Chapter Five V

Nisargadatta: If you look at yourself in your moments of pleasure or pain, you will invariably find that it is not the thing in itself that is pleasant or painful, but the situation of which it is a part. Pleasure lies in the relationship between the enjoyer and the enjoyed. And the essence of it is acceptance. Whatever may be the situation, if it is acceptable, it is pleasant. If it is not acceptable, it is painful. What makes it acceptable is not important; the cause may be physical, or psychological, or untraceable; acceptance is the decisive factor. Obviously, suffering is due to non-acceptance.
Questioner: Pain is not acceptable.
Nisargadatta: Why not? Did you ever try? Do try, and you will find in pain a joy which pleasure cannot yield, for the simple reason that pain takes you much deeper than pleasure does.
Nisargadatta, I Am That

Chan goes to the building on 83rd. He waits until someone leaves, slips in the door. Up the elevator to the fifth floor, he hears the occupant walking around, no television noise, no music. Then silence. He opens the stairwell door and slips behind it. He hears her walk to the elevator. He takes the stairs down, beats her to the lobby.
When he hears the elevator open, he pokes his head out enough to see his target leaving. He follows.
She isn’t talented or she would have sensed him by now. But the falcons are correct, her aura, his sense of her, is dark.
She goes to Park Avenue and into a restaurant. A monk approaches Chan.
“I’m going to stay with her until I decide about the person she meets for dinner. If he or she is no major threat, then make sure they are both followed. Ah, here he is now, with another woman.”
They exit a black town car in mid-block. The driver opens the door, they exit, he settles back in the car to wait.
Chan moves nearer the entrance. He’d picks up a slight vibe, and since the man and woman are together, he can’t tell from which one it emanates. He enters the restaurant, goes to the bar and orders a Perrier. He pays the bartender in cash, ten bucks for a bottle of Perrier, he wonders what alcohol costs.
The threesome follow the maitre’d to a table, lots of submissive behavior from the staff. The man is tall, distinguished, short grey hair, lean. The other woman is thick, not fat, big boned and tall, tall as the man. Trash Woman seems like a rail against her.
They sit, enough distance from each other that Chan is able to separate out the energy. It’s the new woman. She starts, feels a presence, then loses the sensation, Chan’s already gone.
He meets two monks down the block, “The big woman is extremely dangerous. They have a car waiting, no point in you trying to follow, Surveillance will handle it, they have three vehicles in the area. The falcons are awake, they will catch anything Surveillance misses. There is nothing more to do here. Return to Chapmans and rest.”
They separate, Chan phones the apartment, it’s past nine, he relates what he’s discovered to Janah.
“Excellent, now we know more about what we’re dealing with. Trash Woman can likely be a source of information, but she’s no real threat. She was assigned to set up a team to snatch Daphne, they failed. She’s reporting to her superiors. She may be dead soon. We need to intercept her after she leaves the restaurant. Take her when she returns to her place and hold her. The other two won’t do anything tonight, they’ve been seen together. I want to talk to her, need her alive. Daphne and Nikko will be joining you soon.”
Chan, “I have released the monks to return to Chapmans.”
“That was the right thing to do. They aren’t equipped for this.”
“The big woman felt a presence, she’s not a lightweight physically or mentally.”
Janah, “It’s okay. Private car, fancy restaurant, they feel invincible. I’m going to call Mrs. Epstein so the Surveillance team doesn’t get too close. We just want to know where they go. I’ll get Surveillance to tag the car with a tracking device.”
Chan, “What if she notices the signal from the tracking device? If she’s good, she’ll know in a few blocks.”
Janah, “I’m counting on it. If she discovers the tracking device, it will give us useful information about her capacity. The birds will follow, even if Surveillance loses her.”
Nikko and I will meet Chan, we’ll get Trash Woman safely to her apartment, whether she agrees or not.
Trash Woman is dismissed before they order. She looks embarrassed.
We materialize behind Chan, he says without turning around, “It’s good to have my sisters with me. The woman may be more cooperative with other women around.”
“Dang, we thought we’d catch you off guard.”
Chan says nothing, I know he felt us a block away, maybe as we stepped out of the cab two blocks away.
Chan says to me, “I suggest you go around the block and ahead of us to her apartment. Hang around across the street. When she keys in the code to open the door, take her. If there are others around, she will appear to be intoxicated, we are helping her home.”
We don’t need to ask how he plans to make her seem drunk, he’ll touch her and throw off her sense of balance.
We surround her in the lobby, the elevator opens. Chan touches the side of her neck, she stumbles. A couple comes out. Nikko and I catch her by the arms and start giggling madly, then sing a song in Japanese.
The couple glance at us, decide it’s inappropriate to intervene, we’d all been out drinking and are staggering our way home.
The couple go out the door as we get in the elevator. Chan touches the woman again, she passes out. Nikko takes her purse and finds the apartment key. In a minute we’re inside, I close the blinds and curtains, Chan binds her to a chair, then points a halogen flashlight in the woman’s face while Nikko uses an ammonia cap to bring her around.
She blinks, coughs, coughs again, eyes open. Tries to get up, no dice; to talk, can’t do that either. The beauty of duct tape.
I’m a chair next to her, she can see only the blinding glare of a bright light, she hears a voice, soft, firm, confident.
I reiterate the woman’s movements from the time she met with X and Y to the time we’d ‘helped’ her home. Who she had seen and what she had done.
“Now, here we are. You have two choices, tell us your entire story or tell us your entire story. Does that sound like one choice? Allow me to clarify. You tell us willingly, or you tell us with persuasion. With persuasion means pain. Willingly means we may be able to help you live. Your friends at the restaurant, Smoothie Grey and Big Mama are not happy with the results of your efforts. We know them. They will extract a price, as they did when they had X and Y murdered in the park, shortly after you left.”
Trash Woman wants to reply, I pull off the tape, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I regret that. My associate will help you regain your repressed memories,” I lay the duct tape over her mouth again.
Chan touches the side of her neck. Pain shoots through her head like a triple migraine. She starts to scream, the tape does its job, there’s a muffled moan of exquisite pain.
“We can keep this up if you’d like. Or you can nod affirmatively and I’ll have it stop.”
The woman’s head bobs up and down. Chan removes his fingertip, I rip off the tape, “Can we talk? You know, like the Sisterhood of the Traveling No Panties? That was the porn version of the stupid Hollywood thing. Did you catch it? No? Too bad. It was fun, in a nasty way”
“What are you talking about? You’re insane.”
“Everybody’s a shrink. I hate know-it-alls, guess we’ll have to have another go,” I start to put the tape on the woman’s mouth.
“No! no, not again. I’ll tell you what I know. First, you have no idea what you’re dealing with. I regretted agreeing to meet them the first moment I arrived. The man is merely a consort. The woman is pure evil, and I should know, I’m no saint. I arrange meetings, an intermediary between the rich and the people they don’t want to deal with directly. Normally, it’s a disappearance, a fatal accident. I put distance between the client and the target, anonymously. This time, the clients had no problem meeting me face to face. The moment I showed up, I was out of myself. I could only follow orders. I know it sounds like bullshit, but I am usually very much in control. The woman scares me, I don’t scare easily.”
“Do you usually meet clients?’
Trash Woman, “Half the time. I’m good at disguise, they don’t know who I am or where I live. Most clients just want to give me a photo of who they want gone, the money, and disappear. I give them guaranteed anonymity and results. This time I failed. I wanted to reject the offer, but, as I said, believe it or not, I didn’t have any control. I felt compelled to follow orders, as simpleton an excuse as that sounds.”
“Actually, I believe you. What was the point of the trash bag, money?”
“The men weren’t taking the job, they told me it was too screwed up, they returned the cash. I didn’t argue with them.”
Janah, “Here’s the deal. You spill every detail, then get out of the assisted murder business. You will be watched, but you will also be protected from Big Mama and her boyfriend. I will let you live. If you call her and try to deal your way out, she’s going to get rid of you anyway.”
Trash Woman, “I don’t want jack to do with her.”
“And you can’t really win here. If I cut you loose, and don’t watch you, she’ll will have you in the river by the end of the week. If I look out for you, you get to live, but by my rules. Either way is okay with me, what’s it going to be?”
Trash Woman, “Keep those monsters away from me and I’ll work washing dishes if I have to. I have money. I’ll move to someplace that doesn’t show up on a map. This is way over my head, the woman took my mind, that’s fucking scary. What do I need to do?”
“Someone will come, ring your intercom tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, do not leave the apartment. The person who rings the bell will say one word, ‘pathless.’ That means they’re from us. No one else will ring the bell, or if they do, don’t answer the intercom, don’t buzz anyone in except pathless.”
“You can do that?”
“I can do damn near anything. Tomorrow, take essentials only. Say goodbye to New York, say goodbye to arranging murder parties. Get your money out of the bank or brokerage accounts. Wire it to an account you will be provided. We will forward it to you.”
“Honey, there’s no but. We don’t want your money. You’re going to have to trust me. Sorry, but that’s how it is. If you don’t, Big Mama will get into your account before she kills you and you won’t have either your money or your life.”
It’s almost impossible to keep a mental leash on someone all day every day. You have to break their mind instead, the way Janah does it is with drugs, fear and replacing memories. It’s a long tedious process, Big Mama is apparently content to get someone to do her bidding for a few hours, then release or kill them.
Trash Woman hadn’t known X and Y had been murdered. She was told to meet Big Mama at the Park Avenue restaurant. She was told her final payment would be wired to her bank account. Obviously, this is not the way to handle such arrangements, but she was not in control of herself, she gave them her bank account number. Fortunately for her, she has a brokerage account with most of her money, and a checking account locally with enough cash to get a few hundred out of the ATM. She seldom kept more than a grand in the account. So while she would surely not be wired any money, she would lose only the cash already in it, and maybe not even that if she hits the bank early. In any case, she needs to close all her accounts, wire the funds, the Society will arrange to have the money delivered wherever she opens her new account.
The college girl escort Trash Woman hired is unknown to Big Mama, that’s the idea, distance. She’s safe to continue her studies and turn tricks. Later that same night, she’s busy diddling one of her better paying customers in his Soho condo. The next morning she’ll be in class dutifully taking notes, like a semi-sweet, young, cynical and ambitious college call girl.
We return to the apartment. Nikko and I together, Chan following discreetly, invisibly, behind. He detects nothing amiss. Nobody is watching. The falcon pair follow David Li’s instruction. Chan watches the beautiful birds swooping down, then up to a perch, keeping an eye on us.
Back at the apartment, knowing what Janah is thinking, I ask for the benefit of the others, “Now what?”
Janah, “Now we go back to ordinary lives. Big Mama caught a flash of Chan’s presence, did not see him. That will give her pause, something to think over.”
Nikko, “Why don’t I just kill her and let’s be done with it?”
Janah smiles, Nishiko is always succinct, “First, you may be up against more than you know. A talented Qi Master feels intention, from a distance, farther than the reach of your sword. Second, we are covering her from several angles. I want to learn her patterns, what she knows, her skill level. Mind control is child’s play for the skilled. Can she move matter, change its form? We haven’t seen any display of that. Third, she may be in contact with others. If there is a collective, a network, we need to know that.”
Nikko, “Hai.”
She isn’t insulted, Janah makes sense. Nikko is a Master of Masters with the katana. This is a different game, not close quarters combat. She’s fearless, but she’s no help to us dead. And sex would be out of the question, she has no plans to die just to try and prove a pointless point.
Good thinking, reading Nishiko’s train of thought, You are forbidden to die until I’ve gotten my sexual needs satisfied. That will take several thousand years…and a few weeks. So, we follow Janah’s plan and irritate the crap out of Big Mama.

Chapter Six V

Fear of death is relative. For instance, you could be dead, or you could be in the security line at the airport with a trainee doing the x-ray of carry-on luggage, the bags moving so slowly it would be faster to do them by hand. In front of you is a mother and father, each with a laptop, two kids, one with an IPad, one in a stroller, and a mother-in-law who thinks more jewelry is better.
You’ll take death every time.

Janah is talking to David Li, I’m a few steps away in the kitchen making him a sandwich, “Qi is a force, the life force that surrounds all of us. Our bodies use it to heal, to grow, to learn.”
David, “But yours and dad’s are different from that.”
“A few people in the world have learned to consciously use it internally, to slow their heart rate, keep warm in extreme cold, keep cool in extreme heat. Some have learned to control their body temperature in one part of the body versus another, and even fewer can externalize it, so they can direct energy to an object or another person.”
“How come more people don’t learn? Is it like me understanding the birds? I know everyone can’t understand them, but to me it seems natural.”
“Your skill is unique, it doesn’t come from any intent. Your brain is wired differently. Like Daphne for her senses.”
“Or you being able to remember anything without thinking about it.”
“Yes, we have gifts, this is not the same as learning Qi control.”
“So there has to be something special, or different, about people who learn Qi?’
“Yes, there must be something different, but not like gifts we were born with, built in, so to speak. Qi is not like that, everyone could use it more effectively if they practice. The reason so few learn is understandable. It is tedious in the extreme, and very uncomfortable while you are learning. For instance, how many of people want to sit outside all night in just 50 degree weather in a t-shirt and shorts?”
“Not many.”
“And how many want to do it in thirty degree weather?”
“That’s the kind of thing people have to do to teach the mind to consciously control the body. To learn to control your heart rate, you have to sit quietly and intend to control your heart rate. Your mind rebels since your brain is used to controlling everything in its own way. That’s not a bad thing. What would it be like to have to intentionally get your heart to beat?”
“I would have to spend all day just making my heart beat.”
“So it’s hard enough to learn to control the internal. Now comes the really hard part. The patience to sit and stare at an object with the intent of directing your energy flow to it, in order to break it, or even just move it a quarter inch. Virtually no one on the planet believes it can be done at all, so we can eliminate almost everyone on the planet from even trying. Much less trying for the years it might take to get the mind and universal energy to act in harmony.”
I add, “Most people’s lives are spent reacting to or acting in disharmony with the universe. That’s why they suffer. They think that people or things should be different than they are. Anyone who patiently, at every possible moment, does not act, but lets things happen as they will, finds the energy is waiting there for them. I’m not as good at it as Janah, I’m less patient than she is.”
David, “Dad can do nothing forever.”
Janah laughs, “He’s not doing nothing, he’s just not acting on anything. In a way, he’s receiving. Like a tape recorder doesn’t make sounds, but it records sound vibrations around it. Your father is taking in energy levels around him. He can then direct that energy, so when he is doing nothing, he is doing something.”
I put David’s sandwich in front of him, along with a drink of half green tea, half lemonade. David is vegetarian, he has too many animal friends to eat them; they think him strange, animals eat other animals all the time, they said wouldn’t like him any less for it. Today he is having grilled vegetables and finely chopped tofu on toasted sourdough.
Janah sees him struggling with a question, “Take your time and enjoy your sandwich. Your question will come to you and we will talk it over.”
Janah sips tea, I’m drinking a slightly frozen Coke Zero to which I’d added a slice of fresh cut ginger root. David finishes his lunch, he asks if Janah has time for his questions.
Janah, “Of course.”
“Do we decide things? Dad says we are decided before we know we have decided. What does he mean?”
“Did you decide what to have for lunch?”
“No, whatever Aunt D makes is good, I don’t have to decide.”
“Did you decide to wake up this morning?”
“No, I just woke up.”
“So, here’s a thought experiment for you. When do you ever decide anything? Where is the you who decides? Do not answer for three days. If you have no answer in three days, it doesn’t matter. I want to make sure you have plenty of time to think it over. It’s not a test, okay?”
“And now, put it out of your mind. Let your inner mind work on the question. If you will rest for a time, we can go to the roof and visit with your friends. But first, let’s lie on the mat. Daphne will put on one of her ridiculous martial arts movies and we can relax.”
I load up a Chinese gung fu extravaganza with impossible action sequences. A cartoon of martial arts with real actors flying though the air and doing triple flips, typical Chinese movie nonsense. David Li is asleep in ten minutes, Janah drifts into that near sleep state of relaxation. I clean up, then lay on the couch watching the movie and sip ginger Coke.
Janah and David are enlivened by discussions of brains and qi, my action movies zone them out. I, on the other hand, zone out when they have brain talks, and perk up when people have limbs removed by various instruments, blood gushing everywhere. Hey, somebody has to be shallow so others can be deep. If we’re all deep, then nobody’s deep, relativity rules.
Qi itself is relative, morally neutral; it is available to anyone who can endure the tedium and the pain. Like nuclear power, how it’s used makes it good or bad, to relieve or cause suffering.
As the Dark Ones came to our attention, I am to carry out the vows I took as a Shaolin. That includes removing, by death if necessary, those who violate the terms of their priesthood, or of any unauthorized teaching of the secrets of the Order of Shaolin. The woman we are stalking may have not violated anything related to Shaolin, it is possible to learn these things elsewhere. She has imposed her will on others, and caused death to suit her purposes. Plus, she’s after me or Janah or both.
I have no qualms about dealing with the men or women who have learned and been corrupted. Nikko and I would annihilate them in a heartbeat. The problem is simple. Even I would have a hard time against the best. Some can only be dealt with by Janah or Chan. Janah is powerful and can easily distract or confuse them, even drive them mad. But it would be up to Chan, Nikko or me to actually take their lives, if necessary. Janah’s strength is healing qi. She would use the other in only the most extreme circumstance.
It sounds like she lets Chan or me do the dirty work and, in a way, it’s true. But Janah is me, and nothing is done by the one without the complicity of the other.
Of course, we could always turn the killing over to Nikko. Janah and I see evil as ignorance. Nikko sees evil as cancer to be cut away and destroyed, she doesn’t care if it’s ignorance or intent. If the simply ignorant or the determined hateful present any danger to us or anyone in the family, as far as Nikko is concerned, they’re already dead.

Chapter Seven V

a: The probability of drawing a red marble from a bag containing 50% red marbles is 50%
b: The probability of drawing a red marble 7 times in a row from a bag containing 90% red marbles, most people believe is better than 50%. As usual they’re wrong, it’s 48%.
c: The probability of drawing  at least one red marble in 7 tries (with replacement) from a bag containing 10% red marbles is 52%.
d: The probability of someone capturing Chan’s mind with qi is 0%.

Most people chose b over a, and a over c, because they don’t understand probability.
People who try d, despite the odds, don’t live very long.

We are dealing with the dilemma of a woman whose qi power is uncertain. She coerced several others into stealing and killing. We know where she is, and that her male companion has no skill of his own, he’s just there to escort her to restaurants and be enamored. Otherwise, he physically surfs New York, visits museums, checks out restaurants in advance of taking her. He has a few friends, just a few. They play squash, have a drink, play bridge in the same posh club. The woman prefers to be alone most of the day. She does not need much entertainment, or I should say, her entertainment is controlling others. She practices Tai Chi, her instructor is excellent, and she is a phenomenal student. She has massage therapists come to her condo, women and men. Her body, while toned, is full and not so young, but she enjoys making them believe she’s steam engine hot, and she has her needs met by handsome men or lovely women once a week.
Janah uncovered most of this via David’s friends. Even for a woman with her skill, the idea that pigeons on the balcony were reporting on her being sexually served by her masseuse or masseur doesn’t enter her head.
The Society found her companion is a retired banker of the old white shoe variety. His friends and he are rich, not like today’s mega wealthy, still in the tens of millions, and catered to by the eternally money grubbing charities, museums and arts councils that litter Manhattan and surrounds.
He gives generously enough to be fawned over, not so much as to be worshipped. His companion doesn’t want that level of publicity. She has other, more Olympian goals.
Dark Ones come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are content to get free rent, free food, bypass paying for their entertainment. Some move to a more malicious scale, want servants or slaves, even to the point of having them hurt themselves or others. Not for any reason other than they can.
There are a few who want it all.
This is, of course, ridiculous. America has three hundred million guns in the hands of its citizens. No amount of control is going to collect all that firepower. No amount of control is going to control the military. It would take enormous amounts of energy, and no one, not Janah, Chan or any Dark One, or even a large collection of them, can harness that level of coercion over so many humans.
Ridiculous desires, however, are not unknown, witness Rome, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and all the nutcases since, like the little piggy who owns North Korea, the  twerp who ran Venezuela, or the former toad in a hole, Sadaam Insane. They did it by buying armies with stolen oil, foreign aid money or the assistance of the CIA and State Department. America’s government is particularly stupid about propping up dictators out of fear of Communists, now of terrorists.
The idea that Big Mama might not be able to control New York never crosses her mind. That people might get dead in the process she considers inevitable collateral damage. We don’t know about her megalomania, yet.
Janah is on her third day in the meditation loft. She comes down for lite meals, I stay at the apartment, the family does its business.
"You going to spend the rest of your life on this nutcase, or just let Nikko and I deal?”
Janah, “She’s not doing anything right now. I’m taking the time to try and figure out what the hell she’s after. She’s wealthy, she’s getting sexually served by boy or girl toys, she goes to the finest restaurants, gets manicured, facialed and pedicured weekly, despite the fact she can make people believe she’s a supermodel without the trouble of dieting, Botox or sitting around with mud on her face.”
“Then there’s only one other answer.”
Janah, “Yes, but she’s not reaching out for power, not yet any…..hold on, it’s coming, thanks to your intervention….she tried to get me through you. If she gets me out of the way, she gets you by default. She doesn’t know about Chan, but she suspects something, so she’s biding her time.”
“What power does she expect to gain? She must know we’d never cooperate.”
Janah, “We’d be out of her hair.”
“Ah, of course. We’re an obstacle, a major obstacle. If she can deal with us, she thinks she can rule…..whatever it is she wants to rule. She may even think big, like all of New York, conquer the world. I was stupid not to think of it earlier. She finds pleasure in a little power, human nature takes over, looks for more pleasure, then more. Ultimately, in a diseased mind, there’s never enough.”
Janah, “I sometimes wonder about us. We do horrible things to people.”
"Oh please, you know that answer already. We attack the disease, not create it.”
Janah, “So now I have to figure out how to handle it.”
“We have to remove her, Janah. Our worst nightmare is that people understand us. She’s found out too much already. Inevitably comes the attack on us directly or, worse, on the family. Not to mention, I have a vow, remember?”
Janah, “Do what you have to do, and do it quickly. Wait…no, send Chan, I don’t want any displays of bravery, long ultimately boring conversations with an insane woman and a sliced up body to deal with. Making an example of her is pointless, there’s no one to example her to.”
Nikko and I are at the condo the next morning, having coffee with Sis. Chris is flipping channels and hit CNN.
“From Manhattan, a sad story on the upscale East side. A female, now confirmed to be Morganna Blitch, patron of several New York cultural centers, was found dead in her apartment last night by her companion, Melvin Preston. Cause of death appears to be heart failure. Mr. Preston is a donor to several local philanthropic organizations and museums. He credits Ms. Blitch for his generosity to favored causes. Asked for a comment, Mr. Preston would only say that Ms. Blitch was a very healthy, strong woman and he had no knowledge of any physical problems. She was known by only a few, seldom attended performances or openings at the venues she supported and, apart from occasional dinners at Manhattan’s premier restaurants, preferred anonymity and solitude.”
There is film of the apartment building, and the short comment from Preston. Then the network moves on to gorier stories of  ISIS, and the constant dithering and political games of Congress.
Chris clicks off the television, “Who did it?....Never mind, Janah was at home with you guys, there’s only one other.”
Susan, “Is it safe for us to live normally?”
“As safe as it gets in Manhattan. Who knew occasional fine dining could be so dangerous.”
It isn’t a question, it’s an answer. All the answer the moms would get.
Chris, “How’s Chan doing?”
Nikko, “Haven’t seen him since last night. He was with us at the time the Blitch woman found oneness with the universe. That’s my story.”
“Janah and he were meditating in the loft when we left this morning,” I look into the distance, check in with Janah, “They’re still up there doing mental gymnastics.”
I had, of course, followed their conversation, they did meditate for a while, but when Nikko and I left, a conversation began.
Chan told Janah he stood outside the building until Preston left, went in the not yet closed door, Preston oblivious to his presence. Chan made him so. Then he stood outside the apartment door and let his presence be felt. The Blitch woman couldn’t resist, she opened the door as if an old friend had appeared, smirked at him.
Big Mama, “The white haired girl sent her dog over. To do what? Listen to me….”
Chan felt the energy, she was seeking an opening to his mind, could find no space to enter.
“I’m honored, she didn’t send a dilettante, you have some skill. I was only vaguely aware of you, now I’ll have another under my control.”
Chan, “What is it you wish to obtain?”
Chan didn’t acknowledge her further. Her ability was good, not close to his. He let her try and reach him, nothing. She cranked up the energy, the room temperature soared to over a hundred degrees. Before she realized that Chan was turning her own qi against her, her heart burst from her zealous intensity to overwhelm him.
Unrequited qi can be hazardous to your health, use with caution.

Chapter Eight V

What the xxxx?
Daphne Sylk

I’m reading an article in the New York times, a ‘Wellness’ blog titled “What are your relationship deal-breakers?”
It’s by one of those double last name women. I’m always curious about that, the double last name thing. First, they want to be in a ‘relationship.’ But they want to maintain their imaginary independence, or should I say interdependence, or would it be intradependence?
For instance, inter, would mean between two separate things or places, like an interstate highway.
Intra, would mean inside one thing. Janah, Nikko and I are both intra and inter, weird huh?
Anyway, women who have to declare their selfhood by hyphenating their last names strike me as in a kind of netherworld of confabulation. Keep your own name, don’t middle ground it, make everyone type out a double digit last name. Rather inconsiderate frankly, not to mention insecure and pretentious at the same time. (People are pretentious because they’re insecure. Best not to advertise it.) Or, if you have to declare your individuality, how does hyphenating yourself into duality accomplish that exactly?
I wonder why people get married at all? It’s just a control convenience for the state and/or the church. Not to mention the whole bridal megalomania.
Deal breaker?
If your relationship is based on “I'll do this if you'll do that,” which is what a deal is, then you have a negotiated contract, a business deal, not a personal relationship.
That's fine, but see a lawyer first and get the 'rules' in writing, so when the divorce happens, you have the property agreement in place, including who does what for any children, as you must see them as property as well (you’re the one looking for a 'deal' remember?)
Far less messy, far more rational. Details matter, that’s why you need a lawyer, two lawyers, one to advocate for each side. The more specific the better, or, when the deal goes sour, you will hear the ‘people change’ argument and have no actionable recourse.
Oh, and remember, keeping notes of who said what when, even recordings and video of who broke what rule will have far more evidentiary value than ‘he said, she said.’
You’ll need to get the sex part covered right off the bat. Who initiates, do you take turns? What happens if you fail to initiate on your night?
Are you going to have date night? It’s a really juvenile idea, if for no other reason than anything having to do with relationships found on the home page of MSN is juvenile. This would include Cosmopolitan, or any front page of any website or magazine that says, ‘5 ways to enhance your (fill in the blank.)’
Date night is also a bad idea because ‘dates’ are what happens in the lying stage of the developing relationship. The part where your hormones, desperate to capture the date, take over and you act nothing like your everyday self. Nobody can keep up this subterfuge forever. Thus, date night implies you both revert to the frauds you were in the capture phase. Now that sig other knows the real you, it would be better to have costume night, it has the integrity of honesty while letting both of you to pretend you are something other than you are. I’ll cover honesty more thoroughly later.
For sex stim after the new car smell is gone, better to simply resort to web porn. Twenty five percent of all web searches are for porn. You go there, your insignificant other goes there, don’t say you don’t, you do. Just put porn surfing in the contract, and stipulate what kind of porn is off limits. One girl’s filth is another girl’s ecstasy.
Women, inability to orgasm in a timely fashion is not the man’s fault. Buy a toy and warm yourself up. Sports teams don’t get ready for the game by playing with each other’s genitals for an hour first. Nor do they require endless kissing and breast squeezing (although I’m not privy what happens in WWF locker rooms before they grapple in public. I have my suspicions.)
Guys, if you can’t get it going, or it gets gone real quick, get the blue pill. You will get up, and if you get off in the first ten seconds, the erection, which is all she cares about, will continue right through honey bunch’s first three orgasms, assuming she can have them, a whole other discussion. In short, her genital insufficiencies are her problem, your genital insufficiencies are your problem, STDs excepted.
The number of orgasms is inversely related to the number of kids. Actually, for every one kid, assume three to four fewer sexual encounters a month. After three kids, once year is it. Don’t worry about it, when the time comes you’ll be too exhausted to care.
Since you’ve decided this is a ‘deal,’ you need to be specific about who contributes what. Sex fires dwindle, bills are eternal flames. Women, it’s not always but frequently women, connive to get fired from their jobs when they want to quit, but don’t want to face their insig other without an excuse, “the bastards fired me!!!!”
Then they can interview forever, ‘not a good job market for my skill set,’ or decide they can make a work at home business on EBay, or do ‘something creative,’ or the death of all future gainful employment, ‘go back to school.’
Going back to school past age thirty should be one of the ‘out’ clauses of the contract. Inevitably, if he or she gets the MBA, they will have spent thirty thousand dollars and now officially be overqualified for all the jobs they apply for. Consequently, they never have to work, which was the idea in the first place. Save the money. Besides, MBA really means Mostly Bullshit Advice.
Children. Just say no.
Since you’re looking for a ‘deal,’ better not have kids. The law is very annoying on this point when the ‘deal’ inevitably goes bust.
Guys get to pay for kids they don’t see, women are saddled with three kids and a guy who evaporates. Kids are a very messy part of any deal. Even if you stay together, there’s all the soccer, dance class, endless recitals of poorly played music, homework and, if you live until they are teenagers, the urge to murder. Think of all the magical places you could visit without the rug rats in tow and you would never, ever, have to go to Disney anything.
Anyone in their right mind who wants a ‘deal’ marriage (which is an oxymoron, because nobody in their right mind would get married) should announce frequently they will never have children. When you stumble across the person you want, they will be announcing the same thing. Then your deal has a fighting chance. Men, try not to be stupid, women are famous for hormone spikes that cause birth control lapses. If you really want certitude, get a vasectomy and plug away in complete freedom from adverse consequences.
Besides, it’s a proven fact that kids are a total annoyance until they can wipe and wash on their own and know how to microwave their own Ramen. So that means they are enjoyable from about age 5 to 11. From zero to 5, and from 11 to infinity, you’re miserable and so are they. Caveat, if you’re filthy rich, it’s possible to hang money over the kid’s head to insure compliance. (Assuming they aren’t psychopathic by age four, be careful, it happens.) But you can, under no circumstances, give them any money until you are dead. It’s more addictive than meth. By holding out until you die, they will behave, even grovel, you will be King and Queen. You can make them to curtsey and say Ma’am and Sir. Your subjects may connive, but without any cash, there’s little they can do. If you choose to pay for college, fine, but secondhand cars only. Do not buy houses, do not pay for elaborate weddings, better yet, don’t pay for weddings at all.
Barring the sig wealth angle, if you must have kids around, my suggestion is to take in foster kids from ages 6 to 10. They are in temporary need of a loving home, and of an age where it is at least possible to make it happen. As soon as hormones appear, return to the social worker, you have no realistic hope of combating a tsunami of estrogen or testosterone. And you can do it guilt free.
I have a zillion other helpful suggestions. Perhaps I’ll cover more later.

 Previous     Next