You Quit When You’re Ready

UPDATE 7:00 PM:

   Before I forget: two more things that set up this mad second-guessing–

     A woman I work with at the Studio, “Katherine,” is in a new relationship with a guy she met through a popular online dating site.  He is a professional chef who also shares partial ownership of his own restaurant.  

     They met in the Spring.  He’s crazy about her.

      She hasn’t told him that she works at the Studio.  He thinks that she works in “customer service.”  While that job description is not necessarily untrue, it is not, shall we say, fully representative.   I like Katherine quite a bit, but she is engaging in a lie by omission. 

      It’s stressing her out…but that doesn’t make it okay.  I am telling her, Look, the later you wait, the worse it will be.  

       And then I was supposed to go on a date this weekend with a professor and writer who also works at my tutoring center.  Nothing major, just a dinner-and-movie date.  We were going to see this new  documentary film (I love documentaries) Blackfish, about an Orca whale in a Sea World hell in Orlando.  The Orca has killed three people.  I feel sad for their families, but as far as I’m concerned, GO SHAMU GO!  If I was a porpoise, I’d kill humans on basic principle whenever I had the chance.  

      They are intelligent and emotional creatures.  They shouldn’t be living in a fuckin concrete bathtub.  I guess the performance-trick-training gives them something to do with their energy and big brains  rather than only languishing in the SeaWorld Supermax Prison they’re in, but FFS.


       Anyway…I thought about the date…and I thought about the conversations it could include.  I could never tell him about what I do at the Studio.  He could blab about it to other colleagues. If I don’t mention it, and things go well and something develops between us…do I tell him later, and risk rejection?  Do I hide it and hope he never finds out?  I am very, very good at hiding things.

       All I wanted to do was see a movie, man.

      Finally: I’ve done a significant amount of politics and campaign work.  The Census, Planned Parenthood, internships, Campaign Corps, journalism.  Protest movements.  Other stuff.  

       I couldn’t do it the last two election seasons because I knew that if I was exposed, I would bring shame and scrutiny down upon my candidate/party/organization.  

       Must think about this…

     *                              *                                      *                           *



    I met a woman in AA who was in the Biz for over ten years.  Not prodomme, but as an escort and sensual massage.  She quit doing it seven months after she got sober, when she was approximately my age.  

     I took her out for lunch.  I wanted to hear what she had to say.

     She did not mince words.

     “You have to get out as soon as possible.  You cannot stay sober in that industry.  There is no excuse.”

       I glared at her from across the table.  I did not like being told by a complete stranger what I am and am not capable of.  

      “You have an excellent education and credentials.  When I quit, I had a High School degree and I’d never worked in a 9-to-5 job.  I was terrified because I had no idea how I was going to support myself.  Do you have any idea how crazy you sound to have all of the education and skills that you have, and to still be doing this?”

      I felt defensive and a little angry.  Crazy?  Me?  Compared to who?  All those fruitbats in the Rooms?  Half those crazy bitches in the Studio?  Compared to this middle-aged woman sitting across from me, who in addition to being an alcoholic also had a major cocaine problem and just told me stories about being a full-service escort and also having a pimp at one time who would beat her up?  I teach in a classroom!  I teach the GRE!  I’m a nice normal person!  A nice sane individual!

      “I just do it part-time.  I have other jobs.  It supplements my income,” I said.

       “Rationalization.  You can supplement your income by working as a dog-walker.  You don’t need to be doing this.  You have no idea how this is truly affecting you.”

        “Please do not patronize me.  What, are you saying I have false consciousness or something?”

         “That is exactly what I’m saying.  I needed ten years of therapy when I got out.”

         Well, maybe you were crazy to begin with, I thought, but I didn’t say that.  I didn’t want to be rude.  

         “Look at what you are doing,” she went on.  “People are paying you to abuse them.  Or they pay to abuse you.” 

        That pissed me off.  “Please!  I have morals.  I don’t hurt anyone.  This is not abuse.”

       “What is it, then?”

        “Look, I know the way sadomasochism looks to outsiders.  I know that it looks either scary or absurd.  But it’s not necessarily bad.  It is enjoyable.”

       “It is entirely possible to enjoy abuse and abusing others.”

       “I’ve had abusive clients and I’ve been in abusive relationships. I can tell the difference.”

        “What is the difference?” she asked.

        “Abuse hurts and degrades the soul.  I don’t feel bad when I have a good session with a client.  I feel good.  I feel happy.”

        “You are black and blue, Margo.”

         “What am I supposed to do?  Change my entire sexuality?  This is the way I was imprinted.  It is crucial to my sexual functioning.  Why should I give it up if I don’t have to?  It gives me joy.”

      “Obsessions can be fun.  As alcoholics, we both know all about that.  Tell me: why are you doing this professionally?”

      “Repetition compulsion and the money is helpful.”

      “Exactly.  You are acting out.  You are spinning in place.  You cannot do this and move forward with your life.  If you want to get better, you will have to quit.  Even if you don’t drink, you are not engaging in sober behavior when you do this.  Margo, you are out of control.  You are still stuck in it, so you don’t see it clearly, from the outside.”  

        I was furious.  Alcoholics don’t like to be told that they can’t drink.  They go: mind your own fucking business.  I’ll quit when I’m ready.  I’ll quit when I’m ready, and not a day before.

      She continued: “My best advice to you is that as long as you keep doing this professionally, you need to be doing a lot of AA at the same time.  It will support you and sustain you, give you perspective.  You need to keep one foot in the normal world while you do this.  You are in great danger, Margo.”

       “What?  Violence?  Like a client could hurt me?”  All sex workers fear violence.  Or at least all the ones I’ve talked to about it.

      “That too, but also emotional danger.”

       I know in my heart that she is right.  I’ve known these truths for a long, long time.  

       The Awful Truth.  This is holding me back.  I’m stuck in a holding pattern like a jet over an airport, waiting for clearance to land.  I cannot move forward in my career–you know, what I went to college for–as long as I keep doing professional S&M, because if I’m exposed, it will nuke my professional reputation.  

        I cannot have love in my life, because no healthy man is going to put up with it (me doing BDSM with a lot of random guys, even if they are clients).  And if I am spending so much energy doing this, what am I going to have to give to another person?  

       And sex work is isolating.  It is, and not just because it’s illegal or verboten to talk about.  And isolation is lethal.  Isolation will get you in the end.  

       But you quit when you’re ready.  

       You quit when you’re ready, and not a moment before.  

Testing Dr. Psychologist

Read More

       The man I referenced in my last post, “Dr. Psychologist,” kept his appointment.  

        He brought me a new pair of shoes (what is it with men and SHOES?).  They are patent platform pumps–an unusual cornflower or perikinkle blue color:

Toe Cleavage Rocks.  And I love the almond toe.


   I still haven’t decided whether I really like them or not, but I suppose it doesn’t really matter (thanks for buying them, Dr. Psychologist.  I can’t afford to buy myself much new stuff.  I appreciate it!).  

      When I learned that he couldn’t swim, I held his head under in a big bucket full of cold water.  That always scares people who are afraid of water. Worked like a charm.  They usually can’t take more than fifteen or twenty seconds.  Max. 

     After I lifted him out, I took a soft terrycloth towel and dried his hair and his face and his shoulders.  I took my time.  I made certain that there were no stray beads of cold water running down his torso or into his ears.  I combed his hair back from his forehead with my fingers.  Where are your ancestors from…?  I asked.  What color was your hair before it turned gray…?  

     Then it was time for the finishing act: once he was dry and comfortable, I had him stand and suspend a bucket of water in each hand, arm held out at the shoulder. (I knew he couldn’t do it for long.  Nobody can.  If you want to really humiliate someone, ask them to hold out a pencil at arm’s length for ten minutes.)

      I turned on a dime.  He was lucky that he told me he couldn’t be marked, because otherwise I’d have taken off half his hide.  I paced back and forth in front of him, behind him, berating him, insulting him.  “Keep those buckets up!  What kind of man are you? What sort of weak little creature?  Keep them up!  I told you to keep them up!  You are PATHETIC!” 

        The muscles in his arms twitched, shuddered, started to give out.  I kept pacing, whipping him, lecturing: “You didn’t underestimate me, did you?  Think I was so nice and sweet to you when I toweled you off?  I think you trust me too much.  How can you fear me if you trust me too much…?  I think I need to do something to violate your trust.  I think you’re a fucking fool if you don’t think that I’m more than capable of doing what you clearly need me to do to you.  Are you a fool, Doctor?  Do you feel like a fool?”  WHAP!  WHAP!  “I asked you a question, you fucking chump!  Did you trust me too much?”

        (There is no right answer to that.  There is no right answer.  I have learned very well from the sadists in my life.) 

        He collapsed, and then I let him go.

       While he got dressed, he told me:  “You are very interesting.  There is such a contrast in your personality.  You were so gentle and caring when you dried me off and toweled my hair–almost maternal.  It was almost loving.  I’m not saying that you love me, of course not.  But it made me think of that.  And then, suddenly, such hardness and force.  It was scary.  You are intense.  It was really good!

        I think of it as a sort of teaching evaluation.  

PoM Fun FAQ: “Why Do You Call that Place Where You Work ‘The Studio’?”

   I got an email from an anonymous reader who asked, among other things, why I refer to the place where I work as ‘The Studio,’ instead of the commonly accepted–indeed, ubiquitous–name for such an establishment.  


   There are two reasons.  The first reason is that, when I started writing about these places as houses or studios, I was deliberately engaging in a little semantic gymnastics in order to avoid completely incriminating myself in the event this blog was discovered by the people in my other lives.  I was also writing about starving without calling it an eating disorder, and drinking without calling it alcoholism.  Yeah, there was a lot of tap-dancing going on.  Obviously, I knew that anyone with two brain cells to rub together could read between the lines of this blog and understand exactly what I was talking about. The obfuscation was a fig leaf, basically. 


     Besides, one gets used to hiding things your whole life, and it becomes habit. As incredible as it may seem to you, gentle reader, the evolution of this little blog illustrates a tremendous effort to be honest about my life.  


     I still have a lot of work to do where that’s concerned, but I can say that I have made more of an effort–and enjoyed more success–at being a transparent person in the last 12 months than I have in my last fifteen years of life.  And you could probably make it twenty years.  


       The second reason I call it “The Studio” is aesthetic preference.  I defy anyone to tell me that “dungeon” does not sound idiotic and corny (I would also say melodramatic, but melodramatic things do, in fact, happen there).  A dungeon?  Really?  How am I supposed to tell anyone with a straight face–even random strangers on the internet–that I am going to the dungeon?  Do we live in a comic book?  What am I going to do there, bake cookies and plot world domination with Darth Vader, Ming the Merciless, and the evil witch from the Wizard of Oz?  Jesus!


         When I think of a dungeon, this is what always springs to mind:



Back from Power-Junkie Fake Conservative Cowtown

Read More

      Well, that was interesting! 


      For obvious reasons, I cannot talk in any detail about my professional or academic life on this blog.  Suffice it to say that I went out of town to introduce the research presentation of a scholar who hired me to edit his manuscripts and manage his datasets because he is too ossified and stubborn to be bothered to learn the computer software.  His field of study is only vaguely related to my own.  Whatever–I needed the money, and I need to fill up the white space on my C.V. in whatever way I can.  


     After the presentation, I rushed to a hotel and emerged like Clark Kent changing into Superman.  Well, not exactly.  Perhaps that is not the most accurate metaphor.  I just passed through the veil; fell back into my secret life.  

Dressed for Dinner

    I had a blind date scheduled with an interesting fellow–he of the douchebaggy Corvette (he’s an academic too–what he was doing with that car, I’ll never know–most of us tend to be Prius, Honda, and Ford Fiesta types).  


     Some people say you shouldn’t date right after a breakup.  Personally, I think that is silly.  You shouldn’t date if you don’t feel like it.  But it can be good for your self-esteem and sense of perspective to get out of the house and hang out with someone new who you can have fun with.  Just don’t lie about anything.  Keep it ethical.  


       Was this a date?  I don’t know what this was.  Hmmm.  


      I had a good time–many new things–interesting and sharp fellow, being in a strange city, hotel room (I love hotels.  Love love love hotels).  It was so…exciting?  No.  It was an escape.  That is what it was.  It was an escape from my life.  

LOOK AT THIS AWESOME SHOWER!!!  It rains from the ceiling plate.  I spent  2 hours in there.   Such  accommodations are not destined for the likes of Miss Margo, so I enjoy them while I can. 

     The man was not the most competent Top I’ve ever seen.  Hate to say it. I know it’s easy for me to say this, because I have a lot of experience, and unfortunately, most people who are interested in sadomasochism just don’t get the opportunity to develop their skills.  Especially the men.  They just don’t.  It’s tough.  I really sympathize with the plight of BDSM daters.  Hell, I’m one of them, I know how it is.  


      I also know that many people lie in their online profiles and personals ads.  I’ve done it–I’ll admit it.  When I was drinking, I said that I was a “social drinker,” which is hilarious now that I think about it, because I was exactly the opposite.  I’ve lied about my neighborhood (afraid of stalkers).  I guess that men are supposed to lie about how tall they are, but I’ve never cared about that.  Guys complain that women lie about their body type.


       But do…not…misrepresent your skill set to me.  I’ll know if you do pretty quickly.


      A few of these injuries are not where they should be.  That is my professional opinion.  

note defensive injury on arm; wraparound on  sides and hip
That lumpiness is not cellulite, but swelling.    On the  side of the  thigh…?    Whaaa?  






The Corvette: When You Want to Brag, Who Needs Legroom?

Read More

     Well, ladies and gentlemen, I can finally die happily now: I have ridden in a Corvette.


      Readers of Pieces of Margo will know that I don’t give a damn about cars and, if anything, actually consider them to be obnoxious.  A scourge of the earth, if you really want to know.  The internal combustion engine was not one of mankind’s best ideas.


      However, since I have just ridden around inside of a preposterous douchebaggy luxury sports car for the very first time, I decided to report on it.


     The leather seating was too hard, and as you can see, there was no room for my legs.  It’s true that I have long legs, but come on–what if I was a six-foot dude?  How do people sit in this thing on a regular basis? The car looked very flashy, however, and got a lot of attention from other drivers and passersby, which, I am sure, was the whole point.  Indeed, like Miss Margo herself, it was the perfect vehicle for a certain gentleman’s midlife crisis.

note bruise on right knee, and yes that is the SEAT underneath my  thigh

note DIFFERENT bruise on inside of right knee. Classy!  Trying to carry legs elegantly in six inches of legroom.

   My wakeup call’s at 7 AM and I cannot sleep.  The minibar is threatening me.  I should have asked the hotel staff to remove it.  I heard (too late) that they will do that for you if them to.  Note to fellow people in recovery (or at least new ones, like myself): get that booze out of the room; you’ll feel better.  (I have a recovering friend whose boyfriend keeps a full bar in their apartment.  I don’t know how she handles it.)

Screw you, minibar!  Thanks for nothing!

   It’s okay, I will be fine.  What would I get out of sucking down that $60 bottle of Johnnie Walker except a raging hangover for the train back to NYC and a depressing relapse into a lethal life-destroying dignity-stealing addiction?


      Well, that was a nice reality check.


      Maybe now I can get an hour’s sleep….?

Hurtling Through the Void

Read More

  Miss Margo: I wrote this a long time ago.


 Pressing against the glass, I am aware that only a few transparent inches of substance keeps me from falling out into the air and then hurtling down seventy flights to the pavement.   My body, I think, would make a sound like a dropped carton of eggs, only louder.



    Two inches between me and the void.  The space does not seem real; my depth perception and sense of scale is unreliable.


     My life is very, very strange.  Fantastical, really.


     I pull myself away from the glass and clothe my body.  My underwear, my stockings, my dress.  I apply pink lipstick and brush the dark gold hair.  I am a whirring engine, passing through the veil–different lives, different roles.  You only get to see a piece of me.

Ravenous

    The last few hours before bed are the most difficult.  Waiting waiting waiting.  A test of endurance.  It is a one-player game, like solitaire.  My opponent is myself.  


     I made a lot of money yesterday. Today was not as lucrative, but I did have a booking at the Studio and a tutoring appointment immediately afterward.  I stopped by the pet store to get food for the birds (I splurged and bought Parrot a new toy) and then came home, exhausted.  I missed my Friday night meeting and I feel badly about that–can’t afford to do that too often–missing meetings is one of the things that contributed to my pre-Christmas relapse.  


     I am very hungry right now.  But I know that if I can wait it out till bed, I’ll wake up thinner.  I know that this thinking is dysfunctional, but I want to be honest here, to tell you how it is.  


     When you are very hungry, you will find that you do crazy things.  You start to obsess.  I have had the opportunity to speak at length with other girls who endeavor not to eat, and they all relate similar behaviors.  You start to spend a lot of time thinking about food.  Fantasizing about it.  Tonight, for example, I have perused four restaurant takeout menus.  I ask myself: if I were to order something, what would it be?  Which sounds best?  I weighed the merits of each.  A distraction, a flirtation with danger, as I watch Charlie Rose interview Bernie Sanders on the television (actually, the program is mostly in the background; I am primarily focused on the idea of a chicken avocado sandwich).  Then, in a burst of determination, I put the menus away, only to end up reading the restaurant reviews on the New York Times website.  


    When the disorder was at its worst, I would read cookbooks and Gourmet magazine recreationally.  I would pour over them, devour them with my eyes, collect recipes that I had no intention of ever cooking, squirreling them away.  This behavior is not uncommon.  


     Six years ago, I cooked all the time.  I loved to make dinner for my boyfriend.  I loved to work with food.  No longer.  I am nowhere near as bad as I was–nowhere near–but even now, the idea of cooking beyond a subsistence level is incomprehensible to me. 


     And tonight, this.  This back-and-forth with myself, this struggle. It is all internal to me.  I have created it.  It is mine, my pure gold baby.  


     Another hour, and I can go to sleep and wake up hollow, leaner, smug.  I’m never hungry in the morning.  It’s smooth sailing till mid-afternoon, at least.  


     You see, gentle reader, what an evening I’ve had.  One day, when I have the courage, I’ll write about what it’s like to be insane with an eating disorder.  The really scary stuff.  At the party I went to on Wednesday, an English Lit professor I am quite partial to told me that I ought to stop drinking 2-liter bottles of diet Coke every day.  “It’s awful for you,” he said.  “You’ll ruin your beauty.”  


     I let out a short, barking laugh.  I didn’t mean to be rude; I couldn’t help it.  “My beauty,” I snarled.  “I could tell you stories about what I’ve done to myself.  They’d make your hair turn white.”


    In the course of my studies and therapy with a psychoanalyst, I have been told that every masochist is also a sadist, consciously or not.  We possess the opposites within us.  I’ve blogged about this before; I won’t go into detail now.  


    In this case, this dynamic, I am both.  I am a disobedient and disappointing child, and I send myself to bed without any supper.   

Mystery Bruises

Read More

     I was going to title this blog post “Season’s Beatings,” but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Too corny.  The content matter of my sex life lends itself to lampooning enough as it is.  


      Tonight I dressed up to go out with some of my old girlfriends, and I wore a sleeveless top.  I’ve been wearing sleeves all week because it’s cold.


      Well, later in the evening, someone asked me how I got the bruises on my arm.  Surprised, I looked down, and sure enough–there were marks on my skin.  They were on the inside, almost the underside, so I understand how I missed them.  





      I didn’t know what to say, because I’ll be damned if I have a clue about how they got there.  I mean, I know–gotta be the Surgeon; I haven’t let anyone else beat me recently, alas.  I had to have gotten them the last time I saw him…but I don’t remember what caused these marks in particular.


    Mystery bruises are not at all unusual (as I wrote about here !!!sensitive–work alert!!!).  When there are multiple blows (and there almost always are) overlapping on the same area(s) of the skin (which they almost always do), the pain from one area of impact bleeds into another. It becomes impossible for my brain to distiguish the strikes with any certainty.  Especially if I can’t see them land, which, again, is typical.  


     I find that the only thing that helps me distinguish the strikes if they’re coming hard and heavy is if the impliments used to deliver them are switched fairly often.  I’ve known men who liked to use many different tools in a scene–Heinrich, in particular, comes to mind, he has an arsenal–and I often do it myself when I control others.  The Surgeon’s choice of weaponry is pretty predictable, however.  Like all obsessive-compulsive people, he is a creature of habit through and through.  Every now and then he’ll shake it up, but he mostly uses the same two or three tools.  Excluding his teeth.  


      Which brings us back, gentle reader, to the bruises on my arm.  What the hell caused them?  I wish I’d seen them before they faded so much.  I’ve got some on my back and legs, but they don’t look like these.  


       At first I thought they might be bites, because of the dotted look of the lines–see here?

    
     But that isn’t shaped like a bite mark.  The ones on my arm are all strangely shaped.  Maybe chain?  I am leaning towards chain, but I really can’t figure it out.  And how did they get on the inside like that?  I am thinking it must have happened when my wrists were behind my back–that exposes the inner arm.  But then–the chain? 


     I’ll run it by the Surgeon; ask him if he has any ideas.  He won’t mind.  He gets a kick out of it when I play CSI Investigator the day afterward.  It’s interesting, actually, what comes out of his mouth sometimes when we have these conversations.


     “Sometimes, I really don’t know how you can take all that,” he told me once.  We were in a Hotel suite in midtown (oh, hotel suites I have known!).  We were taking a break after about three hours.  He was sitting on the sofa, stabbing at the sushi he’d just had delivered.  I was…I don’t remember what I was doing.  I was obliterated; off in la-la land.  


     “I seldom hold anything back.  A lot of times, I hit you as hard as I can.”


       Interesting, that.  Very interesting. 


       A prudent woman would be wise to consider the implications of that statement.  

Climbing Back on the Horse, and Channeling My Inner Fascist

      This morning I met my friend, she of the fantastic envy-inspiring hair, at a coffee shop.  Then we went to an AA meeting, my other home group, together.  Again, I confessed terror and vodka-swilling–meeting the grad director and snarfing gummi bears on the train.

        Huge amount of support.  People reached out to me afterward–CALL ME NEXT TIME.   This was a different sort of AA group, a group for people who, like myself, are not religious and do not believe in God.  My other group is important to me but I am also very fond of this group because I am intellectually at home here.

     We all went out to eat together.  I had a CHEESE!!! SANDWICH!!! AND FRENCH FRIES!!!

      Afterward, I came home and worked out my schedule for the weekend.  I have only one meeting with a student–it’s the end of the semester, and the others I have are laying off for the Holidays.  So, I’ll be pulling double shifts at my secret job at THE SUPERSTUDIO for the next three days.  I can’t rest until I finish making my back rent.  It sucks, because I hate working nights.  Also, there’s a saying in this sort of work–you should never do it because you need to do it.  If you go in there needing to do it, it can make you vulnerable to a whole shitstorm of consequences.  Need can make you weak.

      I want to see my analyst this weekend and bounce some ideas off of her and seek her advice.  If I turn money tomorrow, it won’t be a problem.  But if I can’t, I don’t think that it would be responsible of me to spend the money on her fee.

      I’m wary, because I need to stay focused on my most important goals: not drinking, and finishing my academic degree.  I also need! some money! right now!  Working at THE SUPERSTUDIO is a timesuck, but more than that–it has the potential to become a TRAP.  Moreso than any other place I’ve worked–infintely more.  It’s like The Surgeon.  It’s fantasyland, baby, it’s drugs.  For someone like me, wired like I am?  It’s drugs.  Or at least, it has the potential to be. (FYI: I never used drugs, I just mean ‘drugs’ in the metaphorical sense.)

      I am thinking about how I am going to maximize my earning potential over the next three days I’ll be fucking living there.  Because I must have a plan; I can’t just go in and hope things work out for me.  I have seen the other employees.  Competition I’ve never experienced before–and I’m not bitching about that, I’m saying it in total admiration.  This is a totally different level than what I’m used to, and I didn’t fall off of the turnip truck yesterday.  I have to develop and utilize my existing skills.

       What do I have on the others…?  My education, obviously.  I speak very well.  In formal situations, nothing about my demeanor is rough or uncouth; I can be very convincingly bourgeois.  They respond to that.

        What sort of energy can I project…?  I think, a fascist.  I find the politics reprehensible in every way, but that is neither here nor there.  As I have joked in the past, I am the Frederick Taylor of Pain and Suffering.  Order–we will have order here!  Ideological, demanding, impeccable, meticulous–unassailable and effortless authority.  The science of exploitation.

        In short, I need to take the voice I do to myself, and instead project it outward–much more than I usually do in these circumstances–to the Nth degree.  My father’s incredible greed and casual disregard and fearlessness; my mother’s military discipline and OCD.  These are a few of their gifts to me–whether they are good or bad is irrelevant in this context.  They exist within my personality; if I give thought to it, I can harness them and channel them when I want to.  If I master the knack to do so.

      I had a dream the other night.  I dreamed that I was dressed in my finest clothes, and reading journal articles at my desk.  I was taking notes in a notebook.  There was a man outside the room, and when I registered that he was there, I told him to come to me. On the floor.  I didn’t look up.

       When he shuffled up to my desk, I extended my free hand, encased in a brown leather glove, and instructed him to take off my glove.  With his teeth.  I only looked up once or twice.  “Do not leave marks on my glove!” I ordered him.

        After he finally managed to take it off, I seized it in my other hand and beat his face with it, hard, until he was crying.

      I dismissed him then, and went back to my papers.