Now this was a weekend to enjoy. Busy, but not too. Productive, but not too. Saw friends. Weather was nice. Started on my latest project — restoring my grandmother’s old cast-iron Dutch oven. It’s currently in the garage, bathing for 24 hours in Easy-Off. Fingers crossed.
Sometimes I wonder if projects like this are worth it, then I think, what else am I going to do — throw it away? Unthinkable. In the Thomas Harris novel “Hannibal,” aka the book where the “Silence of the Lambs”/Hannibal Lecter legend really goes off the rails and ends up in Crazytown, he has this passage, in a letter Hannibal writes to Clarice Starling, telling her to buck up after a professional disgrace:
Do you have a black iron skillet? You are a southern mountain girl, I can’t imagine you would not. Put it on the kitchen table. Turn on the overhead lights.
Look into the skillet, Clarice. Lean over it and look down. If this were your mother’s skillet, and it well may be, it would hold among its molecules the vibrations of all the conversations ever held in its presence. All the exchanges, the petty irritations, the deadly revelations, the flat announcements of disaster, the grunts and poetry of love.
Sit down at the table, Clarice. Look into the skillet. If it is well cured, it’s a black pool, isn’t it? It’s like looking down a well. Your detailed reflection is not at the bottom, but you loom there, don’t you? The light behind you, there you are in a blackface, with a corona like your hair on fire.
We are elaborations of carbon, Clarice. You and the skillet and Daddy dead in the ground, cold as the skillet. It’s all still there. Listen.
I remember reading that and thinking wtf, Dr. Lecter? Maybe some of you who understand science better than I do can explain how those molecules are hanging on to the vibrations of me saying, “Whoever said you should never wash cast iron cookware in soap obviously never made a pineapple upside-down cake two days after cooking onions in one.”
Anyway, for those of you interested in these things, here’s Before:
Also for those keeping score at home, I’m now 72 hours-plus from my second Pfizer vax, and felt nothing worse than a sore arm, so I guess I’m one of the lucky ones.
Let’s keep it light in this week’s bloggage: Everything you ever wanted to know about findom, or financial domination:
“It’s controlling someone through their wallet,” said Mistress Marley. (The Times agreed to identify her only by her professional name to prevent stalkers from finding her.) “I love waking up every day realizing that submissive men pay all my bills and I don’t spend a dime.”
Trysts take place mostly online, though there can be in-person encounters. And the humiliation could be as fleeting as a few moments, or persist for hours during so-called draining sessions, when the dominatrix hurls a barrage of insults and demands that ends only when a monetary cap is reached or a finsub’s bank account hits zero — whichever comes first.
In its purest form, financial domination is not transactional. Sending money is the kink, and finsubs offer tributes without expecting anything in return. “The arousal is in the act,” said Phillip Hammack, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the director of its Sexual and Gender Diversity Laboratory. “It’s about that loss of control.”
Man, I missed my calling on this one. (And I know some ex-wives who could give Mistress Marley a run for her, um, money.) I met a woman here in Detroit who does fetish videos on customer demand. Nothing really gross, though; she said she specializes in Mommy.
“Like, mean mommy?” I asked.
“Oh no, I’m nice mommy,” she replied. She dresses like June Cleaver and smiles a lot, tells her clients that they’re good boys and make mommy very, very proud and happy.
My head, it whirls.
Seems like a good place to stop. And the week begins!