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.

The Snow

I had a strange dream.

I drove into the mountains at night.  It was winter (it’s almost always wintertime in my dreams), and the snow was deep and heavy.  The sky had a million stars.  At this altitude, they’re very white and clear, as if God punctured the black silk tarp of the sky with a pick-axe.

It’s weird how the snow can cause a field to be illuminated, even in the blackest hour of night.

In my dream, I took off all of my clothes, folded them, and left them beside my car.  Then I walked out into the small meadow, which was surrounded by pine trees.

I lay down on my side in the snow, curled up like a shrimp.  At this point in my dream, it was as if I was watching myself from the outside–I could see myself lying in the snow.  I thought it was a beautiful  image, and I looked like a child again, but it was macabre.

At first, the cold hurt very badly…as it does. It burns.  It was snowing and the wind was blowing, and I felt it blowing snow, gradually, over my body.  Before it covered my face, I looked up at the stars.

When I got cold enough, the pain stopped.  I knew the symptoms of hypothermia (and I’ve had frostbite from doing biathlon with inadequate clothing protection).  The temperature spikes and then plummets as the circulation leaves the extremities and goes to the internal organs and the brain.

I stopped shivering, and things became peaceful.  The snow was like a blanket.

I wish that I knew what this dream means.  I’m confused about my life right now, but I’m not depressed, and I feel stable and certainly don’t want to die.  I don’t have bad anxiety.

My Jungian therapist believed that death dreams symbolize a spiritual or life transition.  Like you have to die to be reborn.  He was an unprofessional batshit-crazy philistine, but he wasn’t completely without talent, so maybe he was on to something.  I’m an atheist and a skeptic and I don’t believe in supernatural bullshit, but I acknowledge that there is something in the human experience and our biology/psychology which compromises the “soul.”  It’s where all art comes from, and the awe of beauty.

Laying in the snow, underneath my fluffy protective snowy blanket that was killing me, I was hoping that the stag with burning antlers would visit me again…but he didn’t.

On Archery

I finally bought myself a bow.

I decided to try my hand at archery a few months ago.  I got the idea because I love target shooting with my guns, so I thought archery might appeal to me.  Like the other sports I enjoy–swimming, cross-country skiing–it is solitary in its execution, which suits my nature.

I went to the indoor archery range and hired a professional to tutor me for an hour.  I would have much preferred to hire a woman instructor, because I am sick and fucking tired of paying male professionals to sleaze on me and make me uncomfortable, but there were no women.  Fortunately, and to my pleasant surprise, my instructor was as good as gold, and I hire him to supervise my technique at the range every week.

The sportsmen at the archery range are different from the type I usually encounter at the gun range; the atmosphere is different, which I appreciate.  There are more families, youths, workers on lunch break at the archery range.  I love to shoot my guns, but the culture is toxic and I wear my hearing protection the entire time in part to avoid eavesdropping on the horrid conversations around me.

Yesterday, I took my new bow and a target drove half an hour into the foothills of the mountains, where the Basque shepherds used to graze their sheep.  There was still snow on the ground, but not too deep at that altitude.  The birch and aspen trees were white like the snow, and winter had exposed the birds’ nests.

In my experience, archery involves a high level of concentration which is also, paradoxically, very soothing.  It gets me out of my head.  It’s nice not to think about things sometimes.  The sound of the arrow hitting the target is very satisfying.  I’ve learned to use the muscles in my back, instead of my arm, to draw.  It’s a big like rowing.

Work was very busy this week.  I made a lot of money (well, for me), twice what I usually make on a weekly basis, and I’m still too exhausted to think about what to do with it.  I guess, after bills are paid, half will go into savings and half into checking, same as always.  I did treat myself with the bow–I overnighted it to my apartment.

I need to find a new therapist.  As I’m sure all of you know, my last experience with one was an unqualified disaster that I do not pretend to have recovered from.  The prospect of shopping for a new one–at considerable personal expense, no less–leaves me feeling completely exhausted.  I have learned my lesson, though: no more guys.

Unless they’re gay.  A gay therapist would be safe.

It’s interesting, you know: outside of my tutoring job, all that I do is deal with men and their sexuality.  Outside of my internet friends, there are no women in my life at this time.  It’s all men, all the time.

And I feel like the loneliest girl in the world.

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink, eh…? 

 

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun (764)

BY EMILY DICKINSON

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun –
In Corners – till a Day
The Owner passed – identified –
And carried Me away –
And now We roam in Sovreign Woods –
And now We hunt the Doe –
And every time I speak for Him
The Mountains straight reply –
And do I smile, such cordial light
Opon the Valley glow –
It is as a Vesuvian face
Had let it’s pleasure through –
And when at Night – Our good Day done –
I guard My Master’s Head –
’Tis better than the Eider Duck’s
Deep Pillow – to have shared –
To foe of His – I’m deadly foe –
None stir the second time –
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye –
Or an emphatic Thumb –
Though I than He – may longer live
He longer must – than I –
For I have but the power to kill,
Without – the power to die –

The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Edited by R. W. Franklin (Harvard University Press, 1999)

Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition ed by Ralph W. Franklin (Harvard University Press, 1999)

Meet Top Gun, Shark of the Skies

This blog post will be considerably more cheerful than the last one…

I recently decided that I was sick and tired of not getting my masochistic needs met.  I’ve seen Heinrich a few times, and he gives me assignments to do via email and on skype, and he’s an excellent Top (I mean that), but our relationship is kinda rocky right now because of the fact that I’m doing sex work.  He doesn’t tolerate it.

So, that meant I had to search for a new guy.  I wasn’t looking for a master, a boyfriend, or a real relationship.  Just someone safe, who I found attractive, who visit me and manhandle me once a week, and maybe order a pizza.

I put an ad up on the internet.  I was completely frank about what I was looking for.  Why be coy?  Why fuck around?  This was the opening line (and the ad is taken down now, so don’t bother Google-stalking): “Very experienced slavegirl, single/unowned and not on the market…but I still have needs and they must be met.”

My email box blew up immediately.  Predictably, most of the mail was from idiots who got their ideas about how to be dominant from disgusting misogynistic porn.  Sorry, pornsick dude, I’m pretty wild in bed, but sex with me will never be an episode of facialabuse.com!  Pass!

The next largest group of emailers were just horny guys with no BDSM experience who said that they wanted to learn and were eager to try it.  While there’s nothing wrong with that–I’ve taught a few of my vanilla boyfriends how to meet my needs–I really don’t have the patience right now, and also, the time and the effort that would require teaching a new guy how to be my Service Top, would move the relationship into a level of intimacy (emotionally, psychologically) that I am just not interested doing.  I taught my vanilla boyfriends because they were already my boyfriends and we had intimacy and an existing relationship.

I was almost positive that I was going to find my new Top in San Francisco.  I was extremely skeptical that I’d be able to find anyone local.  I mean, there’s no kink scene in this stupid town–it’s one of the reasons I had to move away.  It’s true I met my first-ever Top here, but that was a random fluke, incredible good luck, like winning the lottery!

Well, incredibly, I hit paydirt!  I found someone local (well, sort of)!

He’s a military guy who works at the Air Force base outside of town.

I know, I know….you’re thinking to yourself, Huh?  Miss Margo and a military guy?  How’d that happen?

I’ll tell you how it happened: beggars can’t be choosers, and since I have absolutely no intention of dating this man or sharing any romantic activities or feelz with him, I set the bar much lower than I usually would.  I don’t need an intellectual scumbag with good taste who can impress me with his conversation and the things he’s accomplished in life.  I just need a safe, competent, experienced male who will respect my emotional boundaries, not get possessive-stalker-y on me,  and who will go away and get out of my hair when playtime is over.

And, of course, who won’t chicken out on the violence when it’s time to get down to business.  That’s happened to me a few times, and it’s frustrating, and it’s another reason I wasn’t interested in training a novice: sometimes guys are not as capable of being mean and violent as thought they were.  It’s exasperating to weed out a contender, email him for a week, go out to dinner, get him home, and find out all he really wants to do is slap some handcuffs on you and have sex. :/

Meet Top Gun.  Whatever else you can say about the man, he’s not a chicken.

Top Gun has a long career of flying airplanes and serving in our various illegal and ill-advised military campaigns.  The first photos he sent me were of him flying some freakishly fast-looking fighter jet.  I wrote back, asking for more elaboration, and he actually sent me a link to a video of him doing maneuvers.   I couldn’t believe it.

I’m sure his pilot abilities and the video would be enough to give the average woman major vagina tingle.  I’m sure it’s been getting him laid, and attention from chicks in bars, his entire life.  Macho shit like this doesn’t do much for ME, I’m afraid–I’m much more impressed with intellectual stuff–BUT, I will concede that it suggests some things about Top Gun that are attractive, and germane to our purposes:

Flying planes for the military, while uninteresting, is not a small accomplishment.  In fact, it is infinitely more impressive than anything I have done with my life thus far.  So, kudos.

Also, it means that the government trusts this man enough to let him fly very, very expensive pieces of machinery.  That means that he is competent, responsible, and not an idiot.

And he’s not an idiot.  He took me out to dinner at a local seafood restaurant (a nice place! Good food, ambiance, not cheap!  Sorry, hate to sound like a bitch, but if a grown-ass man took me out for buffalo wings on the first date, well, yeah, I would raise an eyebrow.  College is over with) where we could sit in an isolated booth and get to know each other.

He’s not an idiot.  I’m really good at getting a handle on peoples’ intelligence.  I think this guy would probably get about 115 on the ole IQ test.  He has a degree in Engineering from a very respectable school (memorable quote, over our crab cake appetizers: “I got good grades in college because I had to!”  This quote caused my inner educator to die a little.  He went on: “But school was such a pain in the ass!  I was glad to be out of there.  Professors are some of the stupidest people I’ve ever met!”  To be fair, he said this before he learned that I used to teach college.  He did feel embarrassed, and apologized to me.).

Politically, he is an atavisitic knuckle-dragging fascist.  I expected that he would be, because military guys skew right-wing.  Normally, this would be a deal-breaker for me.  The idea of actually sucking a Republican’s cock is pretty depressing.  But, what are you going to do?  What did I expect, that this macho career military person, who voluntarily terrorized a bunch of foreign brown people for four tours of duty, was going to tell me that he was a huge Dennis Kucinich fan?

“Women don’t belong in the Navy OR the Air Force!” he told me, with complete confidence, over his drink.  He was snarfing Royal Crown.  What a shocker!  “They’re ruining everything!”

I almost said: “Well, given the astronomically high rates of rape and sexual assault in the military, maybe you’re right.”

 

But I didn’t.  I just nodded politely and smiled, a skill I have perfected from many long, excruciating dinner-dates with clients.  In my head, I was wondering if maybe there was a way to work with this awful chauvinism: was there a way to somehow make it sexy?  Maybe I could somehow eroticize this piggish male dominance?  Can I make lemonade with this, somehow?  I am a sub, after all!

I continued to observe him and listen to him talk. The Empire needs guys like Top Gun.  He is a happy, contended man (well, somewhat–the government won’t let him fly as much now, because he’s getting too old, and I think that’s really crushing his self-esteem, which is understandable and which I actually found touching).  He is completely unburdened by imagination, introspection, or curiosity.  I have never heard anything remotely speculative come out of his mouth.  He never says things such as, “I wonder why that would be?”

What Top Gun is, is a big dumb shark.  That’s what he is!  He’s at the top of the food chain, a big dumb dangerous predator shark, just cruising along in the ocean.  The only thing he knows, is what he likes and wants, and that hunting is fun.

“Are you going to punish me for voting for Obama?”  I asked him, at the dinner table.

That made him start laughing very hard.  Then he got serious and nodded solemnly: “Yes ma’am.”

That’s when I knew, that this guy could do the job.  Getting shit done–completing the mission, following orders, bringing back the prize–is this man’s entire reason for being.  He wouldn’t be afraid to get violent.  Violence is his job.  Some of my readers will probably find my characterization offensive, but when you get right now do it, the military exists to secure resources via death and destruction.

And I was right: I invited him back to my place, and he tore off my dress (that actually pissed me off, but he paid me for it, including the underwear) and beat my ass.  He brought a pair of sap gloves.  It was the only piece of gear he brought with him.  Which was fine.  I have plenty of my own.  I asked him to use my favorite wooden paddle, and he did.  He didn’t have much experience with that, but, you know, it’s a paddle.  It’s not rocket science.  He did just fine.

Hottest part of the evening: I was over his lap, screaming (it hurt a LOT, there was no warm-up), and he told me to shut up, and put his enormous hand, still wearing the sap glove, over my mouth.  It covered the entire lower portion of my face.  Pretty hot!

It is with great shame that I report that I did end up sucking a Republican’s dick.  I’ll never forgive myself for that.  But, what are you going to do?

The shark took a shower and left.  He returned to his cruising.

I’ll probably see him again, if I develop a craving (the bruises are going to last the better part of a week).  I don’t trust him enough to let him tie me up yet, which is too bad, but we can do other things.  He doesn’t know how to use a lot of the other BDSM gear, but I can teach him.  I’m sure he’s a quick study.  I taught the Surgeon.

And that’s my blog post about Top Gun.  I dunno, readers.  I kinda-sorta like him.  He’s polite and respectful (except when he’s not, if you know what I mean).  He brought me flowers, called me ma’am, pulled out the chair.  He’s safe.  Didn’t complain about the condom (always the mark of a gentleman).

But he doesn’t capture my imagination, at all.  But maybe that’s a good thing.  He can’t get into my head.  Can’t seduce me, can’t rattle me.  I will always be in charge of this relationship.

But his job is Service Top.   And he’s good enough at that.

 

My Republican Hookup (or, Conference Scammin’)

     Hanging out with the girls.  It was 2 AM, so you know we weren’t discussing international politics.

      My friend was discussing the impending awkward Christmas dinner with her boyfriend’s conservative family members.  I expressed my sympathy.  

       “Would you knowingly have sex with a Republican?” she asked.

         “I’m so lonely and frustrated these days I’d probably fuck any man to the Left of Joseph Goebbels if he sent me a text promising to be at my apartment in 10 minutes.  But seriously?  Probably not.  I found out that the Surgeon gave thousands of dollars to John McCain and almost had a rage-stroke.  It was gross.”

       And that reminds me of a funny story!

       A few years ago I attended an academic conference–the biggest annual conference in my discipline.  Everyone in the field was there.  

       Now, I don’t want to give it away…but my field is old liberal white dudes.  It just is.  The reading list for my comprehensive exams had exactly one book by a female author on it.  It’s starting to change–my programs had plenty of female students–but the field is dominated by men.  Liberal men.  Democrats.  

       Well, after a long day of attending research presentations and panel discussions, I got together with my colleagues and we did what grad students often do: we got smashed (there was a moment of sheer terror when I was approached by my Dean at the hotel bar while I was drunk.  I hated the man, but I also worked for him, and he controlled the purse strings and my fellowship assistance.  I did not want to be drunk around him.  Speak as little as possible, I told myself, just shut the fuck up!  I got through it okay).  

        Then I did what I often did when I was a kool Swingle (swinging single, get it?) and not the sexually frustrated old lady I am today: I picked up a man at the hotel bar.

        A young man, about 30.  Handsome for an academic.  Especially an academic in my field.  That is actually what I thought when I met him: this guy is handsome, for being one of us.  Because people in my field are generally ugly motherfuckers.  We just are.  We are not as ugly as the poor jerks in the Philosophy department, but we are ugly, and we are dorks.  Ph.D. programs are never known for being populated by kool kats–it’s never been cool to be smart–but my field are bigtime nerds. 

        So…cute guy…let’s call him “Liam.”  He said that he was a freshly minted Ph.D. and on the tenure track at Penn State.  Penn State is a good school in my field.  I was impressed.  Quite a Young Turk here, I thought.  

        We launched into conversation easily (I wasn’t too drunk to be able to have a good discussion.  The fact that I can remember it all so clearly is testament to that.  You may not get it if you’re not in the habit of drinking yourself into obliteration).  We must have talked shop for a few hours, and I noticed something else about him: he was a bit smooth.  Not slick like my main squeeze the Surgeon–Liam wasn’t going to pull off giving a phone interview to the New York Times while getting his dick sucked by yours truly (hard to tell who gave the bigger blowjob: the reporter or me)–but, you know, he was a little smooth.  

       A little smooth for an academic.  Especially an academic in my field.  Nerds are not smooth.

        He knew a lot of stuff in the field.  Like I said, we were talking shop for hours.  He knew (of) the profs in my Department.  He inquired about them.  He knew all about the profs at Penn State.

        It was almost midnight.  I checked out with my colleagues, one of whom, my Canadian Friend who often leaves comments on this blog, were monitoring my progress across the bar.  

       Time to seal the deal. 

       “Want to show me your most recent publication?” I asked.  

        Oh yeah.  Talk nerdy to me, baby. 

        He immediately settled up with the barkeep and we took the elevator up to his hotel room, in which he had the hard copy of the scholarly journal in which he’d recently published a piece of peer-reviewed research and also joined the staff as an assistant guest editor.  

         I did not get around to critiquing his analyses. Or even reading it.  I did see it, however. 

       Liam was kinky as hell.  He was a masochist.  I’m not going to get too explicit, but I will report that I ended up beating him with the power cord to the hotel clothing iron and tying his dick up with the phone cord.  It was an academic conference, so I didn’t have any of my gear, you know?

      We finished up and made a date to get together again the following evening, after we finished attending our meetings and research presentations….

      I went back to my hotel room and crashed.

      The next morning, I fired up the Internet and decided to do a little research on Liam.  It wasn’t a Google-stalk…nothing inappropriate.  I was actually just going to look up his CV on his Department’s website so that I could learn more about his research interests and be better prepared to discuss them with him over dinner.  I was also going to read one of his articles and check out his quant skills.  

      I went to his Department’s website at Penn State…

      …annnnnndddddd…..

      (can you see where I’m going with this…?)

      …..I couldn’t find him.

       A tenure-tracked professor, not listed by name anywhere on the Department webpage?

        Weird.  Very weird.  And the website was good and looked freshly-updated, as well. 

        His CV and mini-bio should be there.

        Weird.  So fucking weird.

        I started to dig.

        I couldn’t find hide nor hair of this guy.  No trace. 

        Then I remembered: the name of the peer-reviewed journal I’d seen in his hotel room last night!

         I went to its website and searched for an article by “Liam.” 

         No article.  What the fuck?

         I could access the entire journal through my university’s database.  I opened up first few pages and found a statement by the Editor in Chief…an introduction.

          In the introduction, the Editor in Chief welcomed the new assistant guest editor “Mike Fascist CheatingMcLiarPants.”

          I Googled this stranger, Mike Fascist CheatingMcLiarPants.

          And you KNOW what came up.  You KNOW what came up.  Gentle reader, I know that you know what I found.

           His name was not Liam.  It was Mike.  And like most competent liars, he mixed lies with the truth: he really was at Penn State…but not in the Department he told me that he was in.

           He was at the Law School.  Which explains the fact that he didn’t seem like an academic supernerd.  There are plenty of smart kids in law schools, but they are not like the Ph.D. kids.  They are a breed apart, like the med students.  

            Fascinated, I continued to Google.  

            He was married.  With a tiny kid.  

             Google.  Google google.  I have to tell you, I was not even mad.  I had no emotional investment in this person.  It wasn’t like with the Mathematician.  I was actually giggling and texting my friend all the updates as I learned more about Mike.  I wasn’t upset…I just felt like I was the victim of an epic practical joke.  And it seemed weird to me.  Weird, but funny.  Like something out of a movie.  I wasn’t angry.  Besides lying to me, Liam/Mike’s treatment of me was perfectly decent.

          Google.  Google google.

           I found a video of him.  An interview that he gave on his local television station. 

          I clicked it.

          It was an interview in which he defended Extraordinary Rendition   and the invasion of Iraq and waterboarding AND GITMO. 

           My arms broke out in gooseflesh.  I called my colleague down the hall and told him the Awful Truth.

            “I basically just fucked Alberto Gonzales!” I wailed. 

           Oh, the shame.  I don’t think that I’ll ever get over it.  

           I found the man’s politics much, much more troubling than his marital status (and for the record, he did NOT wear a ring or mention his family in any way). I’m not sure what that suggests about my moral character.  

            I cancelled our date, even though he wasn’t half bad in the sack.  I just couldn’t do it.  He voted for Bush.  Twice.  Gitmo?  Gitmo?  Really?  Do you know what a shithole that place is?  Even the soldiers can’t stand it there!

         And that is the story of my hookup with Mike, aka Alberto Gonzales Jr.

Parrot & Margo: Two Lonely Ladies!

       Parrot is freaking out again.  

       She constantly shreds the newspaper in her cage and chews on her wooden toys.  She is typically a quiet bird, but now she becomes agitated at the sound of traffic outside and she screams.  She knocks her beak against hard surfaces.  Knock…knock…knock.  Her eyes pinpoint and dilate, pinpoint and dilate.  

       I don’t try to touch her.  Usually she can’t get enough head scratches from me…but now I think that she’d hurt me.

       I think she’s going to lay an egg again.

       Parrot is lonely.  Parrot needs a boyfriend.  Parrot has sexual urges which torture her. 

         I feel you, Parrot.  I really do.

         Aside from the basketball player and the Navy crewman I picked up in the bar with my girlfriend, I have had no sexual experiences since Abduction Weekend.  Abduction Weekend was a hell of a ride, but I had no sex before that since the Mathematician.  My sex life sucks and I feel like I’m losing my mind.  I have primordial biological impulses that are not being satisfied.  This is making me miserable.  The only positive thing to come out of it is that I’ve been going to the gym every day to burn off the anxiety caused by the tension.  

        It’s almost time for Final exams and I can’t even grade papers.  That is how sexually frustrated I am (and Oh God, if my students’ parents ever read this, I will be canned for certain….oh dude, put that on my RateMyProfessors profile!).  Believe me, my students’ weekly 3-page essays are the most unerotic readings in the universe.  I still can’t concentrate.  I have to keep taking breaks to jump into bed.  I have weird dreams at night and I’m changing the sheets twice a week because I sweat and I’m the only one sleeping in my bed.  I want to burn my computer chair.  It’s fucking disgusting, what that computer chair has seen.  I keep scrubbing it with fabric cleaner and Fabreeze, I have such a guilty conscience, it’s like something out of an Edgar Allen Poe story…instead of The Tell-Tale Heart, it’s The Tell-Tale Computer Chair.  

        It really says something when I’m looking forward to getting manhandled by some European tourist–a European tourist!  In a sweater!  A turtlenecked sweater!–this weekend because nobody’s laid their hands on me in forever.

        Yup!  Just me and Parrot, freaking out in our stupid little apartment with our sad little Christmas Tree!  Two sad females in the Lonely Hearts Club! 

         At least the bird doesn’t have a choice.  She has an excuse.  There are no Senegal Parrots flying free around Manhattan.  

        I watch UFC fights constantly in my free time.  I can’t stand meatheads and I object to violence on an intellectual level, but I become very excited watching the men fight.  I imagine that one of them was me (the loser, of course).  I imagine how helpless I would be.  I have experienced enough violence at the hands of men to be afraid of them.  The fear is mixed with awe.   

        Terror and awe.  Pain and awe.  Idolization.  Worship.  Service.  

    waiting waiting waiting

My Date with Jay, Believer in Women’s Lib

      I found an email from a men named, let’s say, “Jay,” in my inbox recently.

       “Hi Margo!  It’s Jay.  Remember me?  I was wondering if you’d like to reconnect.”  

         No, Jay.  No, I would rather not reconnect with you.

          I wrote back: “After that magical first date, why wouldn’t I?”

          “Great!  What are you doing this Thursday?”

          It’s a good thing my desk was covered with books and papers, because I was just about to slam my forehead on it.

           Let me tell you the story of my date with Jay.  It wasn’t the worst date I’ve ever had (that would be a tie between the guy who took me to a car show as a “romantic surprise” and another guy who actually told me, over dinner, that he was looking for a girlfriend again because he was tired of seeing escorts.  Yes, he actually said that!), but it was memorable. 

          I met Jay through an internet dating site.  He worked for the New York Public Library system.  He was cute.  His letters were well-written and displayed a little humor.  We batted a few back and forth and then agreed to meet for a spur of the moment dinner.

         “I know a great pizza spot!” he said.

          Pizza!  Pizza sounded like a good idea.  Something casual, where if the date went poorly, we could both get the hell out with a minimum of discomfort. 

           But…I was expecting someplace were we could, you know…sit down.

           I walked past the place twice while looking for it.  It was not a cozy little family Italian pizza place.  

            It was one of those hole-in-the-wall places where you go for a slice at 2 AM after you’ve been drinking all night.  I’m serious.  It was practically a hot dog stand.

           Okay, well….

            Then I met Jay.  Jay was a grown man with a Master’s degree.

            Jay was wearing cutoff jean shorts with holes in them and a pair of flip-flops.  And his feet were gross.  Seriously.  I am talking yellow Frito-talon toenails.  My parrot has better looking feet than this guy.

            I don’t get it.  I shaved my legs for this?  I shaved my legs, put on a pretty sun dress, and did my hair nice…and Jay could not be bothered to put on pants. 

          But wait, there’s more!

          Well, I was already there, so what the hell.  We each ordered pizza and a beer (this was before I quit drinking).

         Jay turned to me and said: “I always go dutch with dates because I believe in women’s lib.”

          There you have it, ladies.  A hundred years of political activism to obtain civil rights, all for equality with men at the $2 pizza stand.  

         I couldn’t even get offended.  I mean, the slice and the beer was only $4.  I just thought it was funny

        “You have a pretty smile!” he said.

         Oh, Jay.  If you only knew why I am smiling…

          Well, I ate the pizza and made an excuse to get away immediately afterward.  I said that I had to make some important phone calls for work. 

          I must admit, though, that as he walked away, I took a photo of his shorts and flip-flops with my cell phone.  I did not think that my girlfriends would be able to understand the decrepitude of the clothing without ocular evidence. 

          When I showed my friend, she snatched the phone out of my hand to look up close: “What was he doing before the date?  Washing his car with a garden hose?  And he made you go dutch on a slice of pizza?”

            “Jessica!” I said sternly, shaking my finger at her, “Jay did it for a noble cause.  Jay did it for feminism.  Jay is an enlightened, progressive man!”

          One of my friends thought it would be a fun practical joke to buy a pair of khakis for Jay at the thrift store and mail them to him at work with a note saying “Every man should own at least one pair of pants,” but I thought that was overkill.  

         Now clueless Jay seems to actually think I would like to go on another date with him.

         I wrote back: “Will you wear pants and real shoes this time?”

        He responded: “Of course!  It’s cold outside!”

         Why did I quit drinking, again?  OK Cupid should give every new member a bottle of scotch or a lobotomy.  There is no other way to survive it.

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Read More

     I finally get to see one of my favorite paintings in person!  The Frick is exhibiting Girl with a Pearl Earring and fourteen other excellent paintings from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in the Hague! YAAAAY!  I saw the poster for the exhibit this morning when I was walking through Chinatown to get to my optometrist (and don’t you love that fresh-new-contact-lens feeling?). 

      When I was in Amsterdam I went to the Rijksmuseum, and wouldn’t you know it, most of the museum was closed for renovations!  BOOO!  I still got to see a little of it, though.  Then I ate half a bag of hallucinogenic mushrooms and went to the van Gogh museum, which I do not recommend.  The museum was great, but it was way too crowded, which made my trip uncomfortable.  I ended up leaving early and going for a long walk around town.  Amsterdam was very beautiful and the people were very beautiful, and friendly, too!  Everyone looked like a Barbie or Ken doll, and they were very tall.  It was the first time in my life where I was not an unusually tall woman.  

       I learned a few Dutch phrases in order to be polite, but the language was very challenging.  

       I can’t wait to go to this exhibit!  I’ll take photos and post them on the blog.  

       The only thing that is sad is that I’ll have to go alone.  Usually I don’t mind going to museums alone–I get the audio tour headphones and let the experts educate me–but this exhibit is special and I wish that I had a boyfriend to go with me.  🙁  

 

Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague
Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague
Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague

On Blowing It; or: Coyote on the Subway

    I saw him immediately when I entered the subway train at Herald Square.  He was tall–taller than I usually like my men–and lean.  He was wearing a bright blue shirt and gray slacks.  Silver necktie.  He had thick, straight ash-blonde hair that was long-ish on top and cut down to a buzz on the sides.  It looked like a vintage military hairdo.  

     The hair was shot through with silver.  Just a bit.  Very light.  Almost white.

     His face was bony.  Blue eyes.  I can’t describe it.  Not conventionally handsome, but compelling.  He looked a bit like Lance Armstrong.  He looked a bit like Heinrich.  

      Like my mother.

      He was carrying an old-fashioned leather satchel.  He opened it and took out a weirdly-shaped pad of paper.  It was very long.  Had to be some sort of special tablet–it has squares on it, like graphing paper.  

       His hands were long and spindly.  Downed with yellow hair.  They looked strong.  He reminded me of a wolf. A coyote. And he had that look, that special demeanor, that all the men I’ve ever loved have had.  A crispness to him.  Meticulous.  Fastidious. 

      I pictured his hands around my throat in the darkest hour of night.  

      I stared at him all the way to the 4th Street station.  I could see people watching me stare at him, and I didn’t care.  

     He met my eyes once.  I was afraid to be rude, so I dropped my gaze, but my heart was pounding so hard!

      You have to get this guy, I thought.  Pick him up. 

      I’ve picked up men on the train before.  Several times.  But the last one was years ago…Jeff, the Machinist.  

      Fucking approach him.  Just approach him and make conversation.  Ask him about his strange writing tablet. Is he an architect?  Or even just say, flat out: “I am very attracted to you.  Are you attached?  May I give you my contact information?”  

   Because I’ve done that before, with excellent results. Men act startled when I hit on them, but they never tell me no unless they are in a relationship and monogamous.  

    My friends, I couldn’t do it.  Why not?  Usually, I’m fearless with men. And I was well-dressed and looking good, too! I was wearing my pretty black lace dress and had nice makeup on, and my hair was down.  It’s true that I’m sort of a fatass now at 128 lbs, but most dudes don’t see that…only mean ones like the Surgeon. 

     He tucked his special pad of paper back into his bag and left at 4th Street.  

     He stared at me through the glass as the door closed and the train moved away. 

     I blew it.  I totally blew it.  

     I’m gonna ride the same train tomorrow, though and see if he’s there.