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Daphne herself

Sixteen Treads

The summer I turned eight was the first time I ran away from home. Dragging along three pillows, a faded wool blanket, some red licorice, my little brother and the best friend I’ve ever known, Bobby Fowler, I headed out into the world with the utmost confidence that life would be better far away from my mother. The big park was the goal, a hidden clearing in a glen near the creek, surrounded by thickets where we would be safe and happy.

Five miles is a long haul when you’re small. Most of the walk was on 61st Street, a major Milwaukee thoroughfare with minor traffic crossings every few blocks. We laid down and rested by the crosswalks when we got tired, ate a bit of licorice, discussed our new life. Not a single adult ever stopped to question what three small children were doing stretched out on the sidewalk in broad daylight with their blanket and pillows. Surreal.

By the time we turned into the neighborhood that surrounded the park it was well past midday, thirst drove us to a well known house three short blocks from the park. This was the old section of town, genteel wealth living in gracious older homes on wide, tree lined avenues. A clear world away from our barely respectable, fourplex apartment units laid out in a square grid surrounding the scrubby piece of lawn we were escaping.

A tiny, silver haired widow lived in a immaculate three story red bricked Tudor surrounded by carefully sculpted hedges and large pots of red geraniums on one of these fine streets. The house was a shrine to her late husband, nothing changed since his death twenty years earlier, except her son’s locked room, which she never entered. I remember well polished wainscoting, high shadowed ceilings and green curtained rooms filled with old furniture and porcelain figures that you couldn’t touch. There was an attic reached by climbing a narrow, hidden curved staircase. Dusty, deadly quiet and safe. The kitchen was the only bright spot in the whole house, filled with a wall of windows and white painted cabinets. She grew violets on the windowsills.

My brother and I had spent many nights in this house the previous three months, sleeping on a featherbed laid out on the floor in the front parlor, while Mrs. Schraeder’s son dated my mother. The widow was our babysitter. She was never kind, but she took good care of us and seemed trustworthy on a basic level. I thought this would be a good place to get a drink, maybe snag a raison cookie or two before heading into the park.

The simplicity of children is amazing. It never occurred to me that the old lady would question our trip to the park, call my mother or that there might be a manhunt of massive proportions going on for three missing children who’d vanished several hours earlier. She sat us down on the good couch in the living room, took her time bringing us refreshments and then chatted up a storm. Stupid girl, I should have ran. Mrs. Schraeder never chatted and we certainly weren’t allowed to ever eat on the good couch, much less sit on that holy piece of furniture.

Steve, her son, my mother’s boyfriend, showed up with Bobby’s dad pretty quickly. We heard them heading up the back stairway after the door slammed in the kitchen. My four year old brother wet his pants on the widow’s good couch. So did Bobby. The old lady quietly backed into a far corner of the room. She later told me that I stood up, placed myself between the boys and the men, bared my teeth and growled. I don’t remember that. I do recall hitting the wall, hauling myself up and biting Steve right before he threw my baby brother down the back stairs. I remember the hard push that sent me down those first eight treads, falling in a pile on top of Douglas at the landing and the kicks that sent us down the last eight steps to the back entry. I still see Bobby, wild eyed with fear, his big brown eyes leaking tears, his daddy hurting him. I’ll never forget that. The ride home in the back seat of the big white convertible Pontiac with the red leather seats smeared with child piss, shit and tears.

Bobby and I didn’t leave our houses for the next week. We couldn’t, the punishment didn’t stop in that old woman’s house, there was a whole world of hurt waiting for us when we got behind our own closed doors and it would have embarrassed our mothers for the neighbors to see us so black, blue and swollen. It wasn’t anything new for Bobby or me. Hell, at least I didn’t get locked in a closet or burned like Bobby.

My mother married that asshole Steve eight weeks later. Bobby got lucky, his daddy died the following month.

Chappaquiddick Blues

I found an excellent funeral dirge for old Teddy, hopefully they’ll bury his ass soon and we can finally be done with this disgusting Kennedy fetish.

By the way, can anybody name this band?

Morons, Liars And Sheeple

I don’t have much patience for opinions based on ignorance, there’s no excuse to remain unknowledgeable about whatever subject you decide to spout off about, there is a plethora of information readily available at the click of a mouse. Just because you choose to limit your pool of resources to others holding a similar mindset, doesn’t make your opinion even remotely true, much less right.

Let’s take this beast of a health care bill, people are particularly worked up about death panels along with a half dozen other items that actually don’t exist in the bill. Opinion writers and politicians have chosen to interpret, and lie about, certain provisions to gain a political reaction from the sheeple, and, to be honest, I’m not at all dismayed that my fellow citizens have finally gotten off their fat asses to yell at Congress. If it takes a few well skewed sound bites to rouse their fury, so be it.

I just wish their anger was more intelligently directed. They’re busy screaming about non-issues, jabbing at strawmen and generally missing the whole fucking point. We are already a highly socialized, intensely regulated nation, and they can’t seem to grasp this fundamental fact. Screaming about death panels and euthanasia seems to get them juiced up, though.

I happen to think this entire bill is unnecessary. We have around 9 million people (citizens) who cannot afford to purchase private or participate in their companies insurance programs because they need every dollar they earn to buy the basic necessities of life; shelter and food come before an HMO plan on their tight budgets. These working poor also earn just a tad too much to qualify for our socialized medical programs.

Here’s an idea: Let’s just expand our already existing programs to include these needy people and call it a day. Most Americans have fully bought into the idea that the unemployed, low earners, their offspring and the elderly should be subsidized by functional adults who manage to earn a decent living. We think it’s right and just to redistribute one person’s income to house, feed, clothe, educate and doctor another who doesn’t earn enough, or any, income, for whatever reason. Providing medical coverage for 9 million more souls under a program that is expected to be fully bankrupt in a few years is a hell of a lot cheaper and less disruptive than this bureaucratic quagmire of a bill currently on the table.

Here’s another idea to consider: Why don’t we demand that Congress fix our current systems of socialized healthcare before allowing them to embark on another train wreck of well intended, Utopian policy making? They seem to have plenty of mismanagement, fraud, red tape and funding issues on their overloaded plates of Medicare, Medicaid and S-Chip they might remedy. The VA could use some attention, too. How about we ask them to start cleaning house at the bottom of the mess they already control? Their management has been less than impressive up to this point, so why would any rational adult trust them with an expanded realm of operation in this arena?

Here’s the best idea of all: Let’s grandfather all of our socialized medical programs (shoot, just for fun, let’s kick in Social Security and the vast medley of welfare programs, too) and let them slowly die out of existence. Anyone born from 2010 onward would be entirely dependent on relatives, their own abilities or private charity to provide for themselves for all of their natural lives.

They wouldn’t be required to pay taxes into the current systems that support others. They would not be forced by the government to provide the basics of life to another living soul and they would not be allowed to participate in any of these government programs. Of course, some would starve to death or die from lack of medical treatment. Many might suffer from a lack of decent shelter or end up looking to charity because they made irresponsible choices in life, like remaining uneducated and skill-less, having children they couldn’t afford, drugging themselves senseless or dropping their life savings at a crap table in Vegas. So be it, let Darwinism reign.

Who knows, a few generations that have been raised in a country that respects their autonomy to fail or succeed might actually insist that the federal government be held to account. A task we’ve surely failed to accomplish.

On those evil death panels? Those mandatory visits that will now be paid for by medicaid/medicare, if you are enrolled in one of those programs, to see a counselor every five years to update your end of life choices while you are still mentally and physically able to make decisions? I don’t have a problem with that provision. People should know what their end of life medical choices are, decide what they want and ensure that those wishes are codified. They should plan for their death, not leave it at the discretion of family, doctors or the courts.

I really don’t know what the uproar is all about, if you buy into the basic premise that wide swaths of the population are unable, unwilling or too irresponsible to provide for their own medical care (and most Americans do buy that premise), why would you be appalled that the government is going to require this same group of irresponsible people to act responsibly about this one detail?  

In for a penny, in for a pound, folks.

Double Clutch

His fingers were firmly threaded through my long, dark hair, down near the nape of my neck, tilting my head back to almost meet his mouth, the other hand gently cupping the small of my back, lifting and pulling me closer, my legs spread wide, black patent leather stilettos braced against the back of two chairs, the edge of my g-stringed ass barely brushing past the edge of the stage. He wrapped his hand high around my bare thigh right above the place where smooth skin met silk stocking, rubbing his thumb lightly in that small concave of inner velvet flesh found only on a young woman’s leg just below a man’s greatest desire. Then he leaned into my neck and took a long, quiet breath. With his left hand still wrapped in my hair, he held me posed, young skin pulled taught, back arched, breasts spilling sweetly over the tightly laced bra, he slowly began tucking a neat string of fifty dollar bills around the black lace garter belt skimming my hips, dark eyes locked on mine, open lips a sweet breath away, he silently let me go with a hand softly stroking the side of my face. I was five hundred dollars richer and wet as a river a few minutes later.

I stood up and finished my first set of the evening, nearly two thousand dollars circling my waist as I exited to applause. The marks crowding the house that night ate it up and insisted on paying the pretty girl in the fine, black bustier and garters proper homage, trying to match the handsome man’s generosity. I walked into my cab five grand richer that night for a short six hours worth of work.

Did I mention I worked the mild end of the skin trade way back in the day? Slap the stupid surprise off your face, how in the hell else do you think a smart, good looking, abandoned fifteen year old makes enough money to keep a decent roof over her head? Besides the club work, I had a nice side business bubbling in primo redbud and long, hermetically sealed, strips of pharmaceutical quaaludes. Irony ran rich in Houston back in the late seventies. I could drink myself under the table at most nightclubs in town and out earn a school teacher in one easy weekend, but I couldn’t register for school or rent an apartment without an adult signature. I wasn’t allowed to work at respectable McDonalds or Macy’s, thank goodness, but I could strip in outlaw nightclubs. Excuse me if I don’t have a scintilla of respect for hypocritical government sensibilities that keep trying to manage our lives with a slew of nebby, feel good laws that limit my freedom and grab for my money all these years later. The political class couldn’t smell a rational clue if it was wrapped in rotting meat and shoved up their noses.

I’m betting you want to hear more about titty clubs, drug deals and dancing girls before I assault you with a fine polemic rant skewering the ivory tower intellectuals and obtuse government grunts who create expensively useless ways to save ourselves from the most natural of human proclivities. People like to get high, have sex and generally misbehave on occasion, the officials need to come to grips with that reality. I have never underestimated the power of sex and titillation to sell a product, especially my own, so I’ll indulge the voyeuristically inclined who’ve led sheltered lives and I don’t mind helping out the curious folks who occasionally walk the crooked path on the paying end of the business, either. Hell, I’ll even give you the goods today without the gospel.

I can sum it all up in a few unsexy words – it’s just work. No different than most jobs really, it just pays better, the hours are shorter and the perks can be really spectacular because you happen to work without a shirt. Men have a thing for boobs and they’re willing to pay ridiculous sums to look at them in naughty venues. There is rarely anything truly sexy about the work, the women who excel at it just make it seem that way. Like any ordinary office full of women, only a small percentage put out a brilliant product. A slightly larger group perform adequately and the rest range from barely tolerable to downright awful. The customer’s are viewed with a jaded eye and no small amount of contempt. The ladies are happy to see you walk in the door, but you become objectified the minute you plant your ass in a chair – you men are little more than a ripe cash bag with a face and an annoying habit of talking too much.

Insert drug dealers for women and dope for tits in the above paragraph and we have that gritty subject pretty much covered in spades. Except it’s all illegal if you’re underage.

God Is Great, Beer is Good and People Are Crazy

I thought you fine folks deserved a short, introductory spin through my world before y’all decide I’m stone crazy. I figured laying some of my more provocative writing on Cats from the get go might raise a few eyebrows, the prudes in the crowd should consider this fair warning; I’m not safe for work.

I write about sex. A whole lot. I’m a foul mouthed woman, possessing a vocabulary that causes the churched to bend their knees, condemning me straight to hell with hamfisted vigor. I’m not politically correct. I don’t have time for puling women, craven men, victims groups, activists of all stripes, the intellectually stunted or the gross stupidity running rampant in our world. I dislike most politicians, hate progressive leftists and harbor sick fantasies of turning PETA members into human game fodder on a West Texas hunting lease.

I like and own guns. I’m an economic Misean and staunch capitalist. My politics run more Libertarian these days after suffering through the crap sandwich offered up by compassionate conservatism and big government Republicans. I believe authentic men have been beaten like red headed step children into cringing pussies by the demented crusades of leftists. I know women are incredibly powerful forces of nature and stay disgusted at their bizarre insistence on living a lie as members of a beleaguered special victim’s group.

I couldn’t give a shit about your color, ethnicity, education credentials or class status. Are you a stand up human being of integrity? Do you take responsibility and own the consequences of your decisions without spilling tears? If so, we’ll get along just fine. I own big dogs, enjoy the company of properly raised children, eat meat, fuck like a bandit and play a mean game of Texas Hold ’em. My life is full of high heels, cowboy boots, denim and diamonds. I’m married to a stellar man who earns enough to allow me the luxury of staying home with our two small boys, the third, our eldest, is a fine chef who just landed a gig running the kitchen in a two star restaurant. My life is blessed, bitching would be a sacrilege.

God and I get along just fine, I have huge problems with organized religion. Beer and bourbon smooth the edges of my wonderful world and terrorists live at the bottom of my barrel, from the IRA to self exploding Muslim scum, I can’t abide terrorists of any stripe. 

I found this superb blog through one of my London friends some months back and was completely smitten with the quality of writing and intelligent opinion. I enjoy brilliant smut and smart snark, these fine men give it in spades. I’ve been a small part of the UK blogosphere for several years and am proud to claim a handful of wonderful Brits as my dearest friends. I won’t be writing derogatory posts on the state of Britain, I don’t have enough knowledge to do the topic justice and the men here cover it just fine. I will fill your ears with cuss filled rants on everything else.

I’m quite honored by the invitation to join this fine group. I hope my Texas sensibilities can offer equal entertainment.

Kitty Kounters

We started out a little over a year ago with a single Aussie Cat Counter labouring away, stuck in the far colonies and condemned to a life of sun, sea and sand, surrounded by blond beauties wearing naught bar skimpy halters and bits of string. After enduring this I was relieved in my efforts when we gained NickM, a Brit, counting from the sunny climes of Northern England. After a year of further toil another Englander, IanB, joined us in our efforts at feline enumeration.

Today, I have an announcement:

Daphne, who makes her home at the Jaded Haven, has agreed to visit from Texas (down Allen, behave) and count the odd kitty kat.

Now, we do understand she has her own voracious blog to feed, and are grateful that she is willing to spend any time in this playground, regardless of how frequently or seldom she visits.

Our lineup now is:

IanB: polemicist, master artist and noted hobbit fancier.

NickM: natural philosopher and world class swear blogger (DK, eat your heart out).

Cats himself: amateur historian, ditto at all else he touches, and commenter on otherwise unconsidered trifles.

And finally,

Daphne: essayist and rough, tough Texican chick who uses words as sweetly as angels kiss.

If you want my opinion, and you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have at least a passing interest in the nuggets I drop, I think we now have a fine line-up of capable wordsmiths; the Anglosphere is well represented, our approaches are varied, and we plan on keeping you all well amused.

What I do have to point out is that this gal is a lady, so boys – playground or no playground, put your willies away, and no pissing in the sandpit. You want to take her on? I guarantee, you’ll suffer.