Saturday, January 5, 2008

'The Man' Tales - Into the Fire

Last night I got out my journals from that time and read through them again. I remember writing them like it was yesterday, when in fact it was the early 80’s. What I remember the most was that I wrote them with the knowledge that he read them daily, and because of that they are more like letters to him, than my own place to vent my life. I know you are thinking that they must be interesting to read, but in reality they are a repetition of my cry for love and my denial of reality.

I waited for the ‘honeymoon’ to resume after this abrupt break – but it never did. And while I waited I tried to monitor everything I did to ensure that I wouldn’t be ‘deserving’ of another slap. I know I never once thought he reminded me of my father. Not then. I was still so infatuated with him – so utterly consumed with wanting him to want me. From that moment at the beach he started holding me at arms length, granting me the favor of his attention, his body, his disdainful love. Before that time it had been an equal sharing, a romance, a discovery of each other.

It was right around then the Police came out with a song – “I’ll be watching you”. The words went – Oh can’t you see, You belong to me ~~~Every move you make, Every step you take, I’ll be watching you. He loved this song. It also was a popular song for strippers to dance to. I’d be serving customers while the strippers peeled to this song and look up and he would have hoisted himself up behind his bar and would be watching me and pointing at me – mouthing the words. At first I thought it was cute, but it embarrassed me the customers were watching. He was making sure that everyone knew I was his. And – he was making sure I knew I had to toe the line. Or else.

When you work in a bar, any bar, you develop a type of friendship with your customers. I had my favorites – nice guys who came in for a drink at lunch or after work, just to relax and spend some time with their friends. It was a popular bar, one of the few in Ontario where the strippers could take everything off (as long as they held a scarf or something). Working in this environment makes you develop a thick skin towards nudity, sexuality, alcoholism and drugs. For me it was a business. I wore skimpy clothing (sometimes almost transparent) and heels. I never stopped from the moment the doors opened until my shift ended at 6:30. Every single customer added to my income and I worked hard for the money I made. It was nothing for me to carry 32 glasses of beer on my tray and four jugs of the same in my other hand. The bartender watched my every move and if I stayed longer at a table to chat – he wanted to know what it was about. If my eyes followed a customer – I heard about it. Sometimes I would break out in a sweat in the middle of my back – those tingly scared sweats – if a customer put his arm around me. I knew I would pay for it. So I developed a ‘do not touch’ policy and enforced it with everyone. The management backed me up on it and would throw a customer out if they touched me. They had no idea I was protecting myself from something else.

But it wasn’t a two-way street. The bartender looked at everything. Not just a casual glance, but those sweeping once over glances to ascertain the woman was worth looking at in the first place – then the second look. I asked him once why he was looking at these other women when he had me. He turned and looked me up and down and sneered. Turning away he said, “To see if they want to f**k me.” I wanted the earth to open and suck me up, and in the next instant I vowed to work harder at making him want me – and only me.

From that moment on the beach – things changed. Our sex life became the stuff that romance novels are based on. With a twist. He would suddenly sweep me off my feet and carry me to the bedroom and rip off my clothes. I would almost swoon with the violence of it. I would think ‘He wants me! He wants me so badly!’ Then, in the middle of a passionate kiss, where my eyes were tightly closed and I was trying to melt into him, he would draw back and slap me as hard as he could across my face. My eyes would fly open and he would be watching me for my reaction – waiting. The first time it happened I was confused. I knew he was angry because I had been talking longer than was necessary to a customer. He hadn’t said anything about it and we had gone back to my house in what I thought was a comfortable silence. While preparing supper he had swept me up and carried me to the bedroom. My reaction to the slap was to raise my arms and whisper ‘I love you’. Then I buried my face in his chest to avoid another slap. He ravished me then, instead of making love, and called me names and told me I was a tease with the customers and this is what it got me. I reveled in it. I went to work the next day with extra make-up to cover the red mark that remained. Our lovemaking from then on was always an outlet for him to find different ways to inflict pain and degrade me. I thrilled with the domination. I would let him do anything – as long as he wanted me.
I had myself convinced that we were just into kinky sex. It was when the beatings stepped outside the bedroom door ---


Marla said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. Sounds like you have had quite the challenges yourself. Very interesting and sad to read.

dev said...

Wait a sec Aims....were you married to the I was...he was the beater...this is too weird...he sounds like a real sick fuck....gosh...anyone that would hit my beloved Sister deserves very bad things.

I am so hurt for what you went through. I know you need to write it. And now things are better...but about payin' dues, luv.

aims said...

Marla - I live in paradise now compared to then and compared to many people's lives - including yours. Thanks for coming back.

Dev - well babyluv - I never married him. You know the saying - what goes around comes around - and how we all love it when those that give out bad get theirs...

So glad to see you commenting in here.

Tina said...

OK, this time I should be going to bed, not 'hoovering'. I only said it cos you like it...

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Okay, now you have my hopes up that there are some cement shoes in this guy's future?


I Beatrice said...

That song Aims.... "Every step you take" ... the story goes that Sting wrote it for his ex-wife, from he was (I think) divorced at the time. I have never been able to look at his apparently blissful marriage with Trudi Styler, without thinking of that song.

This is terrible stuff - but magnificently done! I can't imagine how you lived through it, never mind being able to write about it. But oh, I do hope there's a little comfort coming soon!

dulwichmum said...

That is incredibly sad, you have survived the most crushing abuse. My heart goes out to you. You are a powerful writer.

Anonymous said...

I hope this helps you to release the anger you might have. If it does, keep going. You have our attention.

What a bastard.

Crystal xx

Breezy said...

Sticking with it Aims waiting for the happy ending

aims said...

Tina - yes - you got me on that one again

RC - funny you should mention that. The city was notorious for its Italian population. The Godfather lived there and no-one would tip me until I was 'Godfather Approved'. He pronounced me 'Bella Bella' and after that - no problemo.

Dearest B - the living through it was a life and death struggle. I was suicidal most of the time.

Dulwichmum - thank you so much. I wish there was an internet back then - I wouldn't have been so alone.

Crystal - You're right. Sometimes I'm still very angry about it. I hope once I get that chapter written that it lays it to rest.

Breezy - thanks my friend.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Oh, oh, oh, Aims, you were (and are) so brave. So brave to have survived it, and so brave to be writing about it and re-living it now. We are all so with you.
Margot xx

aims said...

Margot - I don't feel brave - not at all. I wish I did - it would help with the writing.