Friday, 30 December 2016

Desperate Wifesband

Shayna Rande tears were every bit as salty as the ones that she shed when her womb mother had died, some ten years before.

The rain was falling lightly, but there was nothing light in her and her family situation.

Their first daughter, Pam, had been a regular affair.

Shayna's wifesband, Rita, had been the womb-mother, and there had been no complications. Rita had brought Pam to the end, and just six months after her birth, she was back at work.

Shayna and her wifesband had no problems, sharing the care of the little redhead like all good married couples do.

When it had been time for Shayna to carry the couple's second daughter, they hitched a snafu - or, rather, three of them.

Louise, Dominique and Sally, the triplets had been a much unexpected turn of events for the family, a great source of joy - and problems.

Three as they were, they meant that Rita and Shayna had to decide, and one of them had to act as a stay-at-home mom.

Rita was the better paid of the two and, also, the one that enjoyed her work more.

Shayna took the mantle of the housebound, though she had always thought that - some day - she would have dusted her skills, get an update and  gone back on the job market.

In the end, favourable conditions never came around.

The very technological branch she was trained for, analogic signal processing, had virtually disappeared in the fourteen years after the birth of the kids.

They had grown up enough that they did not need 24/7 care, now, and Shayna had just begun a re-training program, on the installation of industrial implants electric systems.

Another year or so, and she would have been gone back to work, and aided Rita paying the bills - what was the saying, "tell Gods your plans"? Shayna was a devout Xhristian but, at times, she thought that the Noxonians had it right. They didn't call their God with any capital letter. "Advanced Alien" that it was, though, it was honest... it only kept the world from stop spinning on itself, and some other obscure activities.

The kids were all crying, at her left, watching the coffin of their first mother being lowered into the ground.

Amidst the pain of the loss of her life companion, Shayna felt the sting of impending financial catastrophe.

There was no way that she could manage to complete her re-training course and secure a new job - not before their landlady could throw them in the street. Her lover was dead, her life felt like it was nearly over, and her four daughters were going to be separated by the social services.

That night, she watched herself in the mirror.

Shayna wasn't a great beauty, just an average woman, one like there were thousands. At 44 it was absolutely unlikely that she could snatch some sugar mama - she couldn't have managed it even when she was 22, and her tits had the freshness of just bloomed adultness. She simply was not al that gorgeous.

Before going to sleep, she prayed her God - whichever god that was out there, really - to show her a way, any way out of her situation.

She indeed received a divine answer, but not the one that she expected, and not from any god that she cared to contact.

The dream was calm and cosy - it took a while, before she even realized that it was a dream... she felt no anxiety, and this was not normal for her.

Her dreams were filled of that sentiment, ever since she finished high-school, being usually horror loops of her trying to find an exit from the place, doors shut and rocket boots that couldn't fly her above the damn stupid building.

This place was not the abominating vocational high where her hard-mom - the late Louise the elder - had forced her to go.

It looked like a leisure hotel on some tropical island, almost exactly like the one Shayna and Rita went for their honeymoon. The thought flashed her mind, and filled her with a bout of pain at remembrance of the smile of Rita.

 "What's up your mind, Tiger Lily?" - the voice gave her shivers, crawling up her back.

It was human, but so grave - graver than even men's voices, in "Modern Geographic's" documentaries on the Manserrails.

The monster - she could not call it any other way - looked like a man, a seven feet tall black man, and one that seemed mentally capable.

The men in the menserrails didn't look much human, given that their brains were systematically addled in their intrauterine environments - males were kept as a failsafe, in case the sophisticated technology used to create para-sperm was lost or became unsustainable, but no woman on the planet was any eager to see their gender resurrect and overpower them, as it used to do on Earth Prime (or whatever the rest of the galaxy calls that shitty planet now).

This "Man" seemed a person, a functional human male - something no woman on the planet had ever witnessed.

It was very strange, with that thing on the front - something called, if Shayna remembered well,  penis -  and those very excessive muscular fascias all over the body.

- "So, tell me, what are you looking for, woman?"

- "Are you... God?"

- "Kind of" - Shayna had never considered the Noxonian mythology with anything less than contempt, or she'd already recognized the cocky black bastard as one of the most infamous avatars of their 'god' (small caps and apostrophes strictly required by just mentioned mythos).

Given her strict Xhristian observance - "thou shall not have other other God but the one true God, and that's me, or else..." - this was to be expected.

 Other religions were much more open to syncretism - the Noxonians being a most egregious case, its credo being a maddening "worship who do you want, I do not care;  I am going to be necessary anyway, so one way or the other I will have my stream of fresh flesh", and the Shinto were very hot on their trail with their audacious "any God you may worship has a spot in our pantheon" concept - and tolerated that their believers got contacts with other credos, but  that was not the case for Shayna's. 

Xhristianity was a relatively new variant of an old religion from the original planet, that the Prophet Stian had discovered, hidden in the colony database. and that she liberated with the help of Xri, the martyr.
  
 - "Are you the devil?"

- "Shaitan, the adversary? No... but, in a way, I am in the market of souls - indirectly, that is."

- "So, do you want my soul?"

- "Indirectly. So, why are you so desperate that my world-wide mind filters can pick your screams, in the middle of all the clutter?

- "I am not desperate - we are just having some small issues."

- "Ending in the street, destitute, you and your family? Social services splitting up the five of you? No reason to be desperate, no."

- "The church will help me."

- "Indeed, they will, but you know the local government, how it works - first they will split the girls, distributing them among wealthy, childless couples, then you can get back on your feet, and try to appeal to their decisions for the rest of your life... or till the kids grown to legal age. I have a more immediate proposal."

- "Riches and safe haven for my family, in exchange for my soul?"


- "Eh, almost" - the man oscillated his big hand in front of her, in a gesture that she did not really recognize as it used to mean "more or less", way before the FTL probe that colonized the planet departed from their original civilization.

A gesture that had not been included in the programming of the robot-nurses that raised the first generation of kids spawned by the probe, and had -thus - independently resurfaced in only about a third of the world's cultures.

- "Not much riches, but plenty of haven."

- "For my soul?"

- "For your bodacious dedication, your family will have three meals a day, an adequate shelter and complete non-interference from the local agency of children disservices."

- "Is this a dream?"

- "Are your dreams always so business-like?" - The black 'god' grinned, very much un-business-like.

- "So, what should I do?" - Shayna was more playing along than anything else.

- "Go at this address,..." - the huge black handed her a piece of paper, with something scribbled on - "..., describe them this dream, listen to what they have to say, and decide. But I am confident that you will choose for the best of everybody."

Shayna looked at the address on the paper, and recognized that it was somewhat familiar, though she couldn't really focus on it - "Offers Garden Plaza, number 12".

She immediately awoke, and reached to squeeze her eyes, as often when she woke up, and almost stabbed her right eye with the piece of paper squeezed in her hand. She threw it away, as if it was a snake.


The huge wall went on for almost a hundred meters, in both directions. Shayna understood why the address was familiar - this was the enclosed botanic garden that the Church of Noxon used to have in the outskirts of the city.

When the city expanded, it ended becoming a near-centre town feature, and taxes on it skyrocketed during the Atheists reign, so the Noxonians hadbto sell it and  build a new one in Akeron (creating the neo-town, really).

Of the vast complex of condos, facing inward to the garden, only a small section was now property of the church, and likely not for more.

However, the Bursar office for the local Noxon Chapter was still in the last building owned by the church, which was really no surprise, as most of the economics of the church revolved around cable television rights nowadays, being the Noxon ceremonies still the pinnacle of televised S&M for the Great Frakka land. Having the office where all producer companies also had theirs made quite a bit of sense.

Shayna trembled, when she pushed the button - a life of facing the stern mugs of Xhristian nuns, from kindergarten to the end of middle school, had left her vulnerable to those scary old women, and any other kind of monastic woman.

She took her courage with both hands, tossed her heart above the fence, and rung the old buzzer.

- "Hi, who are you?"

The "Nun" - Shayna had problems remembering that this was not a nun but, rather, a Noxon priestess... colour and simplified cut of the robe apart, the pudgy, short woman looked every bit a nun as any of those that she ever met at her Xhrystian schools - looked at her through a couple of glasses.

The clergywoman was clearly way younger than her, something quite unexpected, as Noxonian clergy was composed almost entirely by retired "Officiants" - all women forty and beyond, usually quite  bit beyond.

- "I... I had a dream" - Shayna felt stupid, saying it, but the - uh, non-nun - simply opened her eyes a slight more, to pose more attention.

- "Yes. What Kind of dream?"

In a bungle of nervousness, Shayna started answering, while looking in her purse for the scrap of paper.

- "There was this huge, black man, that gave me this address"

- "A man? Those Modern Geographic Society documentaries are an hassle. A black man that gave you this address?" -  The priestess sound a bit sarcastic, but not nearly as much as Shayna expected. Then, the middle aged mom finally found the piece of paper, and offered it to the priestess, adding "In the dream, he gave me this".

- "Did he? Let's see." - the younger woman took the message in hand, and started reading the unintelligible scribbles below the address, one of her eyebrows raising up irresistibly.

Whatever was written on the scrap, she could read it - then, with sudden urgency, she invited Shayna in, and started walking through the corridors of the building, driving the flabbergasted blonde through a few offices occupied by older, more stereotypical Noxon priestesses.

Then they went up a stair, till they reached an ample office, with a big, bright, arched window.

- "Wait, while I fetch my superior"

Rayna sat on the old, comfortably born guest chair. She waited for some minutes, before feeling

he bite of curiosity, and she took in hand one of the photographic books that were on the shelf, on the visitor's side of the office.

She started flipping its pages, then she hastily laid it back on the shelf.

It was an yearbook of Noxon Officiants, names, ages, their photos in the white, flowing vest that they dress on the route to the ziggurats, and then photos from the services, naked, battered, trembling, and smiling.

She dared not to look at more than those few, initial pages... she went on sitting, thinking about what the hell was she doing in that heathen place. It had been, she was more and more sure, a pretty stupid mistake.

Whatever solution her situation may have, it was out there, surely not here.

Yet, running away, seemed rude...

- "Hi. How do you do?" -  this woman looked every bit as old as everybody would expect a senior Noxonian priestess to be. Late seventies or early eighties, every bit as dignified as a Xhrystian abbess.

In many ways, their jobs were very similar.

- "It was such a long time since I saw the last dream-sheet."

Shayna inferred that the  wrinkled old lady was talking about the mysterious piece of paper, that had apparently crossed the divide between dreams and reality -. or had been composed by one Mrs. Rande, while asleep..
  
- "Ah, yes - I recognise the alphabet." - the priest's smile grew wider again - "it is a fun trick, really."

- "Trick?"

- "Yes - the alphabet is pre-colonization hiragana, but the words are not Japanese, and there are spaces - the language is Common Elish."


- "And what was written?"

- "A most Noxonian message" - the old woman giggled uncontrollably - "Am I right, thinking that you are in some existential pinch?"

-"I, ehm... my wifesband, Rita, has died and left me with four daughters, no job, an open debt with our landlady and a bank account in deep red."

- "Oh... four girls. Age?"

- "Sixteen, the older, 14 the triplets".

- "I see... our God, Noxon, has gently decided to offer you asylum."

- "Really?"

- "Of course, our Church is not as rich as most people believes, so what we can really offer, to you and your children, is a flat inside the officiant's complex in Akeron."

- "A flat inside?... do you want me to become one of your 'officiants'?"

- "Do you want to become one of them?"

- "No, I am a Xhrystian!"


- "That would not be an issue - Noxon does not care whether the officiants believe or not in its divine nature, or do participate to our church activities for any mystic reason."

- "I beg your pardon?"

- "If you believe that Noxon is just some kind of sufficiently advanced alien that faps over images of beautiful women undergoing" - the old woman waved her hand, to signify t
hat she was not going to specify what both knew happened in the Noxon rites - "and, in exchange,  stabilize the rotations of our planet, then participate does not represente worshipping a god different from your own."


- "What are you saying?"

- "If you do not want to become an officiant, there are plenty of organizational jobs that must be covered, and that you can take to contribute to our organization survival. If perchance you fancy become an officiant, there is no reason why you could not, simply accepting its basic nature as a toil that someone must do to keep our world alive."

- "No worship required?"

- "None whatsoever - Noxon does not care, whichever god the women sacrificed to its pleasure may really worship." 

- "So, we can have a flat?  Gratis?"

- "Great is its clemency, and such is its offer. Unfortunately, you must realize that the Akeron Officiant House is, literally, a closed community. You daughters will probably find it an excessively sanitized environment, as no alcohol nor drugs are allowed in."

- "And I do not have to worship your god, in any way?"

- "No reason to - after all, it is not a God. At most, it is some god-like entity that has accompanied the very colonization of our world in the last five thousand years."
  
- "I will think about it"

- "The offer is open-ended, but I think that it would be better if your belongings were out of your landlady's reach as soon as possible. Here, this is my visit card -  if you decide to accept our lord's hospitality, call me, and I  will arrange  everything."


By the end of the week, a the last job hope that Shayna had had disappeared, and she found herself composing the number of the bursar.

By the end of the month, her and the kids were living inside the Officiant's house, where she soon found herself employed as a cook assistant, with an initially meagre pay that allowed her to continue pursuing her re-training courses.

Noxon had been vewry generous, indeed.

Of course, it would have taken a while, for Shayna to realize that she had never been the true target behind its offer.


Thursday, 22 December 2016

Sins of the past

[Note: this is not a piece of fiction]

One of the ugliest characteristics of past sins is that they often come back, to bite one's ass.

Of course, "come back" may already be a question of luck: some of us can hardly leave the bastards alone, and spend far too many idly moments revisiting past mistakes, with the depressing belief that even if we manage to learn a lesson from any of them, we will just make new, worse  errors going forward.

They do not always come back directly, sometimes they arrive in a very tangential way.

The last "sin" to bite my ass is my tendency to consider that, in a BDSM interaction, all the responsibility for preventable mishaps that still happen goes to the top/dom/master.

Due to an unfortunate choice of examples in a munch, the question poisoned the last peer rope I was in and, because of said sin of mines, I did not contribute much - at all, really - in quashing the turmoil.

I didn't add gasoline to the fire either, but that is not much of a consolation.

I had a couple of days to sleep on the issue, and came to the conclusion that that day's reunion organizer - a woman with a metric ton of character, that also happen to be a rope model - opinion, on it, was ultimately correct.

And her opinion was, in one word: "Poppycock".

The bottom/sub/masochists share some responsibilities with their partners (and vice-versa), though the law of the land may differ quite vigorously on it (but after all, laws, justice and ethics are often only vaguely related to each other).

Even in a Total Power Exchange play, not only the limits of the game must be agreed before, but the play will always relay on an honest communication between the players.

This can break down either because the "top" fails to care for the clues given by the "bottom", either because this latter is so engulfed in the sub-space that it can hardly report what is happening to its body.

When this happen, though, I think that it is only natural for the "dom" to feel completely responsible of the shit that happens, because when the "bottom" flies away, it should be brought back to Earth, if there is any possible danger.

On the other hand, if the millisecond the "dom" distracts to get the next strand of rope, the "hogtied" model unexpectedly  - they had never discussed the possibility - starts jumping around because it likes to play the escapist... it is a bit hard to assign to the top more than a token of responsibility.

The turmoil in my much beloved backyard started after a guy used the "If you go dressed as a whore in the Bronx, you may well expect that they rape you", used as a  set-up to justify for an equally maddening "If a slave choose an inexpert master, it is also hir fault when shit happens".

Both assertions  manages to irritate me on a strictly utilitarian level (no need to invoke my progressive, libertarian nature, here - if women won't feel safe going around scantily dressed, they won't do it - clue a certain frustration on my part; similarly, if submissive women feel that scarcely experienced doms cannot be trusted, they won't give them any chance, and I happen to be one of them)

Personally, I'd like to live in a world where a woman could fell asleep in a subway station, dressed only with leather collar and cuffs, and the only thing that could happen would be her catching a bit of a cold.

In fact , I like to think that I try to bring on such a world with my art... even though, I fear, no amount of my art will ever be enough to change the idiotic mores of our societies.

So, yes, sub/bottom/slaves may be responsible of mishaps - when they do violate the"contract" at the base of the session. 

But, no, they are not responsible just for choosing an inexperienced companion, that tries too fancy a move and fucks-up (among the other things, because there are very few top

In the end, it is like for everything else - there is no such things as fixed or reliable rule, not even a rule-of-thumb, and the devil (or god) is in the details.





     


Monday, 12 December 2016

Trump

The disenfranchised white lower middle class of the USA had found its champion, Donald  J.Trump.

The media may have been dumbfounded, and I admit it, I was too.

Because, the last time I saw it happens, when my fellow Italian countrymen chose Silvio Berlusconi as their rescuing hero, that man virtually complete control of media was an essential part of his ascension.

(Berlusconi has always denied having such control... but, how many time the owner of an American private  broadcasting corporation has ever called the chief of  PBS to get a job to a starlette, that was in turn shagging a supporter of the then-current government, so that said supporter withdraw and let said government topple? S.B. was accidentally taped doing such a call, some years ago...) 


Donald Trump is not Silvio Berlusconi. By his own preferred metrics for success in life, he is just a bit more than half a Berlusconi.

The Italian, son of a mid-level bank manager, went from playing pianos on cruising ships to 6.9 billion $ of personal wealth.

The Donald went from being the son of Trump senior to... 3.7 billion $.

It's a lot... still, merely a 1/7th of what Bill Gates donated ever since he was fed of being singled out as the incarnation of new tech corporations greed. 

So, if someone voted for the guy because they bought in Trump's mythology as a successful entrepreneur... I can concede that he does not suck, but some players in his league could argue differently.

As for, fixing things in the economy so that his voters may have it better?

They may as well forget it.

These Americans are in for a discovery... they just elected as their President a member of that very same 1/1000th that, in the last 30 years, has scooped up that 8% of the national income that went out of the pockets of the lower half of the middle class.

He is also someone that whole-heartedly believes that giving his fellow 1/1000thers more opportunities to do business on their own terms - community needs be damned - will result in improvements.

Is it going to work, this time? 

No - if it did, the Bush era would not have ended with the great recession.

In this four years, we will likely see to a lot of stuff that appeals to the guts of Trump voters - the disbandment of Planned Parenthood, more systematic obstacles on the access to abortion, the repeal of affirmative action initiatives, maybe a push to renew a ban on gay marriage (I don't think it will pass... after all, LGBT are born with the same incidence everywhere and from everybody and, to be honest, given that they seem not better not worse than anybody else at the parenting game, society has little real reasons to renege that right... if the economical purpose of families is to create the next generation of citizens, gay couples function just about the same).

Mind you, it is all stuff that does not cost a dime.

Probably, we'll see Obamacare dismantled, so that insurance companies will be allowed top ditch someone's ass again, whence (s)he became too costly a client to maintain (it was among the reasons why cancer statistics in US were so appalling) and the cost/benefits ratio of the U.S. health system will keep being abysmal.

We'll see it, because many people who contributed to his campaign will gain from it.

It would give healthy dividends to some of the worse rent-seekers on the planet.

We'll see maybe more spending on weapons - which is, really, more a way to subsidize uncompetitive local industries, for the sake of political gains, than an actual improvement of national security - and less on anything that DJT does not care about.

Maybe it will finally be the end for NEA - mixed feeling on that, on my part. I was never going to get a grant from that anyway.   

But, serious policies to try to improve the lot of that white, low middle class America that voted for him?

That costs money and political capital that DJT does not really have.

I expect four years of complaining about the resistance put up by democrats on his proposals- truth is, many of the Republicans in both houses will have their reasons to stop the guy, on this or that issue - and not much more.

But by the end of the term,  nothing will have changed in his voters plights, which is understandable.


It is just about what a bunch of economical has-been should expect from the rule of a social Darwinist. 

Or, if you prefer, what the same kind of Italians got from 17 tears of Berlusconi.