The Attorney (II): My Analyst is Grievously Concerned

      This morning I went to see my expensive neo-Freudian analyst.  I was tense and had difficulty being verbal, so we did the laying-on-the-couch thing.  It really is amazing, the way conversation is facilitated–and inhibitions are lowered–when the person one is speaking with is out of eyesight.  I use blindfolds myself on repressed and anxious individuals; it really turns a trick.  Try it yourself and see.

      Anyway, I told her about the Attorney I met last week.  

      To say that she was concerned would be an understatement.  

      After listening to my recollection, she declared him to be a sadist and incapable of having a loving relationship.  

       I thought this was unfair and rather harsh (not to mention incriminatory).  “But how do you know?

       “You just told me.” 

       “I did…?”

       “Yes.  You said that he was a tightly controlled, impassive sadist.”  

       “But I’m a control freak with sadistic instincts, and I’m capable of loving someone!”  I cried.  This seemed monstrously unfair.   

        “He’s not like you.  That beating he took is nothing compared to what he’ll do to you.  He’ll show you how it’s done.”

       I figited, upset.  Then I confessed The Awful Truth: “He’s seen me at my worst.  He knows about my secret life and accepts me anyway.”

       I twisted my head to look up at her.  Usually she has the smooth, neutral psychologist expression on her face (in our first two sessions together, I thought for certain that she didn’t like me.  Interesting, that.).  This time, her eyes were wide so that they showed the whites all around.  She looked kind of freaked out, to tell you the truth.  

      “Margo, this is not a relationship.  He does not know anything about you.  He is not accepting Margo.  You are an object for his hostility.  He wants you because he intuits your masochism.  You are acting out and he is acting out, too.  That is not emotional intimacy.”

       Hello!  Hello!  EARTH TO MARGO!  Come in, Miss Margo!

      “This man will make John look like a toy.  Actually, that is what you will be.  It’ll be fun to be played with, until he turns on you and revokes his compassion.  Then you’ll be confused, and try to win it back.  Sound familiar?”  

       I looked at her, startled.  Appalled, actually, by my capacity for self-delusion.  

      Consider this from the Attorney’s perspective: he hires a pro and hits the jackpot.  She is beautiful, educated, childfree, vulnerable, and sexually relentless.  And let’s cut the shit, here:  I quit the booze and I quit the Surgeon, but my life is weird as hell and I’m not living this way because I am Ms. Norma Normal NYC 2012.  While I wouldn’t describe myself as unhappy, I still live with a goddamned parrot and fifty million books.  My career is languishing, and it’s not because I don’t have skills, credentials, or talent.  

      I have to protect myself.  

      I have an appointment with this guy.  I was sort of counting on the money so that I could buy new boxes of contact lenses, which is actually pretty ironical.  

       Better to cancel it, and borrow from my brother, or something.

The Attorney: Birds of a Feather

    I met a man. 

    He emailed me to set up an appointment.  He wanted to be beaten–that is it, that is all.  The letter was concise, precise, and  businesslike.  We arranged the particulars in about ten minutes.  

     When I saw him walking up the stairs, I was utterly astonished.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  

      The man looked perfect. I don’t mean that he was spectacularly handsome–he was conventionally attractive, but not movie-star good-looking–but that his bearing and appearance was impeccable. He ran up the stairs quickly, effortlessly.  His posture was ramrod straight.  

     I welcomed him in and introduced myself, shaking his hand.  He was an attorney.  His hand was not soft.  I felt callouses on the base of the fingers.  Weights, maybe?  He did not look me up-and-down the way most men do (consciously or not) when they meet me.  He looked me right in the eyes, taking in my face.  

     He had a high-and-tight military hairdo.  His shirt was blindingly white.  The necktie, the cufflinks, the locked briefcase.  

     He reminded me of me. 

     He reminded me of The Surgeon.  

     I brought him a glass of water.  We chatted for a few minutes.

     I did not detect the slightest bit of nervousness in him.  I have never had someone visit me who was not nervous before.  He said that he identified primarily as a sadist (I believe him), but for whatever reason wanted to be beaten every now and again.  

     He undressed.  Usually, they strip like 10-year-olds, leaving their clothes wherever they drop, and I have to get on them: “Were you expecting your mother?!  Pick that up and fold it!”  This one folded everything perfectly.  Perfectly!  He paid attention to the crease in his blouse!  

      “Do you want safewords?” I asked.

      “No,” he said.  Matter-of-fact.  
       I said: “You can lean over and grab the edge of that dresser if you need something to brace yourself.”  

       He didn’t need to brace himself.  

       I beat that man.  I beat that man.  I made him sweat, and turn red, but he didn’t make noise and didn’t ask for a breather. I looked at him frequently, checking in.  His brow was furrowed, he was off somewhere inside of himself.  Processing the pain, perhaps, or keeping his equilibrium.  

       At the end, I said: “You have quite a few welts.  Do you want an Advil? Ice?” 

       He shook his head no and cleaned himself up with a washcloth and some wet naps.  Then he got dressed.  I watched him, fascinated.   He was so intense.  Like a hawk.  

       He turned to me.  “You’re very serious about this.”

       It startled me.  That was just what I was thinking about him. “Yes.  This is an expression of my sexuality and personality.” 

       “I see that.  I’d like to make another appointment.  What are your limits when you switch?”
        How did he know that I switch?  Birds of a feather….  

       We scheduled a session for next week.  

         Anxiety.  Anticipation.  

         If I am attracted to him like this, something must be WRONG.   This is how I met the Surgeon.  This is kinda how I met John, my truly bad Ex.