Tag: dad

Dads and Dismay

Song of the Moment:

I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS SONG. I absolutely love it because it is the musical definition of my relationship with the men in my life my mother introduced to it. Fuck you Dads. This is how I feel about you two mother-effers….

Everytime I was right about you after all.

I used to say about my cousin Austin, “Oh, the poor boy. His mother used to promise him she’d come to see him, and never show. She’d lead him on and cancel at the last minute.” The more I thought about it though, at least she called to say she wasn’t coming.

My first Dad, Eddie, did not spare us that courtesy. He just never showed. I learned some of my flakeyness from my first dad. We cancelled and no-showed and didn’t call each other for months. Nothing was wrong, we just didn’t care. When we saw each other again, there were no hurt feelings. I didn’t expect him to be around. It barely occurred to me to miss him. My life was full enough without him.

I feel that way about my biological dad, too. I don’t have room for him. I keep him at arm’s length. Don’t call me, that’s what I wanted. Wasn’t it?

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Shadow Work

I read some advice recently online about eating disorders. I’ve been avoiding doing the task they set before me. You make a list of your roles, and what you are doing to further those roles right now. Then, you make a list of how you can improve those roles. It’s an exercise to see where your disappointments lay- you are supposed to recognize the areas of your life that need work and start focusing accordingly.

Daughter
Things I Do Now: Calling my mother everyday, skipping out of work early one day a week to spend time with mom, spending days off with her

What I envision: Call her every day, spend occasional off days with her, go over to her house more often i.e. visits after work, perform an intervention for her, help her to get a job

Family Member
Things I Do Now: Barely anything, only focus on my mother.

What I envision: Once a month meetings with Joe’s family, summer plans with extended family, getting to see Rob over the summer, call my aunt rob and Grandpa more often, call Joe and Austin more often, go over to Joe’s house with Jake for fight nights, float the river family trip, go on summer trip with Jake’s family, spend more time with Jake’s cousin Korey and his wife, visit my Grandpa at work randomly and take him snacks

Individual
Things I Do Now: Masturbating, writing, working on art project, browsing social media websites, overeating, binging and purging

What I envision: Go outside more often, go to parks more often, visit the Memorial more often, go places on my days off, work out, lose weight, control eating habits, go to therapy, get myriad of medical issues checked out

Spiritual/Cultural
Things I Do Now: Carry a medicine bag, listen to A Tribe Called Red, listen to Native American drums and flutes, smudging the house, praying outside under the sky

What I envision: Going to powwow every year, listening to Medicine Men chanting/DELTA wave music to relax recreationally around the house, praying and smudging more often, learn Spanish

Business
Things I Do Now: Non confrontational, lazy, unfocused, half assed

What I envision: Well organized, smaller department, becoming Front Office Manager of a Residence Inn, Springhill Suites, other limited service Marriott hotel, ultimately ending up a writer (short novel or magazine editor), become the next JK Rowling, have to spend a lot more time invested in my writing

Wife
Things I Do Now: Withhold sex, always admit I am wrong and he is right, let him have his way even when he’s being a brat, let him treat me like shit, not close intimately, doesn’t want to hear my inner most thoughts, uncaring of my feelings, controlling, posessive

What I envision: Him settling with a lesser sex life than he wants, him treating me with respect and love, him being emotionally present in the relationship, eating meals at a kitchen table without TV or computer, just talking. More adventurous sex. More willingness to take me on dates and say nice things to me. Touches me involuntarily. More opportunities to dress up, double dates, making friends. More open minded, less neurosis.

Potential Parent
Things I Do Now: Nothing

What I envision: Save money for a house, quit drugs to pass inspections to get foster kids, lose weight to have a biological kid, convince husband to get his vasectomy reversed, get a better job to afford kids, work a 9-5 job for kids

Friend
Things I Do Now: Call Katie every time I have a freak out

What I envision: Monthly meetings with Christina and Katie, more whenever meetings with Katie, call Katie just to check up on HER, call Elizabeth and Veronica more often, get back in touch with Melanie, wine and paint parties, exercise budy with Sara, become friends with Whitney and Leslie

Recovering Addict
Things I Do Now: 12 Step Al-Anon work

What I envision: Going to al-anon meetings, finding a sponsor, completing the steps, feeling better about myself, cope with my emotions better


Image result for earl's list

I mention this because I have been contemplating My List Inspired by My Name is Earl. I have a whole subsection of my list that deals with cheating on various individuals. Plus, cheating is an interesting topic in my family.

My Grandpa is a chronic philanderer. My aunt was a serial cheater. My uncle cheated, also. My other uncle slept with married women. My mother sleeps with a married man. My mother cheated on my dad. My dad cheated on my mother. It’s a morally gray area in our family. My Granny was the best person who ever lived, but miraculously enough the person I love most next is the person who hurt her the most. What a bizarre turn of events for our family. My friends have often said that my life could be a soap opera.

I don’t think cheating is okay. I did it, though. The first time I cheated, I cheated on a crush with my ex. We were dating verging on girlfriend-boyfriend material when I signed that relationship’s death warrant by sleeping with my ex whom I was still radically in love with at the time.

The person I feel the worst about cheating on though is not him. It’s Hakim. He was the most stable relationship I ever had in my life. We didn’t have to see each other or talk everyday. I wasn’t addicted to weed back then. Things were just starting to get bad with my mom back then.

I cheated on Hakim because he had a spectacular cock he would not share with me. At the time I didn’t understand, but now I do- he was depressed. His libido was in the dumps. He often had existential crises. I feel so stupid that I didn’t see it, then. I didn’t appreciate him for the gentle soul he was. We were kindred spirits but I could only think with my clit. I wasn’t getting the attention I wanted- so I went out and found it elsewhere.

The first person I cheated on him with was my ex. I knew my ex had smoke and knew how to touch me like I craved. So I went to him again, a couple of different times. I wasn’t in love with my ex anymore by this point- we had become the best of friends with benefits. We fucked but we never kissed anymore.

The next time was a random stranger. We saw each other regularly since he worked at the store around the corner from my mother’s house. He liked me, I liked him. He had a girlfriend and a baby, and I didn’t care to learn their names. He likewise wasn’t interested in knowing me. We just groped in the car and store sometimes until it all culminated one night.

We had a quickie behind my mother’s house in her apartment. We fumbled around in the dark until he came and left me feeling unsatisfied. He suddenly remembered he had someplace to be and what’s worse was I was his ride. I never saw him again after that.

But I did see the neighbor boy Daniel, back from over seas. He drunkenly invited me over to his house in the middle of the night later that night. He never knew that I had been with someone that same night- we did it in his den, the room we grew up playing together in as kids at his house. He struggled to keep his tiny dick up and ended up fingering me to completion. It was our second and last time together, first time sober.

The fourth person was my best friend. Our relationship heated up and it was impossible to deny the mutual attraction any longer. It didn’t feel wrong because I loved her so much. He liked her, too. Never suspected a thing, and didn’t hold it against me when I admitted I had feelings for her. He still sought me out later on down the line despite knowing I had emotionally cheated on him. I did not outright admit that I cheated physically.

After An Affair: Are You Wracked With Guilt After Cheating?

I read this article about cheating. It’s hard to find articles from the other side- the person who cheated and feels guilty. It made a lot of stupid points in my opinion. “Recognize that the bad person who did this deed, also does good things for you. Recognize that while you did wrong the person you cheated on, they got something out of you cheating on them.”

For example, I cheated on Hakim and broke up with him. He had other opportunities to find a girl who wouldn’t cheat on him and who would understand him better by not being with me. He’s a fool for never knowing how bad I was- Am I bad a person for never admitting the truth?

Image result for one day at a time words

In Al-Anon, the steps say:

Made direct amends to [people we have harmed] wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

To even dream of coming clean to Hakim is impossible to think. This is surely what cases like this were made for- revealing that you cheated is selfish! haha~!

Is it, though? Am I as bad as the rest of my family?

Are things better when people don’t know? If a tree falls with no around to hear, does it make a sound? If you got away with it, and they were none the wiser, how is revealing your short comings supposed to make them feel better? Or me?

I guess some people think, “They deserve to know.” But knowing sure is ugly. It ripped my Grandma apart. I will never forget the time she informed me she tried to get medical benefits through her husband’s job, and he had listed himself as a single man. I can still remember the hurt look on her face.

My Aunt has done a fine good job of telling people her misdeeds. It is no wonder her husband finally went cuckoo. As I said, she is a serial cheater and has had many relationships outside her marriage in the past years. She is quite frankly a sensual and down to earth woman. Most people would call her a whore but I was settle for promiscuous. I admired her sometimes, she talked to me like a friend. She liked trading bawdy stories back and forth about our conquests. Her children knew all about her relationships and called them Uncle. Her boyfriends dined at their dinner table with the whole family, under the guise of a family friend. One time Rob told me about a time her husband asked her, “But won’t they all know?

You mean how we HAVE KNOWN FOR YEARS?

The humiliation, I cannot imagine. I find it difficult to imagine a scenario in which I could be like Hillary and accept Bill Clinton’s actions. I know it was a terrible thing for me to do, but I was being young and free. I wasn’t the one who was married. Cheating before marriage is somehow less worse. I was having fun, being young, wild, and free.

Short term lesson: Short flings are more acceptable form of cheating, whereas drawn out emotional relationships with another person are particularly damaging. I saw an article recently on the web that talked about that- how women are in fact less angry about cheating that is just about sex than about EMOTIONAL cheating with another woman.

I have to think about these things because my life is weird. I chose an unusual member of society to marry. I have dated more than just one man that has had threesomes before. My husband happens to be one of them. He was in a poly-amorous relationship in his twenties for a while. He dated and lived with two women simultaneously. They were a thrupple.

Image result for shameless thrupple

thrupple
noun. a three-way sexual relationship with three partners.

-“When two just isn’t enough!”

My husband has expressed a desire to follow this life style again. He feels dissatisfied with our sex life for a couple of different reasons. Some of his reasons aren’t so stupid, though. He insists that he knows I want to be with a woman. I can’t lie and say that’s not true.

He has found someone that he desires, and he’s asked if I want to meet her. But this is ALL WRONG for me. Not the thrupple- I am actually not too horribly against the idea of adding a third person to the relationship. It’s just that Jacob and I have different visions.

First of all, I would rather be the one to pick the person. I want someone who is ideally more interested in me than my husband. I’d rather him be an accessory piece to any lesbian action. I’d prefer him not to fuck or kiss her. He can do things with me- which makes me suspect that I am truly too jealous in nature to allow a sister wife.

I will be the first to admit I am insecure.

“All I told them is everything they wanted to know!”
-Deadpool 2

I don’t want anyone to take my husband from me. I don’t want him to be interested in anyone else just yet. I thought we could go years before we would have to add a third person.

I want us to have a solid foundation. And at this time, we just don’t. I don’t have the confidence in our relationship and his treatment of me to allow him a sister wife. If he treated me more respectfully, perhaps we could bargain in some way, but he hasn’t shown that side of himself in quite some time.

Image result for prude pink

I’m not a PRUDE! I wanted to live polyamorously with my bff. I loved her and my first boyfriend equally, but she wasn’t down for him in any way. She was all about me. The thrupple that I am seeking is different than this domestic vibe my husband is trying to coin.

I want a third person to make our lives more exciting! I expect with two of us, I could force Jake to do much more fun and adventurous things. We would go on dates together. But I don’t want her to live with us- I imagine this radically ideal free-loving spirit kind of woman. I’m not saying she’s a slut, just that she loves who feels right. My husband does not like the idea of her not being beholden to us, though. I want something more casual to start out and he wants like this big commitment right away. We’re not seeing eye to eye. Well, in most ways. We both want me to have a girlfriend, lol.

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Some Dads Don’t Come Home

After all the worrying I have done – after all the dread I felt knowing this day would come….. Fate still has a way of throwing me for a loop. My dad has been in jail, and I have purposefully alienated myself from him. I haven’t been interested to know him, or believe any word he’s said. He would say he’s going to be different, full of the Lord, that he doesn’t want to go back to jail. It’s hard to believe him, maybe he doesn’t right now, but they always forget. Someone who’s a repeat offender like himself.

I lived in dread knowing the day was coming, he would be out and I would have to face him. After months of silence and dejection- see his face, tell him, “I had nothing nice to say to you, so I just didn’t say anything.”

Now I have learned from my mother that he is out- and he is not coming back. I expected my mother would be there for him, and she would bring him home. He would move back in and they would go back to their topsy-turvy stupid relationship. First, they love each other one moment and hate each other the next. Not to mention all the drug use. I was scared of him sucking her back in, or vice versa, him trying to do good and her refusing to follow along, dragging him back down.

Instead, he has bounced from prison to a half way house somewhere in our city and he has not sent word to my mother or myself. He has disappeared without a trace. My mother inquired at the prison one day and found out that he had been released from there, and I cannot imagine her heart break. I worry about the woman all the time, and him not coming back to her has her on my mind more often. I worry about her. I hope she’ll be okay, I feel bad for her that her lover has….. disappeared like this.

I feel guilty. I feel bad. He got the message. I don’t want you. I didn’t, but do I still not? I feel some kind of void in my chest wondering how I have let him go. Have I done the right thing, was I a royal bitch? The man bears my name on his knuckles as a sign of his love, and this woman snubs him, a woman he wants to love. She won’t let him love her because his destructive life hurts too much. It hurts to be near, the love isn’t enough.

Did I miss out on something though? It is always nice to be loved, adored. I was a golden light in his eyes, and it’s hard not to be swayed by such a thing. No one has loved me like that since my Grandma and Elizabeth. Someone who thinks you can do no wrong, turns a blind eye to all your faults. I feel remorseful missing out on that. He just wanted to love me, and I wouldn’t let him. Couldn’t let him. Pushed him away.

Did I mean to push him so far?

Oblivious by Miniature Tigers

Lately I feel like a blown out birthday candle
One look in the mirror and I know the party’s over
And yeah, I want a big house
With a swimming pool
Fuck it, baby, I got you
(Fuck it, baby I got you)

I’m so lost in my head
It’s way too real out there
I’m lost in a day dream
Oh yeah, I don’t care

I’m oblivious, yeah

Spaced out in a daze I couldn’t hear you
The music drowns you out I didn’t care
Oh yeah, I didn’t care
I know you want a quiet house
With a lemon tree
I’m sorry baby, you’re stuck with me
(Sorry baby, you’re stuck with me)

I’m so lost in my head
It’s way too real out there
I’m lost in a day dream
I don’t care

I’m oblivious, yeah
I’m oblivious, oh
I’m oblivious, yeah
I’m oblivious, oh whoa

Your love girl, ain’t no dungeon
So tell me why do I run then?
Tomorrow you can scold me
Tonight, can you just hold me

Read more: Miniature Tigers – Oblivious Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Dads & Drugs

Today, I was vexed when I looked down at my cellphone and saw it was my dad calling. My biological dad, not my first dad. It is tiresome how I always have to clarify whom I’m talking about when I say “my dad.” Who, Eddie, the man who believed was my father for over 20 years? Or my second dad, my real dad, whom I’ve only known for less than 3 years? And he has literally spent half of that time incarcerated.

I am really resentful that he landed himself in jail again. Both he and my mom were addicted and also running their own game. It was simple, Johnny got caught and got thrown in jail. That was over a year ago. He told me today that at the beginning of 2017, he should be moving to a half way house in Oklahoma City. I thought it was incredibly tactful of my dad not to bring up the fact that I haven’t written him. I don’t normally take his calls, or return his texts with any frequency. I have chosen to freeze him out, make him feel my absence while he is gone so he won’t take advantage of our time together. He treats my mother poorly even though he’s inside and she’s outside and still heartily dedicated to him.

I don’t actually like my biological dad. He has been a harbinger of chaos in my mother’s life. We have a complicated relationship. He thinks the world of me and speaks very highly of me, so it’s hard to have hard feelings towards him when he’s so nice to me. But at the same time, everything he says to me is a lie and I expect him to fall right back into his old ways again when he gets out. I don’t trust him or my mother to do the right thing. I desperately want them to live a drug free life and stay out of trouble, but one must wonder if that’s like asking a cheetah to change it’s spots……

I want to have faith, I just feel so drained.

Don’t disappoint me anymore. I hate hearing from my biological dad. When he texts me or calls me, it upsets me because he’s trying to get in when I’m trying to build a stone wall to keep him out. Leave me alone. Learn your lesson. I don’t have any use for either of my parents if they are on drugs and in danger of getting thrown back into jail.

I’ve always lived by the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That explains my silence towards Johnny. I want him to feel my condemnation, but I fear I can’t tell him anything about how I feel. It’s unkind to send a fellow in prison mean letters, so I just don’t say anything. He wants to hear from me, and I get agitated when I think about forging a connection with him. Stay away from me until you’re ready to do better. It’s so hard to set boundaries with people. I agonize frequently over whether or not to send him a letter with my clear expectations, No. 1 on the list:

Get & maintain a legitimate job
Pay Your Bills
Stay Off Drugs
Remain loyal to each other

Can that really be too much to ask? My mother and father’s relationship can be explosive like dynamite. One week they’re besotted with each other and talking everyday and other weeks, she asks me if I have heard from him at all. They fight, and they bounce back together. He gives her a lot of shit that in my mother’s past life, she would never ever have taken from a man. I don’t think he deserves her sometimes, and most of the time I think he’s a loser and I’m upset with her for wanting him so much, so they can do bad together.

But at least they’re together that way.

Lacy, the Lady in Charge (Behind the Scenes)

Image result for lady bossThings have been hectic for me lately. I’ve been suffering from a pretty strong bout of brain fog. (Read more) Sounds like a funky excuse, but it’s more common than you think!

I’ve been experiencing some uncomfortable health issues and depression has been a side effect. The other day at work, my co-worker Dottie observed that I’ve been off the last couple of days, and I found myself admitting to her how I find it really difficult to get out of bed. Or at least, that was the case last week. I could barely peel myself out in time to get to work and showed up sloppy, hair not combed or simple things like forgetting my makeup.

I’ve been trying to do better and Jake has had a schedule change recently which has changed my sleeping patterns. He’s getting a new job soon! He starts next week as a pharmacy technician at Mercy hospital. I couldn’t be more proud. This is what we have been striving for, and the money is surely appreciated.

While I have been experiencing strong depression, don’t be mistaken about my married life. I am actually still ecstatic regarding my feelings and our marriage. We’ve been tested early on but I feel we met many compromises to see ourselves through our hardships. Being married is like finding a blessed island in the middle of a turbulent ocean, a sanctuary in the middle of a thrashing sea. I feel utterly safe and comforted, completely accepted and loved. We have been joined now and I always feels this connection between us, even when things are hard.

I’ve been wanting to seek counseling for some time now. I’ve failed to actually seek it out because I’m looking for a specific kind of therapist. I went to a younger therapist once and didn’t enjoy the experience. When I was a young kid, I was the teacher’s pet and would stay after school to chat with the older ladies. They were funny and wise, and with my Grandma missing in my life, I find myself seeking the attention of an older woman rather than a younger one.

I know it would help me a lot to seek counseling again. I have a lot of vices I’d like to discuss with someone objective. I find myself wanting to talk about my family affairs because they’re so stupid and complicated. My relationships with my mother and father are agonizing to me most of the time, and I think of them frequently though I don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing that. I’m punishing them by not talking to them. It backfires on me every time because I miss talking to them, but they friggin’ kill me so I seem to always repeat the process once I break the silence to assure myself they’re still alive and kicking. Resume resentment and sour feelings of emotional abandonment.

So as you might think, I don’t always have my shit together. Particularly, at work!! 😦 I have been stressed beyond a breaking point lately and just let a whole lot of shit slide. That’s why I’m not particularly proud to be running things. I can’t even run things in my own life. I am always forgetting to do important things for myself. I have trouble taking care of myself. I therefore have trouble managing a team of girls. I like to take a step back and just let things run on auto pilot.

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I’ve become very disappointed in my work ethic. I just don’t have the energy or will power to as well as I would like to up at my job. I want to think of the guests as nice people who help keep me in a job but mostly I feel like they’re nuisances. I’ve been stretched emotionally lately and just talking to people stresses me out. Of course, that makes doing my job well impossible. My anxiety has just been going haywire lately. Social anxiety has me dipping out of work early some nights, or otherwise praying and hoping my associates will want to go home early so I can get some solitude. I just find people talking to me very distracting and agitating. So often I just wish people, the guests and my co-workers alike, would just LEAVE. ME. ALONE.

I’m trying to work past these feelings. I try to curtail my anxiety by sitting down to work on projects in the back and let them do the check in work for the most part. I get anxiety when Chelsea sits down in the back and I am in the front. I resent doing more of the work, when I have more important things to do. I am trying to do better though, to smile and to have them be genuine rather than forced.

At work, my boss is still absent. She has been out sick since before my wedding. Since she was hired in July, she has probably worked a total of one month- and that is being generous. No one knows what ails her. She has a serious illness maybe cancer and is no longer ambulatory. She has to get around in a wheelchair when she is not in the hospital. We are in some limbo no-man’s land just waiting for the legal period to pass in which we can replace her. I have to last at least another month, mid way through November it sounded like to me. *HUFF*

I keep asking myself if I can hack this. I get so stressed out. When I think about what would make me happy and soothe my anxiety, it makes me sound so unambitious. Honestly, I would love to get hired on as a night audit manager overnight somewhere. I find the night time shift less stressful because you do not encounter as many people. But to take less money just to have less stress is going the wrong way in my career.

Speaking of my career, this experience has left me questioning my abilities. It is very nerve racking to have the job I always wanted (front office manager) and to absolutely fucking hate it. I feel overwhelmed constantly and a pressure to make everything run as smoothly as possible. I run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off instead, and feel like I’m doing a terrible job at everything I try to do.

I think it’s possible just because of my personal issues to be having troubles. I might not hate this job as much when I am mentally doing well and prepared for it. They say I should cut myself some slack more often, so here are some contributing factors to why I hate things so much right now:

A) I do not have an assistant to share the load
B) Expectations have not been clear on my manager’s part

CAN I MAKE IT?

You can call, but I might not answer.

My dad tried to call me, and I had conflicted feelings about it. I’ve been mad about him lately, my attitude has shifted. I told my friend and boss Latta, “I didn’t answer because I didn’t feel like being upset.” And he said that was a valid point, no blame there.

He’s still in prison. My mother is still hanging on his every word. She loves him and still wants to be with him even though he’s a loser. I know he loves me, but I feel bitter, being abandoned in this way. Mom stands by him, and meanwhile I try to forget him. Calling me wrecks that, please don’t call me. I don’t know what to say: “I’m angry, I wish you were here. Thanks for fucking that up.”

Feeling dark??? I found a delightful depiction if Edgar Allen Poe works put to animation on netflix and it got me started on a kick. I went and read The Black Cat and so I’ll post it here for you [original link]

The Black Cat

 

by Edgar Allan Poe
(published 1845)

  

    FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not — and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified — have tortured — have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror — to many they will seem less terrible than barroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the common-place — some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.

From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them. This peculiarity of character grew with my growth, and, in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure. To those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable. There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.

I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold-fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat.

This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black, and sagaciousto an astonishing degree. In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she was ever serious upon this point — and I mention the matter at all for no better reason than that it happens, just now, to be remembered.

Pluto — this was the cat’s name — was my favorite pet and playmate. I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets.

Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which my general temperament and character — through the instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance — had (I blush to confess it) experienced a radical alteration for the worse. I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected, but ill-used them. For Pluto, however, I still retained sufficient regard to restrain me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple of maltreating the rabbits, the monkey, or even the dog, when by accident, or through affection, they came in my way. But my disease grew upon me — for what disease is like Alcohol ! — and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish — even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper.

One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame. I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen-knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket ! I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity.

When reason returned with the morning — when I had slept off the fumes of the night’s debauch — I experienced a sentiment half of horror, half of remorse, for the crime of which I had been guilty; but it was, at best, a feeble and equivocal feeling, and the soul remained untouched. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed.

In the meantime the cat slowly recovered. The socket of the lost eye presented, it is true, a frightful appearance, but he no longer appeared to suffer any pain. He went about the house as usual, but, as might be expected, fled in extreme terror at my approach. I had so much of my old heart left, as to be at first grieved by this evident dislike on the part of a creature which had once so loved me. But this feeling soon gave place to irritation. And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of PERVERSENESS. Of this spirit philosophy takes no account. Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart — one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such? This spirit of perverseness, I say, came to my final overthrow. It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself — to offer violence to its own nature — to do wrong for the wrong’s sake only — that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute. One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree; — hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart; — hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offence; — hung itbecause I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin — a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it — if such a thing were possible — even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God.

On the night of the day on which this cruel deed was done, I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire. The curtains of my bed were in flames. The whole house was blazing. It was with great difficulty that my wife, a servant, and myself, made our escape from theconflagration. The destruction was complete. My entire worldly wealth was swallowed up, and I resigned myself thenceforward to despair.

I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity. But I am detailing a chain of facts — and wish not to leave even a possible link imperfect. On the day succeeding the fire, I visited the ruins. The walls, with one exception, had fallen in. This exception was found in a compartment wall, not very thick, which stood about the middle of the house, and against which had rested the head of my bed. The plastering had here, in great measure, resisted the action of the fire — a fact which I attributed to its having been recently spread. About this wall a dense crowd were collected, and many persons seemed to be examining a particular portion of it with very minute and eager attention. The words “strange!” “singular!” and other similar expressions, excited my curiosity. I approached and saw, as if graven in bas relief upon the white surface, the figure of a gigantic cat. The impression was given with an accuracy truly marvellous. There was a rope about the animal’s neck.

When I first beheld this apparition — for I could scarcely regard it as less — my wonder and my terror were extreme. But at length reflection came to my aid. The cat, I remembered, had been hung in a garden adjacent to the house. Upon the alarm of fire, this garden had been immediately filled by the crowd — by some one of whom the animal must have been cut from the tree and thrown, through an open window, into my chamber. This had probably been done with the view of arousing me from sleep. The falling of other walls had compressed the victim of my cruelty into the substance of the freshly-spread plaster; the lime of which, with the flames, and the ammonia from the carcass, had then accomplished the portraiture as I saw it.

Although I thus readily accounted to my reason, if not altogether to my conscience, for the startling fact just detailed, it did not the less fail to make a deep impression upon my fancy. For months I could not rid myself of the phantasm of the cat; and, during this period, there came back into my spirit a half-sentiment that seemed, but was not, remorse. I went so far as to regret the loss of the animal, and to look about me, among the vile haunts which I now habitually frequented, for another pet of the same species, and of somewhat similar appearance, with which to supply its place.

One night as I sat, half stupified, in a den of more than infamy, my attention was suddenly drawn to some black object, reposing upon the head of one of the immense hogsheads of Gin, or of Rum, which constituted the chief furniture of the apartment. I had been looking steadily at the top of this hogshead for some minutes, and what now caused me surprise was the fact that I had not sooner perceived the object thereupon. I approached it, and touched it with my hand. It was a black cat — a very large one — fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every respect but one. Pluto had not a white hair upon any portion of his body; but this cat had a large, although indefinite splotch of white, covering nearly the whole region of the breast.

Upon my touching him, he immediately arose, purred loudly, rubbed against my hand, and appeared delighted with my notice. This, then, was the very creature of which I was in search. I at once offered to purchase it of the landlord; but this person made no claim to it — knew nothing of it — had never seen it before.

I continued my caresses, and, when I prepared to go home, the animal evinced a disposition to accompany me. I permitted it to do so; occasionally stooping and patting it as I proceeded. When it reached the house it domesticated itself at once, and became immediately a great favorite with my wife.

For my own part, I soon found a dislike to it arising within me. This was just the reverse of what I had anticipated; but — I know not how or why it was — its evident fondness for myself rather disgusted and annoyed. By slow degrees, these feelings of disgust and annoyance rose into the bitterness of hatred. I avoided the creature; a certain sense of shame, and the remembrance of my former deed of cruelty, preventing me from physically abusing it. I did not, for some weeks, strike, or otherwise violently ill use it; but gradually — very gradually — I came to look upon it with unutterable loathing, and to flee silently from its odious presence, as from the breath of a pestilence.

What added, no doubt, to my hatred of the beast, was the discovery, on the morning after I brought it home, that, like Pluto, it also had been deprived of one of its eyes. This circumstance, however, only endeared it to my wife, who, as I have already said, possessed, in a high degree, that humanity of feeling which had once been my distinguishing trait, and the source of many of my simplest and purest pleasures.

With my aversion to this cat, however, its partiality for myself seemed to increase. It followed my footsteps with a pertinacity which it would be difficult to make the reader comprehend. Whenever I sat, it would crouch beneath my chair, or spring upon my knees, covering me with its loathsome caresses. If I arose to walk it would get between my feet and thus nearly throw me down, or, fastening its long and sharp claws in my dress, clamber, in this manner, to my breast. At such times, although I longed to destroy it with a blow, I was yet withheld from so doing, partly by a memory of my former crime, but chiefly — let me confess it at once — by absolute dread of the beast.

This dread was not exactly a dread of physical evil — and yet I should be at a loss how otherwise to define it. I am almost ashamed to own — yes, even in this felon’s cell, I am almost ashamed to own — that the terror and horror with which the animal inspired me, had been heightened by one of the merest chimæras it would be possible to conceive. My wife had called my attention, more than once, to the character of the mark of white hair, of which I have spoken, and which constituted the sole visible difference between the strange beast and the one I had destroyed. The reader will remember that this mark, although large, had been originally very indefinite; but, by slow degrees — degrees nearly imperceptible, and which for a long time my Reason struggled to reject as fanciful — it had, at length, assumed a rigorous distinctness of outline. It was now the representation of an object that I shudder to name — and for this, above all, I loathed, and dreaded, and would have rid myself of the monster had I dared — it was now, I say, the image of a hideous — of a ghastly thing — of the GALLOWS ! — oh, mournful and terrible engine of Horror and of Crime — of Agony and of Death !

And now was I indeed wretched beyond the wretchedness of mere Humanity. And a brute beast — whose fellow I had contemptuously destroyed — a brute beast to work out for me — for me a man, fashioned in the image of the High God — so much of insufferable wo! Alas! neither by day nor by night knew I the blessing of Rest any more! During the former the creature left me no moment alone; and, in the latter, I started, hourly, from dreams of unutterable fear, to find the hot breath of the thing upon my face, and its vast weight — an incarnate Night-Mare that I had no power to shake off — incumbent eternally upon my heart !

Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates — the darkest and most evil of thoughts. The moodiness of my usual temper increased to hatred of all things and of all mankind; while, from the sudden, frequent, and ungovernable outbursts of a fury to which I now blindly abandoned myself, my uncomplaining wife, alas! was the most usual and the most patient of sufferers.

One day she accompanied me, upon some household errand, into the cellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit. The cat followed me down the steep stairs, and, nearly throwing me headlong, exasperated me to madness. Uplifting an axe, and forgetting, in my wrath, the childish dread which had hitherto stayed my hand, I aimed a blow at the animal which, of course, would have proved instantly fatal had it descended as I wished. But this blow was arrested by the hand of my wife. Goaded, by the interference, into a rage more than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan.

This hideous murder accomplished, I set myself forthwith, and with entire deliberation, to the task of concealing the body. I knew that I could not remove it from the house, either by day or by night, without the risk of being observed by the neighbors. Many projects entered my mind. At one period I thought of cutting the corpse into minute fragments, and destroying them by fire. At another, I resolved to dig a grave for it in the floor of the cellar. Again, I deliberated about casting it in the well in the yard — about packing it in a box, as if merchandize, with the usual arrangements, and so getting a porter to take it from the house. Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better expedient than either of these. I determined to wall it up in the cellar — as the monks of the middle ages are recorded to have walled up their victims.

For a purpose such as this the cellar was well adapted. Its walls were loosely constructed, and had lately been plastered throughout with a rough plaster, which the dampness of the atmosphere had prevented from hardening. Moreover, in one of the walls was a projection, caused by a false chimney, or fireplace, that had been filled up, and made to resemble the rest of the cellar. I made no doubt that I could readily displace the bricks at this point, insert the corpse, and wall the whole up as before, so that no eye could detect any thing suspicious.

And in this calculation I was not deceived. By means of a crow-bar I easily dislodged the bricks, and, having carefully deposited the body against the inner wall, I propped it in that position, while, with little trouble, I re-laid the whole structure as it originally stood. Having procured mortar, sand, and hair, with every possible precaution, I prepared a plaster which could not be distinguished from the old, and with this I very carefully went over the new brick-work. When I had finished, I felt satisfied that all was right. The wall did not present the slightest appearance of having been disturbed. The rubbish on the floor was picked up with the minutest care. I looked around triumphantly, and said to myself — “Here at least, then, my labor has not been in vain.”

My next step was to look for the beast which had been the cause of so much wretchedness; for I had, at length, firmly resolved to put it to death. Had I been able to meet with it, at the moment, there could have been no doubt of its fate; but it appeared that the crafty animal had been alarmed at the violence of my previous anger, and forebore to present itself in my present mood. It is impossible to describe, or to imagine, the deep, the blissful sense of relief which the absence of the detested creature occasioned in my bosom. It did not make its appearance during the night — and thus for one night at least, since its introduction into the house, I soundly and tranquilly slept; aye, slept even with the burden of murder upon my soul!

The second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor came not. Once again I breathed as a freeman. The monster, in terror, had fled the premises forever! I should behold it no more! My happiness was supreme! The guilt of my dark deed disturbed me but little. Some few inquiries had been made, but these had been readily answered. Even a search had been instituted — but of course nothing was to be discovered. I looked upon my future felicity as secured.

Upon the fourth day of the assassination, a party of the police came, very unexpectedly, into the house, and proceeded again to make rigorous investigation of the premises. Secure, however, in the inscrutability of my place of concealment, I felt no embarrassment whatever. The officers bade me accompany them in their search. They left no nook or corner unexplored. At length, for the third or fourth time, they descended into the cellar. I quivered not in a muscle. My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence. I walked the cellar from end to end. I folded my arms upon my bosom, and roamed easily to and fro. The police were thoroughly satisfied and prepared to depart. The glee at my heart was too strong to be restrained. I burned to say if but one word, by way of triumph, and to render doubly sure their assurance of my guiltlessness.

“Gentlemen,” I said at last, as the party ascended the steps, “I delight to have allayed your suspicions. I wish you all health, and a little more courtesy. By the bye, gentlemen, this — this is a very well constructed house.” (In the rabid desire to say something easily, I scarcely knew what I uttered at all.) — “I may say an excellently well constructed house. These walls — are you going, gentlemen? — these walls are solidly put together;” and here, through the mere phrenzy of bravado, I rapped heavily, with a cane which I held in my hand, upon that very portion of the brick-work behind which stood the corpse of the wife of my bosom.

But may God shield and deliver me from the fangs of the Arch-Fiend ! No sooner had the reverberation of my blows sunk into silence, than I was answered by a voice from within the tomb! — by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child, and then quickly swelling into one long, loud, and continuous scream, utterly anomalous and inhuman — a howl — a wailing shriek, half of horror and half of triumph, such as might have arisen only out of hell, conjointly from the throats of the dammed in their agony and of the demons that exult in the damnation.

Of my own thoughts it is folly to speak. Swooning, I staggered to the opposite wall. For one instant the party upon the stairs remained motionless, through extremity of terror and of awe. In the next, a dozen stout arms were toiling at the wall. It fell bodily. The corpse, already greatly decayed and clotted with gore, stood erect before the eyes of the spectators. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder, and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman. I had walled the monster up within the tomb!