Hookup indeed. I knew I wanted to hook up with Karen the moment I first laid eyes on her. I knew nothing about throat chakras but wow did that woman have a throat worthy of a sculpture by Michelangelo . She was tall, slim but with curves, soft wavy brown hair to her shoulders, heart shaped face and big brown eyes. What truly nailed me to the wall was when she turned around to walk down one of the aisles between chairs at one of my seminars in a sizeable Midwestern city, searching for an empty seat and showing me just how good she looked going away. I was lost and I knew it but had to keep cool as I was the star at the front of the room. Maybe she was a motivational speaker groupie and I’d get lucky.
She was no groupie but did have her eye on me before she’d even signed up for the seminar. One of her best friends had told her I did good work and was single as far as she knew. Karen was a careful hunter who never gave me a chance. She only told me how badly I’d been outclassed around the time we started discussing separation but I had no reason to doubt her word. She never did lie to me except about things like being a cheap date and naturally submissive. I really liked both of those statements and come to think of it she wasn’t literally lying all that much. She just spun the truth like a dreidel caught in a tornado. She was cheap as a date and naturally submissive in the bedroom while being uber expensive as a wife and stubborn and domineering and picky and selfish most other places. I’d never been married before and had no idea a man needed to read the fine print and between the lines like the marriage license was a contract with Beelzebub himself.
As a side note she also had some seriously dark stuff in her past that might have included multiple murders. As we got to know each other better and trust each other more she would open up and share during her occasional tequila binges. She didn’t go there when she was sober and I didn’t dare ask any follow up questions but carried the information tucked deep in my bonnet where I suspect it began to fester slowly but surely. Had I married a monster? Not Beauty and the Beast but Beauty is the Beast?
I didn’t have any sore throat yet as I hadn’t yet begun to shut down my throat chakra but the bricks were falling into place. She was a vision of loveliness you’d never associate with any sort of violence but her life had not been an easy one and I wanted to make things easier for her. Foolish me.
Karen had been raised by a single mother who worked hard, never drank, and preached constantly to her daughter about the evils of men. By age fifteen Karen had rebelled against her mother’s teachings by running away from home with a drug dealer who supplied her with a driver’s license identifying her as nineteen years of age and an introduction to the world of exotic dancing. By her real nineteenth birthday she knew more about men of every stripe and color than her mother could have possibly imagined in her most fiery preachings. She’d also made drug deliveries without ever using, been busted twice for prostitution, been told by a doctor she could never have children, and decided it was time to exercise her considerable intellect by getting herself out of society’s underbelly entirely.
This she did by using a series of men as stepping stones, eventually persuading a sugar daddy to finance her education, beginning with a G.E.D. Karen and Sugar parted amicably after she received her MBA from a little advertised but respectable state university. Her cash graduation gift from her former lover and mentor was promptly invested in a startup sales business of her own. She was off and running at the age of twenty-seven.
Enter me at age thirty-three and just starting to make a name for myself in the motivational speaking industry. I’d paid my dues by studying with others in the field before launching my own brand, Malchek Motivation. (Name changed as previously stated to protect me.) I’d done firewalks with Tony Robbins and attended seminars by Val Van de Wal and a host of their contemporaries. I had done all this with nothing in the public school system beyond my high school degree which was adorned with a plethora of “C” grades due to my general lack of enthusiasm for the subject material and even less appreciation for most people who chose to teach for a living. For a long time I’d been a believer in the old adage that “Those who can, can, and those who can’t, teach.”
The irony was not lost on me when I finally decided to quit a series of day labor jobs in favor of teaching others as a motivational speaker. O ye who would judge, watch out for thy thoughts as they will burn thy butt in the end!
On the day Karen came to my seminar I was still not yet well known. My reputation was growing but only as a match might grow into a campfire. It would be a while yet before the campfire would rage out of control as a full blown wildfire commanding media attention. But I was pretty full of myself and getting referrals and managing to pay my bills. Who could ask for more than that?
As I began to stalk Karen the way a bait goat stalks the tiger I had no idea her stripes were hidden in the foliage and her fangs were already smiling in drooling anticipatory glee as she sharpened her claws for the kill. I was also a wounded duck. A goat-duck. My past couldn’t compare to hers but it did have its moments. When I was eleven my quiet unassuming father left my bubbly blonde little mother in the lurch and moved far far away. I don’t think he ever said why. Mom lost it and slit her wrists in the bathtub three weeks later and yes it was little old me who found her. I remember thinking at the time, Oh that’s just great. She gets to pink out and I get to go live in the orphanage. It turned out to be a pretty decent foster home with the Ferguson family, not an orphanage, but I’d been reading Charles Dickens and that’s what came to mind. It was all about me and who cared about Mom? I was mad at her and Dad both and never did deal with that anger until Karen made me do it decades later. I owe Karen for that.
The funny thing was I talked about everything else to anybody who would listen and a whole bunch of people who just wished I’d shut up. Sometimes people told me I talked too much but I didn’t care. I was determined nobody would or could shut me down and nobody did until Karen managed the impossible. It took her a bunch of years to complete the process and I honestly can’t blame her for any of it because it wasn’t her. It was my reaction to her. She’d always influenced men and I understood that. I just didn’t believe she would or could influence me like she did all those other dudes. Again, foolish me.
It didn’t start with her telling me I talked too much. It started a few days after we’d first been to bed together. We were walking down the street hand in hand, lovers in the springtime la de da, when she spotted a watch in a store window and admired it. It wasn’t an expensive watch like a Rolex or anything so I immediately offered to buy it for her. She demurred because she knew I couldn’t afford it right then. I was payday to payday and that city’s seminar had been booked but I could never be sure about the attendance until the take at the door was counted. Preregistration and no-refund prepayment was always the goal but at least a quarter of the proceeds would happen the day-of via walk-ins who showed up at the last minute. If the day money came through on target there would be no problem but if it fell short I’d be lucky to have gas money out of town.
So she didn’t get the watch but we did both take note of my instinctive impulse to buy her whatever she wanted whenever she wanted it. “I’m going to watch what I admire,” she said, “if you’re going to spend money you don’t have just to make me happy.”
I didn’t miss the warning entirely but did choose to ignore it for a while. I was on Cloud Nine. What a woman! Little did I know that she was already thinking, “Ah, but when you do have money, and I see already that you’re on your way, I can have whatever I want just like that. You might be worth marrying!” The tiger had found her goat.
And the goat was about to get its throat ripped out without even realizing it had been blooded. It would be a long drawn out process, so maybe more like a slow-draining vampire thing than a goat. But my throat and I are going to stick with the goat analogy because while you can defend yourself against a vampire with a wooden stake and a mallet, a goat has no chance whatsoever against a tiger. All it can do is kick feebly and scream for a little while at best.
I had plenty of useless kicking and screaming in my future. Yet in the end she would always get what she wanted and my throat would at the least be hoarse from all that screaming with no visible benefit whatsoever. It’s no wonder I was destined to develop a throat chakra imbalance over time.