Happy Holidays

Hi, 8 readers.  I wish that this would take a long time to write, because I love to write, but I know it won’t.

I had a relapse and I got caught.  It was a small one (I’m not making excuses, because it was still indefensible, but it was only a few hours and I remained pretty coherent), but the Collector is shipping me off to a 14-day lockdown and then taking me away somewhere for the Holidays.

I’m sneaking this in from my own separate place so that I know it’s private.

It makes me angry because he gave me booze and pills in the past and he also has a big wine closet.  The wine closet doesn’t bother me much because it’s under the stairs and I never have to see it or think about it. The bar upstairs always stresses me out because it’s always there and I have to pass by it.

To his credit, he took all the liquor out of the bar and put it in a locked room so I don’t have to see it again unless he’s entertaining guests.  I hate to be a jerk, because my addiction is not his problem, but he should have done that all along.

I’m not going anywhere.  This blog is my connection with the outside world.  But I am going to be incommunicado for the next few weeks.

For anyone who hangs in there: thanks for your patience.

And happy holidays.

 

Pirates

Past the swimming pool, there is a grove of trees.  If you walk it, more trees.  I was confused at first because I thought, Well, Europeans (exception of Russians) already chopped down all their big trees, and don’t have any wildlife left but deer and squirrels. It wasn’t like I was going to get eaten by a bear or a cougar.  Euro forests are just big tree parks.

There is a stretch of beach where nobody can go because endangered birds nest there.  There are signs in English and his language.  Behind that, the trees.

The trees were mostly Birches. I thought, for some reason, they would be coniferous; evergreens.

I went into the trees.  I tried to be very careful because I have an awful sense of direction. It’s honestly the worst of anyone I’ve ever met; it would be comical if it wasn’t so bad.  I’ve gotten lost on fucking hiking trails.  The GPS is a balm to my soul, like a safety blanket, but I didn’t have it then.  It doesn’t work over there.

I tried to pay attention to where I was going so that I could get my way back to the beach.  Also, the ocean has a smell and makes noise.

THEN the kid came up, the eldest son.  I heard him come up because he was crunching stuff underneath his shoes.  Guys are mostly loud.

Was it a hundred yards…?  I was only a hundred yards into the trees.

I was startled.  There was no reason for him to be there.

He said that he wanted to show me where he and his brother played “Pirates.”

There were five or six boulders, each the size of a car or a bed.  It looked very incongruous (is that redundant?).  I wondered how they got out there, piled together in the middle of nowhere.  Then I remembered my undergrad geology class: they were probably moved by a glacier thousands of years ago (geology, should anyone ask you, is basically the history of rocks).

“Let’s see if I can fit now!” he said, and climbed up the boulders like a billy goat.

There was a slim crevice between the stones.  He had to take off his jacket, but he dropped through it.

He popped up and extended his hand: “Let me show you!  There’s a space under here.”

I turned around and headed back to the beach.  All the hair on my arms was standing up.

Deprived of the Warmth

I forgot the rule about clothes again.  I can’t explain it, really.  I know Freud says that there are no accidents, but, it’s just…wearing clothes is just default human behavior.  I never SLEEP in clothes, unless I’m menstruating or sharing a house with others (roommates or guests), but, usually, even if I’m being a total slob eating frozen yogurt out of the carton with Abe on my shoulder and reading the paper, I’m wearing a pair of underpants.

Last time, after the nightly sexual experience, he said: “I hate to deprive myself of your warmth and comfort, but if I didn’t enforce the rules, you wouldn’t respect me in the morning.”

Then he took out a rubber yoga mat and laid it by the bed.  He gave me a pillow and a blanket.  That’s where I slept.

He said, “Next time, you’ll sleep in the kitchen like Oliver Twist.  Do you want to be mine, or a wretched foundling like him?”

I forgot, again, and so I slept–or tried to sleep–in the kitchen, by the table.

When the sun started to come up, the rosy-fingered dawn, I got up.  I got up before my bird, and Abe’s an early riser (an early bird! Ha! Ha! lame joke).  I was going to feed him, but I left him alone to rest.  The travel is stressful to him.

(As an aside…I love Abe SO MUCH that I feel guilty about it.  This little bird is such an innocent and joyful creature.  I know I sound like a crazy parrot lady…but every day, he gives me love.  If I don’t double-lock his cage, he opens it, walks to me at night, and wakes me up grooming my hair and staring at me.)

I rinsed off in the shower and shaved my legs and armpits and slathered on the lotion.  Time to go back to entertaining.

He was up already, as usual.  Probably since 4:30 AM.  Lifting weights in the gym.  Almost all of the men I attract do this.  Superficially, they seem different…but they’re still the same, just reiterations.

Meet the New Wolf.  He’s like the last one.

Only more deadly.

 

In My Handbag

Work Cell Phone (“Mistress Batphone”): Pay-as-you-go burner Tracfone from Target

Private Cell Phone: Samsung Galaxy S6

Tin of Altoid Smalls, peppermint flavor

Hairbrush

Chapstick, cherry flavored

Mascara, Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume in brownish-black

Miniature travel toothbrush with case

Ballpoint pens, 4 (four), all from different hotels

Hotel room key-cards, 3 (three), all from different hotels

Naltrexone, 3 (three) pills, in a zipper compartment

Visine

Compact mirror purchased at Mauritshuis in The Hague , depicting Girl With a Pearl Earring (c.1665)

Tampons, 2 (two)

Crumpled Used Kleenex, 2 (two)

Lipsticks, 3 (three): nude (Victoria’s Secret), cool fuscia (Sephora), cool red (Wet n’ Wild)

B1 complex with Folic Acid vitamins, 4 (four), because my last alcoholic relapse wrecked my health and I need these vitamins to get it back.  Doctor’s orders.  I eat them like pez.  If you are an alcoholic, you really need to get on B1 with folic acid as soon as possible.

Condoms, 8 (eight): 2 Skyn Polyisoprene (non-latex), 2 good-ole-Trojan, 2 Skyn Polyisoprene “large,” 2 Kimono brand  All for clients on outcalls, alas

A shit-ton of heavy change that needs to go in the change jar and be taken to CoinStar.

My wallet, which is printed with  van Gogh’s Almond Blossom (c. 1890).  

ATM receipts, four (4)

Ticket to the Legion of Honor

Bandages to keep my still-healing burn wounds concealed

Kohl eyeliner, one (1), brown “espresso”

Broken Rules and Broken Doors

Some Tops are big on Rules, and some have almost none at all.  The Surgeon, for instance, only had a few for me: I wasn’t allowed to swear in his presence, I couldn’t wear pants (shorts were okay in the summertime sometimes, though–he loved my legs), and I had to ask his permission before I changed my appearance in any significant way, which meant no radical hairdo changes.  Oh, and he made me quit smoking almost immediately, which was actually one of the better things he ever did for me.

This one–Mr. Toast-for-Dinner, Esq.– was a big Rules guy, which didn’t bother me at all.  I like rules and thrive in structured environments, which is one reason I generally loved academia so much.  I’m also, believe it or not, generally a people-pleaser and don’t have any problems with authority I find uncorrupt and legitimate.

Well, one of his rules was that I wasn’t allowed to wear clothing in the house unless we had company over, or a repair person or the cleaning service was visiting.  The first thing I’d do when I got back to his place (if he was home or coming home) would be to go to my room and undress and either hang my clothes back up or put them in the hamper to be laundered.

One day, he called me ahead to let me know that a few of his colleagues were coming back with him to discuss some of the cases they were working on.  I put on a nice conservative dress, refreshed my makeup and hairdo, and, when everyone arrived, I tried to play charming and unobtrusive hostess: keep a low-wattage smile on my face, get everyone refreshments, and otherwise remain attentive but as unobtrusive as possible.

I was clearing the coffee tables and loading up the dishwasher when they left three hours later.  I was also, I must admit, playing on my phone.

“Margo,” he looked up from the papers he was going over with a neon yellow highlighter.

“Hmmm?”

“Your dress.”

I looked down at myself, confused, and asked him if there was something wrong with it.  It was navy blue with a high neck and the hem was an inch above my knee.  Attractive, but not sexy–the sort of thing you could wear in a somewhat formal office environment.

“Why are you still wearing it?”  He put his papers down and rose to his feet suddenly.

I looked at the clock.  Yeah, company had been gone for almost 40 minutes.

“Sorry.  I’ll go to my room and take it off,” I said.

He started to walk towards me pretty aggressively, and, instinctively, I started to back up.

“Why did you forget?”  He didn’t scream, but his voice sounded angry.

“I was distracted!  I just forgot!  I’ll go take it off right now!”

Then I turned my back on him and started running down the hallway, to my room.

It could have ended there…but something happened.  He overreacted.  All of a sudden, I heard him start running after me.

I guess I overreacted too, because I freaked out.  I mean, I’m not used to men chasing me down, at least in the literal sense.   I got scared.  I panicked.

I ran straight past my bedroom to the end of the hall, ran into the bedroom there, closed the door, and locked it behind me.

I’d picked the worst possible room in the house to run to (but of course, I wasn’t thinking).  Every other bedroom had a heavy steelwood door with a deadbolt lock.  As it turned out, I’d just locked myself inside the bedroom that was used for guests who visited with children: it had two twin beds for kids, a crib…and the door was a light, cheap piece of shit you could buy at Home Depot.  The lock was one of those twist ones in the doorknob.

He was at the door not two seconds behind me, and I saw him rattling the doorknob.

“Margo, unlock the door,” he said.

“No!  Why the hell are you chasing me?  I said I’d take the dress off!”

The doorknob rattled, more violently this time.

“Open the door!”

“No!  You’re scaring me!”

He hit it.  Hard.  I jumped.

“I won’t allow you to hide from me,” he said.

(In retrospect, that is what really set him off: the fact that I tried to lock him out.  If I hadn’t done that, he probably would have just ripped my clothes off and given me a spanking and forgotten about it once I was demonstrably contrite.)

“Go away!” I yelled, backing away from the door.

There was a long pause…

….and then a huge thud against the door.  HUGE.

Another pause.  Then, the thud.

I recognized what it was almost immediately: he was backing up, getting in a few running steps, and launching himself shoulder-first into the door.

He was banging the door down.

I almost had a complete panic attack, because I’ve had men bang down doors to get to me twice in my life, and both times resulted in hideous experiences once they got in.

He hit it again.  And again.  And again.

How am I going to handle this…?

When he hit it again, he broke the flimsy lock and the door burst open.  He stepped inside and stood there, looking at me.  His hair was disheveled and half of his shirt had come untucked.

“What the hell are you doing?”  I asked, crossing my arms over my chest.  I tried to sound as composed as possible, which was difficult with all the adrenaline pumping through me.

“Why did you lock the door?” he yelled.  It was–is–the only time I’d heard him scream.

“Because you’re acting like a crazy person!”

He stood there, blinking, like that hadn’t occurred to him.

I pointed at the broken door.  “You just broke down the door in your own home chasing after a terrified girl half your age!  You broke your own property!”

It was true: he’d completely lost control of the situation, which was what I was trying to impress on him, because he was a control-freak.

“You look ridiculous!”  I reiterated.

He looked at me, turned at the waist and looked back at the door, and then came back to me.

Then he turned around and walked out without a word.  He went to his bedroom and closed the door.

I ran back to my room (no long on the door), got my guns and my purse, bolted for another bedroom and locked myself inside.  I slept there overnight and didn’t leave until I heard him go to work in the morning.

We completely ignored each other for two days.  When I was in the house, I stayed in that bedroom with a deadbolt lock and didn’t come out.  It had a private bathroom and when he was at work I stocked up on snacks and water, so I didn’t have to leave when he was home.

After two days, he slipped a card underneath my door.  It was a polite request that I join him for dinner.  I sent him a text message saying that I would attend.

He cooked dinner and rapped gently on my door to let me know it was ready.  I’d deliberately worn the same dress I was wearing when he threw his temper tantrum.

“I apologize.  My behavior was very impulsive and out of character for me.  It won’t happen again.  I’m ashamed of myself,” he said at the table.

I don’t think that last part is true–I don’t think this man has any use for shame–but he kept his word about the rest of it: no doors have been broken down since.

Part II: Bath Time

I heard him running the bath in the second bathroom down the hall.  We’d spent a lot of time there, after dinner and before bed.   He liked to wash my hair and soap me down with a fluffy sponge and sometimes even shave my legs for me, which was kind of sexy because it was nerve-wracking (I was always worried he was going to nick me, though he seldom did).

And we would talk.

At first I thought it was just going to be an occasional romantic gesture, but when I saw that he was making a ritual out of it, I was slightly concerned.  The reasons for my concern are entirely my own baggage: bathtime with Dad was one of my (only) happy early-childhood memories of the man.  For some reason, he got a big kick out of it.  I had lots of bath toys and we always used Mr. Bubble:

mr-bubble

He’d sit on the toilet lid or get a chair and we’d make statues out of the bubbles and bubble hats  and throw foam Nerf balls back and forth and splash around, fun stuff like that.  Sadly–but necessarily–that had to end when I got older.  I don’t remember how old, but I was still pretty little.  Dad said that he was sorry, but I was getting too old and it wasn’t appropriate anymore and I would have to bathe myself from now on.  I was sad and disappointed, but, on some level, I understood what he was saying.

So, this nightly after-dinner bath ritual struck me, at first, as kinda paternalistic (honestly, though, I do have to wonder if that was his entire motivation, but I never had the balls to ask if he was trying to deliberately do the boogie-woogie all over my Daddy Issues), and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be comfortable with it.  Additionally, my bathtime is my alone-time, and when I’m with him, I didn’t get much privacy.

Well, it turned out to be fine.  It was easy for me to get over my minor hangup, and he really seemed to enjoy doing it, and we’d have fun. It made me feel cared about.  I even let him take some photos of me in the water, as long as I was in poses that concealed everything, which I would normally never let a man do (one of them turned out so well that he blew it up, had it professionally matted and framed, and hung it in the hallway close to his bedroom).

Plus, it would put me in a nice relaxed mood for when he beat the snot out of me during the sex later.

Tonight, bath time was no going to be so much fun.

I worried that he was up to something when he told me he’d draw the bath himself–I was the one who did that.  He had a huge copper tub and it took forever to fill.

Finally, I heard the water turn off.  He walked back into the dining room and told me it was almost ready, go wait in the bathroom.

I stood up stiffly from the table and walked nervously to the bathroom.

The tub was full of water, all right.  As usual.

But there was something different.  Something…off.

I looked in the mirror above the sinks.

There was no condensation on the glass.  No steam in the room.

The water was not hot.

He strode into the bathroom carrying an enormous bag of cubed party ice from the freezer.  In front of my unbelieving, horrified eyes, he tore open the bag and dumped the contents into the water.  Then he balled up the bag and put it into the waste container.

“Bath time!” he announced happily.

I’d been through icewater torture once before: Heinrich & Co. made me sit in a steel vat of it while they interrogated me the first day of Abduction Weekend.  Believe me, that shit’s no joke.  It was horrible, and I was not eager to re-create the experience, especially for no fucking reason (Abduction Weekend had a point).

“Nope,” I said.

“Get in.”

“I don’t want to.  This is cruel and unnecessary.”

“It’s my prerogative.”

“It’s not safe.”

He reached into his pocket and took out a mechanical egg timer he’d brought from the kitchen.  “You can do ten minutes.  That won’t hurt you.”

“Don’t make me do this,” I said.

“Margo,” he said, lowering his voice, “Do you really wish to turn this into a more serious confrontation?  We can put all of this behind us in ten minutes.”

What this boiled down to, for me, was: Do you want this punishment, or what’s behind door #3?  Because it’s not this, it’s going to be something else, sooner or later.  He wasn’t going to force me to get in the water.  He wasn’t going to pick me up and dump me in, though he was certainly strong enough to do that.  I could tell him to fuck off, get my purse, and go hole up in one of the spare bedrooms that had a deadbolt on the door.  He (probably) wouldn’t try to stop me.

But then…then I’d have to wait.  For the other shoe to drop.  And, almost certainly, unless he had a change of heart after sleeping on it…he’d be plotting.

Because it’s not over…until it’s over.

Be as stoical as possible, no matter how much it hurts.  Don’t break down, don’t beg, and don’t panic.  Don’t give him the satisfaction.

“This is a stupid thing to do for a man who needs my trust,” I said, and started to undress with my back to him.  “Later, you’ll feel like an idiot.”

I looked over my shoulder to check his reaction.  One thing that most of the men I get involved with have in common is that they think they are the pinnacles of human perfection in this world.  They are not used to being called idiots.  Rebukes to their judgement really throw them for a loop.

His mouth was open–I’d bet anything he was going to add more time to the timer as a penalty–but he seemed to think better of it and didn’t say anything.

I approached the tub and looked down at the water.  It was deep, with a layer of ice cubes bobbing merrily on the surface.

“Start the timer,” I said, and stepped into the bath.

It was freezing, but not so painful on my legs.  It was when I lowered myself into the water that the shock of the cold hit.  I yelped and hissed in breath.  Couldn’t be helped.

My skin broke out in gooseflesh all over and started to flush red almost immediately.

He pulled up a chair and sat, crossing his legs.  Front-row tickets to the show.

How can I describe it for you…?  Ten minutes in icewater feels like a very long time.  Long enough to suffer, but not long enough to go numb.  I started to shiver violently and when he handed me a bar of soap I had difficulty holding it; it kept squirting out of my shaking hand and I’d have to rummage around on the bottom of the tub to find it.  The ice cubes clinked against the copper walls.  My nose ran and my teeth chattered.

He watched me intensely but didn’t speak.  He didn’t need to.  I knew him well enough to know what he was experiencing: he was aroused by my distress and playing it cool for the time being because he needed to be in control of the immediate situation.  The sexual overtures would come later, when this was over.

He didn’t tell me to wash me hair, which was a small mercy.  Most of my hair got wet anyway, but I would not have wanted to drop my head into that water.

The bell on the egg timer chimed.

Very carefully–because I was shaking all over–I grabbed the edges of the tub for support, stood up, and stepped gingerly over the side.  I didn’t let go of the tub because I was having trouble straightening my legs and I was concerned about whether I’d fall down.

He watched me get out and then finally stood up and fetched a big fluffy towel from the rack.  He started to rub me dry with it.  I wanted to snatch the towel out of his hands and tell him that I’d do it myself, but, like I said, I was still unsteady and I also didn’t want him to hear my voice while I was still shivering.

“Brave girl,” he said.  His voice was gentle now.  “Can you walk?”

I shook my head.  Snot was still running out of my nose.  I wouldn’t look at him.

“Here,” he said, and wrapped the towel around my torso.  He bent, put his arm under my knees, and scooped me up.  “Let’s put you under the blankets.”

I hadn’t wanted to go to his bedroom, but I’d already capitulated on so much, and was in such a sorry state, that insisting on going to my own room seemed like a lost cause.

He carried me down the hallway and put me into “my” side of his bed, covering my damp, shivering body with the white down comforter.  When he covered me, I turned on my side away from him, looking the other way.

He left and came back with hot tea and a big bottle of water for me, laying them on the nightstand table.   Then he lowered the lights with dimmer switches and sat on the edge of the bed by my body and stroked the top of my head, which was peeking out from under the blanket.

“Where I was born, we heard stories about trolls who kept treasures of gold underneath the ground.  They guarded their treasure very jealously.  You are like a rare treasure, kept beneath the earth.  There are not very many like you.”

And, like myself, reader, you may make of that what you will.

Update on the Grease Fire

Well, my landlord called me back, and I had the good sense not to apologize, which is my nature.  I mean, I cooked these corn dogs (even if I only pretended to eat them, because of my eating disorder), on med-low heat.  I turned my back for 2 minutes.

The handyman (landlord’s in another state) came and said, concerning the oven: “This is a cheap piece of shit made in China.  It overheated because it’s not wired professionally.”

(I immediately made a note of that, and the time, in the VERY UNFORTUNATE case I have to take my landlord to Small Claims Court.)

I still have blisters on my right arm and my right upper arm.  They have started to drain.  During session, I will cover them with non-stick gauze and neosporin.  I will also wear gloves and TRY to wear a shirt with sleeves unless a client requests something more risque, like a corset.

If he asks, well, it’s just a little white gauze on my upper arm, and I’ll tell him the truth and rip out my cell phone: it was a common grease fire.

I’m worried that jerks are going to assume I burned myself making crystal meth (HAHAHA!!!!! WRONG ADDICTION, MORONS!) but I really don’t care.  Half of landlords have souls made of coal dust and assume the worst, anyway)

Wish me luck.

Don’t Play Priest With My Little Pony (II)

(Continued from Part I)

The priest–let’s call him “Father John”–is the only priest I’ve ever met in my life whom I wouldn’t want to hit in the face with a brick.  Only the most conservative Tridantine Mass Catholics hated him.  He was generally adored by the community, and even the Irish nuns, who were considerably more conservative (and less educated) thought of him as some Ultimate Authority.  Because isn’t that what a priest is…?

Father John was an Irish-American from back East…let’s say, Boston. He was a functioning alcoholic and a chain-smoker.  Blue-eyed, stocky, tall, always red-faced, hair probably strawberry blond in his youth.  He had three spaniel dogs he loved, and took them into our classes and hung photos of them on his office wall.  It was well known (though never formally acknowledged) that he had a decades-long relationship with his housekeeper (he had a private residence, unlike the nuns).  I walked in on them, whilst running errands, watching TV together or dining at the table together several times.  Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion, then or now.  People need love and he was a grown man with needs that must be met.  I just hope he kept paying her for her cleaning services and didn’t take her for granted–and he was such a good guy, I’m sure he did, and more.  Her kid from a previous relationship got into the school on a “scholarship.”  I think that’s great.  If he can’t marry her or publicly acknowledge her, at least he can support her and give her kid free education, right?

Father John was a total Vatican II guy and sympathetic to Liberation Theology.  He read lots of books and TIME magazine before TIME became the lowbrow piece of shit that it is today.  He was educated.  Compared to the nuns he supervised, this man was a tenured prof at MIT.

He was the only priest in town who would give my mother confession and the Eucharist.  Technically, it’s forbidden, because she is divorced, and also had unapproved marriages with non-Catholics. The Church was very, very hard on divorce when I was a young child (and before that).  But if you can’t confess and get the Eucharist, you can’t get into heaven (let that sink in for a moment).  If a priest doesn’t give it to you, you go to hell.  Another reason why I hate these assholes.

Father John would take her confession and give her penance and say it was up to God to judge her when the time came.

Father John also fired (“transferred”) a priest who was arrested for aggressively protesting outside of a clinic that provided abortions. The Church was batshit-insane over the abortion issue when I was growing up.  The priest was arrested, after several protests, for putting his hands on a woman walking in.  He spent the night in jail. It was on the news. The Catholic zealots thought he was a hero.  Father John gave him his walking papers at once and forbade the nuns to discuss abortion with us.  Being a head priest of a parish, he was BIG AUTHORITY DAD, so the nuns did whatever he said.

I had my first Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) with him when I was in 2nd grade.  He could not have been more gentle.  He had his white collar and black priest clothes on, and photos of the Pope and his spaniels all over the wall, and he was smoking, as always.   He sat behind his desk, far away, and even though I was nervous, he didn’t terrorize me at all.

The nuns had trained us to do this Sacrament for months.  I knew the words: “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. This is my first confession. I accuse myself of the following sins.”

“Go on, when you are ready,” he said.

I confessed to saying swear words (not a sin unless you say the Lord’s name in vain), being mean to my little brother when we fought over a toy, and being angry and resentful at my mother.  I also confessed that I “stole food” from my father’s pantry.  He jealously guarded the food and I was not allowed to eat without his permission.   It was Alberto Beef Jerky from a can.

“You took food from the pantry? Did you take it at night? Were you hungry?”  He sat up straight, cigarette forgotten.

“I’m not allowed to steal food.  It is the family food, and not mine,” I said.

He started smoking again.  I think he was ruminating on it.

Then, it was time for the Act of Contrition.

I said, “Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee. I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend thee, my Lord, who art all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the occasions of sin.”

He blessed me and gave me ‘ABSOLUTION” for my petty child’s “sins.”  So now I was pure again, and could take my first communion.

He gave me a candy bar before I left.  He had a big bag, like the type you buy for Halloween, full of mixed candy.  He told me to take one I liked.

I left feeling very happy.  It was not as scary as I’d feared it to be.

Father John called someone (who, I do not know) about my father, and a shrink started visiting the school to see me.  His name was Dr. Arthur (I don’t mind telling you his name, because it’s a common and and he HAS to be dead now–he was about a million years old when I knew him).

One of the only times a man’s stood up for me in my life.  Even my mother didn’t do it.

Well, the smoking and boozing eventually started to take their toll.  He had to have heart surgery, like a triple bypass.  Then he kicked the proverbial bucket.  Everyone was sad.  Huge funeral.

His replacement was a complete piece of shit who plagued the parish–and my Mother–for 15 years.  Check this out: he was a widower with grown children who joined the Clergy in late middle age.  So, he had a family.

He would not give divorced people absolution.  He said it was against the rules.

I don’t give a FUCK about the rules, but, if you’re a believer–like my mother–this is incredibly stigmatizing. And the hypocrisy!  I guess GOD wants people to be alone and loveless all their lives.   When my mother told me that he rejected her, I blew up: “Since when has the Church ever been a friend to women?  We have no authority and they used to burn us.  If you insist, check out another parish.  Or, even better, the Unitarians”–the only church I could sit through without feeling my IQ drop 5 points every minute I was there.

He also treated the congregation like they were morons or little children.  He did condescending shit like bring in a huge toy paper butterfly emerging from a cocoon to go up to heaven, and when he lectured about Noah and the Ark, he’d play storm music on a boombox.  Nice sound effects, bro.

I know most people are not exactly geniuses (saying that as the chick who almost burned her apartment down), but common people–illiterate people–have understood the concept of an afterlife for several thousand years, at least.  And Catholics don’t need a paper butterfly to grasp Resurrection. If you want to explain something really pointless and moronic to the “flock,” priest, try explaining the Trinity.

Anyway, I’m getting totally off point.

The point is: what happened when I was playing priest with My Little Pony.

Father John was sitting at his desk, huffing down his 100th Marlboro Lite cigarette of the day.   This was before computers, so he had a shitload of paper files on his desk and a word processor (remember that blast from the past?).

“Tell him what you did!” the nun ordered, and shoved me forward.

“I pretended I was a priest with my horse dolls,” I said, looking at the floor.

“You may leave me to speak with this child alone, Sister Philip (she’s dead too, reader).  I thank you for your concern,” he said.

She left.

He asked to see my toy ponies, so I took them out of my rucksack and handed them to him.  He lined them up and pretended to make them run.

“You know, when I was a boy, I wanted to be a jockey.  I grew too big and heavy, through.  You have to be small to be a jockey.

Do you want to be a priest?”

“No.  I was just pretending.”

“Women do a lot of good in the Church.  It’s a bit like social work. There is work in the Church for all types of people.  Not all nuns are like Sister Philip.  She worked in the Magdalene Laundries. Do you know what that means?”

“No.”  I was too young to know.

He picked up one of my My Little Ponies, a pink one, and said, “This is the cutest one.  What’s her name?”

“Sparkle,” I said.

He bent over his desk and said, “You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Please don’t tell my parents,” I said.

“What could I possibly tell them?”  He gathered up my toys and handed them back to me.  “If you are summoned to the vocation, you’re summoned.  If she asks, tell Sister Philip that I taught you your lesson.  That’s the truth.  It’s not a lie.”

I put the Ponies back in my bag.

“Be careful of what you say out loud, my dear.  The teachers here do not come from our culture.  I didn’t become a priest to punish people.  God decides that in the end; I try to help, but I can’t tell if anyone is true of heart.  But do remember: there are two types of people in the world…the type that eat their humble pie, and the type who go to hell.  When you sin–and we are all sinners–eat your pie.  But you did nothing wrong here.”

Then he reached into his desk drawer and pulled out the candy bag, and offered me a treat.

What a good man.

Oil Fire (Almost Burned My Apartment Down)

UPDATE 11 PM:  My blistering is very, very bad. My neighbor saw it and said I should probably go to the hospital, but there’s nothing they can do except put me on narcotics for the pain, and since I’m on Naltrexone for the alcoholism, opiates won’t work on me.

My biggest fear right now is that I am going to break open a blister accidentally, like in my sleep.  That will make the pain a million times worse.

(I’d post photos of my blisters–LOOK AT MY OUCHIE!–and my burned up stove, but I already emailed them to my landlord, so it would be a security breech.)

I talked to my brother and he calmed me down.  He said: “Your landlord is going to have to buy another cheapass little oven from Sears and repaint the scorched, blistered areas of paint around the stove. Even including labor costs, this is a $500 mistake AT MOST. You didn’t let his house burn down and you reported it to him immediately.  He might be pissed, but this is not a big deal.  He has pictures of your injuries, and your rent on time.  DO NOT offer to buy a new stove yourself.  I wouldn’t pay a landlord shit besides my rent.”

I did some research online.  Apparently, grease fires are very common and get big in a hurry.  Every personal story I found the was the same, essentially: “I was checking my text on the phone for 20 seconds and smelled something and found flames shooting up to the ceiling. Then I poured water on it and burned the hell out of myself.”

I will NEVER leave a stove with grease unattended again, and I just bought 4 more fire extinguishers from Amazon.

If Abe had been in the apartment, he would have died from smoke inhalation.  Thank God he was at the boarder, because they had to close early one day and I couldn’t get to him in time.

*                                        *                           *

Well, last night was a shitshow of horrific proportions.  Nothing like this has ever happened to me.  I don’t even know HOW it happened.

I was cooking with vegetable oil of the stove and turned my back on it to go use the toilet.  I was gone two minutes, tops.

I wash my hands and come back, and the fucking pan was on fire.  

I freaked and immediately did the stupidest thing imaginable: I grabbed the mop bucket, poured water in it from the kitchen sink, and poured the water all over the fire.

Bad idea.  Bad, bad idea.

All that the water did was make the oil come out of the pan and spread all over the stovetop.  And the oil, was still on fire.

The flames were increasing and there was smoke.  A LOT of smoke.  The smoke alarm went off.

I grabbed the fire extinguisher.  I was in such panic, though, and the fire was spreading, that I could not read the instructions (bet your ass I’m going to be practicing that thing out in the driveway today).

I came very, very close to just running out and calling 911.  But when that fire spread–and you know how fast it can happen–I’d lose everything.  Also, I live in a house with four apartment units.  It  would be unfair to my neighbors.

I got two towels and beat it out, hoping they wouldn’t catch on fire (they didn’t…but they are ruined, of course).

My stove and the grill above it–with the fan and the light–are BLACK.  I hope it’s just soot.  If not, well….

Also: I burned the hell out of my right arm.  Woke up to ten blisters.

My landlord is going to kill me.  There goes my security deposit! I’m about to to start cleaning.

Oh, something else: the fire did something to the electricity. My fridge, next to the oven, turned off.

I stayed up for an extra hour, paranoid, to make sure the fire didn’t somehow “come back” and to let out all the smoke.  I barely slept a wink last night.  The burns hurt, and I was paranoid that the fire would start again in my sleep.

I don’t even know HOW this happened. There was nothing flammable on the stovetop except the oil….in a pan. What happened?

Sucky Update

Well, guys, I just wanted to check in.  I don’t know what to tell you.  I had to have surgery, so I went off the Naltrexone.  It was a minor surgery and everything is fine…except that I relapsed.

Physically, medically, I can’t explain it. I’ve been MOSTLY sober for years, but when I started drinking, ALL of my physical symptoms came back.  That’s why I haven’t been blogging–I’m too sick, and my thought process is too unclear.  I can’t write. I have no focus.

A week ago, I took 4 days off to get through the DTs. I threw up in a bucket by my bed. On the third day, I started to hallucinate.  I’ve had mild auditory hallucinations before, as if I heard the sound of white noise or a radio coming in from next door, but these were REAL hallucinations. I saw things that were not there. I TALKED to them. I talked to ghost hallucinations in my bedroom.  And I knew, when I was doing it, that they could not be possible, but I saw them, and tried to touch them.

I had to go to work.  I thought the withdrawals would be done by them, but they weren’t, so I had to limp to the gas station at 4 AM and buy 3 of those little airline bottles of whiskey. I must have looked like hell.  My eyes were watering and I was shaking all over. The Indian (not Native American) clerk asked me if I was okay.

Now I know that I will probably need 6 days.  I know it’s going to hurt like hell, but I have to do it. All my bills are paid and I have money in the bank, so it should be okay.

I have fucked up so badly.  I can only sleep for three hours at a time. I lay in bed and cry, but I know that I brought it on myself.