Don’t Play Priest With My Little Pony (II)

(Continued from Part I)

The priest–let’s call him “Father John”–is the only priest I’ve ever met in my life whom I wouldn’t want to hit in the face with a brick.  Only the most conservative Tridantine Mass Catholics hated him.  He was generally adored by the community, and even the Irish nuns, who were considerably more conservative (and less educated) thought of him as some Ultimate Authority.  Because isn’t that what a priest is…?

Father John was an Irish-American from back East…let’s say, Boston. He was a functioning alcoholic and a chain-smoker.  Blue-eyed, stocky, tall, always red-faced, hair probably strawberry blond in his youth.  He had three spaniel dogs he loved, and took them into our classes and hung photos of them on his office wall.  It was well known (though never formally acknowledged) that he had a decades-long relationship with his housekeeper (he had a private residence, unlike the nuns).  I walked in on them, whilst running errands, watching TV together or dining at the table together several times.  Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion, then or now.  People need love and he was a grown man with needs that must be met.  I just hope he kept paying her for her cleaning services and didn’t take her for granted–and he was such a good guy, I’m sure he did, and more.  Her kid from a previous relationship got into the school on a “scholarship.”  I think that’s great.  If he can’t marry her or publicly acknowledge her, at least he can support her and give her kid free education, right?

Father John was a total Vatican II guy and sympathetic to Liberation Theology.  He read lots of books and TIME magazine before TIME became the lowbrow piece of shit that it is today.  He was educated.  Compared to the nuns he supervised, this man was a tenured prof at MIT.

He was the only priest in town who would give my mother confession and the Eucharist.  Technically, it’s forbidden, because she is divorced, and also had unapproved marriages with non-Catholics. The Church was very, very hard on divorce when I was a young child (and before that).  But if you can’t confess and get the Eucharist, you can’t get into heaven (let that sink in for a moment).  If a priest doesn’t give it to you, you go to hell.  Another reason why I hate these assholes.

Father John would take her confession and give her penance and say it was up to God to judge her when the time came.

Father John also fired (“transferred”) a priest who was arrested for aggressively protesting outside of a clinic that provided abortions. The Church was batshit-insane over the abortion issue when I was growing up.  The priest was arrested, after several protests, for putting his hands on a woman walking in.  He spent the night in jail. It was on the news. The Catholic zealots thought he was a hero.  Father John gave him his walking papers at once and forbade the nuns to discuss abortion with us.  Being a head priest of a parish, he was BIG AUTHORITY DAD, so the nuns did whatever he said.

I had my first Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) with him when I was in 2nd grade.  He could not have been more gentle.  He had his white collar and black priest clothes on, and photos of the Pope and his spaniels all over the wall, and he was smoking, as always.   He sat behind his desk, far away, and even though I was nervous, he didn’t terrorize me at all.

The nuns had trained us to do this Sacrament for months.  I knew the words: “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. This is my first confession. I accuse myself of the following sins.”

“Go on, when you are ready,” he said.

I confessed to saying swear words (not a sin unless you say the Lord’s name in vain), being mean to my little brother when we fought over a toy, and being angry and resentful at my mother.  I also confessed that I “stole food” from my father’s pantry.  He jealously guarded the food and I was not allowed to eat without his permission.   It was Alberto Beef Jerky from a can.

“You took food from the pantry? Did you take it at night? Were you hungry?”  He sat up straight, cigarette forgotten.

“I’m not allowed to steal food.  It is the family food, and not mine,” I said.

He started smoking again.  I think he was ruminating on it.

Then, it was time for the Act of Contrition.

I said, “Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee. I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend thee, my Lord, who art all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the occasions of sin.”

He blessed me and gave me ‘ABSOLUTION” for my petty child’s “sins.”  So now I was pure again, and could take my first communion.

He gave me a candy bar before I left.  He had a big bag, like the type you buy for Halloween, full of mixed candy.  He told me to take one I liked.

I left feeling very happy.  It was not as scary as I’d feared it to be.

Father John called someone (who, I do not know) about my father, and a shrink started visiting the school to see me.  His name was Dr. Arthur (I don’t mind telling you his name, because it’s a common and and he HAS to be dead now–he was about a million years old when I knew him).

One of the only times a man’s stood up for me in my life.  Even my mother didn’t do it.

Well, the smoking and boozing eventually started to take their toll.  He had to have heart surgery, like a triple bypass.  Then he kicked the proverbial bucket.  Everyone was sad.  Huge funeral.

His replacement was a complete piece of shit who plagued the parish–and my Mother–for 15 years.  Check this out: he was a widower with grown children who joined the Clergy in late middle age.  So, he had a family.

He would not give divorced people absolution.  He said it was against the rules.

I don’t give a FUCK about the rules, but, if you’re a believer–like my mother–this is incredibly stigmatizing. And the hypocrisy!  I guess GOD wants people to be alone and loveless all their lives.   When my mother told me that he rejected her, I blew up: “Since when has the Church ever been a friend to women?  We have no authority and they used to burn us.  If you insist, check out another parish.  Or, even better, the Unitarians”–the only church I could sit through without feeling my IQ drop 5 points every minute I was there.

He also treated the congregation like they were morons or little children.  He did condescending shit like bring in a huge toy paper butterfly emerging from a cocoon to go up to heaven, and when he lectured about Noah and the Ark, he’d play storm music on a boombox.  Nice sound effects, bro.

I know most people are not exactly geniuses (saying that as the chick who almost burned her apartment down), but common people–illiterate people–have understood the concept of an afterlife for several thousand years, at least.  And Catholics don’t need a paper butterfly to grasp Resurrection. If you want to explain something really pointless and moronic to the “flock,” priest, try explaining the Trinity.

Anyway, I’m getting totally off point.

The point is: what happened when I was playing priest with My Little Pony.

Father John was sitting at his desk, huffing down his 100th Marlboro Lite cigarette of the day.   This was before computers, so he had a shitload of paper files on his desk and a word processor (remember that blast from the past?).

“Tell him what you did!” the nun ordered, and shoved me forward.

“I pretended I was a priest with my horse dolls,” I said, looking at the floor.

“You may leave me to speak with this child alone, Sister Philip (she’s dead too, reader).  I thank you for your concern,” he said.

She left.

He asked to see my toy ponies, so I took them out of my rucksack and handed them to him.  He lined them up and pretended to make them run.

“You know, when I was a boy, I wanted to be a jockey.  I grew too big and heavy, through.  You have to be small to be a jockey.

Do you want to be a priest?”

“No.  I was just pretending.”

“Women do a lot of good in the Church.  It’s a bit like social work. There is work in the Church for all types of people.  Not all nuns are like Sister Philip.  She worked in the Magdalene Laundries. Do you know what that means?”

“No.”  I was too young to know.

He picked up one of my My Little Ponies, a pink one, and said, “This is the cutest one.  What’s her name?”

“Sparkle,” I said.

He bent over his desk and said, “You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Please don’t tell my parents,” I said.

“What could I possibly tell them?”  He gathered up my toys and handed them back to me.  “If you are summoned to the vocation, you’re summoned.  If she asks, tell Sister Philip that I taught you your lesson.  That’s the truth.  It’s not a lie.”

I put the Ponies back in my bag.

“Be careful of what you say out loud, my dear.  The teachers here do not come from our culture.  I didn’t become a priest to punish people.  God decides that in the end; I try to help, but I can’t tell if anyone is true of heart.  But do remember: there are two types of people in the world…the type that eat their humble pie, and the type who go to hell.  When you sin–and we are all sinners–eat your pie.  But you did nothing wrong here.”

Then he reached into his desk drawer and pulled out the candy bag, and offered me a treat.

What a good man.

Oil Fire (Almost Burned My Apartment Down)

UPDATE 11 PM:  My blistering is very, very bad. My neighbor saw it and said I should probably go to the hospital, but there’s nothing they can do except put me on narcotics for the pain, and since I’m on Naltrexone for the alcoholism, opiates won’t work on me.

My biggest fear right now is that I am going to break open a blister accidentally, like in my sleep.  That will make the pain a million times worse.

(I’d post photos of my blisters–LOOK AT MY OUCHIE!–and my burned up stove, but I already emailed them to my landlord, so it would be a security breech.)

I talked to my brother and he calmed me down.  He said: “Your landlord is going to have to buy another cheapass little oven from Sears and repaint the scorched, blistered areas of paint around the stove. Even including labor costs, this is a $500 mistake AT MOST. You didn’t let his house burn down and you reported it to him immediately.  He might be pissed, but this is not a big deal.  He has pictures of your injuries, and your rent on time.  DO NOT offer to buy a new stove yourself.  I wouldn’t pay a landlord shit besides my rent.”

I did some research online.  Apparently, grease fires are very common and get big in a hurry.  Every personal story I found the was the same, essentially: “I was checking my text on the phone for 20 seconds and smelled something and found flames shooting up to the ceiling. Then I poured water on it and burned the hell out of myself.”

I will NEVER leave a stove with grease unattended again, and I just bought 4 more fire extinguishers from Amazon.

If Abe had been in the apartment, he would have died from smoke inhalation.  Thank God he was at the boarder, because they had to close early one day and I couldn’t get to him in time.

*                                        *                           *

Well, last night was a shitshow of horrific proportions.  Nothing like this has ever happened to me.  I don’t even know HOW it happened.

I was cooking with vegetable oil of the stove and turned my back on it to go use the toilet.  I was gone two minutes, tops.

I wash my hands and come back, and the fucking pan was on fire.  

I freaked and immediately did the stupidest thing imaginable: I grabbed the mop bucket, poured water in it from the kitchen sink, and poured the water all over the fire.

Bad idea.  Bad, bad idea.

All that the water did was make the oil come out of the pan and spread all over the stovetop.  And the oil, was still on fire.

The flames were increasing and there was smoke.  A LOT of smoke.  The smoke alarm went off.

I grabbed the fire extinguisher.  I was in such panic, though, and the fire was spreading, that I could not read the instructions (bet your ass I’m going to be practicing that thing out in the driveway today).

I came very, very close to just running out and calling 911.  But when that fire spread–and you know how fast it can happen–I’d lose everything.  Also, I live in a house with four apartment units.  It  would be unfair to my neighbors.

I got two towels and beat it out, hoping they wouldn’t catch on fire (they didn’t…but they are ruined, of course).

My stove and the grill above it–with the fan and the light–are BLACK.  I hope it’s just soot.  If not, well….

Also: I burned the hell out of my right arm.  Woke up to ten blisters.

My landlord is going to kill me.  There goes my security deposit! I’m about to to start cleaning.

Oh, something else: the fire did something to the electricity. My fridge, next to the oven, turned off.

I stayed up for an extra hour, paranoid, to make sure the fire didn’t somehow “come back” and to let out all the smoke.  I barely slept a wink last night.  The burns hurt, and I was paranoid that the fire would start again in my sleep.

I don’t even know HOW this happened. There was nothing flammable on the stovetop except the oil….in a pan. What happened?

Don’t Play Priest with My Little Pony (1)

(Content note: this one might offend practicing Catholics and people that find atheism objectionable.  It’s not a rant, but I do talk about these issues here, and if you don’t wanna read about it, don’t read about it.)

This is one for Memory Lane.

Readers will know that I am an atheist.  I was reared Roman Catholic (by my mother, at least), but I stopped believing in the religion quite naturally once I reached the age of reason at about 12 years old.  It was not a violent rejection on my part, or due to anything traumatic.  I simply realized that what was being taught in my religion classes was not jiving with what was being taught in my other classes, and that a lot of things I was reading in the Bible were historically inaccurate and impossible.  I’m not an angry atheist.  I realize a lot of people get something out of religion. I don’t get it, but, hey, I know I’m the outlier here.

(I stopped believing in God…but I never stopped believing in the Church.  The Church is a political institution, and I understand politics very well.  The Church is completely real, even if the theology is fictive.  And if you don’t think that most of the Cardinals in Vatican City don’t think exactly the same way, you’re wrong.  It’s like that old gladiator movie with Kirk Douglas–the scene when Gracchus buys a bird (pigeon or dove) to sacrifice to the Gods, and Caesar says “I thought you had reservations about the Gods.”  Gracchus replied, “Privately I believe in none of them–neither do you.  Publicly, I believe in them all.“)

It’s all about power and control.  That’s the definition of politics: deciding who gets what, and how much.

Which brings us to the point, the little story we find on this walk down Memory Lane.

I attended Catholic school as a young child, and before I reached the age of reason I believed practically everything a teacher told to me, of course.  My teachers were Irish nuns.  Actual IRISH NUNS, half of whom still wore the veil…and the habit, on special occasions.  Most of them had masculine names they took when they took their vows.

Most of my experiences with them were positive.  Most of them honestly loved children, and I can understand, because they could never have children of their own.  However, their education was, shall we say, rather medieval.  For example, my 8th-grade teacher, who was the principal of the school, told us that there were four (4) elements in the world.  This is right out of Aristotle, people.  And I love me some Aristotle, but I’d just been taking a science class and was learning the Table of Elements. It occurred to me that this shit she was saying didn’t jive with reality (no fault on Aristotle).  I think I was 12.  What really galls me is that my mother was trying to give me “the best” education she could, and spent practically all of her discretionary income to send her children to Catholic School…she really sacrificed.  So that her daughter could be taught medieval Catholic “science.”  Thank God I had a brain in my head and a father who had critical thinking skills and a little book-learnin’ , awful as he was.

Catholics are the “intellectuals” of Christendom.  Let that sink in for a while.  Think about it.

Anyway, when I was a little kid, I still believed.  Why wouldn’t I…? Well, I sometimes carried toys in my backpack, and when I was in 2nd grade, I was a big fan of My Little Pony toys/dolls.

My Little Pony

 

Whoever thought this toy up was a genius. I loved these things, waaaay more than Barbie or dolls.  My Dad would only give me “intellectual” toys, like puzzles and crafts and brain-teasers, but my Mom would buy me kid toys, so at Christmas and on my birthday I’d get a My Little Pony.

I had four or five of them, and brought them to school one day just because I felt like it.  I was in 2nd grade…maybe 3rd, can’t recall.

During recess, I went to a secluded shady area by the church and took them out of my bag and played pretend with them.  I lined them all up in a row.

For some reason, I played pretend that I was the priest and we were in Mass.  By that age, I knew the entire Mass by heart (I still know it by heart).

I was pretending to consecrate the Eucharist (always the most–and only–fascinating part of the regular Mass for me), saying all the priest’s words, when a nun walked up behind me and grabbed me by the shoulder.

She’d heard what I was saying, and she was fucking furious.

I was a little kid playing with dolls, emulating behavior I saw (the Mass) at least three times a week.  That was all. I didn’t even have unleavened bread or a cracker in my hand.  It was all imaginary.

She shook me hard and said, “How dare you!  That is only for priests!”  She looked shocked, appalled, as if I’d done something morally unspeakable.  It was an actual affront to her.

Now that I’m older and have perspective, I see possible motivations for her rage (this is all speculative; can’t read her mind): what I did threatened her because it was against the very strictly hierarchical Church.  And, perhaps on a subconscious level, it reminded her that nuns/women will never have the power of priests. Nuns serve in the trenches of the Church–the charities, the elementary schools, hospices in the 3rd world, as unofficial social workers to convicts on death row.  They have zero authority in the Church, even if she’s an Abbess or a Ph.D.  No privileges, el zilcho, and they give up more than the average priest in some hole of a parish.  When I went to Catholic school, girls couldn’t even serve on the Alter except to ring a bell to remind the congregation to get off their knees (I held that mighty privilege twice).  Only boys could be alter boys.  When the Pope said girls could serve as alter girls, it was such a huge deal that all classes were interrupted for it as the school principle made a very solemn, yet joyous, announcement.  It was that big of a deal.  Girl-children allowed on the Alter to help the priest, and be near the tabernacle when it was open, wow wow wow, what a leap forward in the liberation of women!

It’s misogynistic bigotry, pure and simple.  There is no purpose than to impose authority and power on the more vulnerable.

Anyway, back to our story, nun is furious and actually put her hands on me.  She grabbed me by the arm and marched me straight to the priest’s office in the church.

She knocked and he admitted us.

She marched me right up to his desk (he was smoking, as usual, and seemed to be working on paperwork, as usual) and hissed at me: “Tell him what you did!”

 

TO BE CONTINUED

P.S.:  At least it has a happy ending

Reader Mailbag: Genius Wants to Know, “WHY THE BUS, HOT SHIT ‘DOMME'”?

Ah yes, a snarky anonymous (of course) email, from the reader mailbag.  It’s about a paragraph long, but I’ll quote the most relevant sentence, which nicely summarizes my correspondent’s opinion (or whatever it is…mostly insult and invective):

“If you’re a hot shit ‘beautiful’ domme making more money out there in San Francisco than you did in New York, why are you taking the bus to travel there, and constantly bitching about it?”

I should not even be responding to this…but here you go, anonymous reader.  Take pride in this moment: you get some free attention from a woman men find desirable and talented enough to spend $300/hour to spend time with her.  And I have never ONCE described myself as “beautiful” on this blog or in my ad copy, even though my clients, and the multitudinous boyfriends I’ve had over the years, seem to think I am.  My pictures speak for themselves; they are almost entirely un-photoshopped.  I am grateful that I am conventionally attractive, because it’s opened doors for me, but my only vanity is intellectual.

I take the bus because it costs between $12-$30/ticket and if I drive, gas is at least $65 round trip (I’ve paid $80) and valet/parking garage is $35-$90 night in Union Square (don’t forget to tip the valet attendant–that’s another $3-$5).  Do the math, if you can generate enough energy from rubbing your one and a half brain cells together.  The bus has wifi and power outlets, which work about half the time, and I can snooze and be fresh for work by the time I get to the hotel.  I have to get up at 4:30 AM.

My car is not a fucking Bugatti.  It’s a Toyota Camry and it runs like a top (Japanese engineering, man, can’t beat it for poor-man’s cars) and I maintain it, but it’s also old and if it dies going over the mountains, I’m waiting for AAA tow service and paying hundreds and hundreds of $ at the nearest mechanic and losing an entire day of work and possibly staying overnight, at personal expense, at whatever motel is nearby.

Finally, only true American aristocracy (which I’m sure you’re not) or rich people from super-status-conscious backwards countries like Saudi Arabia consider taking the bus, train, bicycle, moped, or any form of non-private-car embarrassing or something to be ashamed of.  Plenty of millionaires in New York and Washington DC take the subway.  Many of my wealthiest clients–and the Surgeon–had MetroCards.

….and even saying that sounds like Respectability Politics, which I regret, and which is worthy of self-examination.

There’s nothing wrong with riding the bus, and you sound like an idiot for trying to shame me for it.

 

 

Gilcrease Museum (and this Tour Sucks)

Hi.  I would like to report that work sucks donkey balls today. And yesterday.  I have had four cancellations, and only two sessions total.  That means that I have not even covered the cost of the hotel room.  Naturally, my least-favorite client has scheduled a session with me tomorrow at 9 AM (UGH), and I KNOW he will come through.  He is gross and barely tolerable, but at least he always tips.  He’s the guy who slobbers over every inch of my body outside my panties (“body worship,” they call it.  I call it “Being consentlly molested for cash.”). At least he always tips $100.

Anyway, I’m in this hotel room and I’m bored, so GUESS WHAT I’VE GOT FOR YOU?!?!  An ART TOUR!  Just what my 8 readers, all of whom are submissive pervy males, really want, I’m sure!

Let’s visit…Gilcrease Museum, a truly fantastic art museum dedicated to the artwork and history of the American West and American Indian culture located near Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Now, I’ve been all over the US, and OK is the worst knuckle-dragging state in the Union.  I would rather live in Alabama.  Oklahoma is good for nothing except some of its WPA art in downtown Tulsa, its University, Gilcrease Museum, and lighteningbugs (I guess the BBQ is good, too).  Exempting the Indians, who did not deserve to be rounded up and sent to that shithole, the people are barbarians.  They do have a few touching Southern/semi-midWestern cultural habits, such as pulling off to the side of the road and blinking the headlights when a hearse goes by, and you’ll be offered to stay for dinner whenever you’re on someone’s property, even if it’s just to return a tool you borrowed, but, believe me, they’re barbarians. These people noodle, man.  Grown men wear overalls without t-shirts TO WORK. It is the only place in America I would never admit to being an atheist, outside of maybe the college campus.  Oh HELL NO.  It would be risky to even say I was Roman Catholic.

Moving on: Gilcrease Museum is a bastion of beauty, an oasis, in this cultural wasteland.

Gilcrease is a gem and a credit to everyone who works or has ever worked there.

These are some of my favorite pieces.  I’ve intentionally left out most of the Native American art I especially like because I don’t feel qualified to talk about it; I’m not educated enough about it to discuss it in an accurate and sophisticated manner.  I don’t want to be racist or fetishize it.

Click on any image for info about the artist, nationality of the artist (most are American, but a few are not), and more info about the artifact.

 

Colt Single Action Pistol
Colt Single Action Pistol

My kind of gun!  I love wheel guns (revolvers).  In my opinion, if you can’t hit something in 6 shots, you don’t deserve to have the gun. My first (and favorite, to this day) gun is a .32 Smith & Wesson long-nose revolver. It had a beautiful burled wooden grip, but I reluctantly had to replace it with a rubber grip I could keep firmly in my hand.   That is one thing  will still don’t understand about old handguns: why were the handles/grips so damn small? The handle was small for ME, and I’m a woman with small/delicate hands (though I’m tall).  My shooting instructor, a tall big man with big hands, found the grip inconvenient.  So, why did they make them so small?

 

Breaking Through the Line
Breaking Through the Line

My favorite painting in the museum.  It’s huge, and I must have stared at it for an hour.  The artist had a vision, and the kinetic energy captured here is amazing.  In the painting, up close, that soldier is pointing his revolver right at your head.  His eye is on target and his aim is true, even with the glove on.  You’re dead meat.  Kiss your ass goodbye.

 

Hunger c. 1919 by Walter Ufer
Hunger c. 1919 by Walter Ufer, American

This one is an enigma to me, but it’s powerful, even though it’s not the style I’m most attracted to. I see three interpretations: the enforcement of Christianity on Native Americans; the fact that they were intentionally starved after being “relocated” and denied their traditional ways of procuring food; and that a girl-child dying of hunger is among the most pathetic and defenseless (and, hence, heartbreaking, if you value women enough to give a shit) persons in society.  Also, note the statue of the Virgin Mary.  Is it ironical, or not?  I can’t tell.

Black Hawk and His Son Whirling Thunder c 1833 John Wesley Jarvis
Black Hawk and His Son Whirling Thunder c 1833 John Wesley Jarvis

I included this one because the portrait is magnificent, and the men look magnificent.  I bet you anything this is EXACTLY how the men looked.  It could be on their drivers’ license photos.

I love the names Indians gave themselves; so poetical.  My favorite name was a man called “Raven Blanket.”  What name could be more beautiful than that?

 

Girl's dress w/beaded yoke Lakota Sioux 1870 deep skin, beads, porcupine quills
Girl’s dress w/beaded yoke Lakota Sioux 1870 deep skin, beads, porcupine quills

Think about how many hours, months, maybe even years went into making this, even if the women of the family were sharing the work of making it while not attending to their other jobs and child-rearing. That entire blue top is beading. One bead at a time. And beads were not cheap.

 

George Washingtn c 1785 Jean Antione Hundon Culture: FRENCH
George Washingtn c 1785 Jean Antione Hundon Culture: FRENCH

I personally consider Abraham Lincoln to be the Father of our country, but President Washington is also our father.  He is more difficult to relate to: ill-tempered, intimidating at times, completely pragmatic, a true military man.  Intelligent, but unimaginative.  I’ve read his diaries. They are all brief, factual notes about important daily events and the weather.  Nothing speculative about them, no fancy prose, nothing emotional at all.

However, he had balls of steel.  The right man, at the right time.  God bless him.

ANNNND: he underwent a major change in perspective as he went through life: over the course of his life, he turned against slavery, and recognized it as an evil institution and an inherent threat to our Republic (and so it was, and have been its consequences). This guy owned tons of slaves and didn’t think twice about it when he was a young man.  When he was older, and wrote out his last Will and Testament about his property, he freed all his slaves.  When he said he was sorry he ever owned them, he meant it.

Now, you can say that it is cowardly of him to wait until he was almost dead to free them…and you wouldn’t be wrong.  But, consider his circumstances: his slaves constituted about 80% of his total wealth.  Slaves were expensive, even back then–by the time the Civil War started, a healthy young male slave who could work outside was worth over $80,000 (yes, that’s $80k) in today’s dollars.  I have the literature; I can show you.  I used to teach this shit.

Anyway, Washington’s family predictably threw a shit-fit when they found out most of their wealth basically evaporated overnights.  That’s one reason he waited till he was almost dead.

Some of the former slaves stayed with the family, but they had to be paid average wages and “allowed” to live off the property, and they could get married to whomsoever they wanted, and their children were free and could not be sold.

Here’s a good book about the entire story, if you’re interested:

An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America, by Henry Wiencek 

 

Pony Express c 1924  Frank Tenney Johnson
Pony Express c 1924 Frank Tenney Johnson

I love this one for its drama and its beauty, an the way it perfectly captures what looks like (to me) as the very early morning–pre-dawn; see the fire or stove illuminating the inside of the Express stop?

They rode like demons; like something out of Greek mythology.  Tough job; tough men.  Pity for the ponies, though.

 

Buffalo Mother by William Robinson
Buffalo Mother by William Robinson

Is this watercolor or oil?  I can’t tell.  Anyway, it’s very moving, for obvious reasons. The wolves must be after the calf, because even an entire pack won’t go after a health adult unless they’re starving to death–buffalo are not docile or domesticated like cattle.  They are mean as hell and every time I hear about a tourist getting stomped on by a bison at Yellowstone Park for being a dumbass and trying to take a selfie with it, I laugh, even though that’s not nice.

They taste delicious, though.

Meats not Meat Till It's in the Pan c. 1915  Charles Marion Russell
Meats not Meat Till It’s in the Pan c. 1915 Charles Marion Russell

Man just shot himself a bighorn sheep and now he’s fucked (indeed, what a head-scratcher) because there’s no way in hell he’s getting it’s body off that ledge.  I’ve seen these animals in person.  They weigh up to 300 lbs and they’re as big as large ponies. I am sure the ghost of the bighorn sheep, while being bitter about being shot, is also laughing its ghost ass off at the hunter’s fuckup. Eventually, at least, the crows and scavengers will get to munch on him.

 

Sierra Nevada Morning c. 1870 Albert Bierstadt
Sierra Nevada Morning c. 1870 Albert Bierstadt

While I’m not the biggest fan of the Hudson River School–too Romantic for me–you really can’t go wrong with Bierstadt.

 

Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way c. 1861  Emanuel Gottleib Leutze  GERMAN
Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way c. 1861 Emanuel Gottleib Leutze GERMAN

The guy who painted this was a German.  As I’ve said in the past, the Western doesn’t belong to America.  The Western is a fantasy, a certain unique fantasy, and that is why it appeals to so many people across so many cultures.

This painting also perfectly represents the ideas of Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny,

This concluded my little tour of Gilcrease Museum.  Go if you’re passing through the state (and I do hope, for your sake, you’re only passing through.)  Enjoy some barbecue, too.

The Story of the Spanko and the “Session Jar.”

This one is going to be short…but I had to write it down, because it’s a new one (that’s the thing about the fetish Biz–you think you’ve seen it all, but you never have, and presumably never will).

It’s also sweet and funny, in its way.

Old guy comes to see me.  Had a hearing aid and dentures, because nobody that old has perfect refrigerator-white teeth (huh? Don’t dentists “age” dentures to match?) Clearly on Social Security, maybe a pension–he seemed poor to me, but, believe me, you can never be sure.  Scrubs would come to the dungeon in sweatshirts that looked older than me with holes in them and velcro sneakers with the mesh on top about worn through, and I’d find out later that they were millionaires.

Anyway, the man was a spanko: all that he wanted was a bare-bottom spanking over my knee, while lying on the couch.  He didn’t even want to undress (most true spankos, I’ve found, keep all or most of their clothes on.  I guess it keeps the experience more true to the domestic discipline childhood experience).

Easy-peasy, and one of my favorite types of sessions.  I really enjoy going to town on hardcore masochists with a variety of implements–and I’m good at it, because I’m a very experienced maso myself–but old-fashioned spankings and domestic discipline scenarios are tons of fun (always do it in stockings, old-fashioned heeled “slippers” with downed muff on top, and a satin robe, and ALWAYS wash the mouth out with Ivory soap. No other soap will do!).

The guy is a gent and reaches into his backpack to pay me, presumably to get his wallet…

…instead, he pulls out a Jiffy peanut butter jar, full of money, and hands it to me.

I opened it and took out a handful.

It was full of $1 bills.  Some crushed, some folded.  They all look like he had taken them out of his pockets at the end of the day and put them in the jar.

Well, you know the rule: Always get the money up front.

I thanked him, kept a pleasant smile on my face, sat down on the edge of the bed, and started counting the money.  In order to do this, I had to unfold it and straighten it out.  I started making little stacks of 10 $1-bills so that I could keep track of it.

This was tedious and time-consuming and I began to feel rather embarrassed and self-conscious.

I got to about $50-something and said something I’ve never said to a client (or practically any man, for that matter) before:  “You know what?  I’ll just take your word for it.”

I put his money back in the Jiffy jar, which I am positive is his “session jar,” in which he saves, say, a dollar a day or something until he can afford a session.  Only 38 days more and I can get my ass spanked! he thinks, as he adds another dollar.

We did the session.  He was great.  It was only a half-hour and easy as pie.  He was nice and clean and in a great mood and left happy.

I finally counted the money (I really wish I’d taken a picture of it for you, because it looked hilarious, all those crumpled $1s in a peanut butter jar) and he was as good as gold: it was all there.

And now, the Story of the Spanko and the Session Jar is told.

The “Lost Wallet,” and Other Updates

 

First, I am feeling much better.  I’ve been weaning off the librium (in the hospital, they were giving me two or three pills per day) and today will be my last dose (yay!).  I take it before bed because it makes me sleepy and slightly uncoordinated, and I have a lot of chores and driving to do today.

(One thing I can say in my favor is that after I was arrested for drunk driving–Minor in Possession, actually–at age 20, I never got in the car after more than one drink again. One drink was my cutoff limit, and I waited an hour before driving.)

My esophagus is much better, but I’m still on meds for that.  I don’t need the lidocaine anymore, but I take this other stuff that coats the esophagus and stomach and prevents any acidic stomach bile from coming up and burning the hell out of it again.  Eating more than a few bites of solid food is still uncomfortable and I don’t have much appetite, so I’m still living primarily on chocolate meal-replacement shakes I make in the blender with soy or almond milk (being Whitey McWhitebread Northern European, I have no trouble digesting dairy, but the doctors said almond milk would be more gentle on my terrorized stomach).

On the upside, not to sound moonbat crazy (though I am), this has been GREAT for my figure! I can fit into my 32-band bras again and I have to superglue the bands of my stay-ups a little tighter so that they don’t slide down my legs!  I think I lost a little muscle definition, though, because I laid in bed (or sat by the bed throwing up) for two straight weeks.  There is no way in hell I am going to be able to go to the gym or lift weights for at least two weeks.  Doing laundry and one chore at a time is all I can manage.  Then I have to sit down and rest for half an hour before I can get up and do another project.

My tour to San Francisco when very well–much better than I expected in my weakened, newly-sober condition, and the fact that most of my clients were brand new ones, and, well, with brand new clients, you never know what you’re going to get.  They were all really nice, though, and I only had one bad experience, and I had it because I broke the cardinal #1 rule of sex work: always get the money up front.  I have also been ripped off in this industry because I didn’t hide the money in a good enough spot while he was in the bathroom or his back was turned (keeping it in the safe is a good idea, but it means you’ve got to turn your back to him, and if he has a weapon, he’s gonna take all your cash.  IMO, the best place to hide it is a box of tampons.  No dude is going to look in a box of tampons.) and he STOLE IT BACK when I was in the bathroom after session.  How can a man have any masculine honor to steal back money from a woman who just gave you a great experience?  Answer: he can’t.  And he doesn’t see you as actually providing a legitimate service.

The other times I’ve been ripped off–and it’s happened about five times now, I’ve very, very embarrassed to say–is because I didn’t ask for the money up front.  I wrote about one of those incidences in the Chester series (there are three parts to the Chester series. At least I got some money from him by robbing him in that restaurant).  And I should know by now, from bitter experience, and unless the guy is a clueless newbie who doesn’t know what he’s doing, if he doesn’t leave cash or an envelope immediately in the bathroom or the dresser without saying a word, he is up to something shady.

I hate asking for money because if the guy is a cop and you ask for money, you’re busted.  They’ve got it on a wire or some recording device.  Even if you’re a prodomme and what you’re doing is legal.  The cops don’t give a fuck.  They have an “arrest-em-all-and-let-the-judge-sort-them-out” mentality.  Most cops doesn’t even know or understand what dommes DO, we’re all lumped in with escorts in their minds. The dungeon provided a small layer of protection, because management handled the money and the domme never had to talk about it. If he pays you after the session, well, then it’s just a “gift.”

He was a young-ish man, about my age.  He wanted a bondage tease-and-denial session with a lot of talking, with really ISN’T my thing (at least he was friendly and not too vulgar) at 10 PM at night, which ALSO isn’t my thing bc I hate working past 7 or 8 pm, but I did it because I was still weak from being in the hospital and had to stagger my sessions all day with hours in between so that I could rest and take naps.

Well, get this: we do the session, he takes a shower, goes to pay me, and finds out that he “can’t find his wallet.”

Shoot me now.  Just shoot me now.  Better yet, shoot HIM now.  I had fantasies about putting an arrow in this guy’s chest.  If I was still in NYC, the NY Post would LOVE that one: “Disgruntled Hooker Kills Cheap John With Bow and Arrow in Swanky Hotel!” with a picture of his dead body with an arrow sticking out of it and a picture of me in a sexy dress and handcuffs, doing the perp walk.

Well, we tore the room apart for 30 minutes and couldn’t find it. Went through his coat pockets, looked behind the curtains, everything.  No wallet.  I was pissed.

“If you do not compensate me, I will blacklist you and never session with you again or give you a reference,” I said.  I didn’t scream (I never raise my voice), I was just cold and matter-of-fact.  I’d also changed into my street clothes right away.  No more free show for you, buddy.

He went home and sent me and email apologizing profusely and saying that he found his wallet in “his other pants.”  I suppose this is remotely possible, especially if he was in a hurry trying to get dressed in better clothes to come see me…and we all make mistakes.  One time, for example, I had a session with my shrink and I totally forgot to stop at the ATM to get cash to pay her.  Another time, I really did forget my wallet on my desk.  But she’d known me by 2 years at this time, and she knew I was honest and reliable, and she wasn’t mad at me, and, sure enough, I paid her immediately up front the following week and apologized (again).

He wants to book with me again this Wednesday and promises he will bring me the money he owes me. “I have every intention of fulfilling my obligation in this transaction,” he writes.

I’ll put the odds of this actually happening at…20%, and that’s being generous. Too much time will have elapsed; and even if he’s telling the truth about leaving his wallet in “his other pants,” the guilt will have faded and he’ll just want to move on.

Personally, I think he probably left his wallet in the glove department of his car in the parking garage.

I had another session story to tell, a FUNNY story, which I have already dubbed The Story of the Spanko and the “Session Jar,” but I’ve written long enough and I’m starting to get tired.  So, I’ll save that one for next time.

It’s a fun one.  And we all know this place could use some cheering up.

P.S.  My mom saw a Momma duck at the river with about 11 baby ducklings (don’t you just LOVE ducklings?) who were tiny, maybe 2 weeks old, and a big crane came out of nowhere and snatched one of the ducklings.  Momma duck attacked the crane, but there was nothing she could do, the crane was too big. Duckling was screaming and dying a horrible death. Mom was screaming and freaking out, which I have never seen her do in my entire life, which is weird.  Momma duck had to give up to protect her other 10 babies and rounded them up and swam away as fast as she could.  My mom ran away because she couldn’t look at it anymore.  She told me this over the telephone.

Why would the crane do that?  I thought they just ate fish, minnows and the like. Do they eat birds too?  They’re not raptors.  Surely it would not attack the duckling if it didn’t want to eat it for food…?  Does anyone know?

Alcoholic Psych Ward with the Roommate from Hell

IMG-1462389346946-VSo, in the ICU, they need to get an IV in me.  I’ve always been a “hard prick,” as they say in the profession, because my veins are small and deep.  They usually have to go in through the hand eventually.  My nurse was really nice and trying her best, but she couldn’t get anything.  I’m not afraid of needles and, as you know, I am definitely not a baby about pain, but I had more needles in me than a fucking Christmas tree and three of them collapsed the vein, leaving me with wonderful huge bruises that I am going to somehow explain to clients.

IMG-1462389346946-V

 

They were about to bring in a physician to put the needle IN MY NECK, but another nurse finally got one in–the ulnar artery in the wrist, which is usually a last resort, but who cares, it worked.

They gave me some liquid valium and my body finally relaxed for the first time in days.  It was wonderful.  Then they started draining bags and bags of saline into my dehydrated mummy body.

The doctor on rotation, who was a woman who seemed nice and not an asshole (which is always a relief after knowing the Surgeon) came in and asked me what was going on and about my DTs and how long I’d been drinking and been sober blah blah the usual. I told her I hallucinated.

“Spiders? They almost always see spiders at night. On the ceiling,” she said.

Holy shit, I thought.

“No, there were two apparitions in my room talking to me but I couldn’t understand because they were murmuring.  I was asking them why they were there and what they wanted. I knew I was hallucinating and I would close my eyes and say to myself ‘I am Margo Adler and this is my bedroom and this cannot be happening, and when I open my eyes, they will be gone.’  But when I opened my eyes they were still there.  I knew they would go away when the daylight came.  I wasn’t scared of them because they were not trying to hurt me. I was only scared because I knew I was seeing things that were not there.  I even tried to touch them.”

“That’s a new one,” she said, not sarcastically.

She went away and I relaxed blissfully with the valium. I was extremely thirsty but they wouldn’t give me any water, just the IV.

Doctor came back in with my test results.

“Well, your liver enzymes are slightly elevated, but it’s healthy. Bad news about the pancreas. Your pancreas is really mad at you.  It’s scarred.”

“Pancreas?” I asked, confused.  Pancreas never occurred to me.  I was worried about the liver.

“It’s moderate damage and it can be at least partially healed.  For now, your stomach must remain totally empty.  Not even water.  I’ll give you small amounts of ice chips. In a few days, you can start a liquid diet.”

Well, okay.  Sorry, pancreas, but the bullshit I put you through.

Valium wore off and then shit got gnarly.  They hooked me up to an EKG and periodically my heart rate would shoot up to 170 or 180.  Then my blood pressure would drop to 85 or 90/60.  I was sweating the freezing cold.  A nice nurse wrapped me up in warm blankets. He put socks on my feet.  He was very compassionate and did not make me feel like a scumbag.

Then a psych nurse came in and asked me questions like who was the president, and what year it was, and what was my full name, and did I know where I was?  I was cogent so I knew.

They gave me pills for my heart, liquid potassium that tasted like shit (I didn’t complain), librium, and ativan.  Despite being doped to the gills, I would have attacks of pure anxiety, even terror, that would last for minutes, and I would close my eyes and shake my head and whisper no no no no no no.   I knew it was irrational because I was in a safe space and it just meant my brain was broken.

Then my legs totally cramped up and I could not bend my knees.  Get this: they put a diaper on me just in case because I could not walk to the bathroom (for the record, at least I did not need to pee my diaper, thank God). They also put an alarm under my body so that they would know if I got out of bed, because they were worried I’d fall and break my fucking skull, which is hilarious, because I couldn’t get out of that bed if a ravenous polar bear charged into the room and wanted to eat me.

“Is this normal? and my panic attacks?” I asked the nurse.

“Totally normal,” she said.

Holy shit, I thought.

“I’m not paralyzed forever, right?” I asked.

“It’ll pass,” she said.

After a day, when they were sure they had me under control and I was no longer dying, they moved me to the alcoholic psych ward.  It was small and I had only one roommate, who, blessedly, was quiet and slept all the time.  She was discharged and I had the place to myself for a few hours.  I felt good enough to watch TV, so I watched Judge Judy, which was a really bad idea.  And I sucked greedily on ice chips.

Then the nasty junkie bitch moved in.

I can’t judge addicts because I’m one myself.  But there is no reason to push it onto other people.  The staff at the hospital loved me; I overheard the nurses talking about me at shift rotation and they said I was very pleasant and “totally compliant.”  This woman was not.

She was 60 years old, a dilaudid addict who also used Oxycontin and who knows what else.  She was screaming at the staff–not politely asking or explaining–that she needed her shot RIGHT NOW because she was “in pain.”

Yeah, lady, that pain is called “withdrawal” and you have to get through it if you ever want to get healthy again.  Why are you here if you don’t want to get better?

The nurse calmly explained that she could not give her a shot for another two hours because that was the schedule.

“I’m not going to ask you again!  Give me my shot NOW!” screamed the woman, as if she had anything to threaten this nurse with.  Making demands of the staff, ha…ha…ha.  Let me know how that goes for you.

“I can’t do that for two hours.  I can give you one Oxy.”

Woman proceeded to fake-cry and whine loudly for the next two hours about being “in pain” and how this wasn’t a “real hospital” because “nobody cared about her.”

This continued for the next few days.  When she got her shot, she passed out for a few hours and blessed silence reigned once again.  I finally got to start eating pudding and chicken broth and water.  My tremors stopped.  I started to think clearly again (well, clearer).  Otherwise, I slept as much as possible, when it was quiet.

The staff would come four times a night to take my blood pressure or draw a little blood out of my hand.  It only took 5 minutes because it was just taking blood and not an IV (I was still taking saline, by the way).   I didn’t mind.  I always said thank you for your help.

The nasty junkie next door woke me up at least 4 times a night ringing madly for the nurse and demanding her dilaudid. When they explained they couldn’t give it to her yet, she’d fight with them over it, as if she was the only human being in the room and I didn’t need to sleep at 3 AM.  She started wetting the bed on purpose and saying “HA! There, YOU clean it up, since I’m sick and you won’t give me my medicine!”

The long-suffering young nurse’s assistant would sigh and say, “I’m not certified to give you any medication at all, even if a doctor said you should have it.  I can’t give any prescription meds, only things like Tylenol.”

The junkie accused her of being a liar while the poor girl dutifully cleaned the bed, changed the sheet, and got the woman a new robe.

When she wasn’t howling at the staff or complaining about her “pain,” she tried to talk to me.  Constantly.

“Aren’t these people awful?”

“Actually, everyone I’ve met has been very professional and compassionate.  I’ve been very impressed, actually.  I expected to be mostly ignored, especially because I don’t have insurance.”

“HA! I send all my medical bills to Michelle Obama!  She can pay for them, with that goddamned Obamacare!”

I bet your creditors and collections agencies are really going to respect that decision, I thought.

This woman hates the Obamas.  Especially Michelle, for some reason. Here she is, in the hospital, complaining to a complete stranger (and whoever she was talking to periodically on her cell phone) about how much she hates President Obama and Obamacare.  She even called him the N-word once. (I feel childish saying “N-word” but I also feel uncomfortable saying the word nigger, so it’s a dilemma).

“Did you know that for two years I sent so many phone calls, letters, and emails to Obama that I got notification from the government that I was forbidden to contact him anymore?  That’s why I write to Michelle instead,” she said.

Jesus fucking Christ. I interned for a US Senator.  Like all major politicians, he got a shit-ton of nasty, complaining, demanding, petulant, critical communications every single day (one of my duties was to answer some of the simpler, more common communications, but I read a lot of the others.  The most memorable was a guy who wrote his Senator a very angry email because there was a dead raccoon on the street by house, hit by a car, and it had been lying there for a week and nobody had done anything about it! I’ll never forget that one.  If it bothers you that much, jackass, get a shovel and throw it in a bag in the trash!).  It’s water off a duck’s back to politicians unless you’re sending death threats or threatening family members or doing some serious stalking, like taking pictures of their house across the street.  Do you realize how far you have to go to have the Secret Service or authorized staff visit you or send you official legal communication that you are FORBIDDEN to contact the politician again?  You have to be batshit crazy. Ted Kaczynski obsessed, although, obviously, I doubt this woman ever taught Mathematics at UC Berkeley.  Ted was nuts, but at least he had a few brain cells to rub together.

She had other noxious opinions she shared with me or with her friends on her cell phone, apropos of nothing.  She was mad about “Obamaphones.” First, the Obama administration did not, and COULD NOT, create a program to give cell phones to welfare recipients.  There is such a thing called jurisdiction.  The president cannot just do whatever the hell he feels like doing, which is why Gitmo is still open.  It is, in fact, a federal program that offers reimbursement to pre-paid cell-phone companies who offer phone service to qualified (very) low-income people. It’s a spin-off of the LIFELINE PROGRAM implemented in 1984 under that great champion of the poor, RONALD REAGAN (I know all this shit because it’s what I devoted my academic life to studying when I was a professional scholar, instead of whatever the hell it is I am today).

These “Obamaphones” are shitty little flip-open trak phones that cost $9.99 at Kmart and they get 70 free minutes a month.

Now, the most GERMANE thing here, is that I am sure this dilauded junkie is unemployed and has been for some time, unless she’s a housewife, she’s sending her bill to Michelle Obama instead of Medicaid or trying to make payments on it, AAAANNNND–

How the hell is a welfare recipient supposed to get a job, any job, without a telephone?  Think about it.  You fill out an application and the movie theater wants to hire you to work the ticket booth or snack counter. How do they contact you to come in for an interview? Or the Temp agency?  Are they supposed to send you a message by a fucking carrier pigeon?  If your kid gets sick at school, how are they going to reach you to come pick her up?

On the third day, I was coherent enough to speak intelligently and I was completely fed up with her.

“I’m sending my bill to Michelle Obama!” she repeated for the millionth time, like Michelle held a gun to her head and made her a pathetic bitter narcotic junkie. Like Michelle is actually going to reach into her handbag and cut a check.  Maybe send flowers and a “Get well soon!” card.

“I think Michelle’s great! I actively campaigned for Obama and voted for him both times, and my candidate won, both times!  I also interned for (famous Democratic Senator junkie lady hates), and I used his letter of recommendation to help me get into my Ph.D program in New York (junkie lady hates NYC and San Francisco)!”

(Now, it’s true that a few of these statements are exaggerations or lies–the Senator did write me a letter, but I was only an undergrad, for example–but who cares?  It’s not like I was lying to the IRS.  I was just lying to piss her off.)

Her mouth dropped open.  She’s one of those conservatives who lives in such a tight little conservative bubble, such an echo chamber–all Fox news, all talk radio, all Republican friends, all Free Republic forum (if this babe can even write), all conservative Church–that she just automatically assumes everyone thinks like she does.  She thinks leftists can only be identified if they’re wearing tie-dyed t-shirts, man-sandals, and peace medallions, coming back from Burning Man.

She never spoke to me again, which was a huge relief. The whining and fake crying and transparent attempts to manipulate the staff continued.  She refused to let them bathe her, either in the shower or a sponge birdbath.  She complained about the food, as if it wasn’t being made in a hospital (I bet when she’s home high on narcotics she’s a real Cordon Bleu chef, boy, I wish I was invited to some of her dinner parties!).

Meanwhile, I was getting healthier every day.  I could read again, so I read Harper’s and National Geographic.  My legs worked again and they let me go for short walks with a walker (just in case) up and down the hall a few times.  I became fatigued very quickly, but that’s because I was still sick and I couldn’t have been eating more than 600 kcal/day.  It was still pudding and broth for every meal.  Sometimes chocolate milk.

A group of residents from the local med school came to see me.  I knew they were residents because they were so young, and in a group. I apologized for looking like a scrub (unwashed hair, no makeup).  I tried to make a joke: “I didn’t think I was going to run into Liam Neeson around here!”

They asked me all about the symptoms I had before I came in and then told me that all my test signs had improved, and my liver enzymes were down (already?) and even my pancreas looked better and my blood pressure was stable and blah blah blah.  They wanted to see if I could eat solid food.

I told them that it hurt really, really badly to swallow.  Not so much in my throat, but further down.

That is because I burned the hell out of my esophagus puking up acidic stomach bile for 11 hours (I’m on 3 medications for that now so that it can heal and I can eat.  God bless lidocaine and sucralfate).  They said, “Well, GERD does hurt.”  No, doc, this is not just GERD.

Anyway, I wanted to get out of there, so I forced myself to eat a small pancake.  It hurt.  I ate it anyway.  Once it was in my stomach, it didn’t hurt at all.  It was just getting it down.

Then I did something bad.  I cheated.

I closed the curtain to my room, wrapped the other pancake in a paper towel, and shoved it down the front of my underwear.  I left two pieces on the plate to say that I “couldn’t finish it.”  Ah yes, an old trick from my anorexic days.  I know how to get rid of food or hide it secretly or discreetly in a million ways.

I went to the bathroom, broke it up into lots of little pieces, and flushed it in 3 parts.

The doctors were happy.  I was free to go.  IV came out.  Mom drove me back to her house, where I stayed in the guest bedroom for a week.  I went to see a Gastro doc and he put me on these meds that are making me better already and I can drink water in small mouthfuls.  I can’t eat real food easily yet, but I can eat yogurt and frozen yogurt and bananas (even tho I hate bananas, but they are good for my heart, and soft, and I do not want to have a heart attack).  I drink Ensure, that drink for old people that is a meal replacement, and slim-fast, which reminds me of (bad) old times, but at least it has lots of nutrition.  I make protein shakes with soy milk. If I have to eat something more substantial, I take a dose of lidocaine, which works for about 30 minutes.  That shit is great.

My house is clean because I had it cleaned by a professional cleaner before I got home.  I am still weak and I have to rest for 30 minutes after I do anything strenuous, but my plants are alive and Abe is back home, and last night I slept for 9 hours in my nice clean bed, and I didn’t see any shadow men.

And I lost almost 15 lbs.  So, something good came out of it.  From the outside, I look great.  Healthy.

The inside, though, is not so pretty.

Margo Tries to Detox at Home (Bad Idea)

Fasten your safety belts, readers, because this isn’t going to be pretty…but it will be honest.

I took a week off from work and cleared my schedule because I intended to hole up in my apartment for about six days and detox (go through withdrawals and stabilize).  I paid all my bills so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it, bought some Pedialyte, went home, and prepared for the worst.

I’d been drinking for 8 weeks, excepting the week before, when I tried to detox in 4 days and it just wasn’t enough time and I had to give up and drink to get back to work (see the previous post “Sucky Update.”).  Eight weeks, after over a year and a half of sobriety.  They told me in rehab that if I started drinking again, my worst symptoms would come back almost immediately–that I could have a few drinking and feel healthy and “normal” for maybe a few days, and then everything would turn to shit almost overnight and I’d be back in alcoholic hell again.  They said you can’t start fresh again, it will never be like it was when you first started, your physiology has permanently changed.

Well, I must admit that this did not make sense to me.  I thought, if your body is recovered, how could you get sick again so quickly?

Well, as usual, the people in rehab were right.  They are the professionals, after all.

I’m not going to lie to you: I was drinking a lot in those eight weeks.  The only times I was (mostly) sober were when I was working, because it’s unprofessional and rude to be intoxicated, not to mention extremely dangerous for the woman alone with a strange man in a room.

Moving on: at first, the withdrawals were the usual bullshit.  Tremors, inability to read or concentrate, chills and sweats, insomnia, nightmares about drinking, and the inability to be comfortable in any position.  Hearing nonexistent white noise.  No appetite; mild nausea.  It’s very unpleasant, but I’ve been through it about five times before, and it’s…manageable.  It’s a bit like having a very bad stomach flu or food poisoning.

The only good news: no hallucinations of people in my bedroom at night.  No hallucinations this time.  THANK GOD.  Also, I didn’t have any seizures, which I hear is pretty common.

On the sixth day (I think it was the 6th day), things got much, much worse.

I vomited for eleven hours. I am not exaggerating. Every five minutes, I dry-heaved or wretched up foamy bile, and, let me tell you, it hurt like hell.  It was the worst part of the entire time. I was scared to puke in my bed, because it’s the only place in my apartment I have to lie down (my sofa’s a love seat), so I just sat on the floor and used this plastic container I use to hand-wash clothes.  There was absolutely nothing in my stomach because the only thing I’d eaten in 12 days was 4 chicken wings (I kept ordering food because I knew I had to eat SOMETHING, but when it came, I couldn’t even stand the sight of it.  Money well spent, there.  I was living off of calories from alcohol and the juice I sometimes mixed it with.  I’m sure my stomach really appreciated that alcohol-and-acidic juice combo.  I’m sure my stomach was saying “Hey thanks for putting me through this shit, Margo!).  I was throwing up nothing but bile, stomach acid.  It hurt, the constant clenching of my torso hurt, and I burned the hell out of esophagus.  I’m on medication for that right now.

Next up: my legs started twitching and cramping.  I could not stand without something to pull myself up with, like an old person.  I could not walk. I had to scoot myself to the bathroom (at least I could urinate–what, I’m not sure, because I couldn’t hold down water–but at least it meant my kidneys were not shutting down).

Then, the chest pain, a very powerful pain in the center of my chest over my breastbone.  It happened more than once, and it hurt a lot.  I was wondering if I was having a heart attack.

I thought: I am going to die alone in this apartment, nobody’s going to find me until my body starts to smell, and my bird is going to die of starvation.

I threw in the towel.  I knew going to the hospital would cost me about $60k, but, hey, it beats being dead.

I texted my mother (hard to do with shaking hands) to let her know where I would be and that I was calling a cab.  She insisted on taking me herself.  The last thing I needed was her judgmental horseshit while I was in the process of dying.  I said she could go back to hating me in a few days, but I didn’t need it right now.  She promised she would not scream and only try to help.  I warned  her that she didn’t want to see me this way and that I looked like hell.

I took 3 shots of cheap mouthwash (a first for me–I’ve never been that desperate before, but there was no way in hell that I could get to a store without, say, one of those motorized wheelchairs used by the disabled and obese. Couldn’t drive and sure and hell couldn’t walk), which is poisonous but also 20% alcohol, so that I could stabilize just a little bit.  Drinking the mouthwash was disgusting and degrading and it said on the back of the bottle not to drink it and to call Poison Control Center immediately.  Oh well.

I put on a dress and a coat, combed my hair and put it into a ponytail, and put Abe in his kennel.  Mom arrived and I wouldn’t let her inside because I didn’t want her to see that I’d trashed my beautiful apartment and there was a pizza box on the floor and I had about ten empties laying around my desk and my plants were dying.  Disgusting, right?

I insisted that we take Abe to the boarder’s first because I didn’t know how long I’d be gone.  Mom took him inside for me because I know the owners of this place and I didn’t want them to see me this way.

Then we went to the ER.  They gave me an EKG and immediately admitted me to the ICU–that’s right, I jumped the line, baby!  After a day there, the alcoholic psych ward.  In the loony bin, just like my (not) dear old Dad, Franz.

Second half of the story next installment.

Released from the Alcoholic loony bin onto an Unsuspecting Public

This update will be brief because I’m writing it at my mother’s house where I have been recuperating since my discharge from the hospital a few days ago, but, believe me, I have a tale to tell, and it will be told as soon as I get back to my apartment tomorrow.

I’ll save the lurid, horrific, and, at times, blackly comic details for the larger blog post, but these are the some of the basic facts: they kept me for six days and told me that if I kept trying to detox alone at home, I might have died, despite my relative youth.  They hooked me up to a heart monitor machine and, just lying in bed, my heat rate periodically rised to 170 (I shit you not).  The staff would freak, in their calm and professional way.  Then my blood pressure would go down to 90/60.  I’ve always had low blood pressure because I work out (when I’m not drunk) but that is pretty low.

My suite mate was a geriatric dilaudid (among other things) addict, which I guess is fine–I mean, who am I to judge, as we are in this fucked-up junkie boat together?–but she was also a crazy selfish mean delusional bitch who constantly imposed herself on every human being in her orbit, and you are going to be reading a LOT about her, believe me.

For the first two days, I had moments of extreme psychological distress for no apparent reason because I knew I was in a safe space.  My rational mind knew it was because my brain was fucked. Otherwise I was lucid (except for the zillion drugs they put me on) except that I kept having nightmares that Judge Judy was going to be my nurse and scream at me for being stupid and fucking up my life.  “Judgement for the Defendant!”  Who the fuck would be the defendant?  Bushmill’s Whiskey?  The poor nice girl who works at the gas station by my house, who always looked sadder and sadder every night when I came in to buy the same thing, my looks and coordination deteriorating?

I couldn’t drink or eat (both literally, and doctor’s orders), so my dehydrated mummy body was hydrated with about 3 bags of saline via IV daily.  Good thing I didn’t have to work (as if I could have), because I look like I spent a few weeks in a shooting gallery, and I don’t mean the gun range.

My brain is about 80% back and I want to write again.  I am wearing makeup and fixing my hair pretty again.  I had the strength to go buy my Mom nice presents for Mother’s Day, even though I had to sit down to rest a few times on the floor in Macy’s (nobody cared; it was a zoo). I can read again. I’m almost off the librium, and then I can re-start the Naltrexone.  Abe is waiting for me.  I visit him at the boarders every day.  I bring him a new toy every day until I get him home, tomorrow.  I learned he likes to play with wiffle balls.

I hired a housecleaner (not my usual one–I was too ashamed) and paid her double so that I don’t have to go home to my depressing apartment with a garbage bag I didn’t have the energy to run to the dumpster and a desk surrounded by a graveyard of empties and a few take-out boxes of food completely full because I couldn’t bring myself to eat even a single bite.  I mean, who the fuck can’t eat a slice of PIZZA? Your friendly neighborhood alcoholic, that’s who.  At least Bushmill’s has calories.

Oh, I lost 14 lbs.  At least something good came of this.  I’m a size 4 again.  My clients are gonna love it.

More tomorrow–the juicy details that should serve as a cautionary tale.

Oh, one other thing: I watched “The Lost Weekend.”  Scary as fuck, but it’s stood the test of time, and it is, without a doubt, the truest depiction of alcoholism on film I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen them all.  You can stream it on Amazon for cheap.  Not sure if it’s on netflix.  Highly recommended if you don’t think it’ll make you want to slit your wrists.