know I was in the room.  I took a photo of the view out the window and sent it to him.  He called me back and we agreed to meet at his place at 6 pm.  He sounded pleasant and calm on the telephone.  He did not sound nervous.  I was nervous, but tried not to show it.  He said that if I was hungry from the long flight, we could go get something to eat. 

        Dinner in public sounded fine to me.  Neutral ground.  People usually mind their manners in public. Lack of privacy forbids certain topics of discussion. If the meeting goes bad, you know that an end is in sight with the check.  If you’re a girl, you can escape to the bathroom to cry or text your girlfriends or throw up your dinner or just run out the back door, all of which I have done many, many times in my life.  

          I took a bath in the big bathtub.  I washed my hair and shaved and then put on lotion.  I did not know what to wear.  What do you wear?  It wasn’t a date.  Was it?  This is a problem.  If you wear the lacy thong underwear, you are admitting that you expect to get laid. Or at least that you expect someone to see it.  But if the date is bad and nothing happens, then you will feel like a chump when you take it off later that night, alone, all alone! 

        I wore a blue woolen dress that was tight but didn’t show skin.  That way if things became excruciating, I would not be sitting there with cleavage.  Working in the sex industry (lots of risque clothing and outrageous costumes) and as a figure model has left me very un-selfconscious (sp?) about modesty, but it is never pleasant to be under-dressed in the presence of a hostile heterosexual male.  

       I curled my hair pretty and did my makeup.  I was listening to NPR in the background because I didn’t want any shit that was going to make me emotional.  I charged my phone and cleaned out my handbag, locking most of my stuff in the hotel room safe. 

        Then I left the hotel and took the F train to Brooklyn.   I stopped at a corner grocery along the way and bought Heinrich a poinsettia.  Because it was the Holidays, and because it’s rude to show up without a gift.  

                           *                             *                             * 

           It was dark and fucking freezing when I got to his place.  I was a little anxious, I admit it.  I was thinking that we were going to go to dinner and catch up and act all friendly, and Pretend as if the Infamous Friend-Zone Meltdown Had Never Happened, and it would be weird, but not awful.  Or maybe we could put off Discussing Important Things for a few hours.  Or something.  Worst-case scenario: he makes some grand romantic gesture that turns out to be totally humiliating for both of us….possible, but very unlikely, as we are both too old and wise.  

        (The other worst-case scenario, lurking uneasily in the back of my mind: he has too much to drink, corners me when we’re alone, and lectures me about what a bitch I am for leading him or and/or hurting his feelings.  Almost every woman I know has been dressed down for rejecting a man, even if that rejection was unintentional or happened only in his imagination.  I did not think that Heinrich would do this, because it’s a weak, petulant, and immature behavior, and I don’t know Heinrich to be any of those things.  But I was also telling myself that maybe I didn’t know him as well as I thought I did.  Right?)

           So, yeah, I was nervous when I rang the bell.

           He opened the door and I gave a big, cheerful smile and held up the poinsettia:  “Heinrich!  Happy New Year!”

          “Margo.  You are here.  Please come in.”

          Uh-oh, I thought.  Dude does not sound happy. 

        Heinrich is a reserved personality.  It’s not like he’s going to open the door and loud rock music from his stereo is going to come out and he’s going to give you a hug and shove a beer in your hand.  But when he’s in a good mood and entertaining, he projects warmth.  I wasn’t seeing that.  I wasn’t even seeing Nice-Smile-Covering-For-Nerves, which is what I had on.

           I walked inside, and he closed the door behind me. 

          “I brought you a poinsettia!” I said, as if it were not completely obvious.  I felt like an idiot.  At the same time, I thought, oh thank God I bought this plant, now I don’t have to decide whether or not I should touch him. 

           “It’s lovely.  Thank you,” he said, and took it from me without looking at it.  I checked out his clothes.  He was wearing gray slacks and a blue shirt.  He didn’t look like he’d dressed up for me, thank God.  He wasn’t wearing jeans, but then, I don’t think that he owns any.  

          He did not have on shoes.  Uh-oh.  We need shoes to go out.

         He asked if he could take my coat. 

          “Do we have time?  What time is the reservation?” I asked.

         “Eight.”  When I first met him, he was new and had a habit of giving the time in military time, like they do over there.  

          Well, hell.  Two hours away.

           I took off my gloves and put them into my coat pockets and took off my coat and scarf.  Heinrich put the plant down on a table and hung up my coat.  He did not compliment me on my dress.  I did not know what to think of that.  

           “Would you like something to drink?”  He sounded serious.  Oh, yes.  The man had something on his mind.  He sounded almost sad.  It reminded me of when T-Rex came in the room with the sad face to give me bad news.  

           “Water!” I said.  

           Then I ran away and hid in the bathroom.

           I stayed in there as long as I could.  I heard him get water out of the fridge.  He has one of those automatic water-filters.  Then I heard him walk past the hallway where the bathroom was, and into his other room, with his desk and the library.   He did not turn on music or anything.  

         I ran the water to make it sound like I was doing something.

         True story: if his bathroom window was big enough, I think I would have opened it and jumped out.

          Instead, all I could do was sit behind the door with my ear to the crack, wondering where he was.

          “Margo?” he called.  Closer to the door, this time.

         “Yes?  What is it?”

         “Do you need anything?”

          “I had something in my contact lens!  I’ll be right out!” I lied.  Then I flushed the toilet that didn’t need flushing and washed my hands.   Then I took out my Visine and put it in my eye so that it would look like I really was messing around with my eyeball.

            Then it was time to face the music.  As it were.

            I walked down the hall and into the library room, where he was standing against his desk.  He has his hands in his pockets.  And he looked Very Serious.

             “So, did you have fun with your friends on New Year’s?”  I asked, with the smile back on my face. 

           “You were hiding from me.”  

Unpacking

   You guys.  I’m nervous to post the rest.

    Not sure why.  On this little slice of blog, I pretty much let it all hang out.  

                          *                          *                          *   

    I’m back.  I was back yesterday, in fact, but the internet was down at the house and I could not post.

      I’ve written down quite a bit about the trip and I’ll start posting it tomorrow when I have more privacy.  Some of it might be too explicit or personal for the blog.  Might need to edit.  I know that he reads it now, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.  He says that he won’t read if I ask him not to, but I trust that about as much as I trust that he didn’t read my telephone-book-sized file of correspondence with Professor T-Rex, which is to say: it’s possible that he’d keep his promise, but let’s get real. 

     I was nervous getting on the airplane.  I was apprehensive about several things, as we will see in the first installment.  I thought there were three, maybe four possible outcomes, ranging from excruciatingly awful to cautiously optimistic.  

      The trip was not what I expected.  


      …but it was, I think, what he expected.  He denies it, and it’s true that I am paranoid (can you blame me?), but I think he had plans.  He’s a calculating man, this one.  I’m surprised that I never noticed it before.  

      I’ll start posting tomorrow.  Now I need to unpack my luggage and secure a lift to work tomorrow–I’m still too sore to ride the bike. 

        I had more sex this week than I did all of 2014.  And, again, I did not anticipate that, and it was not what I expected. 

       I have no idea what I’m going to do.