Diary of a Marked Woman
The next morning I spoke about Norbert. I reminded Mom how he had stolen my stereo system while I was in the US, and then had it been stolen from his apartment, which victimized me twice, and then he had stolen the 37,000 francs Véronique had for me by talking her into giving it to him. She said that I owed him 10,000 francs anyway from the time he visited me in New York in 98. I protested that he had given me that money, that when I owe someone money I know it and that I was astounded when he said that this money was a loan, and even if it was a loan Norbert had still taken 27,000 francs that belonged to me. “Well, I wouldn’t count on it if I were you,” Mom said. “After all, he helped you to move into your apartment, he introduced you to his friends, you ate at his place...” So all he had done to help me was not free of charge as I had assumed! Without telling me first he charged me for introducing me to his friends, for having me to dinner, for every little thing!“But every service he rendered me, I reciprocated in kind! Just last month I helped Diane carry a piece of furniture to the fourth floor!” Then she asked me to write a note authorizing her to sell the basement. I thought that the paper I had signed last summer made us independent from each other so I was at a loss and I wrote the paper. Apparently she paid the charges on that basement but didn’t own it outright. This estate business is so complicated it hurts just to think about it. I wrote the paper.
We took a short drive to the spring to get water. I was so disappointed! It was just a big jet of water flowing out of a pipe at ground level. I had expected a fountain. I bent down and filled the two bottles and on the way home we passed a paint factory. Mom said it was doing well.
Once home I asked if she still had that book I read when I was 15 that was called “La Danse avec le Diable” by Günther Schwab. (Dance with the Devil). She had been very communicative about that book, reading us parts of it at mealtime. It was a book about the consequences of industrialization on people’s health and on the environment, and it portrayed industrialists, who were motivated only by profit, as satanists. One of the things I still remember was how the processing of flour and sugar to make them white removed all the nutrients from them and added some toxic chemicals, so that these basic food groups were laying the groundwork for the slow deterioration of health but people didn’t know it. There were also chapters about the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and all of these frightening revelations had an impact on my decision later not to have children. The book ended with a planetary catastrophe that killed everybody except the young man and his girlfriend. One of them had a small sac of wheat around his/her neck so it was possible for them to survive and start over. I reminded Mom that I had borrowed the book to read it at the Catholic boarding school where I stayed with Sophie, and how I had had to have it approved by the sister in charge. I was a little apprehensive that she would refuse because of the title and the cover that was a drawing of a naked woman standing next to a hooved human-like biped. But the sister had signed the book without a hitch.
We agreed to leave for Paris after lunch so I got my things ready and helped Mom prepare lunch. She set the table while I was occupied in the kitchen and I heard her say something about “apéritif”, the French before-lunch drink so I said ok. When I went into the dining room I saw water in my glass. “Oh, I thought you meant an apéritif with alcohol!” I said, disappointed. “No, I meant an apéritif with this special water,” Mom said. “But if you want a whisky you can have some,” she said taking a whisky bottle out. But I didn’t want to drink alone and anyway the food was already on the table so I had a glass of water. She called that an "apéritif"! Since I had no way to tell the difference between a glass of plain water and a glass of this supposedly very special water, she was probably conning me with this special water. Another one of her con-games.
Mom was ready to leave and waiting for me just after we finished lunch. “Don’t you want to let me wash the dishes before we go?” I asked. “No, let’s go.” So she was depriving me of this wonderful D. H Lawrence experience.It seemed very odd to leave on a trip to Paris without doing the dishes first, unless she wanted to hurt me. So she showed me this dubious quote just to deny me the “enjoyment” of doing the dishes. Isn’t that crazy or what?
As we were approaching Paris she said something to the effect that since my business wasn't working out I should think about something else. "What do you mean, my business not working out?" I asked, astonished. "I have done only one sale, and I had only berets then, now I have seven or eight different models of bags and there's a sale in mid-june I'd like to do." She dropped the subject.
Once in Paris in the building, we went first to my apartment and I opened my mail. There was an unbelievable letter of threat of court proceedings from a collection agency to recover the amount of a phone bill I had forgotten to pay. The amount was something like 40 euros. I was astounded that they could threaten me so coldly with huge amounts of legal costs and the seizure of my belongings for such a paltry sum and I called the number in the top left corner, and heard a recording, then called another number and spoke to someone, promising to pay the next day. I was speechless for a while then told my mother what the letter said and saw an amused smile on her lips. I let her and Norbert handle the appointment for the sale of the cave. She said the sale price was X amount (I forgot the number) and when she returned about an hour later she said the amount was much smaller, which led me to understand that she had taken cash under the table. Then she said peremptorily that she'd like some fruit juice. She probably knew I never had any and wanted to embarrass me. "But I don't have any!" I said. I never buy fruit juice. It's hyper-processed, always "Pasteurized", that is brought very fast to a high temperature to kill the "germs" so the taste is altered, it's no longer the taste of fresh fruit juice, no matter how chilled you serve it, and it's much too sweet. Besides it's expensive. So I offered her some tea, and when I put before her the tea things, instead of taking sugar with her teaspoon she picked up the small sugar bowl and shook some sugar into her mug with, of course, some spillage of sugar on the table. I watched her do this with a feeling of unreality, in total bewilderment.
I showed her an invitation to a private designer group show I had received. There were lamps, jewelry, bags, about five different classes of items all grouped in an old ground-floor workshop in a paved courtyard somewhere in old Paris. "You see, these people get together to do shows and put out this nice invitation with color pictures. It's a good idea, I could do something like that!" "Oh, these lamps are really odd-looking. I don't like them," Mom said. Of course the fact that she didn't like the lamps didn't mean that group shows were a bad idea, but that was her bad-faith pretext to kill the idea.
She returned to Normandy after tea, nothing having been settled. While she started descending the stairs she said: "Be a being of peace!" "But I'm not going to let anybody walk all over me!" I protested. I was being victimized and just like when I was a little girl, she blamed me for not taking it lying down, for trying to protect myself, for fighting back. That was it! I was a troublemaker in her view because I fought back. She wanted a nice little victim who would let herself be abused to death without giving a peep. THAT was what she wanted.
The following days I received the papers to register for the fashion accessories show of mid-June. When I saw that the location was OUTSIDE Paris, in the Bois de Vincennes in the South East, and not in the Marais in the 3rd District, smack in the middle of the city I was very disappointed. Since I had found a few days earlier with the bad hashish trick that I was still targeted for murder, my sense of alarm was aroused by the fact that the location was outside Paris, in a wooded area, made worse by the fact that I had no personal transportation. I didn't know that exhibition space called "Parc Floral" but I didn't like it because it was out of the way for the casual weekend shopper who could, on a whim, pay the 3 euros entrance fee at the Marais spot just because he happened to walk by, whereas going to the Parc Floral required a trip, therefore a certain amount of motivation, and the person who happened to walk by was there to be in the park, not to do some shopping, therefore he would not, on a whim, change his plans to go to the show. So I foresaw, at a minimum, a waste of money, and at worst a trap where the fact I had no transportation, didn't know the area, had nobody to help me and was in a wooded area could all be taken advantage of against me. So I wasn't going and the income I had expected to make from this show, in the neighborhood of 2,000 euros just vanished.
The Ascension was on Wed. the 28th and Sophie came to see me. She brought me a very strong-smelling bunch of flowers she had collected herself. There were two kinds and when I put the flowers in a vase she asked why I didn't split the bouquet and put the two different kinds of flowers in two different vases. Obviously it was not to please me that she had brought the flowers.
I accused her again of having betrayed my trust because just days after telling her confidentially I sometimes masturbated some total strangers had spoken to me about masturbation and I didn't believe it was by chance. I said there was this woman who said she was an artist and talked about what women were doing on TV that was close to masturbation, and this woman passing in the street within earshot who said hello to Cad while we were sitting on the sidewalk, and picked up her cell phone saying "Oh! My vibrator!" (In French, a vibrator is called "vibromasseur") which was a second reference to masturbation. "No it's not!" Sophie said. "I'm sorry," I said, "a 'vibromasseur' is a machine for masturbation and nothing else." She protested that she was innocent. "Then my apartment is bugged, someone put a microphone in here and hears everything that is said. Maybe there was a mike attached to this dresser my two nephews brought in last fall." She asked me about bugs as if she were a total idiot about those things. I said they are so tiny nowadays that they are undetectable to the naked eye. And so it was that, Sophie having denied responsibility for the betrayal of confidentiality, we skipped the far more important issue of the threat to burn my face that went with it.
I said that since my apartment was bugged I'd rather go out to talk and we walked to the quiet rue Nationale which runs North behind the busy Chinatown area. I was fuming that my mom had so casually killed my plans to work as a fashion accessories designer and with such outrageous bad faith and I expressed my rage to my sister. I had seen all these designers at the salon, talked to them, and apparently they were satisfied with their lot. They had this unmistakable air of deep satisfaction that comes only from doing what one likes, and which I had seen also, a hundred times more prominent, on the face of musicians after a concert. They were not making a fortune but that was not what I was looking for. All I wanted was to make a living doing something I liked.
I was also very upset about the bad location for the show and told her I suspected it was a "traquenard", that is, a trap. It was very obvious she didn't like hearing this. I was afraid that she would question my mental health if I made a big issue of it so I toned it down and said I wouldn't attend because I thought the location was bad, I wouldn't make enough sales to recoup the 400 euros fee for the weekend show.
Because of the five-day-long weekend of the Ascension all the damn bars were closed. "Oh! The French with their 'bridges'!" I exclaimed in exasperation. Sophie entered a pastry and ice-cream shop. "What are you doing? We said we'd have a drink!" I asked, on edge. "Why, I was only trying to please you," she replied, leaving the store slowly. We kept walking on the deserted rue de Tolbiac. I was fuming at those French. All the bars were closed! And Sophie walked behind me. I had to turn around every so often to check where she was because there was no way she would walk abreast with me. What happened to the days when we walked ARM IN ARM like bosom buddies back in 2002? When I reached the Olympiades building complex I remembered there was a bar up there on the terrace and crossed the street to take the stairs. Sophie was 200 meters behind, looking at a poster, not moving. I kept going instead of waiting for her and she joined me.
At the bar terrace I realized I needed tobacco so I asked her to order a 1664 beer for me while I was gone. When I returned she said there was no 1664 beer. It's like not having Budweiser in the USA. Since she had been annoying me I was no longer in a chatty mood. We had been sitting for about five minutes when she picked up her cellphone from her purse, saying she didn't want to miss her daughter in case she called, and put the phone on the table. I don't own one so I don't know but the thought occurred to me that she could connect it and our entire conversation would be transmitted to a third party. I spoke about the French legal material available on the internet. I said it was incomplete and amateurish. [I have changed my mind since.] I paid with a twenty and she fished in her coin purse and put the last fifty cents in one- and two-cent coins for me to pick up! And it took her forever to do it because it's not very easy to tell the value of these tiny coin so she turned each one in her fingers to make sure she didn't overpay me by a few cents!
But it takes more than this abuse to discourage the good egg that I am and, after ignoring all her copper and putting the change in my pocket we went back to my apartment before she left because she had left something there. She put on her beekeeper's protective helmet, she really wanted me to see her wearing it, I don't know why. She'd been bugging me for months about her bees, oh, God, not sparing me the tiniest detail about her meetings in the Luxembourg Gardens, her purchases, her books, her this and her thats, assuming with criminal chutzpah that I gave a damn about her beees.
But there was something I wanted to talk to her about and, assuming my pad was bugged, I'd rather do it outside so at the moment of leaving I followed her out. I told her that I had just found out the truth about TRAUMA BASED PROGRAMMING and that it was the purpose of the tooth torture my mother had inflicted on me when I was three years old because I had found no other explanation. "Did you know they did this to little children?" I asked, eager to discuss the matter. "Of course," she said airily, "that's the whole point of what they're doing to my grandchildren." And we no longer spoke about my tooth torture. I was speechless for a moment. What? It sounded like she just admitted some complicity in the sexual abuse of her grandchildren!
There was another thing I wanted to talk about. "When I was in New York I read once that people who work in the intelligence business don't tell the truth to people in general, so they've all agreed to say that they work for the Ministry of Agriculture if someone asks them what they do for a living. You know, because it sounds boring so nobody wants to ask for details. So do you think that Mom worked for an intelligence outfit? Because she told us that before she married Dad she worked for the Ministry of Agriculture?" "Well," Sophie replied, "I don't see what's wrong with the Ministry of Agriculture. There are excellent jobs in this Ministry! I don't see what's boring about it." End of conversation.
I was going to walk her to the bus stop across the boulevard and wait with her but she abruptly kissed me goodbye while we were crossing the six-lane boulevard Massena so I turned around midway and walked back home.
The next day I threw out the flowers because I hated the smell and it gave me a headache and I was angry at Sophie. When I told her I had thrown them out, because of course she called and inquired about them, she had a hissy fit, like I was some ungrateful creature.
On Sat. the 31st Sophie called me around 9 AM. We talked again about the threat I received recently of having my face burned if I didn't take down my website. She said it was my fault, I shouldn't have trusted the ad in this magazine Zurban for a free stencil workshop. She asked if there had been other students at the workshop and I said no. "And you didn't wonder why?" she asked, as if this proved what a fool I am. "Well, I just thought that not many people were interested." "It should have been a tip-off! You're not mistrustful enough." She said my sister Agnès had probably put the ad there. Then we spoke very briefly about mind control as if it was the most ordinary thing and everybody knew about it, then she talked at length about her bees and what she had learned about their social organization. She said that the males were killed and thrown out after the mating season because they were "useless mouths". She laughed. I felt like she was targeting me with the "useless mouth" because I wasn't earning money.
Then she said it was beautiful out, and didn't I want to go out get some fresh air? She used the same expression my mother always uses and I had a feeling that it did something to me, to my mind, my subconscious, that it acted like a trigger on a mind-controlled person.
After she hung up I reconsidered my plans. I had intended to go out somewhere and since my sister had used the trigger-words to make me go out I had to fight against going out, so I cancelled my plans for the afternoon. "instead of going out this afternoon as I had intended to, I'll just go shopping for food this morning," I told myself. So I went first to get 100 euros at the ATM and entered the Geant mall from behind. I stayed inside about ninety minutes and by the time I went out the front door, with a heavy load of groceries, I was very hungry and felt weak.
When I came out the front door I saw there was a kind of garage-sale on the terrace in front of the mall, with a dozen people standing behind tables loaded with knick-knacks. The table I passed on my way home was loaded with stuff that caught my interest right away: I saw an old cane made with woven material. It looked quite striking, if you'll excuse the pun, and appealed to my new feeling of vulnerability. Indeed, I didn't have a single weapon to protect myself and this woven cane could do the trick, I thought. There also was an African necklace made with colored beads embroidered on leather, and when I looked more I saw some table ware, glasses and other stuff, so I put down my three or four shopping bags and started giving a good look at the table. I ended spending a good half hour or 45 minutes there, talking with the man who sold the stuff. He was not Asian like most people in the nabe, but a rather good looking middle aged European man with a Mediterranean complexion.
He had a trunk filled with old tools. Saws mostly, and rusty files, all of them with wooden handles, which you don't see anymore. "These are old tools," the man said. "Some people collect them. They clean them up and oil them." "I could do that," I thought, "and resell them to collectors or keep them." There also were two épées and I ended up buying a whole bunch of stuff for the house: glasses, dishes, plates, forks and knives, a vase, a plastic toy-loom to learn how to weave, a shopping caddy, the beaded necklace and the trunkful of tools for a hundred euros. I asked the man if he would deliver, he said he would, and I asked him to meet me in five minutes at the foot of my building because I needed to get another hundred from the ATM. "Why don't you leave your shopping bags with me? I'll carry them with my hand truck," he said. So I left them with him and returned to the ATM.
While we were climbing the stairs to the third floor he said that he did some business reselling stuff he found cleaning up attics and caves, but the way he spoke it sounded as if the caves were upstairs and I told him. He was carrying the trunk on his shoulder and did two trips. I asked him to put the trunk in front of the fireplace.
In my apartment we talked some more, and I told him what I did. I showed him one of my berets and he said that personally he didn't wear them but I wasn't trying to sell it to him, I was just showing it to him. But he said he knew a woman who could be interested in selling them. Then he said something that should have made me call the whole thing off: he said this woman's two daughters were really crazy, they never wore the same clothes two days in a row. It just happens that recently I had been wearing my camo fatigues for about two weeks in a row and I didn't give a hoot what people thought about it. I just don't see the point of changing clothes every day when you don't have a regular job. So I thought he mentioned the two girls's habit of changing clothes every day to let me know that he knew about me wearing the same clothes for days. For what purpose? To intimidate me? To embarrass me?
I pretended I hadn't noticed anything strange and we finished the transaction. I had an odd feeling though when I counted out the five twenties. I knew something wasn't right yet I felt compelled to give him the money.
After he left I sorted out the stuff, put all the kitchen material in the kitchen and ate something at last. It was around 3 or 3:30 PM.
Sophie called later. Again she spoke of her beekeeping and the social behavior of bees. I said "But what were you telling me this morning? That people should act like bees, like animals?" "It was yesterday that I called you, not this morning." "It was this morning! You called me at 9 AM!" I said. Then she explained that she didn't approve of humans acting like animals, that it was not morally 'edifying' but that some organizations acted like animal societies where the unproductives were eliminated, and that it 'worked'. "It must be the law of survival of the species," she added.
Then I spoke about the garage sale. "Was it on the avenue de Choisy?" she asked. I told her where it had been. I spoke about the old tools, the saws, the files, that they could be collectors' items. "Well, I never collected anything," she said, "because I always had only enough to pay my charges. I wonder if you're thinking about your charges." "Oh, I wanted to speak to you about that," I said.
The managing agency had just sent the call for funds for the third quarter and I had seen a new item of expense in the amount of 707 euros and had been trying for some time, unsuccessfully, to understand what this charge was about. So I had asked Sophie to send me a copy of her own call for funds and had seen that she was being charged only 30 euros for the same item. Now she was explaining that the charge was pro-rated on the surface of the apartment. O course mine was slightly larger than the one she rented out but it didn't explain such a staggering difference!
"It's because you're not paying your charges!" Sophie said. "You told me so yourself. So they add up, and now you have this amount to pay." "No," I said, "this 707 euros charge is called 'regul', it's not the usual charge for water and electricity and cleaning. It comes on top of everything else, and your 'regul' amount is 30 euros and mine is 707. I'm trying to understand. I'm not going to pay until I understand what this charge is about.
There had been some snafu for the yearly General Assembly. I didn't make it because I was in Normandy at my mother's and she made me miss the train. We saw the train leave the station just when we got there, so we returned to her house and I faxed a power of attorney for Sophie to represent me at the G. A. Now I was suspecting that she had misused the power I gave her to have the rules changed so that the entire 'regul' charge was affected to my account instead of being spread among all the apartment owners. The way she was avoiding the issue or slithering away changing the subject confirmed my suspicion.
She went back to the subject of the garage sale, asking me whether it was Chinese and other Asian people doing the sale and I told her no, it was a white man I bought the stuff from.
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