Corner Time and Follow-Up to the Eye-Punch Confrontation

I’m sure my eight readers would much rather read stories about my job and the kinky clients I run in to at work, but my relationship with The Collector is so bizarre that I felt compelled to write about it again.

Sometimes I’m paranoid about whether he’s reading this.  He would recognize himself immediately.  I tell myself that he would confront me about it right away…but then I remind myself that he’s a crafty individual. A bit of a schemer, in fact, and the blog provides a way for him to spy on me and what I think about him and our relationship, especially things that I might not be sharing with him, or things that I might be doing when I’m working away from him.  If he’s reading it, and that is the way he feels, it is in his best interest to pretend he doesn’t know about it so that I keep writing it…or, at least, about him.

I was supposed to go to hypnotherapy that day and I was a little angry about it.  As you recall, we had a huge, ugly confrontation about this issue previously.

Know what that fight accomplished…?  Absolutely nothing.  The only difference is that now when I’m cranky about anything, he laughs and asks if he’s going to have to wear an eyepatch to work tomorrow.

“Frankly, I feel like a lot of what you’re asking me to do is drudge up bad memories I’ve forgotten about so that you can use them to manipulate me,” I said. “I think maybe I need a little time off.  This is getting intense.”

“You can’t take time off until you’re an expert with it, like any other skill.  You’ll lose momentum.”

“I don’t want to go today.”

He lowered his newspaper to look at me.

“You don’t pay for it.  This is an investment that I make in you.  Go stand in the corner and ruminate on your ungrateful attitude.”

Well, this is a new one, I thought to myself.

“I don’t want to go stand in the corner, either.”

“Fine.  Go kneel in the corner and stay there for a while.  You may use a cushion.”

“Collector, I’m not going to the corner!  It’s humiliating!”

“Of course it is.  That is the point,” he said,  from behind his paper.

“You are a fucking asshole,” I whispered (and, for the record, he often is, by any objective standard.  Doms often are.  What can I say?  That’s just the way the cookie crumbles in my life).

That finally got his attention.  The New York Times was lowered again.

“Are you sure?

“That’s the way you’re acting when I have a perfectly legitimate complaint, yes!”  However, I was already starting to get nervous.

“I guess I need to prove it, then.”  He folded the paper, put it down, and started to get up.  “And I have not even finished my morning coffee.”

Uh-oh, I thought, as he started to nonchalantly remove his belt.  In the right circumstances I find this simple masculine gesture very arousing, but this was not the right circumstance.

“Go bend over the table or your bed and don’t struggle.  It affects my aim.  Your arm looks so much better and I would hate to mark it up again before Friday.”  (We have An Event to go to on Friday and about a week ago I fell down wearing handcuffs and got a YUGE bruise on the inside of my elbow.  I’ve been telling people I fell down while cross-country skiing and hit a rock.)

“Don’t hit me with that!  I’m not ready!”

“What, is it going to eyepatch time?  Fine, go get ready for your hypnotherapy appointment like a good girl and you can stand in the corner while I eat dinner tonight so I can enjoy the view.  You are lucky I don’t do it now and get out the rice.”

And that, my friends, is exactly the way it went down.

I did fool him about one thing, though: since he told me in advance (what a screwup on his part) I was going to bed without supper, I stopped at the deli on the way home and wolfed down a sandwich.  I wasn’t very hungry at all that night.

Corner time, though, was as demoralizing as I’d feared it would be.

Seafood Pasta II

The Collector let me cry for a minute, and then retrieved me and led me by the hand to the sofa.  He left me there and came back with some Valium and a cup of milk.

I drank them down, even though I know I shouldn’t be screwing around with benzos, and then he held me for half an hour until they took effect.

“I took the protein off the fire.  It will not be as good, but it will still be good enough. I’ll boil new pasta so it will be fresh,” he said.

This made me feel guilty, like I ruined dinner, but also oddly grateful.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

“I don’t know if I can do this,” I said.

“We can do anything.  Trust me.”

Let me tell you something I know from years in the sex industry and living life in general as a heterosexual female: any guy who tells you to trust him is probably a scammer.

But I got up, slightly drugged and significantly calmer, and returned to the table.

He served me a plate of seafood pasta in scampi sauce, lit the candles, and then had a seat on my right, at the head of the table.

We pretended as if it was ten years ago.  He asked me questions about my thesis and we talked politics, and he told me how wonderful and exciting it was going to be in New York, and how much he loved it there.

I can’t describe what I felt. I was under a mild Valium haze (God, I love that drug.  Anything that shuts down the emotions is right by me. If I could have my emotions removed like an appendix, I’d have that shit taken out surgically tomorrow).  It felt like my brain was being molested.

The food was delicious, but I didn’t have much of an appetite.

Then I started to get into the role, and perked up.

Hope, my friends, is the cruelest and most dangerous emotion.

I started to speak excitedly about my plans, and how this school was giving me a full-ride scholarship, and how confident that made me feel, and how much I wanted to contribute to society.

He reached out and grasped my hand.

“I am proud of you, and I give you my blessing.”

This is the way that it should have been, except that, obviously, it wasn’t.  My own father was too selfish to be happy about my success, minor as it was.  He only wanted to keep me to him in order to exploit me like some natural resource, like oil or coal.

I wonder to myself if he ever loved me, even though it doesn’t matter now.  He didn’t love me as I understand the meaning of the word.  One of the greatest lies in our society is that all parents love their children.  Newsflash: many don’t. However, children have a primordial psychological need to believe their parents love them, and I find it amazing that my devotion to him stood for so many years against all physical evidence that I was a toy, a meal ticket, a means to torture my mother, or an extension of himself.  I mean, what can you say about a sadist who abandoned his first daughter (my sister) in Germany and wouldn’t even cut a check for child support?

You want it to be true, so you make it true.

Now we are at dinner, as it should have been.  It’s a do-over. And I cannot decide whether it nurtured me or re-traumatized me.

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Seafood Pasta

I finally remembered the last meal I shared with my father.  That shit wasn’t easy to remember.  It was ten years ago and I buried it because it, like my father himself, was hurtful and repulsive.  My hypnotherapist and I had to do some serious excavating.

But we found it.

My father loved seafood, especially bouillabaisse.  Odd, for an inlander–nobody else in my family will eat a bite of fish or anything from the water–but his palate was comparatively cultivated.

I could not cook bouillabaisse, but I knew how to cook a seafood pasta dish.  The ingredients cost me $40 at a time when I was about to move across the continent and had less than a hundred bucks in my checking account.

I spent it because I wanted to make our meal together special.  Because I was going Away.

My father was furious with me for leaving him.  You know why: I was his meal ticket.

He pushed the plate aside and said that it was inedible, even though I’d cooked it just fine and it was the exact same dish he’d eaten with relish on previous occasions.  This is something about Franz Adler: he would find a way to insult every gift or kind gesture or sacrifice you made to him…it was never enough or there was always something wrong.

I told The Collector this memory, after I uncovered it.

“We will do it again.  Do you have any clothing from that period of your life?”

I considered.  “I have the same suit I wore to defend my thesis.  It was my best suit, my very best clothes.”

“Does it still fit you?”

“It does.”  It’s a size 4.  The pants are flare-leg, so it’s out of fashion now, but it really is a great suit.  Navy blue with pinstripes, English-style, satin lined, little pockets everywhere, excellent tailoring. It cost $600 at Macy’s in Union Square, San Francisco. I wore it with a nice translucent blouse with French cuffs and cufflinks.  I looked (and felt) like a boss.

“Wear it to dinner,” the Collector said. “I’ll call for you at 8 (pm).”

I took my best suit out of its plastic container and put it on, and then I sat on my bed and cried, thinking of how much time has gone by and how I never expected to be this way and what happened to me….?

I gathered myself up and refreshed my makeup so it didn’t look like I’d been crying and then walked out to the kitchen (adjacent to the dining room).

He had a pot boiling pasta and a steamer-skillet on the stove.  Delicious cooking smells in the air.  He was making mussels, clams, and prawns.

“Have a seat at the table, Margo! Dinner is almost ready. We are going to have a feast to celebrate your accomplishment.  I am so proud that you are going to get your doctorate.”

I sat down at the table, telling myself It’s okay it’s okay it’s just a game this is just a fantasy game

Then I started to cry.  Right there.  In my suit, at the table.

TO BE CONTINUED

 

Puberty and Bra Shopping (shoot me now)

Content Warning: I know this is an extremely personal post and it deals with puberty and women’s menstruation, and if that offends you, don’t read it.  I had to write about it to purge the pain.

*                    *                               *                 *

One thing I will never understand about my mother is how angry she became when I entered puberty.

If I ever have a daughter, I will take her out to her favorite restaurant and buy her a brand-new outfit when she gets her period, and we’ll go bra-shopping together.  She’ll get ones for children and I’ll buy one for adult ladies, but she can see me in them, and know, from seeing me, that this is how adult women look, and how she will eventually look.  I will tell her how beautiful she is.

My mother was tight-lipped and furious when I started growing breasts, and I don’t know why.  Even my father, who was, by far, the worst parent, just accepted it and said “We can’t have naps together anymore. It is not appropriate.” Okay, I was sad, but I knew, on some level, that what he was saying was right.

She took me to Target and I felt so ashamed, like there was something wrong with me. Then she asked the retail lady to put some training bras on me.  The retail lady was more gentle with me than my mother.  She put on some soft cotton white bras without underwire.

Then, when I got my period a year later, I had to confess it to my mother, because I was stealing her sanitary napkins. I had to! I was 14!  I couldn’t buy my own! I didn’t get an allowance, I didn’t get anything!

She said exactly two things:

“I hope you haven’t been flushing them down the toilet.”

also

“This means you can get pregnant now.  I want you to know that I am not interested in raising another baby.”

I didn’t have a boyfriend! I never even kissed a boy! At that age, I was not even interested in boys!  I developed late! I was not out being boy-crazy and giving my parents problems about it!

Even my dad, Franz Adler, said, “Well, I bet those cramps suck. I know it hurts, Liebchen.  Let me go buy some Midol.  This is just a fact of life.”

It really says something when your sociopath gambling addict of a father goes to bat for you before your own mother, especially when this is a woman’s issue that should be taken care of by women in the family.