Fortinbras, Resolved (and Updated!)

UPDATE Monday June 24:  Wait, I left out one of the most important parts….the answer to the question I asked all of you readers to help me with!  What to charge Fortinbras–how not to be a chump!
Okay, everyone, both in comments and in personal email, were in consensus that I should definitely not lowball myself, both because 1) Fortinbras can clearly afford it, and 2) if I lowball myself and he knows it, it’ll look like I have self-esteem issues and he won’t respect that.  

DrugMonkey said to charge him the rate I would charge him for sex, but I can’t do that because I don’t know what that rate would be because I don’t provide sex.  It is not on Miss Margo’s Menu of Services.  Mostly doodz pay to smack me around, or vice versa.  I  charge extra if they want to really put me in traction or get topless or something, but I always keep my underpants on.  

So what I decided to do was to charge Fortinbras my hourly fee X 7 hours.  I gave him one free hour.  Lots of women in the industry do this. 

Now, this is the way I see it: I didn’t charge him for sex, so he doesn’t know for sure that he’s going to get it.  This is the type of guy who likes a little challenge.  So he’s gonna be thinking “Can I seduce her?  Can I get her to want to sleep with me, even though that is not what she typically does professionally?”  It’s going to be a game to him, and exciting game.  And it means that he is going to be working extra hard to make sure that I have a wonderful time with him, so that means more fun for me (even though, of course, my first priority is making sure that HE has fun–but see how this works out in both our favors?)!

If, at the end of the night, I want to have sex with him, then I will, and it will be because he “earned” it by seducing me.  And I won’t feel “ripped off” because even though I didn’t charge sex-rate prices, he is still paying me a hell of a lot of money.  

And it will be a win-win for Fortinbras, because he managed to get me into bed–what an ego boost for him, right?  He’ll be strutting around the next morning thinking ‘I’ve still got it!’ 

Aaaaaannnnddd….if I DON’T feel like having sex with him, then I don’t have to, because I didn’t charge him for it and I didn’t say that I would!  I didn’t promise anything–in fact, we clearly discussed and agreed upon my limits and services on our first session.  So if I don’t want to have sex with him, I can walk out and not feel the slightest bit guilty about it, and he won’t be able to complain, even if he doesn’t like it!  And if it makes him mad (I honestly don’t think that he would express anger or hostility, he’s too much of a gentleman, but…just in case, one never knows, right?), and he never wants to see me again….SO WHAT?  TOO BAD!  I still got your $$$$$, Fortinbras!  

See…?  I think this is the perfect solution.  Everyone wins no matter what.  Nothing can go wrong!  

Thank you all for your help!

*                             *                               *                       * 

(Because this is part of my personal journal as well as being my blog, I want to record what happened to me last night.  I dreamed about the Mathematician for the first time in weeks.  Usually the dreams I’ve had about him in the past few months have been bad, but this dream was a happy, sensual dream.  I remembered washing his hair in the shower.  When I awoke, I just laid in bed and cried for a few minutes.  I couldn’t help it.  I don’t even like him or want him anymore and I wish that the memories of the good feelings would go away..)

                *                          *                           *      

     On the heels of that: Fortinbras.

     On my analyst’s couch, staring up at the ceiling: “I need to handle this one very carefully.  Makes me anxious.  I need to do it right.  I want him to like me.  I don’t know what to charge him.  I don’t want him to think he’s entitled to sex because I don’t offer that.  But eight hours is a lot of money.”

     “Why do you want him to like you?” she asked.

      “Well, repeat business, of course.  He’s a well-to-do man, fascinating, respects my boundaries…could be a bread-and-butter client.” 

       “But why are you confused? Why are you confused about how to act with him?”

       I blinked up at the ceiling.  Then (dig the irony in this one, ha ha): “I’m sorry, but don’t understand what you’re getting at.”

       “If Fortinbras was some client you could barely tolerate who asked you for an 8-hour session, what would you say?”

         No hesitation at all: “Pffffft…! My hourly fee X eight.  Maybe a nominal discount.  Maybe.

        “Then why not say that to Fortinbras…?”

        I grasped; I grappled.  I felt like a bee in a bottle banging against a glass wall whose substance I couldn’t fully comprehend.  “I am impressed with him and it doesn’t seem fair to charge him so much just to be around him and have him take me out and make me dinner.” 

         “You crave his approval and that is why you want to give him the ‘right answer.’  Who has the ‘right answer?‘  Fortinbras?  Even though it’s your business and he asked you to name your fee? You are attracted to him.  Why?”

          “But…but I want all my clients–or most of them, anyway–to approve of my performance.  It is a matter of professional pride to me to give them the experience that they want to have.  This is one of my jobs.  It is important to me that I be good at it,” I said.

         “But Margo, you are confused here because you are reversing the roles.  You don’t know how to handle Fortinbras because in your mind, he is giving you an experience that you want to have, ‘just by being around him.’  That is why your hourly rate doesn’t seem ‘fair’ to you.”  

           Just like that, the issue–my problem–clarified in my mind, clear as crystal.  I gaped up at the ceiling, mouth ajar, stunned at how obvious it was.  Aghast that it had happened to me again, unfolding right in front of me, and I hadn’t seen it happening.  Repetition compulsion, baby, repetition compulsion.  This is the power of the subconscious.  

           I hadn’t been lying to myself about Fortinbras–not one bit.  I have been in this business long enough to know exactly how it works.  And I know men and what they are like, and I know clients and the multitudinous reasons they have for hiring me, and while I am still young enough to get skeptical looks when I enter a classroom as an instructor, I no longer pass as a spring fucking chicken while I run around campus with my knapsack on.  In sum, I am old enough, and experienced enough, to be a little wise.

           I wasn’t lying to myself about Fortinbras.  

           I was being lied to by myself.

           …..Can you see, grasp, that crucial distinction…?  Bully for you if you can, because it’s a slippery fuckin concept even for me, and I’ve been bearing down hard on it for years now. 

           That, my friends, is the subconscious. 

           Fancy psychoanalytic mumbo-jumbo aside: I wanted Fortinbras to like me because I experienced him as benevolent (but potentially violent) elder male authority. 

          Vater.  If my father had a zillion bucks, a loft that looked like an art museum, several advanced academic credentials, self-control, and a penchant for sadism. 

           Well, Franz Adler is a sadist.  One out of five.  

           (I have no idea how far my father has degenerated since I ceased communicating with him–I expect his deterioration has been significant.  At his best, however–when he was about my age, perhaps a little older–I think that he could have held a conversation with Fortinbras about art in Western antiquity, and Fortinbras would have respected my father’s contribution to the exchange (“Not so bad for poor white trash, eh?” my father would say, lighting his pipe or cigarette).  Not that my father is amazingly bright…like myself, he is just intelligent enough to be a bit dangerous.  His memory is incredible, however, and the mechanism of his thought works in odd, uncanny ways.  He makes connections; he intuits relationships most people never would.  He sees things in people.  Usually the bad things.  The bad habits; the secrets.)       
                       *                         *                            * 

        Fortinbras, Fortinbras….getting back to Fortinbras.

       It took me almost two weeks to figure out that Fortinbras triggered my terminal Daddy complex, but it was apparently obvious as hell to everyone else.  

        Get your head out of your ass, Margo.  Don’t forget what you are doing here, Margo.  Don’t forget what your job is here, Margo. 
Snap snap, Margo.  What is he paying you for, Margo? You are the professional here, Margo, so what is your job?  EARTH TO MARGO, COME IN PLEASE!

       Gawd, how embarrassing.  How unprofessional!  Kick this Daddy shit to the side and focus on the job at hand. 

      Concentrate on this man.  What have you seen?  What do you know?  When he was trying to impress you in the kitchen with his skill with the knife…and then in the bedroom, when he was stripped to the waist with that bone-cruncher…what did you see, what did he want you to see?  He struck you as mostly unaffected, not a man who needs to work to impress anyone.  He is wealthy enough and educated enough and old enough to tell anyone he doesn’t like to get lost.  

       Focus on him.  Focus on Fortinbras. 

      What does he want from me?  Yeah, of course it could be sex, but he could get that anywhere.  He might have five girlfriends right now.  He could hire the most expensive call girl in NYC, ballerina-perfect and younger than me. There are not so many pro-switches, but there are a few, and in any case, money is a hell of a persuader. 

      What does he want? Why did he extend our first session to several hours?  Why does he want at least 8 hours now–a public date?

      My Neo-Freudian Analyst: You made him feel like the hero parental figure he has always longed to be.  It is biological.  He is not necessarily conscious of it. I’m not saying that he wants to be your father.  I mean that you make him feel like a hero.  You admire him!  And no matter how rich or comely he is, do you think that he has pretty educated impressed younger women running around flattering him by asking him questions about his art all day?  Hanging on his every word about it? I’m sure the friends of his daughters all but ignore him!  He starts talking about art and their eyes glaze over!  They listen to Rhianna. Asking him about Copenhagen?  How many American women know about Copenhagen?  How many even know what country it’s in?

      One of my favorite readers–a fellow whom I know nothing about, other than that he used to see dommes, and he has lots of brains cells to rub together, wrote this to me: 

    “The big question is what sort of experience is he fantasizing about.  He gave you a thank you note.  I think that this is a big indicator of his fantasy about the transaction…The books are also a major tell.  Why would he do that?  Does he fantasize about mentoring a younger woman?  Was insisting on paying your hourly fee for dinner an attempt to show you how much you are worth?  Throw out little statements and see how he reacts…

There’s nothing wrong with providing fantasy fulfillment.  That is what you are doing every minute you are with him.  He should know that every time he hands you money.   Structure the experience for him, based on what you sense his desires to be.  Your goal is to keep him buying time – if he falls a little in love with you that’s OK.  Eventually he will tire of you and move on.  I think that the thrill of his emotional attachment to you is what he is buying.   For your part, this works best if your feelings are genuine, but you maintain some inner detachment.

Remember, you are playing a role to fulfill his fantasies.  If you feel that you are getting something other than money – a sense of being taken care of, or a sense of security – then he is fulfilling your fantasies, and that is a problem.  He is not there to fulfill your emotional needs – you are there to fulfill his.  Fortinbras could plug into any daddy issues you might have and that can be powerful stuff.  A pleasant job is better than an unpleasant one, but it is still a job.  What you get from it is money.”

     Anon Reader (you know who you are!) your advice is precious and I wish I had your good sense. And yes, I think he wants to mentor me.  He lectures me, kindly, about the art I question him about.  He recommends books for me to read.  Somehow I don’t think he does this to every ho that walks in the door. 

      I read the last paragraph of your letter to my analyst–about the roles being reversed, and him fulfilling my fantasies, as opposed to vice versa.  You are completely correct.  I am there to do a job.  Period.  

      If Fortinbras meets my emotional issues, then I am, at minimum, being unprofessional.  Otherwise…endangering myself. 

       I’m tired now.  Sorry.

      Please write me any time.  If you don’t want any of this printed, let me know, and I’ll delete it.

      Best regards,


                     *                     *                       *                            *


I think my analyst would concur that Fortinbras likes me because I make him feel like THIS GUY….THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD…lol lol lol  omg I’m gonna die laughing 

Please forgive me…Fortinbras really is a fascinating fellow, as are many of my clients…but if I didn’t have a sense of humor about this shit, I’d go crazy. I’m sure you understand….

Nightmare: Paris, Poodles, and Parrot

    Miss Margo Note:  This is a nightmare I had fairly recently…the last time I saw the Mathematician, actually.  Boy oh boy, did my analyst have fun with this one.  

     It’s deeply personal, but also pretty funny, in a grotesque sort of way, so I’m sharing it.  Enjoy.  

   I dreamed that I was a prostitute living in Paris.  I had a small French poodle with its fur styled in the elaborate classic poodle haircut.  I used pink food coloring to dye parts of the poodle’s fur pink. 

    I had a pink dress the same color as my poodle’s fur.  I would wear the pink dress when I took the poodle out for a walk.  I saw other women wearing similar dresses and also walking died poodles—blue, green, purple.  Poodles of all different colors.  Their dresses matched the colors of their poodles.

     My died poodle gave men an excuse to come up and talk to me.  They would want to ask me why I died my poodle pink.  Then I would tell them the nature of my labor, and decided whether or not to take them to my apartment.

     One day I received a package in the mail.  I opened the package and found the dried, shriveled corpse of my Parrot inside. She was shrunken; just skin and bones and her feathers. Around the bird’s neck was a tag with a telephone number on it. 
   I called the telephone number.  Someone on the other end of the phone picked up, but they didn’t speak.

      Suddenly, I heard someone knocking on my front door.
      I went to go answer the door.  I was suddenly full of fear.

     It was my murderer, there to kill me.  The one who sent me the package with my dead Parrot. 

      The killer looked like a man, but I think it was really a woman.  It killed me with a knife. 

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5 (in C sharp minor)

       My mind is broiling in thoughts about music and art right now.  I’m trying to finish a blog post about my family history and Beethoven’s 9th symphony and the film Immortal Beloved (trust me, it all comes to bear).  I’ve attacked this blog post badly by four different angles over 18 months, and I’ve decided that I just need to finish it.  

       I take out my art history books early in the morning when I can’t go back to sleep.  Searching for something on the tip of my tongue.  (Umberto Eco’s On Ugliness has proved especially fascinating.) 

       I search YouTube for the music that I can’t specifically name, but which I recognize immediately when I hear it  (I remember the composers).  Music from a specific time in my life–my early adolescence.  

     I found this piece, which I haven’t listened to in its entirety in at least ten years:

This poem, as well, from The Narcissus Flower, by Rita Dove.  I think I read this poem late–maybe early undergrad…?  It is about the myth of Persephone, a maiden goddess who was abducted by Hades, the King of the Underworld.  It is told in first person. 

And though nothing could chasten 
the plunge, this man
adamant as a knife easing into

the humblest crevice, I found myself at
the center of a calm so pure, it was hate.

The mystery is, you can eat fear 
before fear eats you,

you can live beyond dying–
and become a queen
whom nothing surprises.

Is that why I have chosen to live as I have…? 
The Narc

…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.

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 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.  

My Mother Slew Me, My Father Ate Me

Miss Margo note: I did not write this.  It is the work of Laura Miller, from “A Tone Licked Clean: Fairy Tales and the Roots of Literature.”  Harper’s Dec 2012

This story is perfect.  I can’t stop thinking about it.

                            *                                     *                                   *                              *

There once was a woman who wanted, more than anything else, to have a child. One winter day, while peeling an apple under the juniper tree in her garden, she cut her finger, dripping blood on the snow. Nine months later, she gave birth to a boy with skin as white as snow and lips as red as blood. But she died when the child was born, and in time her husband took a new wife, who bore him a daughter.
The boy’s stepmother hated him, and made his life miserable. One day she offered him an apple from a chest; when the boy leaned inside to take it, she slammed the lid down and the child’s head was struck off. She placed his head back on his neck and sat him in a chair. When the evil woman’s daughter came home, she told the girl to ask her brother for an apple. “And if he doesn’t give you an answer, slap his face.” Of course the boy didn’t answer, and when his sister slapped him, his head flew off.
“Don’t worry, I know how to cover up your crime,” the woman told her daughter, and she chopped up the little boy and cooked the pieces in a stew. That evening, she served the stew to her unwitting husband, who liked it so much he ate the whole thing, tossing the bones under the table.
The sister, full of sorrow, gathered the bones of her brother and placed them at the roots of the juniper tree. A beautiful bird sprang from the branches and sang a ravishing song, with these words:
My mother, she slew me,
My father, he ate me,
My sister buried my bones
Under the juniper tree.
What a fine bird am I!


      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.” 

       “Well I could tell that he wanted to.  What is an appropriate reaction?  I mean what is the guy supposed to do, try to rape me?  When money’s involved, things get complicated.  I don’t do prostitution or illegal activities.  I have to have boundaries, or else I’ll get fucked in the head.”  

       “He’s repressed.” 

        For once, I disagree with her.  I think that he’s relatively inexperienced with women for a man his age (that can happen if you spend your 20s in the campus computer lab and then get married straight away) and that he’s also a Nice Man™.  I know nice men exist because I’ve met them.  They are not all a bunch of violent wild animals.  

        She does have a point, though: there’s something weird about his situation.  Not necessarily bad, but weird.  There is no logical reason why this man does not have female companionship.

       ( “He’s still in love with his mother!” my analyst said.

        “Jesus, do you ever quit it?” ) <——this part is a joke! Ha! Ha!

                     *                            *                      *                     * 

         I have a student who always shows up late to our appointments.  Ten, fifteen minutes late.  Fucking always.  

       He is also chronically unprepared.  He forgets to bring his texts sometimes.  He forgets to bring writing utensils.  

       It’s not just with me. 

       His father wants him to go to law school.  His father is a lawyer and his mother is some sort of corporate executive.  Thing is, the son isn’t a very good writer.  He doesn’t read if he doesn’t have to, either.  His father gives him a hard time about it.  His father sounds cruel, to tell you the truth.  

       The son behaves in ways that provoke frustration in other authority figures.  He manufactures it.  When they are angry with him, it confirms what he believes to be true about himself: he’s bad, inadequate.  

       Good going, Dad.  Father of the year.

      The masochist needs a sadist.  If he can’t find one, he’ll make one where none was there before.  And if that doesn’t work, he’ll become the sadist himself.  

       I bring extra pens for my student.  I bring extra copies.  I don’t sigh.  I don’t roll my eyes.  I don’t complain to his parents.  When he’s late all I say is, “I’m glad you’re okay.”  

       He needs to be nurtured.  


Apartment Update

     I’ve had a few requests from readers about my living status.  Yeah, I’ve been avoiding talking about it for a few days.

     First, I’m grateful anyone cares.  

     Second, I don’t have time–I literally don’t have time–for your judgement.  How dare you.  I’m trying to survive.  What, do you think I didn’t pay my landlord because I blew my money on frivolities?  I like to shop, maybe?   

       I’ve been living hand to mouth for ages now and I knew when I left the Surgeon that I was forfeiting my only protection (not to mention bringing his wrath down on my head).  He seldom gave me money after the relationship became personal, but at least I always knew that it was there.

       I am temporarily bestowed with beauty and relative youth.  Society affords monetary value to these traits.  They are commodities.  That’s a fact.  I did not invent this rotten system, but I live under it.  

        Selling access to those commodities is not “the easy way out,” as some jackass who emailed me put it.  Think it’s easy?  You try doing it, asshole.  Oh, you can’t?  Because you’re a man and can’t conceive of being in my situation.  Because the choice does not exist for you.  Because society doesn’t demand and fetishize these things from you, and then cruelly think less of you for providing them.  To you, it’s not wrong that this system exists.  To you, the only thing worthy of shame is the woman. 

         There is no easy way out.  I wish there were.  Every option that I have is BAD.  

          I live on the edge of society.  I always have.  Despite the consequences. Know why I do it..?  Because I’ve liberated myself from culture’s tyrannical horseshit, and that includes the morals that are preposterous and the values systems which are fucked up.  You want that idiocy?  Religion and God?  That absurd bourgeois mentality?  Fine.  You can keep it.  Enjoy it.  Your life is probably more secure than mine.  But I am free.  I am fucking free, and I don’t owe you, or anyone else besides the people I love, a goddamned thing.  I deliberately refuse to live off of a goddamned man and I refuse to be beholden to anything or anyone that I do not choose, and that includes you and the stigma you think I ought to carry.  I obey the law because I fear the power of the state and I don’t hurt people because I am a kind person. The way that I treat people speaks for itself.  That is who I am. Otherwise?  The values I live by are my own.  I picked them.  Me.  

       You try to shove your shame on me, and I’ll rip off your goddamned arm and shove it up your ass sideways.   

      My father was a very bad man, but he was talented, and he passed some of his talents on to me.  He lived exactly as he wanted to, and he wasn’t afraid of anyone.  He has fears, but they are not human.  He is truly an outlaw.  The only difference between he and I is that I have morals.  

       Think about that next time you open your mouth to shame me. 

      Memo to self: Be more like Franz. 

“That’s What You Get.”

   Update 9:45  AM  
    Okay I feel much better now.

     Why doesn’t the iPhone come with an instruction manual?  I’m a moron; somebody help me.  I can’t get my photos off of it.  They are fun to look at on the phone, but I have to get them to the blog.  

    P.S.   Parrot flew to one of my bookshelves and ATE most of a book.  I hope it’s not toxic!  Books aren’t toxic, right?  They can’t be, or else kids would die from them. 

          *                   *                  *                 *              * 

   AAARGH I had the most awful dream last night!

    I have a date with Spencer tonight and I dreamed he didn’t know about the Surgeon and went to the Surgeon for surgery.  The Surgeon did it wrong on purpose to punish me and made Spencer paralyzed, as if he’d had a stroke.  

     And the Surgeon got away with it, too!  He sent me roses and wrote me a note: that’s what you get. 

      Major panic!  I haven’t had a bad dream about an ex like that since John!  

      I am going to the gym.  I have to get this out of my head.