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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Men are Pigs

Men are Pigs

Alejandra smiled at the fat politician as his body seemed to convulse to the beat of the song playing, ‘Put a Ring on it’ by Beyonce.  Reena and Erika danced around him, as well as their other captive, giggling.  “Ok, Madonnas,” declared Alejandra, merrily.  “It’s time for a waxing!”  Reena and Erika laughed out and stopped their joyous prance.  They were having fun and, oddly, it felt like a party.  

The fat man looked pathetic now, strapped to a chair, blindfolded and gagged. He’d done a complete one-eighty from the boisterous and powerful politician that had ordered his wife to carry his golf bag up the stairs just the week before. “Are you crying again, fat-body?” Alejandra chastised him, leaning in close enough to ensure that he could smell her sweet perfume.  He didn’t answer, but sobbed, instead.  The cold, wet basement looked like a dungeon, with only a single exposed light bulb offering dim lighting.

Erika applied hot hair-removal wax to the politician, and then to the Muslim-American man, who was also gagged, blindfolded, and strapped to a chair.  Reena applied the wax paper, and ripped off a chunk from the politician’s hairy back as he yelped. “Oh!” cried out Alejandra in sarcasm.  “That looked like it hurt really bad!”  The girls giggled.  “Now get the other one, Madonna.” Reena approached the Muslim man and pulled the wax paper off of his chest. He took the pain, managing only a slight grunt.

Alejandra whipped her belt against the basement floor, sending a loud cracking sound echoing throughout.  “Wow, tough guy!  It seems you are enjoying the waxing a bit too much, eh?  Well let’s see how you like a tattoo of my favorite Louboutin pump on your chest then, shall we?”  The Muslim squirmed at the idea and grunted more profusely.  “Get the artist, Madonna,” Alejandra ordered.  

“I think we should paint this piggy’s toe nails, Madonna,” said Erika.  Alejandra laughed at the thought.

“O-M-G.  I love that idea!  Do it!!” she replied with glee.  Alejandra danced to ‘If I Were a Boy’ by Beyonce, and started singing along.  Erika began painting the fat politician’s toe nails pink, as she joined in the singing.

“If I were a boy;
“I think I could understand;
“How it feels to love a girl;
“I swear I’d be a better man.”

Alejandra rained some glitter down on both of the men and danced some more, when Reena returned with a young man, shaved bald.  “Yeay!” Alejandra cried out, turning the music down slightly.  “So glad you could make it!  Madonna, this is Madonna, and you’ve already met the other Madonna, right?”  The cute young man, who could have been mixed with Latino and Asian, gave Alejandra a curious grin.

“Wait, I’m Madonna?  I suppose you’re Madonna too?” he asked, wise to the name game.  Alejandra smiled devilishly, answering his question with the look.  “Got it,” he said, shaking his head with a grin.  “Ok, so what do we got?” he asked.

“Well,” Alejandra answered.  “On this tough guy here, we want a Louboutin shoe on his arm.”  The tattoo artist laughed.

“Ok, just any shoe?”

“Of course not, silly.  I have a picture here,” she answered, holding up cutout from a magazine.  He studied it, and nodded his head.  “And on this little piggy, we want an ‘Oprah’ tattoo on his back.”  The artist laughed out loud.

“An Oprah tattoo?  You’ve got to be kidding?  Are we talking full portrait?  Are…”

“No!” she replied with a loud laugh.  “Just the word Oprah, in like big block letters or in Old English, like the cholos do it.”

“Oh, I see.  Ok, no problem.”  The girls giggled as the cute artist sat down, and got to work.  “Well, I must say that this is really against my, you know, morals and ethics, or whatever you call it.  But, um, Madonna has explained to me that you two are not very nice guys.  And, well, it has been explained to me how awful you all treat women.  So that’s that only reason I’ve agreed to do this.”  The Muslim man began to grunt and squirm profusely.

“Madonna, tie his ankles to the chair!” Alejandra ordered out.  The artist began working on the Muslim man.  As he worked, the music blared again, Lady Gaga this time.  Erika sang along as she teased the fat man, pulling on the pink feathered boa around his neck. She looked over, and Alejandra was trying to fit the Muslim man’s feet into some pink high heels.  Erika shook her head and giggled at the sight.  

Erika thought about her dear friend then, taking a picture of her in action, wondering how the fearless, beautiful, feminist fashionista came to be.  Alejandra had an athletic figure, and she was beautiful.  Erika wondered how well she really knew her friend.  All she knew now was that she worked for the government, was super smart, and for some reason, she could kick serious ass.  Now she’d hatched this plan, to save her friends, and teach a lesson.  They were breaking at least five serious laws, yet somehow they’d been talked into it, and worse, they’d been enjoying it.

“Mr. Muslim Man?” Alejandra sang out.  “Maybe you will think twice about beating your wife and making her walk behind you next time, won’t you?  Maybe when you meet your god, you will find out that you should have been respecting women, instead of beating them?”  The Muslim sat silently, tied to his chair with pink, fuzzy handcuffs, blindfolded with his own tie.

The artist continued working as the Lady Gaga album played on.  They poured themselves mimosas, careful not to give away their identities with their conversation.  The dumb saps could not even recognize the thinly disguised voices of their wives.  It was a perfect reflection of their relationships.  

Alejandra had felt bad for them both.  She had given up on men long ago.  Her father had cheated on her mother. Her uncles and brothers on their wives, and when she thought she had finally found love in college, he cheated too, and broke her heart in two.  It was then, that something deep inside of her was unleashed, and she had become the man-abusing heartbreaker that she was today.

Alejandra looked at Reena as she walked towards her dear, headstrong, husband.  His tattoo was nearly done.  Reena’s poor husband had never seen it coming.  Reena being in America and making friends with someone like Alejandra was simply a stroke of bad luck for him.  They had met in a Mexican cooking class at the community college three years before, and over that time, Alejandra had been putting ideas of the modern American feminist woman in her head.  In America, she’d tell Reena, women come first.  Women have more rights than men, because they give life through birth, which is the greatest responsibility of all.  Women should be respected, catered to, taken care of, and most of all, put first, before men.  Reena thought it utterly ridiculous at the time, but she began to notice things after that, and eventually came to loathe her medieval minded, religious husband.

The artist had completed his work on the Muslim, and the Madonnas looked over it with impressed looks.  “That looks great!” remarked Reena.  This was possibly the rudest, most hateful thing that could happen to him, and he deserved it, she thought.

Alejandra laughed.  “That looks great.  I hope you enjoy it for many years.  Now it’s your turn piggy.”  The artist moved his stuff, and looked over the fat politician, who was drenched in sweat.  “Wow, you are absolutely pathetic,” she said to a chorus of giggling Madonnas.  “I say we put a tampon up his ass, just to give him a taste of what we go through once a month!”

“No!” yelled out Erika, as they all gasped in horror.  Alejandra let out an evil chuckle.

“Ok, ok.  Fine,” she said, winking at the girls.  They drank their mimosas as the Madonna CD began to play.  They carried on for another hour, until the tattoo was finally finished. It came out so well, that Alejandra considered getting one for herself.  “Are you piggies ready to say sorry yet?  Are you piggies going to stop your filthy ways?”

The fat man nodded his head profusely, and Alejandra reached for the duct tape across his mouth.  The man’s body stiffened and he braced himself as she got a hold of the tape and ripped it off harshly.  “Speak piggy!  Speak!” she yelled out.

“I’m sorry!  I promise,” he sobbed out, crying again, uncontrollably.

“You promise what, dirt bag?” Alejandra yelled out, smiling at the pathetic mess of drool falling from his open mouth.

“I promise that I will treat Erika right.  I promise!”

“You promise not to treat her like your slave!” she barked out.  She had carved the words into his brain, after eight hours of repetition and verbal abuse.  She knew though, that after so much time of torture, the mind was slow to react, and even the simple and easy task of repetition, could prove tough.

“I promise not to treat her like my slave,” he repeated in a sob.


“And I promise to buy her things, treat her like a princess, and…”

“And what?”

“And cook for her.”

“And do you know how to cook piggy?  We can all see that you know how to eat!”  Reena and Erika giggled.

“I will learn how to cook, and I will cook for her!” he sobbed out.  “I’m sorry.  I love her.  Tell her, I love her.”

Alejandra chuckled, and looked at Erika.  Erika looked on with a sad face, and she gave Alejandra a nod.  “Ok, quit your pathetic crying.  You can tell her yourself, later.  You’d think a powerful congressman would have a bigger backbone that this.”  She winked at Erika, who seemed content that her husband had been taught a valuable, and much needed lesson.  His punishment would now be over.

Reena cut her eyes at her strapped in husband, and gave Alejandra the green light to proceed.  “Now it’s your turn tough guy.  Are you ready to admit that women should be respected with equal rights, if not, more rights than a man?”

He grunted in defiance, behind his taped mouth.  “Hit it Madonna,” she said, and Erika pressed play on the CD player.  Material Girl, by Madonna, began playing.  They sang along, as did Reena, who they’d just taught the lyrics to in the weeks leading up to this event.  Reena’s situation had not been easy, and the surveillance had driven Alejandra and Erika mad.  They had witnessed him yelling at her in public, throwing fruit on the floor in the grocery store only to make her pick it up.  He demanded that she push the grocery cart and walk behind him by exactly five paces.  The worse though, was the way he pointed at items on the shelf, expecting her to reach for them and put them in the cart, no matter how heavy or high up on the shelf they were.  He pointed to his belt more than once, as a threat of violence to her for disobedience.  Alejandra had wanted to run him over with the cart and smash a watermelon over his head.

“Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me;
“I think they’re ok;
“If they don’t give me proper credit;
“I just walk away.”

They sang out the first few verses, and he flinched uncomfortably.  Alejandra looked at his bare feet, smashed into the pink pumps, hiding his pink nails.  He’d suffered the most by far between the two men, and his relentless stubbornness would give him the ultimate victory.  He would retain his dignity, which was more than she could say for Erika’s husband, and they would have to concede that to him.  They had not let him off easily though, and wouldn’t.

“Ok, Madonnas, leave the CD on loopback.  Let’s leave these piggies to roast.  We hope you like listening to Madonna and Lady Gaga, because they are playing on loopback.”  The girls got up, as did the artist, ready to leave.  Alejandra tossed down a razor blade near Erika’s husband’s feet.  “Hey fat body!  There is a blade by your feet.  If you work hard, you can reach down, you can free yourself.  If however, you attempt in any way to free the other piggy, we will come after you again, got it?”  The girls giggled, and they walked up the stairs, and out.  They had taken their revenge.

Laurel's Homecoming

The next day, the skies cleared and it was sunny. This had to be rock bottom. She was starting to feel slight cabin fever after being cooped up for so many days in the house. Being in familiar old surroundings was making her feel a little better, and she had learned that her cousin had a ranch nearby that was close to the beach. The beaches in the Texas gulf were not the same as the beautiful California beaches she came to know, but she decided that it would be nice to get down there anyways. She was in no mood to see anybody, and fortunately her cousins were in Austin for the week, so she knew she’d be safe there. She rode with her father so he could let her in and show her where everything was.

The ranch was amazing. It had a perfect white fence and sprawling green grass surrounding the entire property. The white two-story house sat right in the middle of the grounds and looked over the land and part of the sea in the distance. There were horse stables, and the beach was accessible a few hundred yards away through a path that Laurel could see off in the distance. Laurel felt the faintest shudder of excitement, as they pulled closer. “Dad, they have horses?” she asked.

Dad noted the excitement in her voice. “Yes, mi hija, they do. And you can ride them. There is a stable hand that comes by to take care of them. His name is Steven. If he is not here, well, you remember how to saddle right?” Dad asked, smiling, as he looked at her.

She gave a little smile. “Yes I remember.”

Dad stopped the car and gave her the keys to the house. “Ok, well here you go mi hija.” He paused. He had not yet spoken to his daughter about what she was going through, and he struggled over it. He stared straight ahead, searching for something to say, some fatherly advice. She could sense it, and she wanted to stop him, but he spoke out. “Look mi hija, I know that what is happening is very bad. And it hurts me so much to see you in pain, but you have so much strength in you. You really do, and I know that God is protecting you. I don’t know what He has planned for you, but I know that He is protecting you.”

Laurel turned to face the horizon, staring at nothing out in the distance, taking in her father’s words. She wasn’t in the mood for any of his religious sermons, and she wished he would just save his breath. She didn’t want to hear anything about a few magical words out of the scripture that would save her or make things any clearer. Besides, she had no strength; that’s how she got into this mess to begin with. What was he talking about? The thoughts frustrated her.

“When you were a little girl, I took you to the fair. You wanted to go on a ride so bad, you were begging and begging. It was the one with rockets that went round and round. Do you remember the one?” he asked. She thought about it and nodded.

“Yes, I remember.”

“Yes, well you were too little to go on it, but you wanted to go so bad, and you kept begging, and I just couldn’t say no. So I took you on it. Well, the ride started going faster and faster, and you were so little that you started to slip under the bar. I got so scared, and I was trying to hold you and I…I,” he paused. The memory was so strong and clear to him, as if it had only happened yesterday, and his eyes began to well up. Laurel noted the sadness in him, and remembered then, that same sadness in him when she had decided to move to LA. Her heart sank, realizing that she had been the cause of his pain, so many times before. She loved him so much in that instant, and her heart hurt as she watched him struggle. She started to tear up.

He cleared his throat and gathered himself. “But before I could grab you, you stuck out one arm and grabbed on to the bar, and you held yourself up!” He paused again as a tear began to stream down his face. The pain in him was agonizing to her, and she wanted him to stop talking and stop remembering, but she could say nothing. She needed to hear it. “I couldn’t believe how you did it. How you found the strength to hold yourself up, for those few seconds that the ride was…”

“Dad!” she blurted out finally. She was awestruck, and felt guilty for not remembering the event that he had been harboring so deep inside. An event that was her doing, that he’d been holding so close to his heart, was unbearable for her heart to take.

“Mi hijita, I was so scared that I was going to lose you. I grabbed on to you and pulled you up and held you so tight.” His knuckles were turning white as he gripped the steering wheel. He stared forward, down the road ahead, and she could see the loud reflection of light in his teary eyes. He turned to look at her. “The reason I am telling you this is because God was protecting you that day. He gave you the power to hold on and save yourself, even though you were so little and weak. He was there. He gave you the strength. So I have never worried about you, because I know He is protecting you.” He smiled at her, and she leaned over and hugged him tighter than she ever did before. This was how she imagined home to be.

He hugged her back, as if to let her know that everything would be all right, and she understood, as she got out of the truck. “I will be back in a few hours to get you ok?” He smiled and put the truck in gear. She felt emotionally drained already, and it was so early in the day.

“Ok Dad. I love you,” she replied. “Thanks Daddy,” she added, feeling like a little girl again.

“I love you too mi hija,” he said, as he pulled away. She took a deep breath and watched him drive down the gravel road. She turned towards the barn and scanned the property. The day was beautiful and she could hear the birds chirping. It was really quiet, and in the distance, she could hear the ocean. It seemed so peaceful. She hadn’t known quiet like this in years. California seemed like a million miles away.