Margo Gets the Job

      I called him after I checked into my hotel room.

      “The eagle has landed!  I repeat, the eagle has landed!” I said, sotto voce.

      He laughed.  “That’s great!  Want to meet me in my room in half an hour?”

       “Which hotel are you at?”

       “Wait, aren’t you at my hotel?”

       “Nope.  I’m at (vastly inferior hotel).”

       “What the hell are you doing there?”

        “I was trying to save money.”  

        I was true.  I’d planned the trip as cheaply as possible so that I’d have a few hundred dollars left over out of the $1200 he’d given me. 

          “I want you to check out of that place and come over here.  It’ll be more convenient for us.”

        “But I booked the entire package through Expedia.  It’s pre-paid.  If I check out of here, I’ll have to pay for it anyway.”

         “No you won’t.  I’ll tell you what to say to them.  And in the meantime, I’ll cover you on a room over here.  Get over here.”

          “It’s your dime,” I said.  That made him laugh (that’s one thing that he always liked about me: I made him laugh.  The Surgeon doesn’t laugh much.  He’s too uptight). 

          I didn’t understand how he could be spending so much money on this.  I had a lot to learn.  The Surgeon was one of the first rich people I met in my life.  

          The hotel was beautiful and I ran around taking photos of it like the rube tourist that I was.  I even took photos of the flower arrangements at the front desk.  I remember them.  They were orchids, and I didn’t know the name for them at the time.  I also did something that I have, thankfully, learned to suppress: I’d run up to the flower displays and touch them with my hand in order to see if they were real or silk.  The Surgeon thought this was very endearing. 

         His hotel suite was friggin huge.  I’d never seen anything like it (and I have a confession to make: when he went downstairs to buy mouthwash at the gift shop, I stole most of his hotel-furnished toiletries and a water glass). 

         The first thing that he did–and I’ve never forgotten this–is put a drink in my hand.  A vodka cranberry.  It was in a Starbucks coffee cup with a lid on it, so you could drink it in public without people knowing.  It’d never occurred to me to do that before.  The Surgeon is the one who taught me that trick. 

       “How do I know that you haven’t put something in this?” I asked.

        “Why would I do that?”

        “The type of person who would do that would do it because they wanted to.  And you work in a hospital.  You have access to drugs.”

        “I don’t need to drug you.  You’re already here.”

        A pause, please, to consider the implications of that statement.  He didn’t say that he wouldn’t drug me.  He said that he didn’t need to. 

         True enough.  And in case you’re wondering: I knew that I was going to have sex with him on the trip, unless he exhibited some strange mannerisms that threatened or disturbed me (keep in mind that I’d only known him for about three hours, almost the entire time in the dungeon setting).  

           I drank my drink.

           “Let’s go get dinner!  Do you like seafood?  You look very sexy, by the way.”

           I was wearing my backless black cocktail dress, of which, at that time in my life, I owned exactly one.  

          Off we went to dinner.  The Surgeon got the name of a good seafood place from the concierge and we ordered the food on the phone while the driver gave us a tour of Baltimore’s scenic neighhorhood, whose name I cannot recall, but it was very charming.  

          “What do you want?” he asked me, holding the phone.

          “What can I have?”

          “What?  You can get whatever you want!  What sort of men have you been dating?”

           “What’s a scallop?”

           “Are you serious?”

           “I come from a landlocked state!  Nobody in my family eats fish!  I don’t think we even have a seafood restaurant in town, just sushi.”

            He looked at me like I was from Mars. 

           “This is going to be fun,” he said, and ordered at least ten different entrees of all different types of fish and shellfish.  

           We picked it up inside and took it back to the hotel.  The Surgeon said that he wanted to be alone with me.  I was also to learn that he hated eating in restaurants.  In retrospect, I am almost positive that his Enemy was dining there, which would have made it impossible for the Surgeon to relax.  

           I ate lobster for the first time.  It was delicious.  While we ate, we had an excellent conversation.  He was in a very, very good mood, and when he’s in a good mood, he’s a charmer (he turns it on for journalists, and they love him.  I think he’s shagged half of the female news anchors and talk show hosts in New York).  The seafood also gave him a chance to show off, and, like most men, he loved to show off.  

        “Did you know,” I said, snarfing my lobster, “that a lobster is related to scorpions and spiders?  A lobster is basically a big sea insect.”

       “Did you know that I have eaten lobster with a hundred dates, and nobody has ever told me that?  You’re adorable!”

        This date was also the first time I saw a hint of how pushy he could be.  We needed more ice and I was going to go look for the ice machine (which he thought was hysterical.  “This is not the sort of place that has an ice machine,” he laughed).  He ordered a bucket of ice from room service.  When it wasn’t delivered two minutes later–and keep in mind that the hotel was filled to capacity, and this was dinnertime–he called downstairs and put the heat on them: “What’s the problem?  Are you waiting for the ice to freeze, or what?”

       We talked for a long, long time, and got pleasantly drunk (I am very glad that I didn’t get too drunk, because I remember everything).  I found myself telling him all sorts of things about myself.  No identifying information (remember, I was “under cover”), but very personal things, like how I almost died when I was a baby and an ambulance had to take me over the mountains to a special pediatric unit at a famous university.  When I took off my dress, he went over my body and asked me how I got each scar. 

       The sex was great.  I think I’ll keep the details of that to myself.

      He didn’t rush me out the door afterwards, either.  He wasn’t treating me like it was a session and I was a sex worker.  He was treating me like a date.  What’s more, he was treating me like a date he wanted to make a good impression on.  I was having a blast. Everything was new and exciting.  I couldn’t believe that I was getting paid to be there with him.  I felt like I’d won a free vacation.

        At the end, when I got dressed and went to leave at the door, I said, “Look, if I never see you again, I want you to know that I had a wonderful time tonight.  Thank you so much for your hospitality.”

        “Oh, you’ll see me again.”

        But honestly?  I didn’t believe him.  I thought this was a busy guy who wanted to have some fun while he was out of town, and this was going to just be a one-off.  I didn’t expect anything to come of it.

         The next day, on the train ride home, I called him and left a voice message saying that I was almost home safe and sound (he asked me to call him and tell him that) and I thanked him again for a lovely time.

        He called me back: “I like you.  You’re completely unaffected and you’re appreciative.  Best of all, nothing about you annoys me.  

        Margo, you’re hired.”  

        Then he called back again, and my new boss gave me my first two rules.  He was excited.  I could tell that his mind was racing.

        “Quit smoking.  And stop swearing in my presence.  I hate to hear women swear.  It’s not feminine.”  

         I did, and I did (and for the record, unless he’s teaching or in some formal environment, the guy swears like a mobster in a Martin Scorsese flick).  

         And that is how it all began, for better or for worse. 

         Happy Anniversary, Aaron. 

The Job Interview

  The Surgeon and I had our first date outside of the dungeon on Halloween.  He’d seen me three times previously inside, and on the third, he told me that he was going to a conference in Baltimore.

       “I have to give a lecture and teach, and after that, I’m bored.  These things are torture to me at this point in my career.  I want you to come with me.  You can have your own hotel room and do whatever you want during the day.  You can visit the harbor.  You can shop.”

        I laughed in his face.

        “Shop?  Shop with what, a fuckin food stamp?  Do you think that I work here because I like to shop?”

        That startled him.

        “No, I’ll go,” I said.  “I don’t get to travel much.  How are we going to do this?  And I don’t want to talk about this here.  Management could hear.”

         The Surgeon was the first client I ever poached from the Dungeon.  The only other time I did it was the Mathematician. 

         I know that going out of town with a man who was practically a complete stranger was dangerous…but it was also exciting, like an adventure.  And I was already attracted to him.  Fascinated, actually.  I didn’t want him, I didn’t want anybody at that point in my life because this was only seven months after I’d finally gotten away from John and I was very much enjoying my freedom…but I did want to study him.  

         “Where can we meet?  It has to be someplace discreet.  I can’t explain to my colleges how we met if we’re seen together.  We need to make up a story for that.” 

          “Call me tomorrow at 5 after I get off work here.”

          He called.  Ring Ring.  Where are you?

         I guided him to an Irish pub down the block from my dungeon.  It had a blinking neon sign of a four-leaf clover on the window and televisions broadcasting sports above the bar.  Guys were playing foozball and darts.  The only other women in the place were the barmaids.   I was sitting in a booth in the back. 

          I saw him right away when we came in, even though he wasn’t as tall as most of the other men.  There was an intensity to his bearing, like an aura.  He was wearing a beautiful blue suit and he actually had a flower on his lapel, and I thought he looked great. I found out later that he’d just finished administering oral exams to a class of residents.  Now that I know him as I do, the thought is enough to give me nightmares.  He grades them as harshly has he can, and if he can fail them, he does.  These people are going to be my competition, he said. 

          “Is this place okay?” I asked.

            “It’s perfect!  I wouldn’t be caught dead in a place like this!  We can have a private conversation!” 

       Wow, what an asshole, I thought. 

       “What’s your name?” I asked.

       “Aaron,” he lied.  “What’s yours?”

       “Margo,” I lied.

        “What do you study in school?”

       “English Lit,” I lied.

       “I thought you said history before!”

       “I lied.” The truth.

       “What do your parents do?”

       “My mother’s a paralegal and my father teaches Civics and Government at a High School,” I lied.

         “Excellent.  You have siblings?  What do they do?”

        “My brother in college and he wants to be a cop.”

         “Do you have a boyfriend?”

         “No. I broke up with him in March.”

          “Do you have any contact with him at all?”

         “What about girlfriends?  Do you have girlfriends you talk to a lot?  Who have you told about this?  I have to protect my professional reputation.  But I have to tell you, you don’t seem like the type of have a lot of girlfriends.  I respect that.”

          The Surgeon’s a social climber and he knows a hell of a lot of people, but he has no real friends.  He doesn’t trust anyone.  I was his friend.  

          “I know how to keep a secret.”  Not a lie.

            He looked me in the eyes, considering.  Then he nodded.

           The barmaid came over and the Surgeon asked me if I wanted a drink.  I ordered a vodka cranberry.  

          “I don’t want to take a crazy girl to Baltimore with me.  Tell me what’s wrong with you.”

           “What the fuck is this?  A job interview?”

           “Yes.  That is exactly what it is.”

           “Wow, what a charming guy you are!”

            He smiled.  He has two smiles, a happy one, and a scary one.  This was a happy smile.  

           “I can be charming.  I’m paying you the compliment of being up front with you. You’re a serious girl.  Most girls are not.  Now answer my question.  Why are you working at that place?”

           “For the money!  Why else?  What were you doing in that place?  You met me there!  You were there too!

          “Do you use drugs?”

           I gestured at my drink.  “Just this.”

            And with that, he reached into the inside pocket of his suit and took out an envelope, which he passed to me across the table.

            “This is for your travel expenses and hotel room. I leave on Friday.  I’ll be free after 7 PM.  Take the Amtrak train and call me when you get in.”

            Then he put $20 on the table to pay for my drink and walked out.

         I put the enveloped under the table and peaked inside.  

         It was $1200 in cash.  I almost had a panic attack.  I was still very young, and had never had that much money on me in cash before; it was a months’ stipend from my fellowship at the University.  I became immediately paranoid that someone would take it away from me, and when I left the bar I went straight to the bank and deposited it.  

          That is the story of our first date.  How romantic! 

           He loosened up a lot in Baltimore.  We had a blast, actually.  I’ll probably write about that tomorrow.

          I’ve got my Domme Darth Vader costume ready for the party.  I’ll try to take photos.  They should be safe to post with the mask on.

You Will Study, Or You Will Suffer

     My little special snowflakes have been slacking, so I had to put on my Mean Mommy hat and do a pop quiz on the assigned readings.  I then graded the quizzes while the class was in session, which got everyone’s attention in a hurry.  

       On top of the humiliation, I added a pinch of guilt: “You know, I really tried to do everyone a favor by making photocopies of the readings instead of making you all purchase the $130 textbook.  I know what it’s like to spend $600 at the bookstore every semester.” 

       I continued to grade, wincing audibly.  

        One boy meekly raised his hand.

        “Yes, Mr. Smith?”  I call my students by their last names when I’m handing out lumps.  I used to call them by their last names all the time, but the student body at my college is so ethnically diverse that I often can’t pronounce their names, so first names it is (nobody likes hearing their name mispronounced, and if it’s done more than a few times it becomes disrespectful).  

         “Uh…how much is this quiz going to be worth?”

         “I haven’t decided yet.”

          “That’s kind of harsh,” he said.

           I gestured toward the syllabus, aka my 17-page legal document covering my ass.  The syllabus says that pop quizzes are administered at my discretion, typically as a mechanism for me to discern who is doing the reading and who is shirking.  

           Everyone looked miserable.  I saw a few of them exchanging sad glances.  

           I finished the grading and stacked the papers in a pile in front of me.   You could have heard a pin drop.

           Time for more another portion of shame:

           “I’m very disappointed.  These quizzes make me sad.”

         It’s a feminine tactic, but manipulation via guilt is often more effective than wrath.  

        Then, to restore the goodwill and rapport between us, and make them feel gratitude towards me instead of anger: 

        “Look, guys, I’m not going to grade these this time.  I want you to do well, and you can’t do that if you don’t do the readings.  I don’t want you to flunk the midterm.  I want you to get a good grade so that you can graduate and get out of here.  Please do the reading.  You’re killing me over here.”

           Like the Supreme Court, Instructor Adler giveth, and Instructor Adler taketh away.  My students visibly relaxed.  Big smiles.  

         “Thanks,” said one of them, completely forgiving, and forgetting, that I had just been torturing him.

           “My pleasure,” I said.

             Then everyone wanted to participate in the classroom discussion.  It was great.  

              See?  That wasn’t so harsh, Mr. Smith.  Would you like to see harsh?

           I’d give my last personal slave, No. 29, homework assignments, all of which were constructed to improve him and cultivate his understanding of servitude.  He was responsible and a pretty good student–his grades were better than mine when I was an undergraduate, actually–so he usually did the assignments and showed up ready to discuss them.  

          One time he didn’t, and furthermore, he lied to me about it.  Big no-no.  Bad idea, No. 29.

         I figured it out when I was quizzing him and he couldn’t answer my questions.  He was giving me ambiguous, vague answers.

        I went to my gear bag and retrieved a heavy-duty leather hood, the type that laces up the back and has removable pieces for the eyes and the mouth.  It was really an awesome hood, great for sensory deprivation, and best of all, the removable portions and the hood itself could be locked on the wearer with little masterlocks.  I miss that hood.  I lost it in a taxi cab in Las Vegas.  

        I picked the hood because No. 29 was mildly claustrophobic and he didn’t like the hood.  Oh no, No. 29 didn’t like that hood at alllllll.    

        “Keep talking, my boy, while I hood you like a falcon,” I said.

Property.  Waiting to be Summoned.

           He rambled while I laced the hood up tightly.  I left off the blindfold and the hole for the mouth.

           “You’re not making any sense, No. 29,” I said.  “Tell you what.  Give me the author’s three major points.  They were the entire premises of the article.  You couldn’t have missed them.”

            He was visibly frightened.  I could see it in his eyes, the set of his mouth.

            “Do you have anything you want to tell me?”  I asked.  Last change, No. 29.   Just admit you didn’t do as you were told.  I’d still punish you…but not with the hood.  

             “All right,” I said.  I put the leather attachment over his mouth, and then affixed it with a masterlock.  The sound of the lock clicking shut was very satisfying.  Then I attached the blindfold, and locked that.  Then I locked it around his neck.  There was no way for him to get it off without the keys.  

            “Now that’s your thinking cap,”  I said in his ear.  “A nice, quiet dark place where you can think.  Now you can remember the article and the author’s three major points.  I’m going to chain you up and let you think about it for a while.”

               Then I attached a chain leash to the collar and led him over to the wall, where different O-rings were sunk in at various points.  I have a thing I like to do when I punish or interrogate: I have the subject stand on a cinder block, and then I affix the chain leash at a level so that the subject is bent at the waist.  They can’t stand up because there isn’t length of chain to do so.  Sometimes I put them in a stress position.  I especially like to do this if they think that they’re young and strong.  Believe me, it cuts them down to size right quickly.  

            “I’ll come back and check on you in fifteen minutes.  If you fall off that cinder block, I’m doubling the time,” I said, taking out my stopwatch (time for the obligatory Frederick Taylor reference).  God, I love to time the suffering of slaves.  It’s a tactic I appropriated from Heinrich.  I like to quantify their pain, and play games with the numbers.  

           I left him all alone, in the dark, and watched from across the room.  No. 29 was a strong young man, 22 years old, but 15 minutes on the block reduced him to misery.  

          (Sometimes I like to flog or cane them while they’re on the bock, lecturing that they had better not fall off that block, or else they will be sorry.)

          I came back and unlocked his blindfold, and then I uncovered his mouth.  

            He looked like his was about to cry.  He’d started to sweat, and the muscles in his back trembled.  

           “Well?  Do you have anything you want to tell me?”

           He looked up at me, craning his neck.  I was enjoying myself, but I also felt a little empathy.  Empathy, but no sympathy.  I know what it’s like to be scrutinized and punished.  But you can’t let them off the hook.  You let them get over, and they lose respect for you.  You have to follow through.  Mercy is a treat to be given out rarely, randomly.  

            “Miss Adler, I’m sorry, but I didn’t do the reading,” he said.  He knew better than to make an excuse.

             “I know.  You should have admitted it sooner.  You did this to yourself, you know,” jangling the keys like a cruel prison warden.

             “I know.  I’m sorry.”

              I let him up.  His back popped audibly as he stretched out.

               I went and got the essay from my bag, and then I handed it to him.  

            “You can sit on the floor.  I’m going to take a walk.  I’ll let you out of the hood when you’re done reading it, and we’ll take off where we were.”

          No. 29 nodded, sat down, and started reading.

          And that, my friends, is how I really punish students who don’t do the reading.  There are worse things than I pop quiz.

          My little student snowflakes.  If they only knew. 

My Favorite Symbols

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     Symbols are more powerful than words and they are analyzed and processed in a different part of the brain than is writing.  A professor once required us to present the findings from required readings in the form of an image.  I was terrible at it–the worst in class–and it was torture to me, but I must admit that it was an excellent pedagogical tactic because it made me think deeply about the material and to invent clever (or, in my case, not-so-clever) ways to communicate ideas and data.

      These are some of my favorite symbols.  Some I appreciate for their aesthetic value, others for what they represent.  

       If you would like to learn more about the differences between symbol and the written word (and much, much more), I highly recommend The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image, by Leonard Shlain.  Dr. Shlain is a polymath and an excellent writer.  I was not persuaded by all of his arguments, but the book is impressive and fun to read, and, like Battle Cry of Freedom, it will educate you and improve your understanding of the world.  

       (I wrote a paper once about the use of symbols in 20th Century totalitarian movements.  The research fascinated me.)

     The Fasces, a bound bundle of rods and an axe.  It is Etruscan in origin and symbolizes the power of the magistrate and strength in unity (a single rod is easy to break; a bundle of rods less so).   Like the sun cross, it was appropriated by the fascists, but less successfully, and you can still spot fasces in post offices, court houses, and even congress (the Founding Fathers took inspiration from the Roman Republic).   

   Next: the Ouroboros, a snake (or dragon) eating its own tail.  It is a truly ancient symbol of perpetuity and the universe, going back to at least the 14th Century B.C.  The Ouroboros was found in the tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun.  It later became a symbol for alchemy.  Personally, I think it would be good for a wedding ring or a slave bracelet.  My Secret Job business card features an Ouroboros beneath an eagle.  

    The symbol of the Freelancer’s Union is fantastic!  I love it and I love reading their ads in the subway.  I wanted to join the Freelancer’s Union as an “entertainer” in order to get health insurance (oh God, do I need health insurance), but I was worried that if I was injured and filed a significant claim with the insurance and they investigated it, they’d use the fact that I am a sex worker to deny me coverage.  “Dominatrix” is not an accepted freelance profession, although tutor is…but I don’t make enough money tutoring to qualify.  

    The Polish Eagle, which is beautiful.  America uses eagles as symbols, too, but all our eagles look hard and ready to kick ass.  The Polish Eagle is prettier. 

     Finally, I like the Compass Star (or Compass Rose).  If I was to get a tattoo, I’d get a compass rose on my foot or in between my shoulder blades, because I need direction.  

PLEASE SUPPORT Kaylie’s Candlelight Vigil For Victims Of Dangerous Dogs Sat 26

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Please join Kaylie for prayer and to light a candle in Honor of the Victims of Dangerous Dogs.If You are unable to attend please go to Your state Capitol or City Hall and take a candlelight picture with Your Capitol or City Hall in the background. Send Me the picture anytime before Oct. 26th and We will make a video candlelight Vigil from around the World. Send pictures Candlelight Vigil to Thank You

Grabbed by the Throat

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Update 11:30 PM: Back home, safe and sound, and $500 richer.

        *                            *                                 *                                    *                      *

I’m going to meet a new client in a few minutes.

Oh please, God, I hope he doesn’t hurt me.

I need to quit this job.  Party is OVER, man.  Party is OVER.

Ex Urbe and Lake Konigssee

     I’ve linked to a new blog:  Ex Urbe

        The author is an anonymous academic historian living and conducting research in Italy.  His writing is a pleasure; it is very clear, as well as emotive and persuasive.  He is an awesome tour guide.  I’ve lurked on his blog for months and learned many new things, and I appreciate that this gentlemen shares so much of his knowledge with the public, for free.  He has the teaching spirit of one of my intellectual heroes and Dad Crushes, Ben Franklin!  

      What’s the Walt Whitman quote…?

      “….I have stores plenty and to spare,
And any thing I have I bestow.”

       This blogger bestows.  He is generous in spirit. 

        If you are ever in New York, Ex Urbe author, please email me.  I would like to take you to dinner.  I hope you don’t mind being linked to on my blog.  

      Know what else I found…?  

        I love the desert best of all, but after the desert I like mountains.  I like Alpine lakes and fresh waters.  Fjords.  

       I would do anything to visit this lake.  My mother’s maternal side is from the south, so it’s possible I have distant relatives there.  

        So beautiful.  The first time I went to Europe, I went to Madrid.  My mother gave it to me as a gift for graduating college–it was an expensive trip, and my graduation was a big deal in the family.  

         I couldn’t believe the beauty–and Madrid is charming and fun, but no great shakes compared to many other European cities.  But I was captivated by the splendor.  I’d never seen such beauty in my life.  Almost all the buildings in my home town are less than 60 years old.  In Madrid, I was exploring history.  The Prado, the Botanical Garden.  We went to to Toledo and oh God was it beautiful.  It was from a fairy tale.  A fairy tale city. The wall.  

        I don’t think Europeans appreciate what they have.  The Germans had the best of everything, and look what they did to it. 

         This is Lake Konigssee.  I think it could be the most beautiful place on earth.  I don’t like the ocean, but I trust freshwater.  I love lakes and rivers and the special fish which inhabit them.  My brother fly-fishes in mountain streams and brings us back trout to eat.



Weirdest Session of the Year

   Where to begin with this one…?  

     I have no idea.

     It was one of the weirdest sessions of my career.  And you know that is saying a lot.

       I’m in a tight spot right now, because I don’t know how much I can disclose and still respect client confidentiality….

      Well, to start: he booked me for four hours.  FOUR HOURS.   

       Four hours is a long time.  A lot can happen in four hours. 

        I received an email from the management: “You have a heavy smoking session, 3-4 hours.  Wardrobe preference is summer shorts, t-shirt, flats, heavy loud makeup, and BRIGHT RED LIPSTICK!” (yes, the “bright red lipstick” was in caps.  He really wanted bright red lipstick.  I had to re-apply it multiple times during the session). 

      Well, at least I could be comfortable for the four hours.  No corset, no high heels, no scratchy lingerie.  Only t-shirt and jean shorts!

       FYI: I hate smoking sessions.  I used to be a cigarette smoker, so I can do them, but I haven’t smoked recreationally in years and it makes me feel physically unwell.  

    The client comes in.  Let’s call him…”Neil.” 

      He made quite an impression on the Russian manager.  She denounced him as “retarded” and dumped his huge bag o swag on my lap.

        He wasn’t retarded.  He was just crazy.

          The Bag o Swag came with a note.  Part of it reads:

        “The shoes haven’t been worn for more than 2 months.  There’s some soiling, obviously. This won’t hurt you at all.  I’d rather than you not wear the cushions in the shoes, but understand if you prefer to.  I will request that you walk a lot so that I can see the shoes at different angles.” 

          The shoes were 30 years old and completely worn out.  You couldn’t give them away.  They were pointy-toed, exhausted black ballet flats.  These shoes were gross, gentle reader. They were gross. I didn’t even want to touch them with gloves on!

     One other Mistress said: “This creeps me out!  You know his wife or mother died in those shoes!”

       Well, perhaps….probably….but I can’t prove it. 

      They were way too big for me.  After I sprayed them down the bleach and alcohol, I had to stuff the toes with cotton so that I could walk in them without the shoe slipping off.  

        He was fascinated with my left foot.  I had to keep walking around the room and posing with my left foot.  Interestingly, he was naked save his summer shorts and a sneaker on his left foot.

       Why?  why?

       There was a little bit of role-playing involved: I was to be a young, pretty girl walking on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore, stopping periodically to window-shop or smoke a cigarette.  He would approach me and ask me out or try to make conversation.  I would laugh in his face and rudely rebuff his advances.  

        There was an undercurrent of hostility to all of this, as he would denounce me as shallow and say that I would only date men on the basis of their looks, and I would end up with a jerk who wouldn’t appreciate me and would die unhappily. 

        I’d blow smoke in his face and say, “Yeah, right, loser!”

         (Note: he told me what to say and how to act.  I wasn’t the one who came up with this.)

         Oh god.  It felt like I was in that room with him all day.  I guess I was.  

       The last hour consisted mostly of him complaining about his job and watching me smoke.  Those cigarettes just about killed me.  He had a strange fixation with the lipstick on the filter.  I kept having to refresh the lipstick.

        It gets better: this wackadoodle works in mental health services.  He’s a social worker who works for a mental hospital.  He has 42 cases.  He told me all about it.

        “Are you happy in your life?” he asked me.  

        “Nope.  Can’t say that I am,” I said. 

        “Do you want to tell me about it?”

          “Not particularly,” I said.

          “Do you have a boyfriend that hits you?  If you do, you ought to leave him, because it only gets worse.  That’s what I always tell my female clients,” he said.

           “No, but I used to.  I left him when he started to get violent. Had to get a restraining order.”

           “I’ve never had a girlfriend,” he said.  

          I believe it.  He was too strange.  He was very, very lonely. 

         “I’m all alone, but I get to help people at work,” he said.

          At that moment, I couldn’t help but have compassion for him.  I put my cigarette down and went over to him.  He was well-scrubbed and smelled like soap, so I knew he wasn’t gross.

           “Do not touch me.  I am the one who touches you,” I said, and I gave him a hug.

          I’ve hugged a client maybe three, four times in my career.  Readers, this guy really, really needed a hug. 

         “I can’t believe this is happening!” he exclaimed.  Then his chest hitched, and he burst into tears. He kept thanking me.  I actually thought that I might cry myself.  

          I got him some water until he calmed down, and then we resumed the session.

        At the end, he asked to be left alone with the shoes for five minutes.  Boy, was I glad to get those things off my feet.  Those shoes were creepy and gross.  

        I have no idea what he did with the shoes while I was outside of the room.  I assume he huffed them or jerked off with them, but who knows.

        When I came back in, he was getting dressed in his street clothes.  He put the shoes back in the shoebox.  And then–get this–he emptied the overflowing ashtray, ashes and cigarette butts and all, INTO the shoes.  

         Let me reiterate: he put the cigarette butts, with my lipstick on them, INTO the shoes.

         “I had the time of my life!  I’ve done this over a hundred times, but you were really special!” he said.  “Nobody’s ever hugged me before!”

          I believe it.

         “You have a very generous spirit!” he said.

         Then he took out his wallet and tipped me $150.  I made almost $500 that day.   Sometimes working at the Studio is easy money, but not that day.  Between the weirdness and the cigarettes and the emotional labor involved in managing that man and his desperate lonliness, I can say that I earned every penny.  

         That was one of the weirdest sessions I’ve ever had, and you know I’ve had more than my fair share.  

        What does he do with the shoes and the cigarette butts when he gets them home?  Eat them?  Jerk off with them?  Put them in a jar?  Does he wear the shoes himself (they were big and his feet were small; he could probably fit into them)?  I’m so confused. 

       I used the money to pay for more sessions with my personal trainer and my analyst, and then I booked an appointment at a new salon to get my hair done.  I’d like to start feeling pretty again.  I’m not going to mess with my natural color–every time I do that, I regret it, and right now I can pass myself off as either a blonde or a redhead–but I want to get the ends cleaned up and I think I would like to get bangs/fringe like Taylor Swift.  The Surgeon didn’t like bangs and made me grow them out, but he’s gone now, so I can wear my hair as I like.

         I released the baby mouse in the park and bought a Venus Flytrap plant from Whole Foods Market.  

         I hooked up with the sailor (and they canceled Fleet Week this year!  BOOOOO!  A curse on you, whoever is responsible for that!  One of the fun parts of summer is walking around looking at all the handsome men in uniform!) and let’s just say that he is going back to his ship happy.  

          It was fun, but it’s still not what I need.

         One more thing: I have discovered coconut water.  That shit’s been popular for a few years now, and I never drank it, assuming that it was just some trend.

         Well, I was wrong.  It is quite possibly the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.  It is better than gelato.  Better than unagi.  Better than cream cheese frosting.  Better than steak and turkey.

       Coconut water is from heaven.  Go drink some, and tell me I’m wrong. 

        I’m going to jump in the shower and go to work, and on the way, I am going to buy some coconut water.  Expensive, but worth it!


Sex In The City (Basketball Player)

      Well, last night was a little bit fun, but it ended poorly.  It also re-confirmed something I’ve known about myself for many years: if I’m not intellectually attracted to a man, it’s a struggle for me to find him attractive, even if all I want to do is keep is company for a few hours and have sex with him.

      It was good for my ego, however.  I’ve been feeling fat and old (Tanita says 130.8 this morning, which is the heaviest I’ve been in years and close to the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life), but my friend and I had zero problem meeting men.  

      I spent an extra 40 minutes on my hair before leaving the Studio (I had a lucrative, but exceedingly strange 4-hour session yesterday, which I’ll get to in a moment) and pulled out all the special FX appearance-wise.  The other girls said that I looked good, and since we practice high-tech femininity for a living, I believed them.  I also finished my lecture notes for Tuesday so that I wouldn’t be worried about it.

     We went to the Minus 5 Ice Bar, which is a bar…well, made of ice.  Ice cups, ice bar, ice statues, ice everything.  It’s a gimmic, but it’s beautiful, and it’s an ideal meatmarket because there is absolutely no pressure to make conversation: everyone is talking about the novelty of it all.  

      The first guy I met was a dentist.  I had to shoot him in the knee because he tried to monopolize my attention.  I made small talk with him for ten minutes and then tried to politely disengage, but he followed me around and then glared at me when I started talking to another guy, which must set some sort of world-record for male territorialism: possessive after ten minutes’ talk at a meat market.  

       We met some sailors on leave.  The one I liked was Southern, and very young, but polite.  He gave me his stool (even the stools are ice!) and his mittens (I rented a coat, but it was cold in there!).  His name was Jim, and he was from Alabama.  Alabama is one of the worst States in the Union, but he had the good sense to get the hell out of it, so that’s something.  

     He’s only in town with his friends for two more days and he wants to get together this evening.  I dunno.  I’m thinking about doing it.

      After the ice bar, we went to Dos Caminos, which is always packed during happy hour (it wasn’t the one by the Flatiron building, which I went to with the Mathematician and as such is now shunned by me).  

       Finding the men was easy: my friend picked them out, and I just went over and started talking to them.  Nothing to it.  Men are easy to pick up, and they love being approached.  Even the good-looking ones.

        Remember when I said that my friend likes meatheads?  Well, we got meatheads.  Honest-to-God meatheads.

       Basketball players.  That’s how the two boys knew each other.  They were teammates at one of the local colleges.  

        I wanted to abandon ship the minute I found out they were jocks.  Jocks are my mortal enemies.  Athletes are fine, but if they’re into the big three–baseball, football, or basketball–I tend to consider them trouble.  I’ve had them as students, and almost every one that I’ve had has been a spoiled, intellectually lazy troublemaker.  

         Maybe I’ve been too judgmental, because these two were actually pretty nice.  My friend is attracted to African-American guys, so she took him, and I got the blonde.  

        The conversation was not sparkling, but I suppose it’s just as well, because it was so loud in there I could hardly hear myself talk.  The view was great, though.  The man was very, very handsome.  I typically distrust very handsome men, but since I knew exactly where the evening was going, I figured what the hell.  He had blue eyes and a crew cut and was wearing a Klassy tight UnderArmor t-shirt and very loud high-top sneakers.  Orange sneakers.  

        “You’re a teacher?  That’s so hot!  Will you grade my homework?” he asked.

          Oh my God, I thought.  He was old for an undergraduate–he said that he put off college for the military–but he still had to be eight years younger than me.  

          “What’s your favorite class?” I asked him.

         “You know, I had to take this art class and I thought I would hate it, but it’s actually pretty cool!  For tomorrow, I had to draw a pineapple, which is a lot harder than it looks.”

           I thought about it.  “Actually, I think a pineapple would be very difficult to draw.  With all the spines on it, and gradiations in the leaves.”

           “Totally!  You know, you’re really beautiful.  I like older women.  You are like a beautiful MILF.”

           “A what?” I thought I hadn’t heard him correctly.

            “A beautiful MILF!”

             I stared at him for a second while I made up my mind about whether or not I should be offended.  He seemed bright and sunny and he obviously meant it as a compliment.  But for the record, guys: do not refer to women by their pornographic archetypes. 

         “I’ve never had children,” I said.

         “Yeah, but you have that sophisticated, lady-like look to you!  You’re very calm!”

          Calm?  As opposed to who?  What sort of women is our young basketball player hanging out with?  

           “Want to order some more guacamole?” he asked.  

           Well, okay. 

            I will omit the rest of the evening’s conversation from the record.  It was pleasant but completely uninteresting.  

        After a few hours, the guys excused themselves to make telephone calls (ostensibly).  I could see them talking frantically with each other outside the door, doubtlessly scheming on how to close the deal. 

         When they came back in, I saved him the trouble:

        “Why don’t you show me your pineapple?”

         He chocked on his margarita.  I know that I’m frank, but honestly, why fuck around?  We’d been talking for hours and he’d been touching my back, and I was sending him all the positive signs, so it shouldn’t have been that big of a surprise.  

        “SEE YA!” said his friend, who then practically shoved us out the door.

        He had a typically Young Dude apartment, which is to say that it had absolutely no decoration whatesoever aside from (get this) a poster of an Italian sports car.  The windows had blinds, not curtains.  There was no houseplants.  The walls were white, and he had a big TV and all this stuff on the floor for video games.  It was clean, though, and he had open books and binders on the kitchen table, which suggested to me that he bothered to study,  and I found that quite attractive. 

        He was nice, and he was trying to use good manners, which I appreciated.  He was big enough to kill me, but I didn’t feel the slightest bit afraid of him in any way.  I felt like I could control him. 

          The pineapple was actually pretty good.  Much better than I could draw it.  I took a photo of it with my cell phone and I’d post it, but the picture is blurry.

       He had an absolutely bangin body.  His body was so hard that it was actually uncomfortable to rest my head on it.  I think he’s the tallest man I’ve ever been with.  He was even taller than the Mathematician.  

       Because he was so young, and a jock, I was on guard for awful porn-sick behavior in his lovemaking skills.  Porn has ruined sensuality for many a young dood.  Most of it is predicated on hurting and humiliating the woman.  As an enthusiastic submissive, you’d think I’d get off on that, but I absolutely hate it when a man I’m not in a relationship with treats me with disrespect sexually. 

        Happily, he pulled almost no porn-sick moves.  If anything, he handled me a little too delicately.  He was so big and strong that I was trying to get excited by picturing him going all Conan.

        “You can go harder,” I said.  “I won’t break.”

         “Uh, are you sure?”

         I thought of Abduction Weekend and bit the insides of my mouth to keep from laughing.  Because if there’s one thing you never want to do in bed, laugh at your partner, unless you’ve done something silly like fall off the bed.  

         It was fun, I guess.  The first time you have sex with a person, it’s usually not great, in my experience.  The first time is “getting-to-know-you” sex, where you’re feeling the other person out and trying to get a feel for what they’re like.  And God knows you don’t want to offend them or hurt their feelings, so everyone’s on their best behavior and inhibited.  

        I would have asked him to tie me up, but I just met the guy and didn’t want to skeeve him out.  It’s also not to smart to do that with a guy you don’t know well enough to trust.  

         I think the best part was looking at him.  God, what a handsome man.  I haven’t been with a man in his early 20s in years.  His body was almost too hard, though.  I mean, his chest was like a frozen pot roast.  I bet he can hit pretty hard, but I was too shy to ask him.  

       That’s it.  There’s really not much to report.  It’s, you know, regular sex.  I think of regular sex like roasted chicken or Slim-Fast shakes: it’s nutritious, but boring.   

       The four-hour session I had earlier in the day was more fascinating.  Oh God, the man was a lunatic.  I’ll tell you about it next time.  Now, I have to teach. 
        Should I hit up the sailor?  I was actually more attracted to him.  It would also be kinda patriotic.  

Your Invincible Defeat

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     I put the mouse in the little 2.5 gallon hospital tank on my desk.  He doesn’t like it in there.  He’s very tiny and not very coordinated yet.  I hope he doesn’t have a disease.  I’m watching him groom himself right now.  He licks his little hands and then washes his face with them.  Cute!  What’s a good name for a mouse?  Sid Vicious?  Christopher Little?  

     I decided that if I ever see Chopin again, I’m going to tell him off, the same way that I told off Seth.  Somebody needs to do it.  Deciding what I am going to say to him cheered me up considerably. I wish that I knew him better so that I could go straight for the heart when I do it, but on the other hand, knowing him better would necessitate…knowing him better.  

      I went to two AA meetings yesterday, which helped me to feel better.  I guess I was also sad about having to surrender the dog (I was fostering a Saluki for a rescue group until its new family passed the home inspection).  I knew that I couldn’t keep her–my life just isn’t suitable for dog ownership right now, and she was waaaay too interested in my birds–but I still grew quite fond of her, and it was nice to have something to hug.  

       I was talking to one of my girlfriends about being lonely. 

       “Let me ask you something,” she said.  “Why didn’t you press charges against the Surgeon?”

       “The DA will never take the case, and he’s so powerful that if he turns on me he’ll make my life hell.  I have no money to fight him.  I’m defenseless.”

         “You still could have gotten him arrested.  That would make it real for him in a hurry.”

        But she doesn’t know about my secret job, and she doesn’t know that that’s how I met the Surgeon.  And if some of it comes out, all of it comes out.  The Surgeon has made problems “go away” before–money and lawyers, money and lawyers–but he would not be able to contain this.  The story is too lurid, and he has a lot of enemies who would be delighted to lambaste him in the press.  Nobody would care about me because I’m not important, but they would care about him enough to dig up the dirt on me.   The Surgeon’s five-year relationship with the grad student dominatrix. The Post runs it along with the sex-ay photos from my ad and a few incriminating lines from my ad copy (along with the photo from my school website).  My dungeon fires me (which would probably be good for me) and then I get fucking helicopter parents calling my school and tutoring center and complaining that they don’t want someone like me teaching their kids, never mind the fact that their kids are legally adults and I am a damn fine instructor. 

       I would be completely, irrevocably, totally fucked.  If I wanted to teach again, I’d have to leave New York.  

      No wonder I’m depressed!  I’ve been sitting on this IED for over a month!  That asshole, with his flowers and his baby card!  And why does he get to do whatever he wants in the world, and I’m the one who has to pay the consequences?  

      “Let me put it this way,” said my girl friend.  “If it was your restraining-order ex, John, who made the house call, and not the Surgeon, would you have gone to the police?”

      “Oh hell yes!”  I would have been there ten minutes after he walked out the door.  I live just down the street from my local precinct.  I hate John.  I pay good money twice a year to see where he lives.  I feel safe as long as he’s on the other side of the country.  He was so awful that I haven’t been able to bring myself to write about him on this blog, but here, I’ll give you a hint as to how nefarious he was: I really thought he was going to kill me when I left him, and when he was stalking me, he’d do scary shit like break into my apartment and move the art around on the walls, or leave the salt and pepper shakers in the bathroom.  What was I going to do?  Call the police and say the pictures are rearranged?  And when the restraining order ran out, he emailed me five minutes after midnight!  Five minutes!  He was sitting at his computer, waiting!  When I took him to court, he insisted on taking my stupid little futon.  The guy had just inherited two million dollars and an enormous condo full of his father’s excellent furniture, and he wanted my futon.  Know why he wanted it?  So that I wouldn’t have anything to sleep on.  

        But I digress.

       “Then why not the Surgeon?  You’d have John arrested, but not the Surgeon?”

       I couldn’t tell her the truth about my secret job and this idiotic Mexican standoff.  

       “You don’t do it because if you did, it would be over for good.  You don’t want to burn the bridge.  He was the love of your life and you won’t let go.  That’s why you’re not dating anyone, too.  You’re mourning.  I’ve never known you to go this long without casually dating a few guys.  You used to be the biggest player I knew!  You used to have five guys in rotation!”

        “I feel unattractive!” I yelled, defensive. 

         “Then fix it!”

        “My career is stalled and I’m an alcoholic and a serial relapser!”
          “Oh please!  You and half the other people in this city!  That’s it!  We’re going out Monday night!  Go get your nails done.  You need to get laid.  You need to get laid by a harmless idiot.  A big, stupid idiot.  An idiot in his 20s.  The opposite of the Surgeon.  You need someone you normally wouldn’t give the time of day to.  I’ll pick him out for you.”

        I groaned.  This friend…well, we like totally different types of guys.  I like intellectuals.  She likes…well, I hate to say it, but she likes meatheads.  The type of meathead who wears tank tops to bars and hair product.  When I met her boyfriend, he was wearing an Ed Hardy shirt. 

        “We’re going to get our nails done and then we’re going out Monday night after work and you are going to get laid,” she said.

       I winced.  “I haven’t picked up a guy in a bar since…well, since I stopped drinking.”

       It’s true.  I haven’t had a one-night stand since I (mostly) dried out.  Abduction weekend doesn’t really count.  

      “Time to get back into the swing of things!” she said.

      “But I have to teach Tuesday morning,” I said.

      “What are you, some old lady?  I’ll be there at 7 to help you pick out the dress.  Do you hair nice and wear it down!”

       So…I’m going out tonight.  Margaritas (non-alcoholic) at some meat market I’ve never heard of.  As long as nobody expects me to dance, I’ll be fine. 

      This is the dress I am going to wear.  Guys like white for some reason.  I bought this dress a while ago and haven’t worn it out yet.  This and red patent-leather pumps.  Should be a hit.  Especially since I can’t wear a bra with it.  

   Wish me luck.  I’m a bit rusty.  And I need to remember not to mention how long I was in school.  Education is kryptonite to meatheads.

     Ha!  I need to find a musclebound retard with tattoos and plastic wrap-around shades and get my picture taken with him and send it to the Surgeon, claiming that he’s my new boyfriend.  The Surgeon would have a rage-stroke!

I’m so lonely that it’s killing me.  Even  Parrot can’t cheer me up.

     I haven’t seen a mouse in many days, but today there was a little one in the bathroom.  It is tiny; the size of a quarter.  Maybe a nickle.  It’s a baby.

      I captured it in a coffee cup and put it in the pitcher I use to water houseplants. I’m going to keep it.  I had to give back the Saluki, because I was only holding her for her new family.