Girl with a Pearl Earring

Read More

     I finally get to see one of my favorite paintings in person!  The Frick is exhibiting Girl with a Pearl Earring and fourteen other excellent paintings from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in the Hague! YAAAAY!  I saw the poster for the exhibit this morning when I was walking through Chinatown to get to my optometrist (and don’t you love that fresh-new-contact-lens feeling?). 

      When I was in Amsterdam I went to the Rijksmuseum, and wouldn’t you know it, most of the museum was closed for renovations!  BOOO!  I still got to see a little of it, though.  Then I ate half a bag of hallucinogenic mushrooms and went to the van Gogh museum, which I do not recommend.  The museum was great, but it was way too crowded, which made my trip uncomfortable.  I ended up leaving early and going for a long walk around town.  Amsterdam was very beautiful and the people were very beautiful, and friendly, too!  Everyone looked like a Barbie or Ken doll, and they were very tall.  It was the first time in my life where I was not an unusually tall woman.  

       I learned a few Dutch phrases in order to be polite, but the language was very challenging.  

       I can’t wait to go to this exhibit!  I’ll take photos and post them on the blog.  

       The only thing that is sad is that I’ll have to go alone.  Usually I don’t mind going to museums alone–I get the audio tour headphones and let the experts educate me–but this exhibit is special and I wish that I had a boyfriend to go with me.  🙁  


Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague
Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague
Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague

On Blowing It; or: Coyote on the Subway

    I saw him immediately when I entered the subway train at Herald Square.  He was tall–taller than I usually like my men–and lean.  He was wearing a bright blue shirt and gray slacks.  Silver necktie.  He had thick, straight ash-blonde hair that was long-ish on top and cut down to a buzz on the sides.  It looked like a vintage military hairdo.  

     The hair was shot through with silver.  Just a bit.  Very light.  Almost white.

     His face was bony.  Blue eyes.  I can’t describe it.  Not conventionally handsome, but compelling.  He looked a bit like Lance Armstrong.  He looked a bit like Heinrich.  

      Like my mother.

      He was carrying an old-fashioned leather satchel.  He opened it and took out a weirdly-shaped pad of paper.  It was very long.  Had to be some sort of special tablet–it has squares on it, like graphing paper.  

       His hands were long and spindly.  Downed with yellow hair.  They looked strong.  He reminded me of a wolf. A coyote. And he had that look, that special demeanor, that all the men I’ve ever loved have had.  A crispness to him.  Meticulous.  Fastidious. 

      I pictured his hands around my throat in the darkest hour of night.  

      I stared at him all the way to the 4th Street station.  I could see people watching me stare at him, and I didn’t care.  

     He met my eyes once.  I was afraid to be rude, so I dropped my gaze, but my heart was pounding so hard!

      You have to get this guy, I thought.  Pick him up. 

      I’ve picked up men on the train before.  Several times.  But the last one was years ago…Jeff, the Machinist.  

      Fucking approach him.  Just approach him and make conversation.  Ask him about his strange writing tablet. Is he an architect?  Or even just say, flat out: “I am very attracted to you.  Are you attached?  May I give you my contact information?”  

   Because I’ve done that before, with excellent results. Men act startled when I hit on them, but they never tell me no unless they are in a relationship and monogamous.  

    My friends, I couldn’t do it.  Why not?  Usually, I’m fearless with men. And I was well-dressed and looking good, too! I was wearing my pretty black lace dress and had nice makeup on, and my hair was down.  It’s true that I’m sort of a fatass now at 128 lbs, but most dudes don’t see that…only mean ones like the Surgeon. 

     He tucked his special pad of paper back into his bag and left at 4th Street.  

     He stared at me through the glass as the door closed and the train moved away. 

     I blew it.  I totally blew it.  

     I’m gonna ride the same train tomorrow, though and see if he’s there.

Even Hercules Needed Help

Read More

    Update 10:15 PM

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

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

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

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

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

                *                         *                    *                        *

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

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

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

        Guess how much money I earned with the French Fry.  

         Tell me there’s not a connection.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Cockatoo did this to herself.  I know why. 

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

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

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

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

         Ask, and you shall receive. 

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


Read More

    Well, I did something I’m not proud of last night.

     I got into it with the Surgeon.  

     It was stupid.  I knew there was no point to it.  I guess I just did it because I was lonely and angry.  Two out of four in HALT and yes I admit I was thinking of martinis.  

     See, he sent flowers to my apartment.  A bunch of lilies, which are my favorite.  No scalpel in the bouquet this time.   Just a nice card saying that he hopes I’m doing well.  

      I should have gone to a meeting or called one of my friends or taken Parrot out to play with her or cleaned my fish tank or something, but instead I just on my bed staring up at the ceiling and feeling upset and angry.  It came out of nowhere.

       I knew that he’d reach out to me in inquire about the flowers.  I mean, it’s natural to be curious about how a person receives a gift you’ve given them, but the surgeon always checks up.  That’s one thing about this man–he does something nice and he basically expects a parade for it.  You know those people who make anonymous donations to charities or otherwise ask that their names not be published?  That’s not him

       Sure enough, he sends me a text message:  Did you get the flowers?  I was thinking about you.  You are a very special person to me.

       Well, I don’t know what it was, but I totally flipped my shit.  This almost never happens to me.  I’m definitely not a crier and I almost never lose my temper.  I just almost never get pissed off.  I don’t know if it’s my personality or the way that I was raised in a strict household where displays of rage or grief by children were considered unacceptable and not tolerated.  My father, especially, reserved the luxury of rage exclusively for himself. 

       Whatever it was, those flowers and that text message set me off.  I know it doesn’t seem to make sense.  Why get mad over a card and flower?

        I wrote back: “‘Special’ like the kids on the short bus, or what? What do you want, a parade?  You do something nice for me once and you think it makes up for all the bad things you put me through?”

        I’m sure that shocked him.  I’ve been rude or mean to him a handful of times over the years we were together, and each time, I remember, he acted surprised.  Stunned, even. That’s how out of character it is for me.  And also, because he is a bully, he’s used to people walking on eggshells around him.

       But, you don’t want to fight with this guy.  He goes for the throat, and if you don’t lose the fight, he’ll eventually make sure that you wish you had.  There were a couple times where he had to acknowledge that I was right because he didn’t have a leg to stand on, and boy, did he punish me for it later.  

        After a minute, he asks: How are you supporting yourself over the summer?  Your old dungeon closed.  Want me to throw a little work your way?

        The Surgeon never completely got over the fact that he met me at a dungeon.  I’m not totally sure why.  I know it’s rank hypocrisy, given that he was there too, and he turned out to be more sexually strange than me–I won’t disclose his kinks, but trust me, he’s not Dr. Normal Normal.  

        I think that what bothered him the most about it was the idea of me with other men.  This, too, was hypocrisy, because we were never monogamous.  Nevertheless, he was a jealous man.  I think one of the reasons he used to bite and beat me so hard was that he was being territorial. 

        I wrote back: Wow, that was fast with the old familiar cruelty. Please, keep it coming.  It reminds me of why I had to dump your crazy abusive ass. 

        Him: You’re right, the sarcasm wasn’t nice, but I would never hurt you the way that you hurt me in these last several months since you cut off contact.  You are a cruel ice queen.  The way you have treated me is unconscionable. 

        Me: Breaking up with you was unconscionable?  You’re a self-centered rageaholic and an obsessive philanderer who ignored most of my emotional needs when you weren’t using me for sex!  How could I improve on that, right? Sorry that I needed a man capable of loving me in my life.

       Him: How can you say that about me? I know I have my issues, it’s true, but I have been the only person in your entire life that you could depend on.  When you had nobody else to turn to, I was always there.  What, did you want a child?  I would have given you that.

       I had to acknowledge that that part is true.  He’s right about that.  It doesn’t make him Boyfriend of the Year and it doesn’t ameliorate the bad things he did or the contempt with which he would treat me.  But I have to hand it to him: he went to bat for me on more than one occasion.  He always came through in a pinch.  

        Here it is, the Awful Truth: I have had no experiences in my life which would lead me to believe that I could depend on a man. You may think that is hyperbole, but it’s not.  With the exception of my brother, every man in my family tree has been a junkie, a user, a taker, a criminal, or a violent abuser and rapist of women and children.  

         Think about that.  You can bet your ass that I have. 

         I had to acknowledge that in my personal relationships with men–both intimate and familial–the Surgeon  was the best of the lot.  THE SURGEON!  THE FUCKING SURGEON!  Do you know what he did to me?  The things that would come out of his mouth?  It would turn your hair white!  And even still, the best of the lot!  Hell, compared to that pathetic lying manipulative cheating mathematician, the Surgeon was solid fucking gold!  He never mislead me about who or what he was.  

         Him: If you acknowledge that, then how can you question my commitment to you? I tried everything I could to keep you with me because I care about you.  I still care.  That is why I sent you flowers.

        A rare moment of grace for him.  I couldn’t tell if he was really trying, or just being manipulative.  I mean, yes, he wanted to keep me…but that doesn’t mean that he treated me well or that the relationship was good for me.  He was sexually obsessed with me. It doesn’t mean that he loved me.  I mean, he loved me a little bit, I always knew that.  

       But the Surgeon is not an emotionally evolved man.  His capacity for the higher emotions is very limited.  He doesn’t have a broad spectrum.  It’s difficult for me to explain.   He cares about me, and thinks that he cares about me, but he does not experience the loving, nurturing care that healthy people do.  

       And when you get right down to it, there is no escaping the simple truth that the Surgeon is just not a very good person.  He’s just not.  I say that as someone who truly loved him anyway.  He is rude, vain, shockingly insensitive, controlling, vindictive, and he goes out of his way to be cruel to people.  He can be nice when he feels like it, or when he wants something.  He can be very charming in fact–he’s a huge charmer; and he’s a smooth talker, he turns it off and on like a lightswitch.  He can be a lot of fun, but he’s a prick.  A colossal prick who thinks that he’s God. 

        He sort of is like God.  He goes into people’s bodies and slices them with knives and puts machines in them.  He changes their bodies.  It is not a coincidence.  

        He wanted me to have his kid, you know.  Incredible.  I thought about it.  The kid would have some good genes.  It would be smart.  It would probably be good-looking.  The Surgeon has money to give the kid a good start in life.

       But the Awful Truth is that there is simply no way in hell I could let that man be around my child.  He’s too dangerous.  He would damage a child.  Especially a girl.  He would be a better dad than my father was to me, but given that my father got a big fat “F-“ in Parenting 101, that is not exactly complimentary. 

       Not good enough for my child…but for years, I thought that he was good enough for me. 

       Anyway, that was pretty much the end of the argument.  There was a little more back-and-forth in which he told me how cruel I was for ignoring him.  But what else could I do?  We had to break up.  How the hell do you end a relationship if you keep interacting with the other person?  And how is no contact “cruel”?  Is it?  

          Him: I went to that strip club on Long Island looking for you!  I went to your old dungeon looking for you!  Do you have any idea how much anxiety and pain you have caused me?

       Me: Surgeon, that is fucking stalker behavior, it is not indicative of love. 

       Him: What else can I do when you ignore me?

       Me:  You are not entitled to my attention.  

       Him:  After 5 years?!  You are cruel!

      Me: No, cruelty is telling the woman who loves you that your DOG is the only thing in your life that brings you happiness.  That’s cruel!  Remember that?

         After that, the communication deteriorated into immature back-and-forth.  I usually argue in a very respectful fashion but I have to admit that I blasted him a few times last night.  I think the fight in his mind seemed to center around the topic of my alleged cruelty, which I vociferously denied.  Why did I deny it?  Who cares?  It’s not like I’m going to change his mind.  

       I did raise the spectre of OJ Simpson.  Maybe that was cruel.  But how can it be cruel if it’s the truth?  

        Was it wrong to be mad at him after the flowers and he tried to make nice?  

        It was a stupid fight via text message that did nothing but leave me feeling confused and tired.  Was I mean to him in the relationship?  I don’t think that I was.

        What a fucking depressing blog entry this is, but I had to write about it.  

        I’m going to take a shower and try to do something fun today.

        Here, let’s end on a happier note.  This medical specialty decision flow chart really cracks me up.  


Bittersweet Birthday and Session Marathon

Read More

    I had a birthday this week.  It was bittersweet.  I cried in the morning because I couldn’t be with my family this year.  My mother called and said that she is worried about me.  She said that she feels like I hide things from her.  Her suspicion, of course, is not incorrect.  She has absolutely no clue how I live most of my life, but frankly, nobody else knows how I live most of my fuckin life, either.

    You, the reader of this blog, know more about my current life than my family, my AA buddies, my best friends, the even the Surgeon (though he’s gone now).  The only person who knows The Awful Truth is my psychoanalyst. 

     And that, my friends, is fucking problematical.  

     I need to change, but I don’t know how.  

     I need love, but I don’t know where to find it.  

     The Surgeon sent me flowers for my birthday (no scalpel inside this time).  Don’t worry, I’m not going back to him–though he’d take me back in a heartbeat–but it did make me miss him a little bit again.  He was a twisted little monkey, but I liked him an awful lot.  I think one of the reasons he loved me (insofar as he is capable of love) was that he knew that I recognized him for exactly what he was…and I accepted him anyway.  The good and the bad, from the first to the last.  

      I was the only one he trusted.  I know where the proverbial bodies are buried, if you get my drift.  

      We were two of a pair, because nobody really knew us.  We had secret lives…and he had all of my character flaws, magnified to the Nth degree.  

     Anyway…this week: two different birthday parties for Margo.  One dinner with the friends from school and my academic job.  Another party at the Superstudio (a bunch of us went out for chips and guacamole afterward at a Mexican spot nearby).  

      Enough sad stuff…

      The GOOD NEWS: after an extended run of pretty crummy Secret Job clientele, I had four independent sessions in a row this week, and they were all awesome and I made a zillion bucks! Wheeeeeee!  

      Session #1: Lawyer from Philadelphia hosts me in fantastic 4-room hotel suite.  He had to take an important business call and invited me to make myself comfortable.  The bathroom had locks on the door, so I took a bath in this swimming-pool sized bathtub:

awesome bathtub

      This is the view from the hotel’s bedroom window.  RAD!  And session was super-easy.  He was a cool guy. He wanted to snuggle a little bit at the end, which is usually a bit uncomfortable for me, but what the hell.  I guess we all need a little human comfort, and he let me use the bathtub and eat the $18 cashews from the minibar.  So I gave him hugs and he talked about his son’s Confirmation in the Catholic Church (I was baptized and reared Roman Catholic, but I was never Confirmed.  I was atheist by the time I was 14, so I declined that sacrament).  

NYC Famous Public Library

Top of Library

      SESSION #2:  Met a professional gambler at the Gansevoort Hotel.  We met in the hotel bar, because I always meet new clients in a public place first in order to size them up.  He was middle-aged, well-dressed, and not bad looking, but he had terrible table manners.  He ordered french fries, and was snarfing them down and spilling the crumbs all over the place.  

       The session was over with in about 20 minutes.  Mostly, he just wanted to talk.  He seemed lonely.  He was writing about book about gambling and showed me the draft (he has co-authored several books about gambling).  

       He claimed that his favorite city in the world is Las Vegas.

       “Vegas?  For real?  Uhhh, have you been to Europe?” I asked.

       “Yeah!  My Dad lives in London!  But Vegas has the best gambling.  Monte Carlo sucks!  Atlantic City sucks!  Vegas has the best hotels.  The best restaurants.  The best shows!  The best strip clubs!  It’s the best!”

       “But it’s a fake community.  Las Vegas is a monstrous temple to fake experience,” I said.  

       “So what?  I don’t go there for the community.”   

        He hired me for an extra hour to hang around and talk.  He talked all about his ex girlfriend. He talked about his books.  

        Then he taught me how to play poker.  At first, this made me very anxious, because…well, I don’t think I’ve ever told you this, gentle reader, but…my father is a gambling addict.  

       Gambling addiction is difficult for most people to understand, because it’s a behavior, as opposed to a chemical dependency (like drugs or alcohol).  

       However, like sex, gambling can be an addiction…and I simply cannot overemphasize the suffering and destruction it causes to the afflicted and their loved ones.  

       My father’s addiction was the single greatest cause of pain in my life, and to this day, I can barely stand the sight of people gambling.  The slot machines are the worst.  I hate casinos.  I hate them.  If you could see what I have seen, you would hate them, too.

      Learning how to play poker from the Gambler in his hotel room wasn’t so scary, however.  Maybe because there was nothing at stake.  

       Before I left, I did blurt out: “Please be careful.  Gambling is dangerous.  You always lose in the end.” 

       I know that was unprofessional.  I never tell clients what to do. How they live their lives is none of my business.  But I couldn’t help it.  

       He cocked his head to the side, considering.  Then he said: “But if you win, then you win big.  I’m going to the World Series of Poker next year, and I intend to win.  You can watch it on TV!” 

    I have two more session to tell you about, include AWESOME DINNER AND SESSION WITH DEBONAIR CULTURED ZILLIONAIRE FROM COPENHAGEN who gave little Margo $1000!!!!  He cooked me dinner and had real ART all over his loft! He bruised me a little, but not badly at all.  But a student is coming over now, so I have to go.  Will write more later!

      Happy birthday to meeeeee!  With the $1000, now I can go home to see my Momma and brother! 

Babe and a Half

Read More

     I found this photo reblogged on some tumblr.  I was so impressed with it that I wanted to repost it. 

   I have no idea who this woman is, but she looks like an awesome badassed bitch!  I really admire her presence. What a babe and a half. If I were a submissive dude, I’d be all over those boots.  She could kick me around all day.

   I have a thing for boots and male footwear.  The Surgeon had some really great shoes.  Actually, most of his wardrobe was fuckin fantastic.  

    …..aaaaand, my sex drive is back.  Friggin FINALLY.   After the Mathematician messed me up, I couldn’t bear the thought of being touched, and the good memories of our funsexytimes made my heart hurt so badly that I cringed to recollect them.  He slept in my bed. In my bed.  

    Well…at least he helped to put the Surgeon behind me.  At least that’s something

     Maybe later this summer, after I heal some more, I’ll be ready to try again.  Mister Right-for-Margo.  Master Right-for-Margo.  

      I’ll love him and we’ll be like this!


Why Doesn’t He Have a Girlfriend?

     Monday, October 22:

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

       I was telling her about the Mathematician.

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

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

      Beats of silence.  Excellent question.

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

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

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

      How could I have been so shockingly gullible…?

               *                   *                        *                        * 

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

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

       How could he do it to me.

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

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

            *                      *                       *                          * 

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

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

       I went to bat for that man.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       Then we cuddled some more.

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

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

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

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

        “Right,” he said.

                      *                        *                 *                  * 

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

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

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

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

       Then he started talking.

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

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

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

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

       Divorced.  And re-married.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…Thy Days Would Not Be Long.

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

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

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

          I had two nightmares about the Surgeon this week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

       It was powerlessness.  

                       *                      *                   *                 *

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

      The monster in your nightmare is you.

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

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

      I am falling in love with this man. 

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

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

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

Miss Margo: Girlfriend…?

       So.  I have a situation here.  

       The Mathematician saw me three times this week and invited me to watch him play squash on Thursday.  

       This is getting way too intimate.  We spend a lot of time together.  He is always texting me and talking about his life and he does lovey-dovey shit like petting my hair and holding my hand.  He brings me little presents, like a Starbucks card, and he e-mails pictures of his pets.  Last night when he came to my apartment, he voluntarily changed two burned-out lightbulbs.

       After he left last night–we’d spent about three hours together–he texted me from the train and then sent me a link to this video.  Too funny!  I thought you would like it!  It reminded me of you! he says. 


      Well, I don’t drink beer, so it has to be the hawk.  I told him about my Vermont falconry vacation over a month ago.  Know what that means?  It means that the man is actually listening to the words that are coming out of my mouth, and not just waiting to get the sexual attention he’s paying me for.  

      I was describing it to a friend at the Studio: “I think he has a crush on me.”

      “Sounds like a lot more than a crush, Margo.  You think a client  invites you to a squash game where you are going to meet his friends?”  

      “My shrink says that he didn’t pressure me for sex when I spent the night because he’s repressed.”

      “He didn’t pressure you for sex because he respects you and he’s not an asshole.  And yeah, he’s probably a little scared.  He gets a hot chick like you in bed and he doesn’t want to blow it.  And it’s not like you’re some tease who is stringing him along for kicks and trying to hustle him for money.”        
      But here’s the thing: he’s still paying me.  

       I called up my friend, V., in Jersey.  She is also a domme and she’s older than me and has a lot of experience with men.  

      “If you like him, fire him as a client!  Tell him ‘Session’s over, math geek!’ and go have dinner and have sex with him!  You don’t need him as a client.  There’re always more clients.”

      “No man wants a dominatrix for a girlfriend!  No man is going to put up with that!” I wailed.

      “That’s how he met you.  If he holds it against you, it would be the very definition of hypocrisy.”

       (Here, gentle reader, do you know what just happened?  Literally, just now?  Mathematician texts me to ask if I want to go see the new James Bond film with him!  ARRRGH!)

      Look, I don’t know him well enough to know if things would work out between us.  But I do know that I’m attracted to him and I like him a lot.  I also know that, objectively, he has everything I want in a partner.  He does have kids, and that kinda sucks, but they’re mostly grown and don’t live with him, so it’s not a deal-breaker.  

      But…it’s the same damn conundrum I’ve been writing about since I started this blog: I cannot have a loving relationship with a healthy man and live the way that I do.  

      And I still owe the Surgeon money.  

     I have to change.  I’m going to have to do it sooner or later–why not sooner?  Because the way that I live is unsustainable.  

      Maybe things wouldn’t work out with the Mathematician.  Couldn’t I at least try?  

      “I think that I have a lot of love to give to someone,” I told my shrink.  

      “Yes.  But I think it is more important that you experience being loved.”

      That made me cry and I don’t know why.  

Questions for Ex-Mrs. Mathematician

Read More

     Yeah, so…

      The Mathematician is divorced.  His wife dumped him to run off with a bounty hunter twice her age (no, I’m not making that up).  I kind of wish I could get her on the phone and talk with her, because I’m curious: that is just the sort of batshit insane move I’d pull.  

     I’d also like to tell her: boy, did you fuck up!  What were you thinking? 

     I mean, this is a really great guy.  Is there something about him that I’m not seeing?  Are his relatives a bunch of psychos who were constantly meddling in your household?  Because that’s the only thing I can think of that might be wrong with him.  He’s a gentleman–like the type who almost never uses curse words and pulls out chairs for women.  He has a great Protestant work ethic and a lucrative job that does not involve exploiting humanity.  He’s patient and devoted to his children.  He’s handsome and wears nice clothes.  I guess he is sort of a dork compared to a bounty hunter, but for a man with a Ph.D. in mathematics he is pretty cool.  

      Objectively, how could this man be improved upon?  

       What–he wasn’t exciting? 

        Oh yeah–I know how it is.  Been there, done that.  I dumped the best boyfriend I ever had–a guy that loved me, really loved me for “who I am,” whatever the hell that means–so that I could be with an abusive psychopath who was only nominally more functional that my father.  John.  The one I had to take to family court in order to get away from, and I wasn’t even married to him.  I still remember sitting in the living room of my Hoboken apartment, hyperventilating and shaking in fear, hoping that the locksmith would arrive and change the locks before John came back and blew my head off. 

      Yeah.  That was exciting, all right.  Too exciting.  After that, I was done with love.  I stopped believing in it.  Love was for other people.  I was never gonna put myself in that situation again.  Men were for fun, and I was never going to be emotionally vulnerable again.  I would always be in charge of the relationship.  

      My analyst just came out and said to me one time: Margo, you are very attracted to danger. 

      What does it get me…?  My life is very interesting. I have maximum freedom.  I can do whatever I want whenever I want and I can do whomever I want, and I’m not accountable to anyone, except maybe my landlord and the IRS. It’s exciting to keep all the balls I’m juggling in the air all the time.  It’s always a little thrill to check my professional email and wonder if there’s going to be a message: “HEY!  Do you work at the Superstudio?  Do your students’ parents know that?  How about your family?  And who was that man you were with in that hotel?  He wasn’t the one you brought to the Christmas party.  And did I see pictures of your bruised, mangled ass on the internet?”

       Yeah, it’s interesting.  But is it fulfilling? 

       So, Ex-Mrs. Mathematician…is your life fulfilling now?  Do you miss what you had?  

NERD ALERT!  This science-themed hotel provides beakers to drink out of instead of normal glasswear.  Says the Mathematician: “I love this place!”  Wow.  Well, I guess it’s healthier than wanting to beat the shit out of me with a belt. Or hiding syringes around my apartment while I’m in the shower.