How I lost my Sanity ~ 7

Jack Nicholson - The Shining 2Bad shit happened. Dolores was forced to resign because she was having too many personal problems that got in the way of her being able to properly perform her duties. A new supervisor arrived synchronously as she departed. Dorothy was as far from Dolores as Kansas is from OZ. In her mid-thirties, Dorothy was a Jewish American Princess of the mental illness world. She was petite, well groomed, and shapely, but unfortunately for everyone else, her personality was hard, cold, and phony. She was instantly disliked by patients and staff and had no clue how they felt. They’d smile to her face, then turn away and make weird faces or stick their fingers down their throats.

Nurse RachetI felt nauseous when I moved within ten feet of Dorothy’s sucrose smile and pasty complexion, a result of too much institutional food and florescent lighting. Dorothy was ambitious and spiteful and a contrary stickler for rules and regulations. She was angry and bitter because she hadn’t made it to the top of the trash heap yet. She’d also failed in her numerous attempts to get pregnant. ‘Thank goodness’, I thought. If anyone could mother the anti-Christ, it was Dorothy. As I got to know her, I thought of Dorothy as a festering canker sore from hell. She instantly sabotaged patient progress and undermined my efforts to succeed with my classes. I began to hate her.

Mel GibsonOne day after work, we exited employee parking together. I followed her onto the Styx River Parkway heading south along Purgatory’s east side. High speed traffic was weaving a perilous web of chaos ahead and behind of us. I imagined Mel Gibson in “Road Warrior” as I tailgated Dorothy by inches at over 70 mph. She glanced nervously in her rear view mirror, wondering what I’d do next. I’d pull up beside her, smile, and drop back on her tail. Had she braked, I’d have rear ended her, but I was confident she’d stay cool. That was the beginning of the end of my optimism and my time working at the hospital.

In public service, it’s not so easy to get rid of someone if they don’t want to leave. You have to make a person so miserable that they choose to quit. When I returned to work the following week, Dorothy acted as though nothing had happened. Instead, she enforced the rules to try to force me to give up. She hit me hardest in my most vulnerable spot, my desire to work with high functioning patients. She insisted that I must devote myself to serving the whole patient population. The cabinet was deaf to my argument that there was a lack of meaningful programming for the dozen highest functioning patients. I had built a feeling of trust and had made considerable progress. My other argument was that my salary represented less than two percent of what those twelve patients were costing the state yearly. I began flooding Dorothy with memos justifying my self-created job. I also sent memos to the rehab counselor, cabinet, and the big wigs in the mental health field in Purgatory. My public relations strategy was poorly received by the cabinet. They saw themselves as having been kicked below the belt.

Dorothy countered with an attack on my schedule. She insisted I work three days. She chose days when she knew I had teaching jobs and personal business. I attempted to compromise, but could see my circumstances were rapidly deteriorating into futility. Dorothy told me, “Perhaps you are too creative for the rehab department. There’s no room for your pioneering spirit”. I was summoned to the hospital director’s office for a private conference. She wanted to discuss my dissatisfaction with Dorothy’s supervisory actions, but this was a pretense to warn me that I had better keep hospital business in the hospital. I clenched my teeth and readied myself for battle. I let her know the head of rehab for the whole underworld had told me that our hospital was not permitted by law to operate the sheltered workshop under the plan which her cabinet had approved.

Over the next several months, Dorothy continued to be abusive and oblivious to the needs and concerns of her staff. She pulled rank on everyone as often as possible. Not only we did we feel unappreciated; we were actually degraded and looked down upon. All the members of the rehab staff were eventually forced to resign. Even though I was there the least, I held out until last. Obviously, there was a hidden agenda. Dorothy was mandated to clean house. On my second anniversary, I wrote this letter of resignation.

It saddens me to be writing this. I have been given no choice, but to resign from this institution. Perhaps you have a hidden agenda. Dorothy has been mandated to `clean house’. If this is not the case, Dorothy has forced dedicated staff members to leave. Everyone here was aware of Dorothy’s physical handicaps and personal problems. We tried to empathize and make allowances for her negative attitude, but this is no excuse for her complete lack of caring and support. Dorothy has been brutally oblivious to the needs and concerns of her staff and to the needs and concerns of your patients.

It’s ironic to say that your staff feels underappreciated. Truth is they were degraded and harassed. Dorothy continually made counterproductive and unreasonable demands. She tried to delegate her own responsibilities to Zandor, who received a counseling memo when he objected to doing out of title work. Billy received a counseling memo for his generosity in rewarding the dedicated and hardworking maintenance staff a ‘Thank You’ plaque that he paid for himself. They helped us set up the woodworking shop.

Enclosed is a copy of my latest correspondence with Dorothy. Her response was that I’m “too creative”. The rehab department has “no room for my pioneering spirit”. She insisted I must change my schedule to a Monday or Friday, knowing these days conflict with other work. She threatened to assign me tasks which clearly don’t use my abilities to their best advantage. I’m still waiting for an evaluation that was due weeks ago.

from Michael ClaytonI’m no longer concerned with the future of my career. I’m concerned about the future of patients. They’ve been deprived of caring and capable staff members including Dolores, Bruce, Barbara, Billy, Maya, Carolyn, and Zandor. I plan to take action in order to insure that Dorothy’s horrible behavior is exposed.

 

I sent copies to Dorothy, the cabinet, and various department managers in the hospital. The cabinet hostilely interrogated me behind closed doors. They were on the defensive and squirming in their seats as they attempted to put me on the defensive. They agreed that I was projecting my unresolved conflicts with my mother onto Dorothy and suggested I seek psychiatric help for my problem. I said I was going to write a book about the experience and approach the media. They said they’d find a way to ruin me.

I found my “I don’t get mad, I get even” button and pinned it next to “Since I gave up hope, I feel much better” on the lapel of my jacket. I’d let down patients who I’d so eagerly promised to help. Gene’s prophecy had come true. I’d disappear and never contact them again. I’d strengthened everyone’s fear and distrust of everyone.

Stay tuned as I begin to unravel…

Scorpio ~ Search for Love

Scorpio

You don’t have to be a Scorpio to be Scorpionic. Feeling types have long rectangular palms and long fingers. The main difference between Scorpio, Cancer, and Pisces hands is that Scorpios tend to have much stiffer joints, especially the thumb. The consistency of fixed hands is generally denser and the skin is less elastic than cardinal and mutable types. Head and life lines are frequently tied together at their beginnings. Nails are often long and broad with rounded or conical fingertips and well developed knots on the second joints. I’ve seen less vertical lines in the Scorpio ball of thumb. Scorpio has a harder time trusting others as they have so many dark secrets to keep.

Steve StollmanSteve Stollman is a close friend and a Scorpio with Aquarian hands. This is an instance where palmistry and astrology need each other. Some signs are more mysterious than others and Scorpio leads the pack in my mind. It’s easy to see the Aquarian in Steve, but some of his behavior is unexplainable from his hands alone. For instance, you might look at those strong meaty thinking hands and long independent pinkies and think, ‘this guy is good at making $. He does seem to attract it, but for some mysterious reason, he’s very bad at managing it. Steve personifies some of the most positive and negative transpersonal powers of both Scorpio and Aquarius. He satirically cites James Cabel, “An optimist believes this is the best of all worlds and the pessimist is afraid they’re right”. Another favorite saying of his is “The second biggest problem in the world is feigned competence. The biggest is feigned incompetence”.

I met Steve shortly after moving to NYC about 40+ years ago. He was advocating for better working conditions for blind news dealers, laboring inhumanely for peanuts in hot polluted little green wooden boxes on busy street corners. Steve was determined to improve their lots in life and created a woodworking machine shop which specialized in building custom newsstands and street furniture. Steve graciously offered to hire me on my own part time schedule. You would think his large hands and long fingers would embrace organization, but instead, he abhorred detail and loved simplicity. He saw complexity as an obstacle to progress. He’d emerge from his bathroom early each morning with an empty coffee cup in one hand and a dimensionless sketch on toilet paper in the other. “Here, make this”. He’d hand it to me. “What is it?” “It’s a box. We make boxes. We eat, sleep, and shit between ninety degree angles. Just cut the wood and put it together”. I’d sardonically reply, “It might help to know the materials, dimensions, preferred joinery, and hardware.”

Steve’s a paradox. He’s a creative thinker with a heart of gold and simultaneously a one-man obstacle course. I’d clear space to work and within a few minutes there’d be a new obstacle in my way. I couldn’t understand why he always seemed to get in his own way. I used to call Steve a “Would Worker” due to his casual attitude about schedules, structure, discipline, details, and deadlines. Steve called me ‘MEGLOMEGLIAC” due to my incorrigible ego. Steve championed the downtrodden. I was in NYC to become rich and famous. Steve had a sympathetic ear for every indigent person who crawled in from Houston Street. I disparagingly nicknamed his shop the “Houston Street Lonely Hearts Club”. It took me years to realize the very important and valuable social work that Steve was doing. Tirelessly and selflessly, he worked, like Bernie Sanders, a curmudgeon for humanity who’d always show up to testify for the downtrodden at public hearings.

I believe Steve’s true genius is as an artist, a composer, musician, and singer of social ballads. Once you learn to enjoy his raspy ‘Tom Waits’ sounding voice and pay attention to his lyrics, his art is profound. I emailed Steve and asked for some links to his ballads. This is his response ~

www.SteveStollman.com has 10 of my songs and links to writing. www.LightWheels.com has the models of Human-Powered Vehicles. Thanks for the plug. It will be interesting to see if anybody responds. Invite responses please.

Success is a lousy teacher.  It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.

Bill GatesBill Gates’s Sun, Venus, and Saturn are in Scorpio. His rectangular palms and short fingers reveal an intuitive type. Bill must be passionate and inspired in order to tackle his goals. He’s an aging Luke Skywalker, still learning the awesome responsibility of having and using the force.

 

Little Red Riding Hood is a Scorpio / Persephone fairy tale. When Bill was Little Red Riding Hood, he was seduced by the Big Bad Wolf while on his way to Granny’s House. They teamed up to deliver costly bundles of goodies everywhere. The Wolf promotes Red, but Red’s actually a very private person. Red would much rather disappear into the electronic ether if he could. Bill’s philanthropy sheds an affirmative light on the Wolf. He needs to give more, wherever, and whenever he can. Plenty of poor people give more time, energy, and money than Bill compared to their income. When I volunteered for the AIDS community in NYC, I was shocked by how many deserving individuals slip through the cracks in the system. Good intentions are not enough.

Scorpios are the best kept secret keepers. The famed former CEO of General Electric is a Grand Master. No memoir will ever reveal his dark secrets. With Sun, Mercury, and Midheaven in Scorpio, Jack Welch is Darth Vader. During his reign, GE benefited the world while their highly toxic dark side was destroying it. I believe Jack turned his back on Mother Nature while GE profitably pumped PCB’s into the Hudson River. Many clandestine behaviors lie hidden beneath the tips of the largest icebergs.

Scorpios must learn to love without lust and seduction and let go of their need to control and possess the objects of their desire. They must maintain a strong sense of purpose, even when they’re warring within themselves. When they love and respect you, they’re fiercely loyal, although their greatest loyalty is always to themselves. Scorpios are creative and imaginative. They envision what they want and know they’ll eventually get it. A near death experience may awaken them to their higher selves. They’re excellent researchers, great problem solvers, sleuthful spies, perceptive psychologists, skillful surgeons, top therapists, and the best and worst mystery, crime, and horror writers.

voldemortScorpio is Hades, Greek God of the Underworld. He’s Pluto, Roman God of Death, Sex, and Transformation. He’s a Devil in Christian myth. He’s Death in Tarot. Darth Vader, Voldemort, the Mummy, and the Big Bad Wolf are the dark side of Scorpio rolled into one. He’s a Rapist, Terrorist, and the Priest who sexually abuses little children. Executioners, coroners, undertakers, and morticians are all ruled by Pluto.

Pluto is lord and master of the sexual orgasm (little death). From first breath to final exit, Pluto patiently awaits you with his kiss of death. Hungry crocodiles, slithery snakes, and poisonous spiders stealthily lurk beneath his sultry surface. The path of too many dark secrets leads to the palace of socio-pathology. Pluto doesn’t get mad, he gets even. Temptation, seduction, and betrayal are his modus operandi. Whether with pleasure or pain, you’ll eventually stenchily emerge from his bowels.

Scorpios can be controlling, compulsive, manipulative, jealous, possessive, fearful,   resentful, obstinate, secretive, suspicious, subtle, and subversive. They make abusive parents, jealous partners, manipulative bosses, and mean spirited jailers who hide their true feelings, especially the shadowy unstable side of their emotional nature. Your friendly neighbor, a model citizen, devoted husband, loving father, loyal friend, and faithful parishioner dies. His family finds hidden pornographic literature, secret love letters, sado-masochistic sexual supplies, illegal drugs, and concealed money.

We hide our most secret lusts for sex, money, and property. Our deepest darkest fears and desires can drive us toward physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual perversions. Everything is ok as long as our secrets stay secret and we hide the truth from ourselves. Many of us rationalize our bizarre behaviors because we can get away with them. The evil Priest feigns love and compassion while he physically and spiritually rapes the innocent souls he has been entrusted to protect. Their Guilt, Shame, Remorse, and Fear closely guard his Evil secrets.

High PriestessPersephone is the feminine side of Pluto. She’s tall, dark, stunning, seductive, and impossible to resist. Helen of Troy was the type, symbolizing the magnetic and hypnotic powers of feeling. Helen was so charismatic that men fell hopelessly in love with her. The Trojan War was fought because of that power. Plutonian types have mesmeric personalities and healing powers. It’s hard not to feel special when you’re around these folks. They bring out the best and worst in us. They frequently wear black or dark colors.

 

 

Insurance is Scorpionic. You’ve heard the saying, “The only guarantees in life are Death and Taxes”. Life is not ensured or assured like Death and Taxes, but you can purchase insurance, which is a contractual arrangement whereby one party pays another party to guarantee them against a specified loss. Insurance implies that we have something of value. Perhaps we can’t afford not to value something. Assuming our premiums are paid, we worry less about the costs of bad shit happening to family, health, home, car, property, or whatever we value that’s insurable. Insurance is a form of gambling. Your agent is your bookie. Your insurer is the casino. The house is always favored financially due to statistical permutations, combinations, and probabilities. High risk means high stakes. You can check your odds by examining insurance actuarial tables and know your prospects by observing your premiums. The insured shoots craps and always loses, even when he wins. My good friend Lloyd tells me he’s depending on Lotto for his retirement. He assures me it gives him hope, “You’ve got to play to lose”, he quips.

Insuring may be confused with ensuring or assuring. Spraying crops with pesticides ensures fewer bugs and weeds. It assures we eat drink and breathe toxic chemicals. Investing Social Security in the Stock Market does not insure that the market won’t collapse. Employees of Enron believed their pensions insured a secure retirement. Drilling for oil in the wilderness does not insure that we will have enough oil. It does ensure and assure that we’ll have social, political, and environmental problems. Conserving energy ensures that we will have more energy and waste fewer natural resources. Offering vengeance as a solution to violence assures more violence.

Everyone dies. Life insurance protects the living. What are your last years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds worth?  What’s the premium for a graceful painless final exit? What’s it cost to pull the plug? I want to live a long and healthy life and enjoy a quick and graceful final exit. Having an abundance of Scorpio symbolism in my horoscope, I’ve created my very own “Dr. Death Do it Yourself Kit”. It’s a breathing apparatus attached to a tank of helium.  When necessary, I’ll have a logical, practical, painless, and peaceful alternative to facing a future of pain, dependency, lack of awareness, no love, or abject poverty in old (hopefully) age. Read Final Exit by Derek Humphrey if you want to learn more about Dying with Dignity.

Pluto takes twenty years to change astrological sign during which time it disintegrates, destroys, and transforms collective consciousness. Pluto almost doubled its speed when it transited its own astrological home of Scorpio from 1984 to 1995.

Historically, as Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto transited the sign of Scorpio, our views of Sex, Violence, and Death transformed forever. It was a challenging time to keep secrets. Sex combined with death to expose the dark underbelly of Scorpio. HIV came into being while condoms were promoted on national TV to stop the spread of AIDS. Homosexuality came out of the closet to be the topic of everyday conversation. Religious fundamentalists and politicians had plenty to preach about. Sex scandals ousted Senator Gary Hart and televangelist Jim Bakker. Scorpio rules other people’s money and Bakker was later convicted of defrauding his followers of 158 million dollars.

Police bombed the headquarters of a black radical group called MOVE. Terrorists from the Palestine Liberation Front seized the Italian cruise ship Achille Laura. Oliver North exposed the Iran Contra scandal. He and Ronald Reagan walked away intact. Terrorists bombed Pan Am flight 103, killing 259 passengers and 11 villagers in Scotland.

Nobody wanted our famous Garbage barge which carried 3,100 tons of Garbage 6,000 miles before returning home to be burned.

“Dr. Death” (Jack Kevorkian) became a household name.

When Neptune (Pisces) transited the sign of Scorpio from 1957 to 1970, it offered an opportunity for spiritual transformation. Neptune regenerates or degenerates. It began with sit-ins and peaceful demonstrations and ended with race riots, terrorist bombings, and hijackings. Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by `two of her own bodyguards’. Racial tensions rose. Bernard Goetz shot four young black men in the NYC subway system. He claimed they were robbing him. They claimed not to have provoked him. Political unrest catalyzed the assassinations of John Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. It was an era of escapism. Drugs, pornography, and indiscriminate sex became normal. Oral sex and contraceptives became popular. Thousands of men went into exile rather than serve in the Vietnam War.

When Uranus (Aquarius) transited Scorpio from 1975 to 1981, it marked the end of the Vietnam War for America and the beginning of new terror in Cambodia. A senate committee admitted that assassination was modus operandi in U.S. foreign policy.

Mass humor was irreverent as seen by the popularity of Saturday Night Live on TV.

Scorpio rules the reproductive system. In 1976, scientists at MIT created the first synthetic gene. The first test tube baby was conceived outside of the womb in 1978.

Scorpio symbolizes powerful women. The Episcopal Church ordained the first woman. Barbara Walters was the first woman national news anchor on ABC TV.

The first Death (Pluto) sentence was carried out in ten years when convicted murderer Gary Gilmore went before a firing squad.

Punk Rock was loud and nihilistic, an unconventional rebellious expression of Uranus.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show became a cult classic.

Ultrasound became an alternative to x-ray radiation.

Performance art became a new art form.

Palimony suits became popular.

Over 1,000 “No Nukes” protesters were arrested on Wall Street on the 50th anniversary of the 1929 stock market crash.

1980 saw the first professional actor in the Whitehouse following the lowest voter turnout in modern history.

Fidel Castro’s “Freedom Flotilla” embarrassed the U.S. when we discovered that Castro had unloaded his underworld criminals, mentally ill, and misfits on us.

IBM introduced the personal PC and revolutionized the computer industry forever.

Tale of how Mercury Exorcised Pluto, his Evil Twin

Exorcising the Evil Twin

The gods and goddesses of western myth were created in the ideals of ancient Greece. Too bad they abused their morals, ethics, nobility, and power. As greedy, narcissistic, and incestuous gods, they tempted fate and influenced human destiny forever. Those same gods and their dysfunctional families are in the here and now, incarnate as us with new names, scripts, roles, sets, and relationships. Nothing else has changed.

Pluto is death. He’s the last stop on the train to never ending nothingness. The shit doesn’t stop until it gets to Pluto where it gathers for all eternity. Imagine the stench.  Ravenous vampires mercilessly await us along the banks of the River Styx, anxious to suck our souls. The myth of Pluto tells us that he got tired of hanging out with corpses and decided to reward himself with a tasty perk from the world of the living. Persephone was the tastiest perk of all. She’s the feminine side of Pluto. The well-guarded daughter of Demeter, earth goddess, was sniffing a narcissus in a meadow one day when Pluto (the ultimate narcissist) erupted from the earth in his chariot and abducted her to be his High Priestess and Queen of the Underworld.

Persephone was off limits. In desperation and panic, Demeter pleaded with her brothers and sisters for help. Unfortunately, no one dared take initiative because they all feared Pluto. Demeter took matters into her own hands and killed all vegetation on the earth. That’s how we got winter. The gods began to worry. If we perished, who’d worship them? They went to bat for mankind, intervened, and negotiated a compromise between Pluto and Demeter. Persephone spends spring and summer with her mom and winters with Pluto as his Queen of the underworld and High Priestess of the unconsciousness.

Venus was married to Vulcan (Hephaestus), lame god of the forge in mythology. Beauty wedded Craftsmanship. Vulcan got his muse, however, Venus needed a lot more than craft. She craved sensual and sexual satisfaction, resulting in casual flings with Mars, Mercury, and her other brothers who fathered many different children with her. Mars and Venus produced Phobos (fear) and Deimos (terror), the twins who served Mars in battle. Their daughter, Harmonia, and son, Cupid (Eros) served Venus. Hermes (Mercury) and Aphrodite (Venus) conceived Hermaphrodite, androgyny of hetero-bi-homo-sexuality.

In this particular story, Mercury and Venus were happily married. Mercury needed a lot of intellectual stimulation, along with emotional and physical freedom. Venus had no problem giving that to him. Venus required emotional stability, consistency, reliability, affection, and sensual pleasure. Mercury gratefully embraced his responsibilities.

Venus and Persephone met through a mutual friend. They bonded as soon as they found out that they shared a passion for the arts, beauty, and nature. Venus, the muse in music, was goddess of fine art. Enchanting and quixotic, Persephone was an extraordinary artist. They decided to collaborate on an art project together. Persephone and Pluto offered Venus a full scholarship for a summer residency at their country home.

Persephone embodies the hypnotic power of the personal and collective unconscious. Plutonian types have mesmeric personalities and healing powers. It’s easy to feel special when you’re with them. They can bring out the best and worst in each of us. Helen of Troy (Persephone) was so charismatic; men fell hopelessly in love with her. The Trojan War occurred when young Paris wrongly chose Venus in a goddess beauty contest and as a result, fell foolishly in love with Helen, Queen to King Menelaus.

Pluto and Persephone were Scorpios. Pluto had Sun and Moon in Scorpio and Leo rising. That’s a recipe for double trouble with a heaping helping of the melodramatic. Persephone was making art all over the world when she and Pluto first met. Many princes had wooed Persephone, but all turned out to be frogs or beasts. Desperately, she craved true love, but Persephone was still as emotionally innocent as Little Red Riding Hood who met the Wolf (Pluto) in the forest on her way to Grandma’s house.

Persephone had a long graceful heart line ending under her index finger. She saw people and circumstances as she wanted them to be. Pluto, Emperor of Darkness, presented himself as the Prince of Lightness. He was physically strong, intelligent, handsome, expressive, funny, adventurous, and a talented craftsman. Pluto beguiled Persephone with caring words and loving actions. He treated her like a real goddess and fulfilled her soul mate fantasy. Persephone’s lust for love literally attracted the man from Hell.

Pluto and Persephone had a waterfront estate on the outer banks of the River Styx, far from Mount Olympus where Mercury and Venus had grown up. Mercury and Pluto were instantly compatible. In myth, Mercury had escorted departed souls to Death’s door and couriered messages from Mount Olympus to the underworld. Mercury had planned to spend the summer by himself, but Venus pleaded. “These people are incredible. You won’t believe this place and community. I’ve met a couple who you’re going to love. You must come”. Community had been an occasional weekend barbecue with the locals for Mercury. Venus described Pluto and Persephone in flowery superlatives. “Sounds too good to be true” Mercury responded. It was and took over fifteen years and a series of very painful character building experiences for absolutely everyone to unveil that truth.

Mercury changed his plans after Venus’s call. He spent his summer with her. Maybe she was right. People were warm and friendly. Strangers waved when they drove by. Pluto was one of the kindest people Mercury had ever met. His words were thoughtful and his actions generous. Mercury thought Persephone was Pollyanna. Warts were beauty marks to her. She saw the best in everyone. Mercury put his skepticism and sarcasm on a back burner when she was around. She softened him. Who was he to be cynical while she was embracing the best? Mercury grew to adore Persephone. Pluto and Persephone were surrounded by fascinating friends and loving families. Mercury and Venus began to wonder if maybe they had found their Shangri-La.

Mercury rules hands and palmistry (with Chiron). Mercury had known Pluto for a while before Pluto asked him to look at his hands (most people want that as soon as they find out you read hands). Pluto’s large rectangular palms, long stiff fingers, and tightly tied head and lifeline confirmed he had a Scorpion personality. Like Manuel (the child serial killer), Pluto’s ball of the thumb (Venus) had no lines parallel to his lifeline. His heart line dipped to touch the beginning of his head and life lines.

Mercury felt confused. A large ball of the thumb person can fool even the best judge of character with feigned warmth and generosity, but not Mercury. He asked Pluto if he was challenged by intimacy and by verbalizing his true feelings. Pluto replied that he had no idea what Mercury was talking about. Everyone knew he was a loving person and caring community member. Mercury decided that Pluto must have risen above his challenges and his intimate relationships would eventually show up in his hands. They never did. Mercury continued to ignore Pluto’s other ambiguities and incongruities.

Pluto was a hugger.  Mercury was androgynous, but Mercury wasn’t comfortable with so much physical affection so soon. It didn’t take long for Pluto to catch on to Mercury’s uneasiness. His mission became to hug and kiss Mercury regularly and turn this “Man of Steel” into “Organic Man”. He was successful. Pluto helped Mercury become a more trusting person as he passionately cultivated his friendship. Holding Mercury squarely by the shoulders, Pluto would gaze straight into Mercury’s eyes and say, “You’re the greatest”  “I love you sooooooooooooooooooo much”  “I can talk with you about things that I can’t say to anyone else”.  Sometimes they laughed so hard that they cried.

Mercury loved Pluto like a real brother. He would have freely given him anything. He and Venus cherished Pluto’s friendship. Pluto, however, methodically exploited their love and trust as he covertly plotted their individual seductions and betrayals. Pluto prepared Mercury and Venus, like virgins, to be spiritually raped on the altar of hell.

The twisted handwriting was always on the wall. Pluto recited poetry from his journal for Mercury and Venus. His delivery was dramatic, but his content seemed contrived and cliché. He wrote for the reader, not for the writer. Mercury and Venus were reticent to criticize Pluto’s art. It somehow made him even more lovable. They giggled as they recited corny poetry when he left; not realizing their friendship was also bad poetry.

Pluto asked Mercury to spread his tarot cards. Concerns of gossip, betrayal, and painful endings would arise. Mercury interpreted them hopefully. It never occurred to him to put himself and his family in that picture. Mercury looked at Pluto’s hands many times over the years and always blocked the truth. Why shouldn’t he trust Pluto? Pluto had certainly made them feel lovable and they were positive that Pluto loved them.

Pluto would show up with huge dark circles under his eyes. In hindsight, they were polluted pools of deceit reflected in a murky swamp. Terrified of dying, he secretly wished he could, but that wasn’t an option. Mercury and Venus comforted Pluto. In a moment of weakness, Pluto blurted “One day you’ll hate me and turn against me”. Mercury and Venus recited in chorus, “You’re crazy”. Turned out everyone was right.

When Pluto’s indiscretions first surfaced, Mercury and Venus rationalized his behavior.   Everyone makes mistakes they thought. They figured that by successfully seducing his best friend’s life partner, Pluto had unconsciously killed off his father and married his mother. Pluto had grown up in a suburb of Metropolis with a very loving, sensitive, and artistic father (a beautiful man) who feared his own shadow. Pluto’s powerful mother (Scorpio) wore the pants in the family. Pluto had climbed every mountain and hiked every trail in search of his manhood but hadn’t found it.

Even when the connections that Pluto and Persephone had worked so hard to create began to unravel and disintegrate, Mercury and Venus were still protecting Pluto. They thought they were ‘special’ and different from everyone else. They were. They had indulged Pluto in his narcissistic fantasies and kept his treacherous secrets from everyone including themselves and each other. There’s a very thin line between perpetrator and victim. Masochists and sadists are co-dependent. Voyeurs and exhibitionists are magnets for one another. Just watch Jerry Springer for live action.

Pluto and Mercury nourished each other’s ‘Pig Dogs’. They drank home brewed beer and ate hot buttered popcorn while they watched porn and fantasized erotic sexploits. Once in a while they’d find a sleezy lounge where they’d watch people lap dancing. While sitting in front of a crackling fire late one night, Pluto turned to Mercury and asked, “Would you mind going upstairs and fucking my wife?” Privately, Pluto had been priming Persephone by saying that Mercury was hot for her, even though he wasn’t. Mercury declined. He loved their polyamorous fantasies, but they were just fantasies. It wasn’t the same for Pluto. Mercury learned that Pluto had actually lusted over, coveted, seduced, or tried to seduce almost every female they’d ever fantasized about including their good friend’s wives. Mercury felt ashamed and remorseful for “his part”. He’d encouraged Pluto’s pathology by indulging in the sick fantasies that turned them both on. He’d have had clearer boundaries had he known the truth about Pluto, and himself.

Hindsight dealt everyone a challenging blow. Mercury realized that he and Venus were just like everyone else when a mutual friend confided to Mercury that Pluto had foolishly bragged about how he had attempted to seduce Venus. Mercury confronted Venus, “Why didn’t you tell me?” Venus told him she didn’t want to hurt their friendship. “It’s been so long since you had a real buddy”. She assured him that she had no intention of indulging in Pluto’s persistent advances. Mercury and Venus had been living in Pluto’s home for the first year and a half of that relationship. Venus had hidden Pluto’s behavior and kept a secret from Mercury for fourteen of the fifteen years they’d known Pluto.

Venus told Mercury about the first time that Pluto attempted to seduce her. Mercury had sworn off physical labor, but he felt compelled to try to help Pluto and his partner save their failing custom furniture making business. They were wonderful craftsmen, but didn’t know how to get paid well for their work. Being a natural salesman, Mercury offered to bring work from Metropolis. When possible, he’d help make, deliver, and install jobs. One day, they were all hard at work in the shop when Pluto exclaimed, “Damn, I forgot something at home (Venus was home alone). I’ll be back soon”.

In hindsight, Mercury remembered Pluto forgetting things a lot. Venus was back at the house taking a bath (in the only bathroom) when Pluto arrived home. He knocked on the door and asked if she could please close the shower curtain. He needed to use the toilet. She said OK. The next thing she knew, Pluto abruptly drew the shower curtain, and stepped confidently and completely naked into the bathtub with a huge smile on his face. “What are you doing?!!!” yelled Venus. Pluto pretended he had been in some kind of trance. His master plan hadn’t worked out yet, but he’d seen what he intended to see and shown what he intended to show.

The whole community became hip to Pluto. One distraught wife told Venus that the usual topic and focus of female get-togethers was, “Who was Pluto hitting on at that moment and how bad was his influence on their husbands?”  Persephone had no clue that Pluto was betraying her mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, every single day of their marriage. She blamed herself for his selfish behavior. Pluto’s inability to truly love her remained his secret. Other wives tried to enlist Persephone into group discussions; however, she declined, maintaining a ‘hands off Pluto’ attitude.

Pluto used every technique in the book to get what he wanted. Flattery worked. Mercury could see how Pluto boosted Venus’s self-esteem. He wanted her to feel queenly and goddess like. His behavior taught Mercury how to be a more passionate and desirable husband. Dishonesty worked too. Pluto would innocently offer to physically “wrestle” female anxieties and frustrations away. That notorious ‘walk in the woods’ was his favorite venue.  He was infamous for saying, “I just want to kiss you”.

Art of Seduction and Betrayal

Once Mercury and Venus stopped protecting Pluto, reluctant females peered cautiously from cloistered closets, confessing that Pluto had seduced or attempted to seduce them. One more irreverent pastor had faked faith and tempted trust. By driving an invisible psychic wedge into his friends’ marriages, Pluto fostered guilt and shame and forced everyone to hold onto their secrets. Pluto’s `beloved’ victims were full of remorse. One tearful woman told Mercury that she had spent nearly twenty years of her marriage feeling guilt, shame, and fear that her husband would eventually find out about her and Pluto.

The last straw for Mercury was when he observed Pluto seducing his good friend’s wife, right under everyone’s noses. She was another Persephone type and artist. Pluto was trading in Persephone 1 for Persephone 2, the sequel. The speediest path into her panties was through her vanity, so he immortalized her artwork. Mercury had confused Shangri-La with Xanadu. Pluto was Citizen Kane, incapable of truly loving while endeavoring to turn his conquest into a star. Pluto urgently wished to love and be loved, but only knew lust. Rosebud was the love he so deeply desired but could never have.

Years prior to Persephone 2’s conquest, a friend told Mercury that he had walked in on Pluto while he was jerking off over pictures of Persephone 2. Persephone 1 was in the next room. Even though Pluto had fantasized about, lusted over, coveted, and carefully plotted the seduction of Persephone 2, he still pretended they “fell in love”. Unless Pluto has actually transformed his severely damaged character, it will be a very sad day in hell for Persephone II when she discovers that her cup is half fool.

Mercury, Venus, Pluto, and Persephone were destined to share a very powerful love experience, followed by a very negative outcome. Trust would forever forward be an issue. Pluto betrayed Mercury, Venus, and Persephone by working so diligently to make them love him while he was unable to truly love them back. He brought out the best and worst in them. If Pluto’s love was real, you’d see the lines in the ball of his thumb. Pluto was in Mercury’s. He stops at a perpendicular cross line, the roadblock where Mercury exorcised his evil twin. Mercury had pondered who, what, and when that might be.

Mercury and Venus chose not to confront Pluto in person because Pluto had no real remorse for his actions. He was in denial, explaining that he was sorry for “his part”. He made himself into a victim and even seduced a female psychotherapist into believing his stories. What Pluto could have used was a no bullshit male therapist who’d help him to see himself through the eyes of the loving beings he had so pathologically deceived.

Hands speak louder than words and actions