Joining the Circus

Inspired by: An Evening With the “Rape Me First, Kill Me Last” Crowd

And: Why It’s Folly To Design Your Own “Lifestyle”

When it comes to a young person joining the circus, I believe that the clichéd story line goes something like this:

In a quaint Midwestern rural town, a circus arrives and it is filled with exotic albeit highly damaged, rootless creatures. However they have an air about them, flair for the dramatic, showmanship, and a vague pathos.

A young man shows up and becomes so intrigued that he joins up such as to discover that he is an asset to such a company, because he is capable of rising to the occasion in terms of hard word, accountability, and responsibility. In exchange for his efforts, he gets to partake of some exotic experiences with persons who turn out to be empty, damaged, and with arrested development to perhaps include an alarming fixation on children.

In so many ways, I was that young man, and still am, largely due to the decisions of my parents, and their parents, and the worlds in which they lived. Specifically, I grew up in my own family circus, not to be confused with the comic strip of that name. I have no hometown or definitive culture to draw on but rather was born a chameleon and an “actress” on orders from my family. It therefore was an effort toward a state of stability that I took up with persons who made even less effort to appear “stable” than my family did.

As a woman, I have no business promoting myself as some sort of paragon of anything. Most of my life lessons came the hard way and at a great price. I therefore, take great efforts not to misrepresent myself in my writing or to appeal to children.

The circus fulfills two major purposes within a small community:

  • Provides diversion, entertainment, and even, perhaps an opportunity for education.
  • Draws off the unprotected children of a community such as to give them some sense of purpose not otherwise granted them.

However, the circus fails when it destroys its own host culture such as to become too large for either to support itself. Bringing in a third element, such as a hoard of savages, will probably serve to reduce all populations.

Michael Rupert, before he committed suicide, asserted that our masters would be engaged in the process of extreme population reduction. Meanwhile, it is also clear that many of these creatures are engaged in the process of extreme life extension for themselves because they believe themselves to be gods, when what they are is vampires.

One of the reasons that tobacco has made itself into a spiritual anchor for me is that I am aware that it is a modern, first stage, vampire repellent. For good measure, I also partake of plenty of garlic. At some point, perhaps, I’ll start wearing a cross, and carrying a wooden stake.

I am less concerned with the dangers of live circuses than I am with television, the Leftist echo chamber, and parades of damaged persons purporting to define sexuality for the most vulnerable populations.

It is unfortunate that so many longstanding cultural institutions on The Right are themselves so damaged and shaped by vampires of history that they don’t recognize their own contribution to the inflated Leftist circus. That said, protecting one’s own children ought to be one’s first priority.

I’m exempt from that responsibility. Rather, if I had a garden, I would be planting Peppermint, Licorice, Fennugreek, Black Cohosh, Pennyroyal, Tobacco, Wormwood, and Garlic, surrounded by a fence topped with razor wire.

 

Respect For One’s Elders

It wasn’t until I returned to the U.S. from Venezuela in 2011 that socializing with people my own age and younger didn’t seem strange to me. Prior to that, with my husband nearly two decades older than I was, and most of my significant relationships in that ballpark, it was not unusual for me to be the youngest person in the room. I’ve spent a lot of time around older people and I hadn’t had a problem being around them until recently, living in a White middle class retirement community, somewhat by accident.

Generally, speaking, in both sorts of groups, my life experiences are beyond the realm of understanding and therefore a difficult subject for small talk.

My two sets of grandparents were part of the most privileged generation of grandparents ever with middle class success, savings, pensions, lofty leisure time, vacations, and extended lifespan. My parents on the other hand largely struggled until my mother completed her masters and delved into her career, at which point all the benefits of being a member of one of the most privileged and coddled workforces (the NEA) kicked in.

While growing up, I was expected to be deferential to all of my elders pro forma as well as a means of maintaining the image that we were middle class, even if I personally was a class below, as well as sort of a privileged intelligentsia. I was essentially the poor relation until I left and made something out of myself, but at the least I could be entertaining. Now I am merely expected to listen quietly while I get to be the beneficiary of stories which largely have no relevance to my life. Of course, I do, but, it’s not something I particularly enjoy. I certainly do not owe this class of people anything but pro forma respect and polite feigned interest doesn’t cost me anything.

It was fully expected by my family that I would not only make something of myself professionally but would marry professionally such as to make up for the slack in their efforts but yet allow them to take credit for my own accomplishments with their friends and relatives. After all I was “brilliant” with extraordinary test scores and most importantly attractive, never mind poorly raised and otherwise somewhat socially maladept until I became a teenager and started socializing with adults, but they weren’t the sort of adults my family had in mind.

Too many people were born the year that I was born such that there were not only fewer opportunities for everyone but Social Security has always been a sketchy possibility. Pensions have also gone extinct largely. However, I made my money and well enough to retire young. I just married the wrong person, not having much in common with the “middle class,” and therefore turning to an exotic who turned out to be a criminal, such that I am now the poor relation once again.

However it isn’t likely that I am going to change my stripes such as to attempt to meld in with a world with which I have so little in common such as to perhaps be mistaken for either a servant or a predator myself.

Returning to the U.S. after an effective 17 year absence, it would seem that today’s septuagenarians have not yet gotten the message that the future for someone like me could be bleak, and so insensitive comments are the norm. I certainly don’t expect charity but neither do I feel inclined to cater to them. They all have family about whom they brag—a safe subject for most. I don’t know what to say except for affirmations. It’s awkward.

My future is not only unknown but is at the mercy of a host of events now beyond my control. With any luck one or more of them will bear fruit at which point I will be in the uncomfortable position of having to make some difficult choices, whether positive (in my favor) or negative. I wish there was someone who I could trust, who had similar life experiences and values, who I could turn to for advice and comfort on these matters. But there is only God, and perhaps a few gentlemen circling around but so far as yet failing to inspire more than simple pleasantries from me. I wouldn’t accept an offer of protection and ownership from either of them even if another offer was forthcoming.

I must be a fool for turning down such an offer from a fool.

The population I am actually living among now is not ripe for romantic prospects and it’s not about the age difference, given my experiences, but rather my alienation from White middle class culture, and especially the culture of their generation that romantic rebels from my past effectively escaped, even if there are not many of them around left today.

The world killed them with envy, for the most part.

In terms of safe subjects in this crowd that I live among, there are none. Politics, religion, sex, and nutrition are more my speed in terms of conversational fodder. Otherwise, I would just assume excuse myself. When it comes to the stodgy health concerns of people who have lived their lives safely and middle-of-the-road, they’ve already sworn allegiance to their doctors and so I have a hard time listening to pharmacological and nutritional regimens which I disagree with. At the same time, perhaps I could feel a vindictive glee that they’re all diminishing the quality of their lives albeit extending them through chemistry and compliance, but I don’t. What would be the point? It’s sad and depressing. I don’t wish them ill, I just don’t want to have to socialize with them beyond mere pleasantries. I don’t mesh well with the statin generation.

Nowadays, life extension through any means necessary is the new religion particularly when one has great insurance. I guess that they’re neither in any hurry to either live life to the fullest or meet their makers. They’ll probably outlive me even if they forget their own names in the process, or worse fail to garner the concern they assume they deserve from their descendants.

Will they live to see the world that their kids and grandkids are going to inherit or is reality too difficult for them to grasp? I don’t believe that I owe these strangers I live among in retirement city anything nor do I expect any sort of return on my investment of time with them. However, I don’t turn down brief socialization for the sake of a diversion in my routine. Besides, perhaps I’ll one day figure out how to navigate this world.

The idea that I ought to celebrate the accomplishments of their female relatives as some sort of family virtue astounds me. It is as if they’re all in desperate need of validation of the virtue and success of this strategy. My own professional success and then abject failure at marriage doesn’t even spark a diversion in this narrative. I guess that they just find me either unlucky or insufficiently successful, or however Feminism adherents would rationalize my situation but are too polite to say anything.

There are still a few interesting personalities here and there. As usual, it is the smokers who hold my interest. These are the ones who refused to at the least have that habit beaten out of them through shaming, guilt, fear, conformity, or, most perniciously, female dominance in their marriages and relationships. There is also the obvious distinction in mental faculties. Smokers have more of them. It’s not even a contest.

I’m all tapped out for validations on vanilla, female dominance and feminism, Leftism, Socialism, mainstream media, mainstream medicine, and Healthism.

I can hardly wait for my home to sell so that I can get out of this place. It will have to be a tobacco friendly environment next even if it ends up being a floating or nomadic one. I  have not yet figured out where that is going to be.

Here is the sort of recipe that I’ve been working on that is certain to scare away the healthy-nanny compliant sort of man:

Cholesterol City Pasta (for two, even if it is just me plus leftovers)

4 strips high-quality bacon (pasture-raised, organic, heritage, low-sugar, etc.)

1 whole clove garlic, chopped.

1/4 stick butter

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon powdered, high quality gelatin

A little white wine

2 cans smoked oysters in olive oil

Herbs and spices (whatever I feel like, but probably chili powder, fennel seeds, cumin, and nutmeg)

Generous amount of fresh grated Parmesan cheese

2 cup high quality Italian semolina pasta noodles, fusilli, for example, as desired

Arugula, washed and dried

Sea salt

Black pepper

High quality olive oil

Key lime juice

Directions:

Cook the bacon, remove from pan, set aside until cool. Meanwhile, peel and chop garlic.

Reserve most of the bacon grease for something else.

Roast spices (except nutmeg) on low heat briefly on slightly greasy pan until aroma emanates.

Add butter and garlic, saute until golden.

Add nutmeg.

And broth and gelatin. Cover and simmer.

Meanwhile cook pasta a minute less than recommended, according to directions.

Crumble the bacon into a bowl.

Line a broad, flat bowl with arugula.

Open the cans of oysters.

Just before the pasta is done, splash a little wine in the sauce.

Drain the pasta, rinse well, and then toss in the pan with the sauce with oysters, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cover and let simmer for about a minute.

Taste for doneness and then scoop onto arugula and sprinkle with bacon crumbs, a splash of lime juice, and grated cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Past the Women

As a member of the world’s most privileged demographic, that is, White Western Upper Middle Class Women, there is sort of a visible “Matriarchy” of players, who upon meeting me, presume that I come offering affirmations of popular Leftist Rhetoric, to include obedience to thought crime prevention, and of course, medical diktats.

When it turns out that not only am I not wealthy at all anymore but even though clearly well-educated, informed, and articulate, but not on board with the affirmations and obedience, then the first order of business would appear to be protect the men from this woman. That would be me.

Of course, the notion that I actually wish to steal any of these pussy-whipped men who check their balls in and out of their wives’ purses each day “for their own good” is its own idiocy. I just like hanging out, smoking cigars, and remembering the good old days when men were men, and otherwise not rigorously obedient to whatever their wives learned on television, in magazines and advertising circulars, at their ladies’ clubs, and in the doctor’s office.

I also won’t stand for male-bashing, husband-bashing, son-bashing, or any other “good-natured” or outright batshit “chiding,” complaining, whining, and castrating language. These are adult men not children that these women are talking about! This is not to say I would trust these women around male children.

Everyone wants to inspire me to be an “independent” go-getter and otherwise bust some balls, etc., in order to survive. Why? What do I win? The admiration of these women? Why would I want that?

Other women expect me to help them feel better about the world. I don’t even know what could possibly be a safe subject. It is pathetic when it turns out that the safest subject is my victimization in Venezuela, which of course is a topic well out of bounds of their life experiences, and is traumatizing to me to even talk about, but, at least I don’t appear to be “wonder woman” or otherwise “empowered” when I recount these horrible things. If I am traumatized and even well up with tears then it becomes obvious that I haven’t arrived within these womens’ lives for purposes of being an affirmation-repeater or someone from whom they can extract energy for whatever “cause” they may have in mind.

For example, I’m not going to be their proxy in terms of lecturing their husbands. I’m not going to go take on city hall such as to make their communities better given all the “great advice” they have given me in which to do so. I’m not going to come over to their homes and give them computer and internet lessons for the benefit of a glass of iced tea or something. I’ve got nothing that they want.

Therefore, after they get tired of inviting me to social events where I don’t attend, and otherwise forget about me, they won’t notice that their missing husbands smell like cigars after they come to visit me. We just sit and talk. I try to reassure them that they are good guys. This job pays me nothing. I don’t even get sex out of it. It’s about the stupidest job that there is, but, at least it feels good for me to do it. At least until I get tarred and feathered and otherwise run out of town by these harpies.

 

 

 

Respect the Lie

It would seem to me that lying to women is a more effective seduction strategy by the numbers than telling the truth. Similarly, as a woman, appearing to be gullible to lies attracts more liars, whether that gullibility be a notion of my own superiority or that men don’t lie. Truth is mean and unsexy. However, of course, certain types go for mean, this writer included, but not if absurdity outweighs image.

Friendships also require loyalty to popular narratives such that if a truth is scary, then ignoring it is a sign of respect or a means to be “kind”. Solving problems is oppressive and scary when the solution is not one that comes out of a can. Translation: Good things come out of a can and are widely available; Bad things are aberrations.

It becomes clear to me that this group psychology is how it comes to be that increased social and political power in women eventually results in population correction whether by lack of desire or being invaded by brutes who are less sensitive and respectful of these female-centric notions.

Observing that every man in attendance at an event is essentially emasculated in terms of appearance and demeanor doesn’t outweigh the invisible oppression of “The Patriarchy” which is something to condemn. If it is the women who are doing all the talking, wearing all the finery, and who are the beneficiaries of a host of servants by way of healthcare and beauty treatments, then that is because that they are so smart and intelligent to have trained their men to be so silently complicit, rather than “foolishly” running their mouths off. The reality of the present company demographics doesn’t outweigh the existence of a silent and overwhelming Patriarchy elsewhere. It isn’t “respectful” to point out the absurdity of this logic.

Similarly, it isn’t helpful to point out that the majority of the books on the bookshelves of the most literate among us were written by smokers, many of whom went on to live longer lives than the majority of male Baby Boomers will enjoy. It also isn’t helpful to point out that tobacco has numerous medicinal benefits to include cognitive enhancement and prevention of various forms of dementia and neurological decline. Such notions are oppressive to the feelings of those who know that tobacco is bad but marijuana is good.

Vegetable oil like canola oil is also “good,” even though its genetic forebear “rapeseed oil” has been known for decades to cause lung lesions in restaurant workers forced to inhale the stuff, and that lung cancer in China, where hot oil wok cooking is the norm, is more prevalent than in populations where smoking and cooking in lard are both more popular.

Truth isn’t very respectful in a world where the big lie rules.

Cigar Bitch

Is it cruel of me to give nonsmokers a chance at me? I know perfectly well that it is never going to work. So long as one’s core values include swallowing the nonsense that there is anything approaching a dose-response relationship of tobacco to any of the maladies it is supposedly associated with is pretty well a deal breaker. That doesn’t mean that I believe that everyone should smoke. That would also be ludicrous. For example, I don’t think that vegetarians, polyunsaturated oil enthusiasts, birth control pill users, or sickly people should smoke; however, I don’t particularly want to date such types either.

While I can understand that some professions would punish a smoker disproportionately, that scenario hasn’t yet presented itself to me. If a man decides not to smoke in favor of a career or other activity not compatible with smoking, such as say laboratory assistant in an environment where no particulate is a good particulate, that’s his choice and I respect it. However, such a choice does not justify adopting the state-delivered rhetoric in terms of the evils of tobacco. It’s a plant! It’s not evil! There are medicinal benefits!

This medicine is probably not applicable to all persons. However, neither am I. I’m not designed for universal acceptance. Being around me could possibly even be hazardous to the health of anyone addled with state-supported propaganda. If you’re not ready for your closely-held beliefs to be challenged, please keep walking. We’re both better off. My availability is not a Democracy nor Equal Opportunity position. I’m entitled to any reason to discriminate or none.

It would seem to me that tobacco enthusiasm is not an unreasonable requirement at all for me to entertain. Similarly, should I choose to associate with the extremely tobacco adverse or paranoid, that’s my choice, and I have made it for exceptional cases, but by no means am I obligated to do so. It is only the Cultural Marxists who insist that all standards are unnecessary in that the state shall define standards for all. How grotesque. Life is not Kindergarten.

 

The Boy must die that the Man can appear

Yes indeed. Spoiler alert: One way to increase both testosterone and human growth hormone is to reduce carbohydrate consumption, within reason, depending on multiple factors. Carbohydrate reduction also helps prevent testosterone (including that added therapeutically) from mutating into estrogenic forms which promote inflammation. Real men kill for their food. Everyone does really albeit women, children, and less masculine men are often insulated from this reality. Even a rice-eater consumes bugs, except in “civilized” society. Here’s to that less civilized faction who we all depend on to maintain domestic tranquility. It’s time we honored it.

Freedom Power and Wealth

Boy must dieOften is has been said that we are living in an infantile society in which more and more poeple who are adults according to their age, live a life more appropriate to a child or to a teenager at best, but not the one of an adult person. At all times there have been such individuals but their number has always been quite small. But this phenomenon of people who refuse to grow adult makes the whole society suffer to an increasing degree. Both sexes are subject to this growing immaturity but I will only address the one relating to the males, because the effect of their immaturity is much bigger then the one of the females.

Society is tolerating immaturity

Western society for the longest time has tolerated infantile behaviour in adults. We have allowed “circumstances” to do with us what they did and we are facing the results…

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Tomatoes in a Fruit Salad?

Why not.

Fruit Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

1 package cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 Kiwi fruits, peeled and thinly sliced

2 Handfuls of grapes—purple, red, green, or an assortment, split

1 Mandarin orange, peeled, sectioned and diced, including juice

2 Ounces Blue-veined cheese such as Gorgonzola, crumbled

2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2 to 3 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar  (to taste)

1 teaspoon honey

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)

 

Combine first five ingredients in a bowl large enough to allow ingredients to be tossed. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk together until honey is dissolved.  Pour dressing over fruit and toss gently. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to blend.

 

Narcissism Nutrition

As much as I may rail against various leftist ideologies, I do not believe that these notions would have gained the traction that they have had it not been for narcissism. Moreover, it’s a feedback loop, in my view, in that more leftism results in more narcissism with one form thereof being the obsession with longevity.

While certainly a desire to live a long and healthy life is laudable, where it veers into obsession it’s counterproductive. Specifically, regardless of how long a person lives, if that life is not “worthwhile” in terms of character-building, legacy, morality, honor, and the spreading of good will and good example, then it’s an empty-calorie sort of long life.

In my view, based on my own research and observation, we all have the capacity for narcissism, particularly as a self-preservation strategy when higher-level reasoning fails. The failure of higher-level reasoning could be a birth-defect, nutritional deficit, chemical compromise, biological agent compromise, sleep compromise, or hypnosis compromise. Crowding and lack of hope in the future can compound these effects. However, whereas a depressed person still clearly has a sense of higher-level reasoning (to not be depressed in the face of societal and economic decay is its own narcissism) a narcissist merely places both blame and responsibility outside of his or herself. This is not to say that one can’t develop into the other particularly when a depressive self-medicates, deprives oneself of nutrition and sleep, and is subject to the vagaries of environment.

It is my view that female metabolism which is foremost designed to nurture a fetus even at the expense of the brain of the host is particularly susceptible to nutrition-based narcissism. Such a condition is compounded by skin-deep notions of female value that result in caloric and nutritional deprivation, to include over-eating of empty junk. Of course, the notion of what is “junk” and what is “nutritious” is heavily politicized with various actors overdeveloping the notion that “fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans are nutritious.” Not so. About the only benefit of such things (and it is a benefit) have to do with their ability to feed beneficial microbes and yeasts and otherwise harbor flora which produce actual nutrition in the host. However, in the case of imbalanced flora or candiasis, then these foods tend to compound the imbalance. Whereas nutrition which both repairs the body and properly fuels the heart consists of protein, fats, and cholesterol, and the vitamins and minerals inherent therein. We need both nutrition for ourselves and nutrition for our flora. However in the case of an imbalance or improperly developed digestive system, a relief from all carbohydrate forms for a specified period of time, can alleviate those problems. At some point however, those foodstuffs need to return to some degree as a means of nourishing intestinal mucus for the benefit of those flora.

Meanwhile, societal pressures which punish and shame masculinity encourage more narcissism within the male population. It is a shame that the obvious backlash of decades of poor mainstream nutritional advice is often food-fadism along with other narcissistic pursuits. Fasting however for defined periods can indeed have some benefit.

As for self-medication, when our mainstream medical professionals have obviously failed so many of us, then some form of self-medication makes a lot of sense, and as a curative or at least a palliative rather than a narcotic. Knowing just exactly how much of a substance to do and when is also highly variable as well as politicized. Being one’s own biofeedback mechanism also has its drawbacks. It would seem that tight communities where dietary and other lifestyle habits are generational and where similar persons can observe changes in each other, would have a higher likelihood of encouraging a positive outcome. Universal nutrition, for all latitudes, longitudes, climates, genomes, life phases, etc., is not achievable. Anyone who says otherwise probably harbors delusions of grandeur.

Repeat Something Enough And Everyone Will Believe It

File this along with the ‘men are bad, women are good’ dogma. Suddenly feeling a craving for a bacon sandwich. Makes the case that hysterics ought to be barred from watching television as it increases one’s chances of developing further hysteria by 20%. LOL

Frank Davis

H/T Jonathan Bagley for the following video of Professor David Spiegelhalter, the next President of the Royal Statistical Society, and a couple of blog posts by him.

It’s a nice little video, making a simple point, and without using any mathematics, all in less than 5 minutes.

And it seems that this bacon-causes-cancer business is a recycled idea, given that Spiegelhalter wrote the following in 2007 (he wrote some more later):

On 31st October 2007 the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF, a charity/umbrella organisation “supporting research into the role of diet and nutrition in the prevention of cancer”) issued a press release to advertise their comprehensive report on the influences of nutrition and physical activity on cancer, “Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective”.

As well as the actual report and the press release, the WCRF also released 10 “recommendations for cancer prevention”. The report…

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Beer vs. Martinis

This time of year is my worst/best time. I’m about to have a birthday and that’s not the whole story however. The story is how my birthday hasn’t generally been the happiest of events but rather an opportunity to skewer me and not in the way that I like.

Axel did his level best to rewrite history for me. However, I suppose that four years wasn’t quite enough. The worst part is that he knew this which is why he obliquely refers to it in the letters of reference he wrote for me. (Sorry. These letters are for serious inquiries only.)

Axel told me that “the Han” had had 13 years of me and therefore Axel was committed to giving me at least 13 years to reverse what the Han had done to me.

By the way, by no means do I wish to disparage The Han as a people. This one glorious narcissist asshole had baggage which I can not possibly comprehend, to include The Rape of Nanking, for which, his mother was just barely spared. My sympathy for the downstream effects of the megalomaniacal delusions of my national (and probably some hereditary too) forebears was of no consequence however. He was determined to break me as revenge for what happened to him, which, in a nutshell, brought down a Los Angeles area hospital.

I was under the delusion that my own experiences of abuse meant that we had a commonality of experience which would transcend his bitterness. To make that notion slightly clearer I will say that we both felt that Norton Simon and John Dewey were the enemy, among others.

When the two of us went to the museum in Hong Kong of “The George Washington of China,” I was convinced that not only were our mutual theories correct but that this commonality would transcend his pain such as to finally, actually, start to trust me. I was under the impression that if I were to behave and otherwise demonstrate loyalty that eventually my reward would not only be trust, but well, things like sex, which was nearly completely absent from our marriage not for my lack of trying, would resume.

To be fair, the emergence of yet another player in our drama in the form of a genuinely evil Venezolana witch could not have been anticipated by him. I’ve had this discussion with Axel and other people who I have trusted numerous times and I am still entirely convinced that the two of them—the Han and the witch—were not in cahoots.

The removal of my watch on the streets of Caracas however could well have been orchestrated. Although the event itself was traumatic, I was relieved to be rid of the thing.

Rather, it was my femaleness and blondeness which infuriated both the Han and the witch separately but not collectively. That lack of collusion didn’t stop the Han from taking advantage of my weakened state thanks to her ministrations however. Those ministrations were not “magic” but rather actions below what “civilized” persons are capable of anticipating. I’m not sure what it says about me in that I not only “got” what she was doing well in advance of the Han, but it infuriated him that he hadn’t figured it out first.

To give an example, I had wondered why, upon visiting the property prior to our purchasing it, that there was no significant biting insect problem. I assumed that this was because frogs, birds, toads, and bats had handled the issue. However, shortly upon our arrival, the Han and I were beset by festering insect bites. I therefore, developed my own dual-purpose insect repellent/astringent which kept the issue under control. However, it was I, as usual who discovered what the witch had been doing. It went like this.

I heard the corrugated roof on the abandoned restaurant that we were living in, pending the completion of the house which the Han had been building and designing but never came even close to completing in six years, vibrate.

Suddenly, a whole lot of lizards ran toward a spot where the wall met the roof. It was quite the sight to see. Just then, I saw a black rubber tube insert itself and in came a plague of insects. Not magic at all really.

On another occasion, I happened to smell the “recipe” for attracting and breeding said insects. I’m not going to share it here. Suffice to say, that her single-amputee diabetic son lost his other leg in the process upon which she reportedly allowed him to die of thirst.

In other words, “stooping too low” was not in her lexicon. I truly do not wish to perpetuate her methods by publishing them. They were so beyond what a First-Worlder could ever grasp anyway that they’ll sound like fiction.

The fact that I was even able to anticipate and imagine what they were made the Han afraid of me! I think that I’ve just proven that my own traumatic life experiences had eclipsed his, being that as a member of a privileged class all his life he had been effectively sheltered from the vagaries of war and politics which had shaped his generation, whereas I had not. I therefore knew that there was no such thing as stooping too low.

When we had first met—the Han and I—I had assumed that he was just slumming. I didn’t for a moment expect that he was “serious” about me (“a Hollywood blonde”) until he greeted me at the airport from my return from a technical writing conference, in his Rolls Royce with a diamond and emerald Rolex. I assumed that this gift meant that he was “serious” even if I was a little bit afraid of this thing which was more like a handcuff than a pleasure to wear. But at least I then thought that he was “serious”.

When he asked me to move in with him shortly thereafter, I thought, well, OK, obviously he’s serious. I don’t fully understand him, and there was an 18 year age difference, but, such has never stopped me before (my maximum thus far for a serious relationship is 30), so, OKAY!

I moved in.

It was to be an evening out shortly thereafter, where I was making up my face (I was more into makeup in those days than I am today) and suddenly a vodka Martini appeared, in a beautiful glass, perfectly mixed. I looked up to see this man who was apparently really serious about me toasting me in the manner he had acquired from watching Dean Martin. I just loved Dean Martin.

Wow! I felt so glamorous and “grown up” which is a funny thing for a woman who is already professional successful and 37 years old to feel.

An hour or so earlier the Han had greeted my emergence from his Roman tub with a pearl necklace—no not that kind. However, it was the Martini which had really done it for me because the necklace was just stuff. The Martini however was communion.

I had been a vodka-on-the-rocks-with-olives girl before. The Han converted me to vodka Martinis. I still like them even now. I have also always been a beer girl, the good kind, that has history, depth, and craftsmanship attached to it. In fact, my affinity for beer was part of what inspired us to bank in Germany, particular in November, for the Urbock season. It was, for us, Porcini in Italy in October, White Truffles in Italy in early November, Urbock in Germany for my birthday in November, and other delights like German game, organ meats, wurst, and chestnuts.

However, just to make sure I didn’t enjoy myself too much, the Han would subject me to cat-and-mouse unfulfilled sexual seduction, waking me up in the middle of the night to interrogate me (as always), abandoning me in strange places like truck stops either deliberately maliciously or supposedly “absent-mindedly”, and otherwise making sure that even a vacation from the duality of The Garden of Eden/Depths of Hell which was our farm wasn’t too relaxing.

The reason why we were able to travel at all was because the witch didn’t dare go against the family of the farmhand, while the farmhand bunked at our farm, and so, while we were gone our animals were actually safer than they were while I was there. It was just me who the witch despised. To prove it, I took a couple of vacations alone never once being unfaithful even though in my nearly sexless marriage I could have felt “entitled” to something. I was far too consumed with pain to even consider it. Rather, I merely toured and observed, in my own peculiar way.

This didn’t stop men from approaching me however my sadness cooled their ardor. I remember a particular Frenchman attempting to engage me in conversation. He wanted to know whether I was travelling for business or pleasure, and I said, “neither”. His next guess was, “a funeral?” and I said, “yes, something like that.”

The next thing he said still haunts me. It was this:

“I think that you are older than me, yes? I think also that what you need is a rich man.”

I didn’t respond except to think to myself: ‘Yeah. Right. How does that compute? I can’t possibly afford another rich man.’ I was wondering at the time whether the Han would even pay my bills with my money when I returned or whether the plan was to not just abandon me but abandon me in debt as all the credit cards were in my name. It kind of put a damper on my tourism. However, this particular trip was necessary for the “set up” which was to occur later, such as to trick a banker into believing that I had consented to a particular transaction. I’m not going to reveal the con game here.

On the plus side, I discovered that French television had a host of exotic porn offerings after hours in my hotel, with my personal favorite genre being the Eastern European versions.

I also did a fair share of eating and drinking as usual, taking advantage of my own peculiar karma of stumbling on fantastic farmer’s markets throughout the world but especially Europe. I just love fine dairy products, cured meats, pickles, and wine. Engaging with someone who is either the producer or closely related to that producer makes the experience extra special for me.

Whereas Venezuela had a host of decent vodka offerings available, both imported and domestic, as well as olives and vermouth, good rich beer was not available in my experience. Therefore, upon my escape, one of the things I craved as compensation for the loss of all the creatures I loved, my life as I knew it, and my dreams, was good craft Pennsylvania and New York beer.

I probably overdid it a bit. Taking up smoking cigars helped this habit from getting too far out of hand because they do still serve as a fine distraction from other oral fixations.

Moving to Southwest Florida and watching the love of my life suffer and die (as did most of my animals in Venezuela) has strangely gotten me back to being more of a Martini person albeit I still do enjoy a good beer once in a while. In fact, Florida has some excellent microbrews. However, unlike beer, a Martini doesn’t “bloat” me and I want to appear more slim and appealing.

I wonder if I were corseted would I be able to enjoy beer without bloating? I’d like to find out. Meanwhile, I drink my Martinis and watch my waistline magically reappear while I weep for the wondrous vacations from horror and tragedy the Han and I enjoyed as my way of compensating for the loss of the love of my life who wanted nothing more than to help me transcend and move on past my PTSD.

I’m trying Axel. I’m trying. It’s just difficult when I am so defined by my pain.