But of all Sadness this was Sad–

But of all sadness this was sad –
A woman’s arms tried to shield
The head of a sleeping man
From the jaws of the final beast.

This is the saddest incident from my childhood.  I will tell you now.
My father, a gambling addict, had lost everything, and been evicted from his last apartment.  He was living in a camper-van, and unemployed, and had been unemployed for several years.  I was 16 years old, working at Long John Silver’s fast-food restaurant, and giving him all of my wages.  I made $5.15 an hour, and I couldn’t work more than 20 hours a week because of child labor laws…but I worked all weekend, every weekend, and I gave him everything.  He wanted me to steal from my job, but I wouldn’t do that.  He wanted me to steal from my mother’s jewelry box, but I wouldn’t do that either.
(as an aside, you don’t know what a huge douche global capitalism is until you’ve worked all day, on your feet, dealing with assholes, and your healthy, fit teenaged body aches at night, for FORTY FUCKING DOLLARS.  Fast food was the hardest job in my life.)
One day he came to me in his camper-van.  He was wearing his best suit, a khaki suit, with a blue-striped tie.  And he said, “I have something to show you.”
He took me by the hand into his camper-van.
There were two suicide notes hanging above the little kitchen unit: one addressed to me, and one addressed to my mother.
And then he showed me how he intended to kill himself: with gas, maybe helium, but I guess it could have been propane, I don’t remember.  He’d rigged a tube up from it, and put it through a heavy-duty plastic bag, and formed a noose around the bag, so that it was like a mask.
(he was, at one point, a respiratory therapist in the ICU ward.  So he knew how these things work)
I felt like I was seeing all of this in slow-motion.  I felt the oddest sensation of horror and numbness.  I felt like I couldn’t feel my face.  I swear to you: it was the most awful moment of my life.  And I’ve had plenty.
Because I LOVED HIM.  I loved him beyond morality.  I don’t love him anymore–now I feel nothing but contempt and disgust, but at the time I LOVED HIM.   And I felt responsible for him and obligated for taking care of him.
Then he left, and I sat there for a few minutes, feeling so weird inside.  I was so scared for him!  I was like, my daddy is GOING TO DIE?
I walked into my mother’s house.  My little brother wasn’t home yet (he was at soccer practice).  I remember that there was a Persian rug in the living room with a circular pattern in the center.
I collapsed in the middle of the rug, and curled up into a ball, and I started...to shriek.
Nothing like that has ever happened in my life.  I cried when the Surgeon damaged me emotionally a few times, and I cried my ass off for a month when the Mathematician betrayed me, but, I am telling you, this was the most gut-wrenching fear/terror/grief of my life.  IT HURT IT HURT SO BADLY.
My mother came into the room and she lifted up my face, and she was FURIOUS, and she looked at my face, and she slapped me upside the head…hard.
“Get yourself together!” she hissed.
(Keep in mind, I was never a little drama queen.  It’s not like I made histrionics on a regular basis.  I was always extremely quiet and calm, even as a baby–both of my parents would tell you that even as a baby, I never cried.)
I shut up immediately, and then I went to go barf in the bathroom, because I could not cope with the anxiety.
Then I gave her my father’s “suicide notes.”  She took them and I have no idea what she did with them.   We never discussed them.  I could not bring myself to read either one.
Now, as an ADULT, this is what I feel: Mom should have been GAME OVER, PSYCHO!  RESTRAINING ORDER!  Any family court judge in the country would have given her (and me) a restraining order.  My father was completely out of control and this was transparently psychologically abusive.
My mother sent me back to him.  Why,  cannot say, except that in some intrinsic way she hates my guts.
A month later, he committed himself to the State Mental Health Hospital.  There was nowhere else for him to go.
And I visited him there.

Misogynistic Client

I almost didn’t blog this, because this jackass doesn’t deserve even ten minutes of attention, but he upset me…so here it is.

Indian guy.  Young.  My age.

I hate to say it, but: my experience with Indian clients is almost all negative.  I really do hate to say that. because I had Indian friends in my grad program, and I had an Indian client/boyfriend in New York I was tremendously fond of…a genius, a very enlightened feminist gentleman.  He was a wonderful person in all respects and he enhanced my life, and I have nothing but appreciation and admiration for the man.  I don’t want to sound like a narrow-minded provincial bigot.  I don’t want to be racist.  I am a guilty polite liberal.  I don’t want to be racist.

But Indian clients…are the worst.

Disingenuous and hostile, for no reason.  And misogynistic.

Get this: this Indian guy books a session, passes screening, arrives to my hotel suite.

He claimed to be submissive…but he wasn’t.

Less than 10 minutes into the session, he said to me, in a very strong and judgmental tone, out of nowhere–apropos of nothing: “Your pussy stinks.  Go wash it!”

I was stunned.  I stood there blinking at him like I was pole-axed.

Okay, first of all, I was wearing two pairs of underwear–a thong and lacy boyshorts.  Under a cocktail dress.  And I was standing five feet away, and this man had no contact with my crotch at all.

How on earth could he have any idea what I smelled like…?  (Answer: he was making it up)

Also: I’d just taken a shower!  Not even 30 minutes ago!  If I physically exert myself in a session, or have any significant physical contact with a client, I take a shower afterward!  I stagger my sessions with (at least) an hour break in between, so that I can bathe and clean the room!  I’d just had a hot shower, with soap!  Certain-Dri deodorant, shaving, the works!

Now, I’m embarrassed to admit this, but: this douchebag made me second-guess myself.  I stood there, mortified, wondering if maybe I was getting my period…?  Did I have a yeast infection…?  Did I smell bad…?   

It took a minute, but confidence returned.  I looked at this pathetic, twitchy little misogynistic asshole.  I mean, who speaks to a woman like that?   And What did I ever do to him?

It was all about cruelty and control.  Shame.

“The only thing RANK around here is your MISOGYNY.  This session is over and you need to get the fuck out of here RIGHT NOW,” I said.  I walked to the door and opened it, standing in the doorway.

He looked utterly astonished, as if I’d done something bizarre.

Then the hatred clouded over his face, and he started getting dressed in a hurry.

I know that I shouldn’t have explained or said anything else, but my feelings were hurt!  I was so offended!  I said: “I am a nice clean girl and I just got out of the shower!  I can’t believe you could be so rude!  Why do you even see sex workers, if you hate women so much?”

He was FURIOUS.  I could feel it coming off of him in waves.

I gave him half of his money back.  I know I shouldn’t have, but I didn’t want to antagonize the crazy man.  He’d only been in the room 15 minutes.

I was still upset and I couldn’t control my mouth.  I said: “You know, most heterosexual men adore the smell of a clean woman.  Maybe you should check your sexual orientation.”

He almost punched me in the face on his way out the door.  I stepped into the hallway and reminded him that he was on camera.

He walked to the elevator, trying to look cocky…as if he hadn’t just been FIRED BY A SEX WORKER.

You were fired…by a sex worker.  Think about it, dude.  Think about it real hard.  You literally cannot pay a woman to hang out with you.

What a jerk.  BLACKLISTED.

P.S.  Sorry this post is depressing…I also saw an awesome Japanese client who was wonderful, and he’s taking me out for sushi next week! lovely man

The Burning Stag

This is the dream that I had the other night:

I dreamed that I lived in a white house with a porch all around the outside, like porches used to be.

It was winter outside and snow was flying, as it so often is in my dreams (in my dreams, it is almost always cold and snowy).

I was playing with my parrot, Abe, and I saw a light from outside the window.  It looked like firelight, so I ran out to inspect.

There was a huge stag standing in front of the porch.  His breath turned to vapor in the frigid air, and he had enormous antlers.

His antlers were on fire.  The flame illuminated the night and the snow around him.

He was not burning up, not dying.  It was just that his antlers were on fire.  Like the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, whom I do not believe in, but whom I recognize as a religious trope. I know how fire is presented in the Bible.

I cautiously approached him (I have never killed a deer, but the men in my family have, and I know how to dress one).  I felt that he wanted to speak to me.

Then I woke up.

………………………….

P.S. These fucking dreams, fucking dreams I hate them, that is all

Another Hostile Client

……annnnnddddd we have a new one!

It was so fucked up that I had to take a week off, and that’s why I haven’t been blogging.

Okay: exactly what am I to make of this?

Guy books a session, passes screening, and arrives at my hotel room.  He is well-dressed, well-groomed.  He is wearing a pinstripe suit and leather gloves.

I just met him, for the first time.  I offered him a refreshment from the minibar, which he accepted…

…after which, he physically charged up to me, majorly violating my personal space, and ripped his glove off in a very dramatic fashion…

….and his hand was malformed.  He had, well, I don’t want to compromise his privacy, but he had only a few digits, and not cuz they’d been amputated by some catastrophic injury.  I mean his hand was fundamentally malformed.  A rare, but not exceedingly rare malformation–everyone has seen this, yes…?  I am pretty sure he was born with this. 

“Is this okay with you?  Is this okay with you?” he asked, waving his hands in my face.

I am a mature, polite individual, and I do not judge clients by how they look (I only ask that they be clean).  I do not even judge potential BOYFRIENDS by how they look–I have fucked  “ugly” guys.  And I am a compassionate human who is not going to look askance at a person because his hands are deformed.

But the way that he did this, showing me his hands all at once, waving them literally inches from my face, was shocking.

He could have told me in the booking emails: hey, my hands are malformed because of this genetic disorder. (that’s all, he wouldn’t need to explain it or apologize for it in any way, just let me know)

He could have sat down on the bed or the computer chair when I offered him a refreshment and said: Hey you see these gloves…?  Well, my hands are not like what they look like in these gloves.  I just want to let you know.

He was confrontational and he did it to “shock” me and, I expect, to elicit revulsion/rejection. Or to test my cowardice, or to “test” something else.

I have plenty of my own psychological “issues.”  But I wonder what it must be like to go through life with this level of rage, alienation, and hostility.

This man was sick….and it had nothing to do with his hands.

I remained totally calm…and I reached up, and touched his hand, grabbing his finger, and lowering it.

This emotionally moved him.  He gasped and drew back.

“Your hands are fine with me.  Is it on your feet, too?”  I asked, because I know that it usually affects the digits of the feet, as well.

“Yes,” he gasped.

“Okay, no problem.  Would you like to start the session?”

I could see the thoughts and emotions, going round and round inside his head.  It was confusion and pain, mostly, but there was also a gratitude, or, at least, an awkward acknowledgement.

This job is high-stress and difficult and I do not believe it is sustainable (for me personally). But it has awarded me with incredible experiences and insight to the human condition.

Why did I have compassion for this man, who came in with such rage, determined to scare me…?

It was my compassion, and the fact that I was willing to touch his hand, that changed him.