Even Hercules Needed Help

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    Update 10:15 PM

     Three AA meetings today and I am home, safe, for the night.  I got through the day, functioned well at my job, called three sober women to report that I was alive and not sucking down Bushmill’s and avoiding my Parrot (the last time I relapsed, I covered Parrot’s cage with a sheet so that she couldn’t see me drink.  Not quite sure who I thought I was trying to protect there, lol).

      Something pretty rad even happened when I walked home from work.  I was walking through a park that had a huge statue of Abraham Lincoln in it.  President Lincoln is my favorite president.  Perched on the statue’s shoulder was a hugeass beautiful hawk.  Lots of people had stopped to admire her.  She definitely looked like a much happier bird than the self-mutilated cockatoo I posted down below.  

      Adler, my surname, is the German word for eagle.  An eagle is not a hawk, but they are both raptors.  

      I would rather be that hawk chillin with Lincoln than the sad hurting cockatoo. 

      Finally, because someone asked, the picture at the bottom of the blog post is the great hero Herakles who retrieved the three-headed monster hound Kerberos from the land of the dead.  It seemed appropriate.

                *                         *                    *                        *

Dammit, you 8 readers!  Why aren’t you voting?  It is imperative that blame be assigned and a culprit publicly shamed.

       Yesterday was a truly crummy day.  I had nightmare that I was counterfeiting money to give to my landlord, which is crazy because I would never do that.  That is a federal fucking offense.  And even if I did do it–which I never would–I wouldn’t do it by downloading the image of a $100 bill off the internet, printing it out on my cheap stupid printer, and then cutting it out with the scalpel the Surgeon sent to me in my Valentine (I keep the scalpel by my desk.  Whenever I miss him, I refer to it).  

        Nevertheless, I woke up convinced–convinced!–that I had given my landlord $400 in counterfeit money, and he found out when he tried to deposit it at the bank.  Caught! Busted!

        Guess how much money I earned with the French Fry.  

         Tell me there’s not a connection.

         Feeling a little conflicted about how you make your living, Margo?   Subconsciously?

         My brother injured his back at work.  The doctor says he needs surgery.  He’s been on pain medication for months now.  I am terrified that he’ll get addicted.  If he takes it every day, addiction is inevitable. 

         He has 50% different genes than me.  I pray to a God I don’t believe in that my brother will be spared this affliction.  I know that he doesn’t drink.  He does use tobacco, though, which is a performance indicator.  

         He knows about the anorexia–he saw me at my lowest weight. He doesn’t know about the alcoholism.  I didn’t develop it until I moved away from home–they don’t know how bad it got, or that I’m still struggling with it now.

          Maybe I need to call my brother and have a serious talk with him about this.   A serious, Come To Jesus talk.   He does not want to be where I am now. 

         It will have to be me.  God knows my mother won’t do it–she doesn’t see what she doesn’t want to see.  I could show up for Thanksgiving weighing 80 lbs and drink a bottle of wine by myself at dinner and she wouldn’t say a word.  Denial is my mother’s chief coping mechanism.  It’s not exactly healthy, but at least it is much easier on the liver.   HA!  Watch–she’ll live to be 105 years old, and I’ll be dead by 35.  Self-destruct. 

This Cockatoo did this to herself.  I know why. 


        I’ll make the call this afternoon.  Too early now.   The time zone change.

         I’m going to take a shower and go to an AA meeting before work–regular tutoring job today.  Then I will call my brother.  I love him and I don’t want him to suffer.

         I need friends, and I need help.  I’m scared, for him and for myself.  This killed three of my four grandparents.  I don’t want to die. 

          Even Hercules needed help.  He asked for it and was not ashamed.

         Ask, and you shall receive. 

Cerberus carried off by Heracles | Greek vase, Caeretan black figure hydria

A Week Off

     In addition to this blog, I usually have several other writing projects that I work on simultaneously.  One of my hobby pieces could be called a memoir, though I don’t suppose I’ve lived long enough or accomplished enough to have much wisdom to impart.  But what the hell.  We can’t all be Ben Franklin.  

    I spent a lot of time in the archives this week.  Looking through those boxes.  You know which boxes I’m talking about because everyone has them unless you suffered a housefire or the Wehrmacht performed in your village one day on its European Tour or something.  The boxes with photos and paperwork and weird random shit from your childhood (I found, for example, a tiny plush seal I got from Sea World when I was 8.  Why the fuck did I keep it?  Why did I transport it 3000 miles?  Who knows?)

     A lot of time in the archives.  The ones in the boxes, and the ones in my brain.  And I spent way too much time with good old Dad.   Like ionizing radiation, any exposure to him should be under tightly controlled circumstances and kept as short as possible. 

     It was not good for me.

     So, I’m taking a week off from this blog.  Don’t worry, it’s not going away–I enjoy it far too much, and I think it’s a healthful hobby.  But I need to recharge and I need to focus on my sobriety.  I’m going to stay with a female friend for a few days so that I won’t be alone.  As any alcoholic can tell you: isolation is a killer.  Literally. 

      I’ll be back soon.  This is just a rough patch–I’ve been here before, and I recognize it for what it is.

      Radio Silence begins at 9.



    


    
P.S.  you can write or leave comments if you want, but I might not read them for a few days.  Parrot and I are off to Brooklyn, lol.  Pack yo bags, Parrot.  Cobble Hill and a crappy Ikea futon await us.

Right Now, M. Margo Doesn’t Give a….

   Remember when I posted that beautiful video about birds?  After I worked through my anxiety about being emotionally vulnerable with the Mathematician?

     WELL NOW I FEEL LIKE GEORGE BUSH IN THIS VIDEO

     (warning: nsfw)

     Now I have to go teach.  My students are in for a treat this morning.

      Someone else is in for a treat, too.  Watch and see. 

      I’ll bring the professor an apple. 

P.S.  the good news is that my sense of humor has come back.  That means I’ve come back to life.

I always know when I’m close to death when my sense of humor goes away.

An Open Letter to The Mathematician

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      The pain of the good memories hurts most of all.  Why did you have to be so compassionate and tender, and do shit like bring me flowers?  I took pictures of all the flowers you bought me.  I showed them to my girlfriends.  

        You held my birds.
      
   When I was going to get a haircut, I asked you whether you’d like me with that style.  I did that because I always ask the man in my life for his opinion before I alter my appearance in any meaningful way.  

    I took down my online dating profiles.  I turned down dates.  My friend at the Studio, C., passed me the business card of a kinky ad man she said would be a good match for me.  I threw out the card. 

     I wanted to do right by you.  I was so, so careful.  Every decision I made was deliberate.  Nothing manipulative.  No false steps.  I wanted you to know, at the bottom of your heart, that you could trust me with everything, and that I was exactly who I said that I was.  

      I would drift off on the train or at work.  Fantasizing about you. I would fantasize about being your girlfriend.  I would fantasize about making you breakfast and packing you a lunch for work.  The hope that I felt was excruciating.  It was terrifying.  But it felt so good.  I was so scared, but I wanted it.

      You told me about your children, your best friend, people at work.  I would think to myself about how I was going to do my best to make a good impression on them when I met them.  

      I showed your photos to my family when I went home for Christmas.  

      I would fantasize about how I was going to support you.  You made it seem like your ex-wife took advantage of your dutiful personality and then rejected you.  I was going to show you what it was like to be accepted and appreciated.  I was going to make you feel like a hero.  I was going to show you how proud I was of you.  

      I was going to bat for Team Math.  And I was going to play hard.  

       We were going to be a team, I thought.  With a man like you in my corner, I felt like I could accomplish anything in life.  All the advice you gave me.  All the support about teaching.  

      When you bought me an apple and said that you were proud of me, it provoked within me a primal longing that I could not contain.

       When is the last time a man said that he was proud of me, for anything at all?  When is the last time a man saw me for the person I was, and not just for what I could do for him?  

        Why are men so fucking selfish, Mathematician?  Can you tell me why men are so entitled, Doctor?  You have a Ph.D., you must have a few thoughts on the subject.  Elaborate on the ideas you have in your excellent mind.  

       You brought over your cockatoo so that we could have a bird playdate and I could help you groom him.  Your cockatoo really loved me.  Next, you said, I’d meet your dog.  

        Next, I hoped, I’d meet your children. 

        When you confirmed that we were boyfriend and girlfriend, I was going to suggest that we go to the doctor and get tested.  Then I would get back on birth control and we could have sex without condoms.  

        When you put your cock into me, it felt so good that I’d actually go limp for a few seconds before I started moving.  Like you had injected me with a narcotic.  I guess in a way, you were.

        I would have given you anything sexually.  Anything.  I was planning on it.  To say that I was going to expand your horizons is an understatement.  Because with me, there are no limits.  When I love a man, nothing is forbidden.  Sex is one way that I express love, and I never tire of it.  I do it all.  I do it well.  And I will never tell you no. 

        There is no experience on earth like the feeling of being desired by Margo Adler.  My desire is a force of nature.  Why do you think that the Surgeon was so obsessed with me for so long?  

         I’d like to sic the Surgeon on you now, Mathematician.  I really would.  He would annihilate you.  He would drop by your office after work.  

         The only reason I don’t do it is that I know that after he was done killing you, he’d come to my apartment and kill me next.  I know how he’d do it, too.  

       Death might be an improvement in my state of mind and emotional well-being, however.  Because I feel pretty fucking awful, Mathematician.  You made me cry a lot, and I don’t think that it’s over by a longshot.

       But what, where was I…?  Sorry.  I was being morbid and got distracted.  

        Remember when you told me back in November–you were laying on my bed, in my home, “Please don’t think of me as a client?”  Exactly what the hell was going on in your mind, Dr. Responsibility?  

        You didn’t have to do this, you know.  You could have been a friend and a good client.  If it’s business, I really don’t care if you’re married.  I would have seen you on an ongoing basis until I got a real boyfriend and had to knock this professional BDSM shit off. 

      But nooooo, you had to have your stupid, selfish fantasy.  Because that’s what this was all about for you, wasn’t it?  You were having fun pretending that we were developing something real.  It made your boring, sexless life more interesting, didn’t it?  The constant text messages, emails.  Contacting me before class to wish me good luck.  Talking to me about books.  Updates on the score of your squash matches.  Telling me what you were going to do to me the next time you saw me.  

        I was so impressed by how well-trained your dog is.  It takes a lot of discipline and patience to train a dog like that.  I really admired it.  I admired everything about you.

       I wanted to belong to you, like your dog.  I would have taught you how to be my master.  You could have owned me.

        I used to fantasize about our future, and all the ways that I would make you happy.  

       And you let me do it.  

        You ought to hear all of this, because you deserve to know the consequences of your actions and the extent of my pain (and by the way, #1 Dad, how would you like it if someone treated your teenaged daughter this way?).  You deserve to know so that you never do this to another woman ever again.

        But I’m not going to tell you, because after Thursday night, you get NOTHING from me.

        I come from a death penalty state.  It’s a hard, hard fucking state and I grew up in a tough fucking town.  My father supported the death penalty, and he was a cruel, pitiless man.  You tried to lay a hand on him and he’d rip your goddamned arm off.  If he was here, I know exactly what he’d say.

         You’re not going to hear from me, Mathematician, because after Thursday night, I am the judge, jury, and executioner–and I am administering the proverbial lethal needle that you, and our relationship, so richly deserve.  

The Valentine that I bought for you that you WON’T be getting

   

Why Doesn’t He Have a Girlfriend?

     Monday, October 22:

  I’ve had some interesting conversations with my analyst recently.  

       I was telling her about the Mathematician.

       “He’s a really good guy.  Educated, hard worker, handsome, responsible, loves his kids.  He’s very transparent.  Gentle.  Makes money, too! I don’t know why he doesn’t have a girlfriend,” I said.

      “Yes.  Why doesn’t he have a girlfriend?” 

      Beats of silence.  Excellent question.

      “You know, I really don’t know.  He says he’s too busy with work and kids.”  

       “He doesn’t want to be with someone because he’s too busy?  He’d rather be alone because he has children?  That sounds like an excuse.  And you’ve seen him every week and spent the night with him twice, and he hasn’t tried to have sex with you?  For a normal man, that would be very difficult.” 

      The Mathematician doesn’t have a girlfriend because he’s married.

      How could I have been so shockingly gullible…?

               *                   *                        *                        * 

       I feel like I’m frozen.  For two hours, I have been staring out the window at the falling snow.  

        Then something happens inside and I make an awful crying noise, like a dying animal, and my eyes start to leak.  The front of the camisole I’m wearing is wet.  I’m going to throw it out.  

       How could he do it to me.

       I clamp my hand over my mouth.  I always do that when I’m freaked out.  

         I let him in to my home.  I let him in to my life.  

            *                      *                       *                          * 

        Last night he stayed in the city because he had a presentation. I went to Victoria’s Secret and bought a lacy new bra and underpants.  I bought it in blue because blue is his favorite color.  

        Met him at his hotel room.  We talked about my class and his presentation and goofed around. Everything was happy.  Then we had sex.  For two hours.

       I went to bat for that man.  

       Then we were cuddling in bed.  I screwed up my courage and said, “I really care about you.  How do you feel about our relationship?”

        I really care about you too this relationship makes me very happy

      “Well I want you to know that I’m not with anyone else right now and I’m not looking for anyone else while I’m with you,” I said.  “I’d like to be your girlfriend.  How do you feel about that?”

       I already think of you as my girlfriend and have thought that for some time and you are so smart and beautiful and blah blah blah

      I squirmed around in a frenzy of joy and anxiety.  Then I picked up a pillow and hit him with it.  

      “WHY DID YOU NOT TELL ME THAT SOONER?  I was feeling all insecure!”  I laughed

      “I’m sorry!  I haven’t been in that many relationships!” he said.

       Then we cuddled some more.

       “Is there anything you would like to change about our relationship?  Anything that I can do differently?” I asked.  “How do you feel about me working at the Studio?  I get the impression that it makes you uncomfortable.” 

       “I don’t like it but it’s how I met you, so what can I say without being a hypocrite?  If you work there because you have needs for that, I wish you’d let me fulfill them for you.”

       Perfect answer for me.  We snuggled some more.  I felt so happy.  I felt like my future was so open.  I was proud of myself, that I’d managed to achieve this with a man.  I haven’t had a real, loving relationship in years.

        “This means that we’re boyfriend and girlfriend now, right?” I asked again.

        “Right,” he said.

                      *                        *                 *                  * 

        Then this morning, around 5 PM, I woke up and used the restroom.  

          Then I stared at his profile like a psycho.  Because I was in love.

       Then he woke up and said, “Good morning, girlfriend!” 

        We were hugging.  This motherfucker actually let me give him a big hug and put my leg over his body.

       Then he started talking.

       I don’t remember the start of the narrative, because it was the crack of dawn (before dawn, actually) and I was still half asleep.

       “…the very first time I saw you at the Studio I told you that I didn’t do this often because my wife….”

        My body didn’t move at all, but everything changed inside.  I felt like I was going numb.

       “Wait, wait.  Are you telling me that you’re married?  Not divorced, but married?”

       Divorced.  And re-married.

       I rolled over on my back and stared at the ceiling like a clubbed fish.  My face felt made of wood.  A clubbed fucking fish.  I cannot describe the sensation, or lack of sensation.  It was awful.  It was breathtaking.  

         He was babbling about being married for health insurance and how his wife was basically a roommate and they didn’t have sex and he knew it was wrong to let me think that he was not married and blah blah blah blah blah blah

          I just laid there, staring at the ceiling.  Stunned.  Clubbed fucking fish.

          Then he started hugging me. ” I understand if you never want to see me again but I hope you don’t go everything I told you was the truth I put all my cards on the table now.”

         He wants me to absolve him and tell him that he wasn’t so wrong and that everything is okay.  Now he passed the responsibility to make him feel better on to me, I realized.  That was the first flash of emotion, breaking through the ice.  The emotion was anger.  

        Just like my father.  Just like my fucking father: I broke your heart, but love me anyway.  I can’t help it.  You didn’t stop it from happening.  Fix it. You owe me. Don’t be angry with me.  Yeah, that’s my father, Franz Adler.  Franz Adler–alternately a degenerate junkie or a pitiless killer.  Always, always a black hole of entitlement. 

         “I have to process this.  It may take a while,” I said.  My voice sounded dead to my own ears. 

         “Okay,” he said, concerned, trying to spoon me.

         “Why did you lie to me?” I asked.  I couldn’t think of anything else.

           “I was selfish and didn’t want it to end.” 

          I nodded. I got up and went to the bathroom.  I unwrapped the bath soap and took a hot shower.  I scrubbed all over.  I scrubbed everywhere twice.

          Then I dried myself and put on lotion.  I touched the bathroom door handle and took my hand away.  Touched again.  Took my hand away.  I thought: You will not cry in front of him.  WILL NOT WILL NOT

          I strode out and turned on a bedside lamp.  Then I got dressed: socks (and he laughed at my socks the night before, because they were bright electric blue), underpants, skinny jeans, camisole.  My boots.

        He was sitting up in bed.  He didn’t say anything.  I didn’t look at him.

       I gathered my stuff, piece by piece, and put it in my bag.  I omitted the things he’d bought for us last week at Purple Passion, and the new blue lingerie I’d purchased at Victoria’s Secret.  I left the condoms and the lube in the drawer.  

        I put on my coat and my scarf.  I stared out the window at the snow. 

         “In your future life, I heartily advise you to never do this to another girl.  It’s awful.  And in the future, if you want to come to the Studio, you call first and see if I’m working that day.  If I’m working, I don’t want you to come in.  I never want to see you there.  Will you do this for me?”  Dead voice.  I wouldn’t look at him.

         “Of course,” he said.  He was sitting on the edge of the bed.  He’d put his boxers on. 

      I picked up my bags and went for the door.  When I got here, he came up behind me and hugged me. 

       I dropped my bags.  I let him hug me.  I was a statue.  So far away.

       “I’m sorry that you’re unhappy,” I said, and yes, I actually said that.  I didn’t really FEEL sorry, but I went through the motions.  What a fucking masochistic codependent I am.  Take advantage of me and then I feel sorry for the pain you feel when I leave you, asshole.  

       “I don’t want to lose you,” he said.  “I’ll always be there for you.”

        Miss Margo finally revived enough to feel a little emotion again.  I didn’t tell him what he deserved to hear–not really–but at least I told him something:

       “I won’t be with a married man.  You ought to fix it or leave it. Don’t ever do this to a girl in the future.  I really, really liked you.  I need a partner.  A life partner.”

        THEN I looked at him.  THEN I made eye contact for the first time since he’d dropped the bomb on me an hour ago.  He looked miserable, but so what.  WHATEVS! 

          You will not cry you will not cry you will not cry I told myself. 

         “I was in love with you, Mathematician,” I said.  He needed to know.  He needed to know the consequences of this bullshit.  He needed to know what he cost me. 

        “I’m in love with you.  The feeling is mutual,” he said.

        I picked up my bags and walked to the elevator.  Got a cab–the cabbie was talkative and cheerful the entire way, when I just wanted to be quiet.

       I took another shower and fed my animals and stared out the window for two hours.  
  
      Then I wrote this.

…Thy Days Would Not Be Long.

One kiss, one kiss of your lily white lips
one kiss is all that I crave…
One kiss, one kiss of your lily white lips
and return back to your grave…

My lips they are as cold as my clay,
My breath is heavy and strong.
If thou was to kiss my lily white lips
Thy days would not be long.

Oh don’t you remember the garden grove
where we used to walk…? 
Pluck the finest flower of them all,
‘Twill whither to a stalk…

     
          I had two nightmares about the Surgeon this week.

      In the first dream, the Mathematician went to him to have surgery done.  The Surgeon knew who the Mathematician was, but the Mathematician had no idea that the Surgeon knew me.  The Surgeon did the surgery wrong on purpose.  The Surgeon disfigured the Mathematician and made him paralyzed on purpose.  

     Then the Surgeon sent me a bouquet of red roses, with a note attached: That’s what you get.

     I’ve had this dream before, with another man I was dating…

   In the second dream, I rode the subway to watch the Mathematician play a match of squash against a random opponent.  

     I climbed up the stairs of the gym and approached the squash courts.  I saw the Mathematician there immediately, even though his back was to me.  He was playing against another man…someone smaller, wiry, fairer-haired. 
   
     His opponent.

     I thought to myself, That guy looks awfully familiar! Who is that?

     And then I knew: It was the Surgeon.  He’d found us.

     The coldness in the pit of my stomach. The absolute terror. 

     Did I confront the Surgeon about what he was doing…?  My brain was spinning with possibilities.  If I outed the Surgeon, I would have to explain to the Mathematician where I knew this man from.  

     I sat down on the bench and kept my mouth shut.  I felt like I was made of wood.  The way that it feels when you’re shocked and you have no sensation in your face.  All of the information pouring in through your eyes.  

     The Surgeon is older than the Mathematician, but he murdered him.  He nailed him with the hard little rubber ball every chance he got.  He hit that ball hard–I could hear people watching the game through the glass suck air over their teeth and wince whenever the ball connected.  Every time it did, he would look over his shoulder and smirk at me. 

       It took the Mathematician a little while to realize that his opponent was deliberately being an asshole.  At first he was confused, and then he became angry.  

       This awful situation was all my fault, and I felt powerless to stop it.  It wasn’t simply a matter of me throwing myself on the proverbial grenade.  

       It was powerlessness.  

                       *                      *                   *                 *

        I told these nightmares to my analyst.  She reminded me that in our dreams, we are each character in the dream.  The dream is an utterly organic vision.  

      The monster in your nightmare is you.

      The Surgeon really would behave in this fashion…except for the surgical mutilation–he wouldn’t do that because he’d get in trouble. But he didn’t do it. I did it. I am the nightmare surgeon.  

      When I’m with the Mathematician, everything is great.  

      I am falling in love with this man. 

      When he’s gone, I get so paranoid and afraid.  I tell myself that it’s a bad idea and I need to stop it right now.  I tell myself that I have to protect him from myself.  I tell myself that he wouldn’t want to be with me if he knew who I really was.  I am afraid of wanting to be loved.  Needs are dangerous.  When you give someone the ability to say “no” to you, you give them power over you.  When you are self-contained, you have power.  Autonomy. 

       But this voice is just crazy thinking.  It’s not really real.  The Mathematician doesn’t really think these things.  I am just making stuff up.  

     Trusting and honest.  Trusting and honest and don’t lie no matter what. No hiding.

The Mathematician and Building Bomb-Proof Trust

      This relationship shit is kind of hard.

       I had (have?) a relationship with the Surgeon, but that was more like a years-long torrid affair with someone completely inappropriate.  He also happened to be psycho.  We were drawn together on the basis of our mutual characterological flaws…there was a lot going on.  

      To be fair, the sex was spectacular.  It was so good that it was a bad idea.  I’ve never been attracted to a man like I was to the Surgeon.  I would have done anything he wanted.  I did anything he wanted. And it went the other way, too.  He starved me emotionally in every way, but he was a very generous lover with me.  Which is interesting, considering the hostility he had for women.  For everyone.  

      I don’t think that the Mathematician hates anyone

       He’s not my boyfriend yet–or at least I don’t think he is–we haven’t had the DTR (Defining the Relationship talk).  

       I know that I want him, though.  

        I haven’t wanted a relationship with a man in a long, long time.  Years!  Years and years!  Honestly…?  Six years!  Why the hell do you think I was with the Surgeon…?  It was a not-relationship!  He was perfect for a masochistic commitment-phobe!  A part-time quasi-boyfriend!  An absentee landlord.  My master.

      This Mathematician–he’s a good choice.  Do you see it?  He has everything I want, except that he’s not an abusive, sadistic douchebag. He’s a nice normal man.  He’s emotionally complex and I’ve caught glimpses of a few neuroses, but he’s a good person and he’s…he’s loving.  He’s loving and he’s responsible

      And he sees me.  He doesn’t just use me.  I’m not like a prop with him.   When I say something, he pays attention to the words that are coming out of my mouth.  He respects me. 

      Please, God, don’t let me fuck this up.  Men like this don’t just fall out of the sky. 

       Why did his ex-wife throw out this man? What the heck was she thinking?  Boy did she ever blow it.  

       This is what I keep telling myself: be open and emotionally vulnerable and don’t lie don’t lie don’t lie don’t lie don’t lie don’t lie
   
      He doesn’t know that I’m in AA yet and I don’t have to tell him because it’s not necessarily the right time, but if/when it comes up, or if/when he asks about drinking, I must not lie about it! 

      Same thing for the Surgeon!  Cause I haven’t told the Surgeon what’s going on!  I’m worried that the Surgeon is going to cut my head off!  But if the Mathematician asks about it, I can’t lie or minimize!  

      Or my father!  Or school!  Or the stuff that makes me scared!  Or even my sexuality.  NO LYING!  

      He has to be able to trust me if the relationship is going to go anywhere…if it is going to develop and flourish.  It’s okay to omit certain stuff depending on the level of intimacy and knowledge in a relationship, but if he wants to know something topically relevant, I have no be honest no matter what.  And if he rejects me that is his prerogative, but I owe it to him–and to us–to be honest and do this in good faith.  

      Does that make sense?  Does that make sense?

       There has to be a good foundation.

        Especially given where he met me.  He needs to see me be totally consistent in the application of my moral principles.  No matter how tolerant, how understanding, how mature he is or thinks that he is being…at some later date, he is going to have to come to terms with the fact that he met me at an infamous dungeon where I worked as a dominatrix and a professional masochist.  Men came in off the street, or wherever the hell they came from, and I went into a room with them and did things to them that the Mathematician can’t even imagine.  Bad, good, in between.  That’s a fact.  

        Even the most liberal, not-jealous guy is going to wonder about that, and have to come to terms with it.  

      That’s another reason why the Mathematician has to know–and feel–that he can depend on me, and that I have always been transparent with him, and that I have always done what I said I will do.  When I said that I did not have sex with clients, I meant it.  When I said that I had boundaries, I enforced them.  When I said that I didn’t consider him to be a client, I didn’t, and that’s why I stopped taking his money.  

      He has to trust me.  Otherwise, there can be no love.  

      Bomb-proof.  People fuck up in relationship and God knows I’m not perfect or a perfect partner and maybe he will decide I’m not the girl for him, but he has to have bomb-proof trust in my honesty and earnestness.  In my honor.  

       no lying no hiding no shady bullshit no lying even if it’s The Awful Truth

    

Knocked Out II: The Strange Case of Mel (or, Wait Until Your Father Comes Home)

        Let me start by saying that I like Mel.  He’s a very likable guy. I don’t know him in his outside life, but I bet that he’s a pretty good egg.

        I want to respect his privacy, so I’m changing some of the details about his life to protect him.  

       Mel is a middle aged professional white guy.  He’s smart and in a position of authority at a job that is practical and important for society…kinda like civil engineering.  He must be good at it, because it’s not a job where you can mess up and stay employed–there is no room for mediocrity.  He isn’t particularly handsome, but I’ve always been a little attracted to him, even though he’s really hairy and absurdly masculine.  He has a warm personality, but there’s something hard underneath it.  It’s hard to describe.  Let’s put it this way: he’s never been anything but friendly and generous with me, but I’d hate to be working for this man and mess something up.  And I certainly wouldn’t challenge him.  

       Mel’s a top.  His scenes always involve a domestic role-play scenario and corporal punishment.  

       Heavy corporal punishment.  

       Of the women at the Studio who work as switches or subs, almost none of them can take it–either the pain is intolerable or the bruising is unacceptable.  They session with him once or twice and then decline, despite the fact that he tips very well and aside from, you know, unbearable pain, he’s a great client.  

       Needless to say, little Margo hit it off with Mel right away.  I’ve been seeing Mel a couple times a month for….gosh, a long time now.  The only time I turn him down is when I have a date or plan to see the Surgeon in the immediate future and can’t have marks on my skin.  

        (Interestingly, though, I don’t bruise like the others do, despite the fact that I have such fair skin and he’s hitting me as hard, or harder, and he always does.  Why is that?  Is it because I’m experienced?  Does anyone know?  Some of my friends look like they were hit by a truck after an hour with Mel, whereas my marks are pretty superficial.)  

     The scenario is always the same: I’m his step-daughter or someone he’s responsible for, and I do something bad–lie about something, show up to dinner late, trash the car, whatever.  After my error is exposed and a full confession made, I get a spanking or a strapping–all for my own good, of course.  Then he forgives me and is warm, loving daddy again.  

       Nothing to it!  Some days I don’t feel up to it, but most of the time, I kinda think it’s fun.  It’s a challenge.  

       Except…

       Except some of the other women at the Studio know all about Mel…a few of them, who have been there for a long time, have a history with him.  A few of them saw him regularly, like me, until they couldn’t anymore.  Nobody’s had a run with him as long as I have.  They look at me like I’m crazy.  

       “You’re still seeing him?  Still?” Asked the English one, Betsy, recently.  She used to see Mel regularly a few years ago.

         “Sure.  Why wouldn’t I?  Nice guy.  The money’s great and the pain’s not a huge problem for me.  Why did you stop seeing him?”

          Betsy looked me straight in the eyes:  “He’s a sick, sick man, Margo.  That’s why.”

          Huh…?  I looked at her, honestly confused.  I had no idea what she was talking about. “What do you mean?  Sick?  Him?  Compared to some of the wackadoos that come in here?”

          Another woman with a history of seeing him told me, “I don’t know how you can handle being with him.  It got to the point with me where I’d go home and keep thinking about the things he said.  I had to stop.”

          “What?  Things he said?”  I asked her.  

           “He hasn’t talked with you about his Dad?”

           “Yes, I know about his Dad.  It doesn’t freak me out.”  

           As Mel and I grew more comfortable with each other, we started to talk more.  I expressed curiosity about how he’d come to be interested in the activities we engaged in.  

         Mel’s father was a violent man.  

          This didn’t disturb me–I had no clue why the other girls were creeped out.  Lots of people eroticize traumatic things that happened to them.  Shit, look at me–do you think it’s a coincidence that I ended up with this strange sexuality?  Who am I to judge Mel?  And as I see it, Mel is dealing with this in a respectable, acceptable way.  

        Time goes on, and I learned more and more about Mel’s formative years.  

         Mel’s father was a very violent man.  What Mel does to me is a little tiptoe through the tulips compared to what Mel’s dad did to him.  Bad stuff, gentle reader–just take my word for it.  Today, if a child was beaten that way, CPS would take him out of the home. 

        Mel didn’t look upset when he told me these stories.  He was calm.  Maybe he sounded a little nostalgic, believe it or not.  

       One time, he told me about getting strapped for the awful crime of getting water-soluble marker on the kitchen linolium floor.  Six years old.

        “Well, I’m really sorry that happened to you,” I said.

        Mel shrugged.  “It was a different time, then.  Different era.  People thought differently.” 

         “Yes, I know.  My father got the stuffing knocked out of him too.  But it’s never okay to hit a child.”  

           “Well, I know that he loved me.  He thought that it was for the best.”   Mel tilted his head to the side, considering, and then said the most incredible thing I’ve ever heard come out of a client’s mouth:  “It’s not like it screwed me up or anything.”  

         I almost started laughing–it was clearly a joke.  I waited for him to laugh, but he didn’t.  

         He wasn’t kidding.

         Yeah, that was an instant classic.  I kept my mouth shut because I didn’t want to offend him, but I wanted to ask, Buddy, do you SEE WHERE YOU ARE?  You are compulsive enough to act out the same scenario, over and over again, at the expense of many thousands of dollars, for your entire adult life.  

         That’s when I got my first inkling of what the other women were talking about when they said that something was really, really wrong with Mel.  

         Just an inkling.  It passed very quickly, and I forgot.

        Because Mel isn’t the only person in the room with issues.  Readers of my little blog will know that I have a blind spot for a certain type of dysfunctional man.  For a certain type of dysfunctional man, his dysfunctions fail to frighten or repulse me, the way they do 99% of other people who get a good look at them.  Remember the Attorney?  He was a kook!  A kook!  Didn’t bother me at all.  

           So, this brings us up to the panic attack I had at the Studio the other day.  

           I still don’t know why it happened to me then–why there was such a change in my understanding or perception of Mel and the things we did together.  I honestly have no idea.  Was it because I was tired and stressed out?  Too much weirdness the day before, which sapped my emotional resiliency?  Why’d it hit me?  

         The receptionist came in back and said, “Margo–Mel’s coming in for you.  He’ll be here in thirty minutes.”

         I said okay and stood up to walk to my locker.  I unlocked it.  I looked at the clock.  

        Thirty minutes to get ready.  

        Thirty minutes can be a long time.  Pain distorts one’s conception of time…slows it down.

        Thirty minutes can be a long time to wait.  

        Then I thought, I wonder what it felt like to Mel when he was waiting for his father to come home?  

         Then the empathy hit me–this huge, and very unwelcome, hit of empathy.  Welcome to the haunted house. I understood exactly how Mel must have felt, and let me tell you, it was pretty fucking terrible.  

          The adrenaline was released in my brain, and when that happens, it’s all over.  When you get scared like that, it doesn’t matter if you understand intellectually that you’re not in danger, or if you earnestly want to calm down….there’s nothing you can do but ride it out and wait for the chemicals to stop working.  

         My hands started shaking.  I couldn’t open the buttons on my dress.  The strength went out of my legs.  I tried to stay standing and then gave up.  I sat down on the floor.  

           I looked at the clock.  Twenty-eight minutes to go.  

           I can’t go through with it.  

            I waited until the shuddering stopped.  Then I stood up and told the receptionist that I couldn’t keep the appointment and that I needed to go home.  

             I took some time off.  I feel fine now.  Refreshed.

             My relationship with Mel has run its course.  If he inquires after me again–when he inquires–I’ll just let him know that I’m unable to see him again.  He’ll take it graciously.  He won’t ask for an explanation.  

           A part of me does wonder what he would think, though, if he knew the truth.  Would he be pleased?  Upset?  Would it make him uncomfortable with himself?  I mean, the guy clearly isn’t big on self-reflection–at least, not about this.  If he wanted to change this part of himself, he would have tired to by now.  

         That’s all for this evening–I’m going to a meeting, and then out to the movies.  I’ve written a lot and my carpal tunnel is kicking up.  

         I have happy stuff to write about, too.  Next time!

        You know, I almost didn’t write about Mel, but I’m glad that I did.  It feels good to talk about it.  As it were.  Lol.  

Knocked Out

    Sorry about that.  I had to take a few days off.  Things were getting a little too weird.  I had to knock it off for a little while.  

      I had a panic attack at the Studio.  A minor one, but that’s what it was: a panic attack.  After that, I was like, time out.  

      This is what happened:

       The previous day I’d come to the Studio on my day off to make a five-hour appointment with some guy whom I’d never met before.  He’s usually a night person.  What that means, in this industry, is that he is crazy, because the crazies come out at night, and that includes the Studio women who work the night shift.  I’m not exaggerating.  Half of those bitches who work the night shift are certifiable–at 1 AM, it’s like hazing night in some horror-movie sorority from hell in there, and as I understand it, it’s been especially dysfunctional the last few weeks.  No idea why.  Maybe it’s the holidays.  

      (I don’t get involved in any of the political diva-drama, by the way.  Nope!  I am a nice polite person, and when I’m not making money, I hole up in the back and try to get some writing done, or do my nails and watch a little YouTube.)

       So anyway, I rolled in on my day off for a 5-hour appointment. The guy was fine and everything went well–I made a lot of money–but when it was over I was physically and emotionally exhausted.  Readers might be wondering to themselves, “What do you do in a session in a dungeon for five hours at a time?”  Good question!  

        The answer is: everything.  Yeah, it was a lot of work.  

        I finished and washed up and then went to my locker to change clothes.  There, affixed to the door with a piece of scotch tape, was a nasty passive-aggressive note from the Studio’s notorious resident psycho.  

         I took the high road and threw it in the trash.  I’m not going to be goaded into fighting with this person.  Ugh.  

         At the same time, there was an argument going on in the other lounge.  Someone was flipping out on C.  I’ve written about C. before–I like her a lot, actually, and we’ve always gotten along.  She’s tremendously entertaining to talk to.  But I wouldn’t flip out on her, I wouldn’t get in her face, because anyone with two brain cells to rub together is able to tell that C. is a dangerous person.  She’s volatile and fearless as a teenage boy.  

         Well, I didn’t see it, but it happened: C. shut the other girl up by punching her in the face

         I wish that the person C. punched was the psycho who put the note on my locker.  That would have made my day, which is an awful thing to say, but it’s the truth.  But no, it was someone else.

        I didn’t stick around–I grabbed my wages, deposited them in the bank, dragged myself home, and collapsed on the sofa.  I was fried.  Absolutely fried.  I almost never miss drinking –drinking alcoholically is a goddamned nightmare–but that night, I definitely could have used some Scotch.  In fact, it’s probably a good thing that the liquor stores were closed.  

      C. didn’t get canned, by the way.  I don’t know how you can punch your co-worker in the face on the job and not get fired, but hey.  The ferocious Russian manager operates according to the standards of Russian professionalism, I suppose. 

      Weird dreams that night.  Really weird.  

      So, the next morning I went back in, and I have to tell you, my morale was very low.  I don’t know why, because I’ve seen plenty of crazy stuff happen at the Studio, but that punch was very discouraging.  I mean, what is this, a goddamned prison yard?  Can we please have a work environment where we don’t have to worry about getting punched in the face?  And am I the only one who think that women engaging in this kind of behavior is really trashy? I know that femininity is a tool of oppression in the patriarchy, but for heaven’s sake, is there anything more unattractive than watching women get violent with each other?  It’s bad enough that men do it!  

       Like celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay always screams on his cooking shows: “Standards!  Can we get some standards, people!  What the fuck happened to your standards?”  

         “What happened last night after I left?”  I asked the other girls in the locker area.  Most of the day-shift people are nice non-psycho individuals.  “Did the cops come?”  

        “No.  They gave (woman who got punched) a bag of frozen vegetables to hold over her face and then she went home.”  

        Nice, huh?  She hasn’t been back, either.  Can’t say that I blame her.  

        But Margo, what about the panic attack? I hear you wondering.

        The panic attack came a few hours later, seemingly out of nowhere, when the receptionist came in the back and told me that I had an appointment in half an hour.  

       With…let’s call him Mel.  

       Mel’s a very interesting case.  I’ve spent a lot of time with Mel. I’ve been thinking about writing about him for a long time, actually.  

       I’ll give you the story in the next installment.  

MONSTER COCKROACH TERRORIZES MARGO

My reader, John (he can be found in the comments section), hooked me up to this great song about cockroaches:

Update 9/10/12    I slept with the light on last night and had awful dreams about cockroaches.  I want to know if this fucking thing is still in my room, but I don’t want to research the insect (I think they live in nests, so it would have gone home by now) because I don’t want to see pictures of them.  GROSS GROSS GROSS

   Today after I finish with laundry and my students, I am going to (get this) TRY YOGA.  Yeah yeah, you might be going, “Margo, that sounds like some bourgeois hipster bullshit to me!”  You may be right.  However, the tendons in my legs are stiff and tight and my posture is poor from spending so many years as a little office monkey.  The women at work rave about their yoga, so I am going to try it.  There’s a place by my house that offers a weeks’ worth of beginner lessons for just $25, so if it sucks or I’m too clumsy to do it, I won’t be out much.

                *                                  *                                 *                                *                    *  

 So, I just got done brushing my teeth and was getting ready for bed when what do I see crawling on my bedroom floor but a HUGE FUCKING MONSTER COCKROACH!!!  I am serious!  This ugly motherfucker is even bigger than that bastard I sucked up in the dustbuster last year!

     I screamed and ran out of my room.

     I collected myself in the living room and tried to decide how to deal with it.  I would have rather seen FIVE mice than a roach that huge.  I would have rather seen RATS.   GOD!  BARF BARF BARF

    I fetched the bleach from underneath the sink.  What could I do?  I had to deal with it somehow.  It was in my bedroom!

     I peeked through the door and saw it sitting by the computer chair.  I tried to bleach it from the doorway.    I got some bleach on it, but it ran away.  I should have just stomped the ugly monster.  But I was scared!  It ran to my bedspread and I had to pull the bedspread off and I got bleach on it so I had to rinse it out in the sink just now!  BOO!  The roach ran under the bed and I am NOT going to chase it.  UGH!  UGH!  I hope I sprayed it enough to poison it!

     This disgusting  roach–where did it come from?  How long has it been living in my room?

      What am I going to do?  I keep looking over my shoulder, thinking it’s going to come out.  I cannot sleep with it here.  I could sleep with the lights on, but the light didn’t keep it away last time.  What am I going to do?  Sleep on the couch?  Because of a roach?  Really?