I found a note for Friday, February 10 to work on our Chaucer seminar presentation with Catherine after work. But it wasn’t all about homework: She said I should write a letter to Cugan and ask him about the SCA, his persona, whether or not he played Dungeons and Dragons, etc.
She gave me several suggestions for questions, all of which I included. She also wanted a copy of the letter when I finished it.
I believe Cugan already gave me a list of shire addresses; I saw from this his real name, and that he lived in M–. I’d never been to M–, so it seemed remote and cool. Writing a letter made me nervous, but also excited.
On the top of a piece of paper, I took notes on versification, which Catherine and I chose for our seminar presentation. In the lower right corner, I wrote what Catherine said I should say. I probably had no idea what to say, so she wanted to help me and make sure I wrote that letter.
I kept the letter non-flirty, to test Cugan to see what he was like. But Catherine wrote in my notes that I should include “Sultry Attraction” and “Nyssa–Coy Wanton Advances.”
I wrote, “Catherine doesn’t know if she can go [to next meeting]–could he take me,” and Catherine wrote under it, “and ravish me? When & Where.” After the close, she wrote, “I want your body and I want it NOW!!!”
I knew better than to speak of his sultry attraction, say “I don’t know if you noticed my coy, wanton advances,” or ask him to ravish me. Besides being out of character for me, these words would scare him off before I had a chance to start anything.
That night, I also went shopping, probably with my roommies and friend Mike. We often went to the grocery store, usually Pick ‘N Save, on Friday nights. We joked about how other people would party on Friday night, and our party was going to the grocery store.
On Sunday, February 12, my friend Helene took me to see Little Women, the version with Susan Sarandon and Wynona Rider, which recently started playing in the S– Marcus Theater (where I saw most movies during college).
First she took me to her small, two-story house, where I met her two daughters and saw a plaque on the wall commemorating her late husband, who died in a plane crash several years before.
In those days, a matinee cost $4.50.
I loved the way the movie was done. You could tell during close-ups that they were going for a more accurate, makeup-free look even on the women. Some may have been made up, such as society girls, but not Marmee, Jo, Meg or Beth. In the grainy look of a movie on a big screen, these characters looked much more true-to-life than movie characters often do on a TV screen.
Helene nudged me and said Winona Ryder reminded her of me. Especially in her role as Jo with long hair, I could see what she meant. I don’t think we would pass as doubles, but we were close to the same age, and I could see similarities in our appearance.
Though Jo March and Laurie would have made a good couple, when Professor Baer appeared, I wanted him and Jo to be together. In this movie, he was played by Gabriel Byrne, a handsome man with a distinctive, dignified appearance. This was the first time I saw him in a movie, and after that, whenever I saw him playing another character I’d remember him as Professor Baer.
Despite one biographer’s thoughts that Louisa May Alcott deliberately took a passionate relationship with Laurie away from Jo and gave her a passionless relationship with an older man–which, to the biographer, couldn’t be passionate because he was much older than Jo–I thought those two had marvelous chemistry.
And come on, a young woman can certainly have a passionate relationship with an older man! Just ask Celine Dion.
As I watched it, I also thought of Krafter and Stimpy, and my own struggle to figure out which one I wanted. Krafter was my Prof. Baer, and Stimpy was my Laurie, because Krafter was much older (as he seemed then) and Stimpy was closer to my age (though a youngster to me).
I thought maybe I preferred the older one, Krafter. I wasn’t sure, though.
At 7pm, Catherine and I met again about our seminar presentation. She came to my room; I gave her a copy of my letter to Cugan.
We spoke of versification and our seminar presentation for a short time, but the bulk of our time was spent talking of other, more important things. We sat on the floor of the study room beside my desk and talked for what may have been a few hours.
She hated Phil, didn’t think we should have been together.
I said, “You should have said something back then.”
She said, “I tried to tell you once.” It was in April, right after she and Rachel came to see me and inadvertently started an argument between us because I wouldn’t convert to Catholicism, but she wasn’t clear enough for me to catch it.
She said, “The next time I see you with a guy you shouldn’t be with, I’ll come right out and say, ‘Get out now! Break up with him! Get away from him!'” Of course, she also asked, “If I did say something, would you have listened?”
One night, somewhere between the 12th and 18th, Sharon wasn’t able to come with us, but Krafter took Stimpy and me to his house. Actually his parents’ beautiful house, where he lived in an awesome basement suite: a few small rooms formed with posts and black tarp or trash bags.
His bed was in one room, and chairs, a full entertainment system with TV, VCR and stereo, and several computers were in another.
My new “geek” friends preferred jeans and T-shirts. I began to wear T-shirts around them instead of long-sleeved dressy shirts, to fit in.
Krafter played music on the stereo system with the lights off, to impress me with his setup: surround sound and blinking lights everywhere.
He played his videotape of the last TCB user picnic, from the summer of 1994, of which he planned to scan stills into the TCB files for users to download. I got to see a whole bunch of people I’d met and was yet to meet online:
There was Peter and his girlfriend of the time, who I thought was the same girl I met earlier that year in the lunch line.
There was Stimpy, Krafter, Stimpy standing under a tree talking with his good friend Teri (a buxom, pretty girl). As far as I knew, they never dated, which surprised me. Maybe she always had another boyfriend, or maybe she wasn’t interested. I couldn’t imagine Stimpy not being interested in her at some point.
I didn’t see Avenger or Ish Kabibble, but Lima was there with Pamela. This was obviously while they were still together and happy. Lima wore a weird jester’s cap that was popular with the girls there.
Everyone wore “Hi my name is” stickers, though Lima and Pamela kept switching theirs. I already knew about the Lima and Pamela saga.
A few of the younger kids were there, as was Stubby, a hobbit-like, cute guy of about Stimpy’s age. Someone asked him as the camera focused on him, “Why are you called Stubby?” and laughed.
Krafter and Stimpy introduced me to the British sitcom The Young Ones. We watched six episodes. This mid-80s show, once on MTV, was about four college boys living together in a horrendously dirty apartment. (Think frat house and multiply it 100 times.)
One, Vivian, a punk with star rivets in his forehead and spiked hair, tended to get violent and/or yell at everyone even in ordinary conversation. This was probably a reaction to his feminine name (Vivian was once a masculine name, but I guess even in England it wasn’t anymore).
Neil was a hippie-type with long, dark hair and jeans. I liked him: He was sweet. Sharon once said he reminded her of me because of his hair.
Rik called everyone fascists. Mike was short and had a way with the ladies. It was the most insane show I’d ever seen, and I loved it.
Example: Everyone decides it’s about time to go to the laundromat, because their socks are starting to run away. However, when they try to put the clothes, which are now life forms, into the washing machine, the clothes try to get away and have to be forced in. Then the machine spews them out. Scene here.
Table of Contents
- Meet the Suite
- Meeting Shawn–and a Ninja
- Campus Stories, Wisconsin, Campus Radio Station
- Campus, People, First College Boyfriend
- Dating a Ninja
December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?
April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign
October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:
Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams
- Classmate a stand-in for “Rudy”; Jigging at College Dance
- Library Tales
- Happiness Returns
- Living with Friends in Krueger
- Funny Library Stories
- Shawn Calls
- Psycho Roommates and Bug Wars
- Return of Rick
- Adjusting to New Dorm
- Spitball-Throwing Teacher
- Rat-Obsessed Teacher and Doctor Zhivago
- A Teacher Dated a Student; InterVarsity Fun
- Charlie Peacock Concert
- Random Stories
- Letter to Shawn
- Erotic Vampire Dream (Inspiration for Alexander Boa)
- I Ask Out James
- Peter Calls!
- The Fateful First Meeting of Phil
- The Birth of Dolphin Philosophy
- Our Group of Friends Splits Apart
- Spring Classes
- Big Red Flag: Phil’s Dysfunctional Family Life
- The Drunken Stork (Phil’s Controlling Nature Manifests)
- Idealizing Phase and Early Sign of Control
- Phil Tries to Control my Friendships, Unfair Accusations from his Dad and Brother
- Phil Gaslights Me with Fake Dreams, Ridicule and Psychological Abuse
- Another Pre-Engagement
June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:
- The Abuse Worsens in the Summer of Hell
- Phil rapes me anally
- Phil tries to control me through refusing everything I want–even proper hygiene
- Phil’s cruel hoax on me: his “subconscious” coming out to be with me
- Phil’s “subconscious” explains why he’s coming out to talk to me
- The lies unravel as Phil admits to conning me; also, fright as my periods turn wacky
- How Phil’s behavior fit the signs of abuse
- Phil Mindscrews Me: changes history, blames me for things that were not my fault, treats me like an idiot during games
- Phil says if he abuses me, it takes two people to sign the divorce papers
- Pearl reveals that Phil is costing me social invitations
- Hints that Phil is checking out of the marriage
September 1994–Divorce: The Long, Dark, Painful Tunnel:
- Phil picks fights and avoids responsibilities to make me feel like a shrew
- My husband Phil, Dave and Pearl call me a party pooper for getting a Grade II concussion
- I’m ecstatic to be back with my friends (the ones Phil hates); I meet Charles
- Phil vanishes without a word of why
- Phil wants a divorce
- My friends tells me that Phil is controlling and possessive
- My first Pentecostal church service: They speak in tongues
- Phil refuses to accept responsibility for the divorce
- Phil cuts off contact
- Attack of Phil’s Flying Monkey and Sycophant: Dirk
- Phil the narcissist admits to manipulating people and using them as pawns in his game with me
- Phil comes crawling back to me–and we put our marriage on paper
- Phil demands my complete submission and forces me into oral sex–and my will is broken, for fear he’ll divorce me again
- Phil walks away from me again–because I dare to have my own mind, opinions and needs–and because he’s a sociopath
- Fierce anger against Phil and PTSD from the abuse
- My friends tell me Phil is psychotic
- “Soul Ties”
- I return Phil’s things and he skewers me; consolation from friends
- My letter to Phil
- Phil shows my letter to his friends; I’m triggered by reminder of forced oral sex
- I start dating Charles
- Friends tell me Phil is controlling
- I feel stalked by Phil
- Poem about being stalked by Phil
- Fury at Phil stalking me and rubbing my face in his new relationship
- A Date with the Vampire
- Celtic Class: Knotwork, Tin Whistles, SCA–and Drinking from a Skull
- The Teddy-O Incident; Birth of These Memoirs
- We Hook Up to the Internet–and Shawn Fixates on My Sex Life
- New Guy Begging at My Feet
- Life on TCB
- Meeting Cugan (Hubby)
- Learning my ex Peter was a love-fraud; New Men
- Before Tracy, There Was the Avenger (Sociopathic Female Bullies Pt 1)
- Torn between three men as Catherine pushes me toward Cugan
- The Love Rectangle
- Torn between FIVE men! Me?
- Persephone’s Own Outrageous Stories of Phil’s Abuse
- College-style living
- Online Shenanigans
- Phil Finds TCB; Meeting a Hit Man
- Gypsy’s Party: Healed friendship with Peter
- The Avenger Starts a Flame War (Sociopathic Female Bullies Pt 2)
- Meeting the elusive Speaker
- First Date with Future Hubby Cugan
- On Breaking Up with Kindness
- Loony Roommies and Flying Gargoyles
- The Goddess of Pleasure and Salt
- A Conversation with Oscar Wilde
- My First SCA Event
- Cugan: a vast improvement over Phil
- Easter with Cugan’s family and SCA
- Cugan breaks up with me
- After breakup: Phil’s return and trolls
- Cugan comes back
- SCA hippies; college senioritis: anxiety!
- Or should I move back in with my parents?
- Peace with Phil
- Defending my Thesis; Graduating with Honors
- Graduation: Trapped at school
- Epilogue and Apology from Phil