'Normal people' is the exquisite new series that has quite literally shaken us to our core. The adaptation of Sally Rooney's 2018 novel dropped on Stan last week and quite frankly, we’re obsessed. Honestly, Connell and Marianne create so many problems for themselves. A recap of episode 6 of the Hulu/BBC miniseries Normal People, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, based on the Sally ... Normal People Episode 6 Deep Dive: Connell Had One Job. ... Close. 41. Posted by 1 month ago. Normal People Episode 6 Deep Dive: Connell Had One Job. spoiler. Click to see spoiler. 22 comments. share. save hide report. 99% Upvoted. Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in ... Part of the reason I love normal people is how recognizable and ... Normal People Episode 11 Deep Dive: Connell, Goat to Hero. spoiler. Close. 79. ... In Episode 6 he had a thought that he could hit Marianne and it disturbed him so much it made him physically recoil. ... I realized that one of the reasons I love Normal People is that it is shot very similarly to Like Crazy directed by Drake Doremus. Normal People Episode 6 Deep Dive: Connell Had One Job by enfu3g0 in NormalPeopleBBCHulu [–] torbayman 18 points 19 points 20 points 2 months ago (0 children) I think that Connells failure to ask her if he could move in is totally believable -- not outsize at all. Normal People Episode 6 Deep Dive: Connell Had One Job by enfu3g0 in NormalPeopleBBCHulu [–] torbayman 18 points 19 points 20 points 2 months ago (0 children) I think that Connells failure to ask her if he could move in is totally believable -- not outsize at all. It happens in Episode 2 of Normal People.In the early stages of their secret affair, young Irish lovers Connell Waldron and Marianne Sheridan are lying in bed together after sex. Normal People follows Marianne and Connell’s complicated relationship as they move from being teenagers at a small town in western ... doing a deep dive, and it turns out that a couple of the ...
2020.05.13 04:45 enfu3g0 Voyeur villa sex
Warning: Spoilers galore.
My other Normal People the Series Episode deep dives: Episode 5 Episode 11
I’m still thinking about Normal People. Not just the series now, but even the novel. I’m starting to forget to use quotation marks in my regular writing. It’s getting bad. So here we are back with another few thousand words on another episode of Normal People the Series to distract me.
Episode 6 is a series landmark. This signals the end of the first “block” that was shot, and the final episode with Executive Producer and Academy Award-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson at the helm. It signals the end of the early years of Connell and Marianne, before taking them from kisses and sunshine and putting them both in much darker places in the second half of the series. This is the last time we see them “together” (as Marianne defines it in this episode) until the series finale. Uniquely for the series, this episode is told in flashback. It revolves around a single story beat – what the fuck happened? How did we go from “it’s not like this with other people” at the end of Episode 5 to Marianne sobbing, alone in her kitchen, over a broken glass?
Character-wise, we’re given longer glimpses into the inner demons of both Connell and Marianne; the demons that are going to batter them and their relationship for the next five episodes. We’re also given more time with some of the supporting cast that will be part of the narrative for the next two episodes. Let’s get started.
We open with Marianne sobbing, alone in her kitchen, over a broken glass. Smash cut to a “six weeks earlier” chyron. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Too Much” cranks up, and we get Marianne back in the same location, same position. Smiling this time, with a much brighter frame, wearing a different top. Love the transition, Lenny. Marianne says “stay“. Connell is spending most nights at Marianne’s place. He says he has to go back to the room he rents with Niall to grab stuff. Marianne hasn’t met Niall yet, but likes him. Marianne: “Is he your best friend, do you think?” This is foreplay. She means “if you stay you can fuck me“. Connell can’t resist and takes the bait. “No. You are.” He gets up and closes the distance. Carly’s voice swells as they snog. “That I’m wild for your skin and the dance that we’re in. So close now, so close now.” Connell picks Marianne up and plants her ass on the counter. Carly keeps going. “It takes me higher, feel the love.” Connell takes his shirt off. “I’m not afraid to know my heart’s desire.” He strips Marianne’s top off. No bra. Natural light is streaming in behind her. They’re in the face-to-face position, and we all know what’s coming. “When I party then I party too much.” Smash cut to black title screen, silence. “Normal People” That’s just fucking ominous. Using a CRJ party song to foreshadow bad stuff is brilliant and a crime at the same time. The first time I saw this I was expecting a full-blown kitchen counter sex scene set to “Too Much”. The shot looked and sounded amazing. Then it’s taken away. Tremendous opening sequence. Give Lenny the Emmy. Full disclosure: I love Carly Rae Jepsen. Sue me.
Niall is giving Connell grief about spending every night at Marianne’s place. Niall: “Is she your girlfriend yet?” “No.” “What are you playing at? Are you keeping her on her toes?” “Course not.” “She’s too good for ya.” “Yes, I’m aware.” I love this callback to Lorraine in Episode 3. “And you don’t think maybe you should have asked her? Seeing as how you fuck her every day after school?” Again. “Normal People.” Leave it to Lorraine to be our barometer of what normal behavior should be. Can we hear her yelling at Connell right now? “What exactly is the arrangement? You go over to Marianne’s house, you have sex with her, and you don’t ask her to be your girlfriend? Is that it? xxx You’re fucking her! You’re fucking her, and you won’t even touch her in public! What are you afraid of?” I’m convinced that’s what Lorraine would yell at Connell. Leave me to my fanfic. Of course next scene is Connell talking to… Lorraine. And yes, she’s berating Connell again for not thanking Marianne for the lead on the job he got through Sophie. “(Marianne) has been very good to you, you know.” “Right.” “I just hope you’re a bit more appreciative of her now.” “Yep.” “Well?” “Look, apologies have been made, okay? If Marianne isn’t dwelling on it, I don’t see why you are.” Oh Connell, you idiot. Then we get a very condensed version, barely a stinger, of a conversation they have much later in the novel. “How would you feel if I kept going at ya about some stupid teenage mistake that you made?” Lorraine: “Sweetheart, you are the stupid teenage mistake I made.” Sarah Greene gets the best lines.
We get a short scene where Marianne is telling Peggy and Joanna that she has to go home for two days. “It’s just a boring dinner, and a weekend being a dutiful daughter.” Is Marianne lying to them, or herself? Joanna suggests she go see friends. Marianne says that she has no friends back home. Cut to the next conversation. Peggy is quizzing Marianne and Connell. “You guys are fucking, right? You’re together.” Marianne. “Yes, we are.” Peggy: “Everyone’s speculating, even though you never actually touch each other.” Marianne: “It’s not a new thing. We used to hook up in school. Secretly.” To Connell: “I hope you don’t mind me saying that now.” Callback to Episode 5, when Connell asks Marianne if her Trinity friends knew about their history. Marianne: “Yeah. [I would be embarrassed if they found out.] Because it was humiliating.” Now she’s volunteering that information to Peggy. Fine, she’s supposed to be her best friend. But the only person who had any inkling of their history was Joanna, not Peggy. (In the novel, Connell is thinking here about his never talking about being together with Marianne. She’s very popular and a lot of men want her, so he derives social standing from being with her.) Peggy: “You make a very cute couple.” Connell: “Thanks.” Marianne, raised eyebrows. “Couple.” Peggy, fast on the uptake when it comes to sordid affairs: “You’re not exclusive? That’s cool.” Marianne: “Men can be possessive. Men seem more concerned with limiting the freedoms of women than in excising their own.” It’s like she’s predicting the next two years of her life, our girl Marianne.
She’s defined being together with Connell as they’re fucking, and have been fucking a while, but they’re not exclusive, no emotions involved. Connell is a passive bystander and says nothing. (In the novel, there’s a few lines of discussion here about male privilege. Connell then zones out of the discussion. He thinks Peggy is an airhead.) The conversation then veers into male privilege meaning all men are interested in having sex with multiple women. Peggy asks Connell if he’s into that. Connell says “not really“. Peggy says that he can have her and Marianne in a threesome. (That’s not a no, because Connell is thinking that he could fuck Peggy in front of Marianne, but he could never fuck Marianne in front of anyone else. It’s the same part of his brain that prevents public displays of affection with her.) Connell sputters. Marianne saves him by saying she couldn’t because she’s too self conscious. Peggy asks what she’s self-conscious about since she’s “so pretty“. Marianne again predicts her future when she says “I have a coldness about me“. Peggy and Connell say that isn’t true, and Peggy says she just needs to be more in touch with her feelings. Peggy leaves.
Marianne comes back, lays down with her head in Connell’s lap, and she says that she would have done the threesome with Peggy if Connell wanted her to. Connell: “You shouldn’t do what you don’t want to do.” “Had you wanted to, I’d have enjoyed you wanting to. I like doing things for you.” “You can’t do things you don’t want or don’t enjoy just to make me happy.” “But I like making you happy.” Marianne closes her eyes, a contented look on her face. Connell looks like he’s thinking, suddenly rubs his eyes and bolts up from the couch. Marianne asks him what’s wrong. He says he doesn’t know, he felt weird. (There’s that word.) This is perhaps one of the most difficult scenes to interpret without the help of the novel (or the show script). Fortunately, we have that. Connell thinks about hitting Marianne, and that she would let him. The thought makes him physically recoil. That’s why he stands up and walks away from her suddenly. Novel text: “He has a terrible sense all of a sudden that he could hit her face, very hard even, and she would just sit there and let him. The idea frightens him so badly that he pulls his chair back and stands up. His hands are shaking. He doesn’t know why he thought about it. Maybe he wants to do it. But it makes him feel sick.”
Connell wakes up the next morning. He’s naked in bed with Marianne. He wakes her up, and tries to explain what he felt. Marianne snogs him before he can start. He pulls back and says “You know I really love you don’t you.” He goes back to kissing her, then starts to fuck her with his hand. He slides over into missionary to fuck her with his cock, and they both finish. Marianne: “I think I was starting to have feelings for you there at one point.” The both laugh. Connell: “Should have to repress all that stuff Marianne. That’s what I do anyway.” They’re both complicit in keeping this a FWB situation. The novel clarifies that their relationship at this point is pretty domesticated. Marianne cooks, Connell cleans up, they get on social media, and then they have sex. After sex, they talk about intellectually stimulating things (reinforcing that they’re both high IQ, questionable EQ people), and then they have more sex. The sex is so intense that sometimes they feel they have a romantic connection (whatever that means). That’s what Marianne is referring to in the preceding quote, and Connell feels it to, but they don’t talk about that. Anything but that. As voyeurs into their lives, it’s frustrating, by Sally Rooney’s design.
Next scene, Connell asks Marianne to send him naked pictures, which she agrees to happily. (“I like doing things for you.“) He assures her that he’ll delete them, explaining that it’s for her reassurance. She asks him to send her dick pics, but he probably shouldn’t, saying that she’ll never delete them. This leads into sex again. More reinforcement of Connell’s hold over Marianne, and foreshadowing of her trials in the future.
Connell is laid off for two months, igniting a major plot point. Our avatar, Niall, is telling Connell that he’ll sublet the bed since he can't make rent. When Connell says he’d rather go home to Sligo for the summer than ask to crash at Marianne’s, Niall says what all of us want to: “You can’t be fucking serious. You already stay with her five nights a week.” “That’s different, I don’t live with her.” “You think if you move your toothbrush into her bathroom, she’ll get too attached?” “I don’t think that at all, I just wouldn’t want to ask her.” Niall, you, me and everyone else watching Connell drive himself into a wall. “Fuck’s sake, man.” Niall gives up, maybe too easily. How many of us in Niall’s spot would have gone to Marianne and told her his situation, even if Connell disowned us as his friend? I know I would.
A few people say that this is totally unrealistic. It’s one of the very few plot points of Normal People, a device to break up Connell and Marianne for the second time and send them to experience life separately before bringing them back together for the ending. My take is that Rooney goes out of her way to present Connell and Marianne as characters with outsized flaws. One of Connell’s is anxiety over the social gulf between him and Marianne. From the time Rob quizzes him on Lorraine working for Denise in Episode 2, to Marianne’s surpassing him in social standing at Trinity in Episode 4, his bunking in a shoebox with Niall while Marianne lives in a posh apartment with dinner parties every day, having to hold down a job while at Trinity while Marianne’s friends (and all the men pursuing her like Gareth and Jamie) are all rich kids, it snowballs over time. We haven’t even gotten to the Italian villa yet. He has a massive inferiority complex. Does this justify his decision here? That’s up to the viewer. I choose to accept that Connell has the EQ of a doorknob, and suspend my disbelief. I’m just as pissed at Niall for not seeking out Marianne and outing his sorry ass, but that would ruin the plot mechanism. Finally, I’m not letting Marianne off the hook. She’s blissfully unaware of Connell’s neurosis over financial standing at this point, her being the total opposite – she has no concept of the value of money, having never had to pay for anything herself in her life. She’s incapable of reassuring Connell. Now I’m even more pissed at Niall, who’s the only one who could have intervened.
Off to Marianne’s home in Sligo. Her relatives are complimenting her performance at Trinity and reminiscing about their own experiences. The relatives are ignorant of the relationship issues present, particularly between Alan and Marianne. Alan gets compliments as well on his job performance. Mentions of their father clearly triggering Alan. Marianne does the dishes, and Alan comes in to make small talk. Marianne’s expression says nothing good can come of this interaction with Alan. Long shot by Lenny, to convey how alone Marianne is while being accosted by Alan. She gives him lip and he douses her with dishwater. Denise witnesses this, and just walks away.
That evening, we get a scene of Marianne taking a nude selfie to send to Connell. She’s crying, still shaken up by the events of the day. It’s also the only full frontal nude scene of Daisy Edgar-Jones in the show. I’ve been asked what the point of this scene was, given that they were explicitly avoiding gratuitous nudity. I don’t know the actual answer, but this is probably the most vulnerable that Marianne has been so far in the series. She’s back home where she has no friends, her brother just abused her, and her mother doesn’t care. She remembers her last interaction with Connell (at least the last one we saw) and reaches out to him in this way. It’s her nature to do things for other people before taking care of herself. She’s stripped naked now, both physically and emotionally, and she’s sending the memory of this moment to Connell, perhaps as a cry for help. Was the full frontal necessary? Maybe not, but it’s a memorable scene that has not insignificant emotional impact. If you weren’t sure if Marianne was broken, this is further evidence that she is. (For those scoring at home: series count male full frontal 3, female 1.)
Speaking of Marianne being abused, the next scene is her speaking to Denise before returning to Trinity. The exchange is sad and heartbreaking, Denise justifying to her daughter that life is hard for Alan, and that she’s got it easy because she can get away to Dublin and leave Sligo behind. Actress Aislin MacGuckin is excellent as Denise, and probably deserved more screen time. But this isn’t her story. Denise: “It is very difficult for [Alan], Marianne.” “And that’s my fault?” “That’s not what I’m saying.” “You act like it is.” “That’s not how I feel.” “Why are you living life like that, with him dictating everything? Does it make you happy?” “None of this makes me happy.” “Then why are you allowing it to be like this?” “What do you think I should do? Kick him out? How do you think I should handle this exactly? I’d love to have your insight. Because I’m doing the best I can.” No tears at all from Marianne. Heartbreaking, and shows how lucky Connell is with Lorraine.
Marianne is back in Dublin, in bed with Connell. They’re watching a movie. Marianne is sobbing. Connell asks if it’s because the movie got her. She says she’s feeling off. Connell asks jokingly if she’s pregnant. Callback to his dialogue with Lorraine. Marianne says she just got her period. She asks him to get her some tea. They think of having sex, but don’t. It’s kind of a throwaway scene here, but in the novel it’s a connection to Lorraine having Connell out of wedlock. The movie they watched is the 1964 Jacques Demy classic The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a movie about young lovers. (I won’t spoil it but can highly recommend it if you enjoy unique films about young love.) In the movie, the character Genevieve, played by Catherine Deneuve, is pregnant. So Connell and Marianne talk about what they would do if Connell got her pregnant. What their families would think of that if Marianne decides to keep the baby. It segues into talking about Marianne’s trip home, but she doesn’t tell him about Alan and Denise’s treatment of her. They start kissing, and Connell makes Marianne come with his hand. Marianne says “Imagine how bitter I’m going to be when you meet someone else and fall in love.” Connell replies “I don’t know. This is a pretty good arrangement, from my point of view.” He then notes, internally, that it is within his power to make her happy. There is a lot lost from the adaptation of this scene to screen.
We get a Connell and Marianne montage, including a shot of Connell’s first publisher rejection, which feeds into his burgeoning anxiety. Niall again asks him about moving in with Marianne. Connell cannot express what it is that’s stopping him. We cut to Joanna eviscerating Jamie and his straight white male privilege. All the while Jamie is being handsy with Marianne. Connell makes himself scarce. Marianne finds him on the porch, smoking a fag. He complains about men taking liberties touching her. Marianne: “You don’t want to touch me, but you get to dictate who else does.” “I touch ya.” “As long as there’s about six closed doors between us and another person who might witness you demonstrating some level of affection towards me.” “Grand.” Oy, Connell. “I think I’m gonna go.” Marianne: “Don’t.” “We’re fine.” “Please don’t go.” He stays, but doesn’t ask her. Niall, you, me, and everyone watching: “You have to be fucking kidding me.”
Next day, they’re getting ready to go to Sophie’s pool party. Marianne: “Do you want to skip it?” “You can’t” “Why?” “It’s just a birthday party, Sophie won’t mind.” Connell looks down. Marianne: “You can’t be indebted to someone forever ’cause they get you a job in a crappy restaurant.” “Who said I was indebted to her?” Connell is obviously triggered. Marianne is oblivious. “When you’re a famous writer you won’t be indebted to anyone. You’ll be lording it over the rest of us.” Connell conjures the rejection letter in his head. Mescal projects deep angst. He’s poor, and he’s a crappy rejected writer, so he’ll stay poor.
They’re off to the party with the wealthy friends of Marianne. He gets pulled by Sophie into a pool polo game while Marianne sits on the sidelines. Jamie sits beside her and asks her if she’s right for Connell. We don't see a response. Focus on Mescal’s face. Connell’s anxiety swells as he’s surrounded by the trappings of excess that he’ll never be able to afford. He spies Marianne, swims over to her, sits beside her and manages the Herculean effort of putting his arm around her and kissing her shoulder in view of Marianne’s friends. She appreciates his effort. Connell: “Marianne?” “Yeah?” “It’s nothing.” Connell gets choked up. Marianne completely misses it. Niall, you, me, and everyone watching: “You have to be fucking kidding me.”
Cut back to the scene from the beginning of the episode. Marianne in the kitchen. We hear a door slam. Marianne goes to the sink, drops the glass, and starts sobbing. We see Connell walking away from Marianne’s flat. Cue end credits. Niall, you, me, and everyone watching: “You have to be fucking kidding me.” xxx
Episode music: “Too Much” by Carly Rae Jepsen (pre-title scene)
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, Written by Sally Rooney and Alice Birch, Director of Photography Suzy Lavelle, Editing by Nathan Nugent, Score by Stephen Rennicks, Production Design by Lucy van Lonkhuyzen, Costumes by Lorna Marie Mugan xxx
If you made it this far, I’m sorry for the walls of text. I’m writing all of this to try and get Normal People out of my head. I’m beginning to think this was all a bad idea. xoxox
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2018.06.12 02:58 Verastahl Sex voyeur villa
He was watching Sara for nearly ten minutes before she noticed his gaze. She had sat at one of the sandwich shop’s handful of eclectic tables, picking at some kind of vegetable wrap with only mild, detached interest while absently reading on her phone between distracted glances out the window. She had the restless air of a person casting about in the swirls and eddies of life without true purpose or direction or drive. Worse than a victim—a bystander of the world around her. His mouth twisting a little, he watched her eyes widen when she finally saw him staring behind his strange, smoky glasses. The odd twist of lip and teeth became a smile as he rose and approached her.
“Do you know who I am?”
She nodded, suddenly numb as a train of surprise, worry, fear, confusion, hope and finally a thudding, longing sadness passed through her, the wake of each car still felt as the next one came. Surprise that someone was staring at her, she of the nearly invisible. Worry that the man was a stranger and a strange stranger at that. Fear at his odd manner and the unknowns he represented. Confusion at why he was focused on her, or was he? It was hard to tell with those dark glasses on. Hope as her brain caught up with her adrenaline and she realized she knew the man. Longing sadness as she processed that it was her father.
It was impossible, of course. She had last seen him when she was seven, over twenty years ago, and this man looked nearly identical to how he had looked then. He looked her age, if not younger. But still, when she spoke, the answer was on her lips before she could chide it for being too foolish.
“You’re my daddy.”
The man broke into a larger smile and nodded. “Yes, yes I am. And I know how strange this must seem, me showing up like this.”
She pointed at him, her gaze searching his face as though looking for the solution to some unknown riddle. “You’re so young.”
He nodded again, his mouth doing that strange twist for half a second. “Yeah, that’s part of what I meant. I know it’s hard to understand, but now that I’ve found you, the first thing I want to do is explain everything. Where I’ve been, what has happened, everything. May I sit?”
He gestured to the empty chair across from her and she nodded vaguely, her head seeming to float like a balloon barely tethered to her shoulders. She was very present in the moment, but she still felt like she was watching it all from some distance in crystal clear detail, a voyeur to this strange reunion. She felt herself nod, knew she was doing it, but felt no real agency in it or concern for the lack of the same.
The man had settled himself into the seat across from her. He wore a nice but unremarkable brown suit, and his teeth flashed as he talked, reminding her of the blades on an old-fashioned push mower or newfangled food processor. She almost laughed aloud at the strange thought, but then he took her hand and began to explain.
“I was never good at much, you understand. In school…well, in school I was a class clown, and I was clever I guess, a fast talker, but I didn’t really excel at much. When I got out of high school, I went to work at a pest control place, I think it’s closed now, but at the time it was steady work. I met your mom, talked fast to her I guess you could say, and then we got you, got married, and life went on.
“But the pest job was dirty work for little money, and I never managed to do much more than not get fired. I hated my job, we had bills stacking up, and I just felt like a failure. No good to anybody. And you know, I guess that was the truth.
“Now, honey, I loved you more than anything. I loved your mom too, but stress and resentment and fear…well, it eats away at people. It always starts with the soft parts of a person—the kindness, the patience, the love. By the time I left, I felt dried out and hard, all used up.
“But I never gave up on you, you understand. Or your mom either, but I was no good for her or anybody else, not back then. So when I heard about a new job offer that people were talking about around the office, a traveling job no less, I jumped into the conversation right away, asking questions they didn’t know the answers to but finally finding out enough to know that it was work for a wealthy family that was coming through town on a train that night.
His accent was strange, full of odd inflection and wrong angles, and his expressions were hard to read without seeing his eyes. But his voice was melodious and full of something that was hypnotic, and Sara found herself listening raptly as he continued telling her about what had happened that night at the trainyard.
Walker Boone hadn’t been to the train station or the rail yard since he was a boy playing around the tracks with his friends. Even then, they had rarely stayed past dusk, let alone on a moonless night approaching midnight. He found the quiet stillness disconcerting, and several times he considered turning back, a voice whispering to him that there was no train, there was no job, that this was all some elaborate practical joke on him by those assholes at work. But below these thoughts there was a dull, fearful excitement born by the mystery and opportunity of the moment. In his life of routine and closed paths, it was compelling. It was also the only thing that kept him moving forward when he saw the train.
It wasn’t the train’s appearance that struck him, not really. In the dim, ambient light of a couple of sodium lights in the train station’s parking lot, he could tell the train was a modern diesel pulling a dozen large metal boxcars. Some appeared to be joined to make longer spaces inside, while others were attached normally. All of them, from engine to caboose, were painted a dull, flat dark gray or black. It seemed very strange, but there was something more—some smell or noise, some ethereal othersense that said “no”, “wrong”, “danger”. But he was here, and he needed this, and he was just being foolish. So he kept walking towards the engine.
He couldn’t imagine this was the right train, but it was the only one around and it certainly wasn’t from around here. He brought his hand up to cup his mouth and yell when the door on the first container behind the engine slid open, spilling orange light out into the night, startling and blinding him.
“Are you the applicant?” The question came from a beautiful young woman wearing a long red dress that looked like something from one of those movies set in the 1920s. She had the casual air of someone that was pleasantly amused by some joke he wasn’t in on. He felt a moment of irritation amid his confusion, but he pushed it down and nodded.
“Yeah, I guess? I heard about the job. I don’t know much about it though.” He came to a stop below her at the foot of the door and saw her smile down at him sweetly.
“Not too much to know, really. Want to come up and talk about it?” She extended her hand, and while he didn’t have any intention of being pulled up by the woman, he couldn’t resist the chance to touch her pale skin. Her hand was smooth and delicate, but her grip was firm. Before he could try to release his grip, she had already grabbed his wrist with her other hand and pulled him up easily.
He looked at her confusedly for a moment, but then he heard the music.
The parlor, if you wanted to call it that, was beautiful. Fine furnishings, heavenly music, and…but wait. This was all in the boxcar? How? It was big, but this big? It didn’t seem possible. But he hadn’t seen the other side, had he? And what did he know? And what did it matter? She was beautiful and smiling at him, and the music was so magical and she was sitting down and he could almost see…
“Do you have ties to here?”
He snapped back to her face and nodded woodenly. “Yeah, a wife and kid.”
She pursed her lips and nodded, his heart sinking. “You would have to leave them behind, of course. We would send them money to provide, naturally.”
His heart leapt in his chest and he began to nod vigorously, tears springing into his eyes. “Oh, thank you, yes that would be wonderful, thank you.”
Her lips twisted for a moment and she held up her hand. “Hold up, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Do you know what your job would be?”
“It doesn’t matter, I’m happy to do it.”
She studied him for a moment, her dark eyes deep and vaguely luminescent in the golden light that suffused the room. “As you say. My name is Amber. I’m part of a large family that is wealthy and generous, but also eccentric and colorful to say the least.” She laughed slightly at this last bit and he laughed harshly, nodding and eager to please. “We would just need you to witness certain things. That’s all. You wouldn’t be a servant, you would have your own space, and all you would have to do is bear witness. How does…”
Suddenly the lights dimmed and the music stopped. The room seemed to narrow and the air took on the clammy chill of the night air outside. Was he in a drafty boxcar now? Amber looked annoyed, not concerned, at the sudden change.
“Goddamnit, Lana, what’s the fucking idea?”
A small woman in her thirties stepped forward out of some gray shadow he had not seen before. She was not beautiful the way Amber was, but was still pretty, with bright, intelligent eyes and a sympathetic smile for him as she approached and rounded on Amber.
“The idea is you do it fairly. He has to accept willingly.”
Amber snickered and winked at him. “Oh, he will. He’ll be in full control when he says yes.”
Lana shook her head disgustedly. “After you’ve pumped him up to the point of bursting and dropped it all just long enough to get consent? That’s not the w…”
“Like you know anything. You had your chance before, and didn’t you just fuck that up?” Amber’s voice had taken on a sibilant edge and he saw Lana recoil slightly.
“Look, maybe I should…” Amber’s eyes pinned the words in his throat.
“Do you want to be here?”
“Well, yes, I think so….I just”
“Do you want this job?”
“I don’t really understand what it is I’d be…”
“Watching. Bearing witness. That’s all. And your family will have money. And you will get to see so many places and things.” Her voice was no longer silk and warm promises. It was hard and unrelenting, its tones strange. But underneath it all, he knew it was all true. Whatever it all meant, everything she was saying was true.
“Or you can go back to your old life. Seems like it was working out great, right?”
He felt himself wince involuntarily and Lana stepped between them. “Leave him a-“
“Butt the fuck out. I’m cleaning up your mess.” Then turning her gaze back to him, “So do you want the job? Leaving tonight, right now, to start your real life.”
He felt shame as tears began to form and trickle down from the corners of his eyes. He was confused and afraid, yes, but a lot of that fear was of losing whatever strange new world he was touching. He nodded.
“Yes, I want to do it.”
Amber smiled sweetly, her expression brightening lightswitch fast as she nodded. She shot Lana a triumphant glance. “Okay, now. Ask him.”
Lana frowned and remained silent for several heartbeats before turning to him. “Walker, will you bear witness?”
He felt something deep in him thrash violently like an animal trying to escape a trap. He pushed it down as he spoke. “Yes, I will.”
Lana’s face was a mixture of relief and sadness as she nodded. Behind her, Amber laughed and clapped, the golden room returning as he felt the floor lurch under him. The train had left the station.
“You have to understand, at first I didn’t really know what was going on. What they were doing, what I was doing.” His tone was troubled, though it was hard for Sara to tell without seeing his eyes. “We traveled the rail for two days, and during that time I became acquainted with all of them. There was Amber and Lana, of course, but there were three others as well.
“A tall, lean man who looked to be in his early fifties named Richard. He wore these sharp suits that never got dirty, no matter what was going on. They looked a little old-fashioned, or like something people will be wearing in a few years when it comes back into style. He talked a lot, and he was smart, but there was a coldness underneath. He was the one I first thought was hiding something, something beyond the obvious weirdness, which is funny in retrospect.”
“There was Otis, this little boy that told stories about the Kansas farm he had grown up on before it burned. He looked about nine, and while he was full of pep, he seemed a kind child overall, and while he craved attention, he was never rude or demanding about it. He’d just sit there expectantly, like a patient dog wanting to be loved.” His mouth twisted slightly at this and he squeezed Sara’s hand. “I hope this isn’t all scaring you too much. I know how it sounds. I just need you to trust me. Selah. Trust me.”
Sara, whose expression had been shifting slowly to one of fearful confusion as the story progressed, smiled and nodded as her shoulders and face relaxed. “Sure, daddy. I understand. I want to hear.”
Walker gave her hand another squeeze. “Good, good. That’s my girl. The last was an old man. He used a cane most of the time, though it was a lot for show. His name was Barnabas and he stayed to himself most of the time except for during stops. Then he would go out on his own a lot. I spent less time with him than the others but…well, I’ll get to that.
“The train was divided into eight sections. Each of them had a pair of conjoined cars they kept for their own space, a single car at the front—the one I had seen already—and two more single cars at the back. One of those, the caboose I guess, though it looked the same as the rest, was for storage. The other was mine.
“It wasn’t a fancy room, but it wasn’t bad. I had nice furniture, plumbing, and though my room didn’t change like the others, it was large enough to suit my needs. It even had a couple of slide-back windows I could open to let in fresh air and look out as the world went by.
“Now the front car, we call it the parlour, it’s very…multi-purpose. Ah, depending on what they wanted, it could be just about anything. A ballroom, a swimming pool, you name it. It had to be a room of some sort, but that was just about the only limitation. I’ve seen it as big as a football field and fifty feet tall, with gravity so low you could jump and touch the ceiling.” His face lit up as he talked, the enthusiasm clear. He paused and smiled at her, his face growing more somber. “Of course, that was when they changed it. By default it was an empty boxcar, though they had it set up so it usually became a kitchen or a library when I wanted it to…if no one else was around.
“Those first couple of days, it was so strange and magical. Being around them…its like being on some kind of drug I guess. You are in a bit of a happy haze when they walk into the room, and sometimes you stay that way. And then all the things I was seeing, rooms changing, little things I would see or overhear, it was all so new and impossible and wonderful. I spent half my time thinking I was in a fairy tale and half the time thinking I was going crazy. But either way, I didn’t want it to stop.
“The family…they call themselves that though I don’t think any are actually close kin, despite everything, were all nice enough to me. They would make some small talk, listen to brief life history and pretend to care. But it all had some reserve to it, like they were talking to the help. I understood it, because that’s what I was, but it still bothered me. See, it hadn’t taken long for me to realize I wanted to stay in this magical world, whatever it was, but that I wasn’t really in it. Not all the way. I was a bystander, an observer, a visitor. When the train finally drifted to a stop four states away, I was terrified they were going to set me out and leave me behind. Instead, I went to a tea party.”
Walker tugged nervously at his tie, trying to make sure it was set right. He’d only worn a tie twice in his life, once at his father’s funeral and once when he got married. He knew he had to look out of place in this suit they had given him, even though it fit perfectly and was clearly very expensive. It was still like wrapping a dog turd in a silk scarf.
Amber looked over at him. “Quit fidgeting. It’s fine.” She was the most mercurial of all of the family, and over the last couple of days she had ranged from sweet and brazenly flirtatious to serious and businesslike to scornful and condescending all within an hour or two. Now she had on an amused look, studying his nervousness and seeming to read his fears. Richard was the other member of their trio, and he was writing something in a small black book he carried in his jacket’s breast pocket. The book looked old and well-worn, but Walker couldn’t see the tiny, cramped black marks Richard made in it well enough to tell what he was writing down. Rubbing his eyes and forcing his hands away from his collar, he smiled at Amber placatingly.
“Sure, I’ve just never been to a tea party thing before.”
She chuckled and nodded. “First time for everything. Ah, here we go.” She waved lightly and Walker turned to see a pair of middle-aged women returning the gesture and begin trundling over to their table.
Amber’s smile widened. “Well, fancy seeing you two here. Do you remember me?”
The women blinked and then nodded. The younger-looking of the pair took another step forward. “Sure, yes, of course. You’re Mr. and Mrs. Dumond from Bakersville. I still haven’t stopped talking about that party me and Iris went to at your estate last year. Most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, I swear it.” The woman’s eyes had taken on a desperate, manic sheen, and her friend Iris was nodding right along before chiming in.
“It was, it was. And that waltz you two did, you must have been professionally trained.”
Richard laughed thinly. “No, just good breeding and a lovely partner, I’m afraid.”
The two women recoiled slightly through their smiles as though they were worried they’d made some social misstep. “Of course, of course. No one can question that.”
Amber gestured to the two empty chairs at the table. She had told the staff to bring them minutes earlier though five chairs made a tight fit. The women didn’t complain, but rather seemed orgasmically delighted to be invited to sit. Walker could see the barely controlled desperation in the women as they each took a chair, as though it was taking all their will to not bash each other over the head to get to the table first, be seen more, be talked to ahead of the other. But they maintained their control and sat demurely, smoothing their dresses and hair nervously as Amber and Richard studied them. They had never acknowledged Walker in any way, and as the afternoon progressed, he saw it was because they didn’t realize he was there at all.
Their eyes never touched him, but rather glided past, and while at first the realization bothered him, as things progressed, he became glad of the illusion of detachment it afforded him. Because over the course of two hours, Richard and Amber tore the two women apart.
Not physically, but the damage and ruin were there all the same. At first Walker didn’t pick up on it—the conversation was light and pleasant, and while the two women were clearly mesmerized and nearly frantic in their desire to please his companions, there was nothing particularly untoward or obviously cruel in what was being said. Discussions about social events in the area, both past and future, different luminaries of the monied upper crust, different cultural movements that these women pretended to care about because they were in fashion at the time. Amber and Richard knew all that they knew and much more—despite the fact they had been in town just a few hours, they knew the most current gossip and news, had intimate knowledge of people that Richard had no idea they had ever met. At first he thought they must have been here before, but as the conversation progressed, he saw that it was much more than that.
Underneath the light conversation was a strong, black undercurrent. Some things were more obvious—a back-handed compliment, the noting of some factual or social error on the part of one of the women, the gracious acknowledgement of their guests’ limitations in some fashion, be it intellectual, financial, or social. The women would wince slightly, as though taking a light blow to the stomach, and then soldier on trying to win approval.
Then there were the more subtle but powerful references—a husband’s infidelity, a father’s bankruptcy, a child’s ill-timed pregnancy, another’s premature death. These sharper knives were always wrapped in smiles and soft tones of sympathy, and they came from angles hard to anticipate or prepare against. These blows shook the women visibly, seeming to age them as the words fell to the table before them.
The last, towards the end of the tea party, were obscure to Walker at the time. To Iris, there was talk of a Mr. Thurmin who used to live in the area. Had she heard from him? Hadn’t they heard somewhere that Iris and he used to be very, very close? Did they keep in touch? To not-Iris, whose name was actually Dolores, had she heard about how Ms. Milbert Parker had died? And how when her family went to her home, her jewels (some of which were extremely valuable) and her money (which she unfortunately did not trust in a bank) were all gone? And hadn’t Dolores read to Ms. Parker on occasion? And wasn’t it sweet for her to do so?
These two women, aged and hollowed before, were broken now. Their faces crumpled in turn, their eyes starting to dart around like frightened animals in their skulls as they tried to hold onto their composure. In a normal conversation with people, they would have run away crying or screaming, Walker had little doubt. But this was not a normal conversation, and these were not people.
Later that night, as he lay with Amber after an exhilarating and exhaustive session of sex—the first of many post-excursion encounters over the years—he had asked her about those last comments. She laughingly told him that Iris had been molested by her father’s boss for several years as a child, and that she had never told a soul. As for Dolores, she had of course been the one who had stolen all the valuables from the old woman, though to be fair, her father had declared bankruptcy just the year prior.
When Walker asked how they knew all of this, all the things they knew and did, she just frowned at him, her good humor gone at his apparent stupidity. She gestured around the room, which was currently a spacious Italian villa.
“How do you think? Now get out.”
Weeks and months went by, and they would move from town to town. Most of the family went on excursions in every place they stopped, but he found himself a highly-prized but judiciously used commodity. There would be times where he wouldn’t be invited to go anywhere at all for weeks at a time. Then at other times two or three would argue over his attendance at some thing or another. Sometimes this would lead to collaborative efforts like the tea party had been, but not often. They all had different tastes and needs it seemed, and over time he saw them all.
The old man, Barnabas, he wanted to corrupt people’s morals. He would tempt people with ill-gotten gains or an easy lie. At times he would pretend to be senile or naïve to set the trap. Other times he would be very straightforward and offer a person something they wanted in exchange for something dear to them. He didn’t seem to have the same level of information that Amber or Richard possessed, but he had tremendous insight and instincts about people. He could read people after just a few minutes of conversation, and they would wind up thanking him for giving away a real and valuable part of themselves.
Walker paused for a moment and removed his smoked glasses. His eyes weren’t strange after all, they were her father’s eyes, and if they occasionally seemed to swim in and out of focus slightly, she barely noticed. They were warm and comforting. He folded his hands and smiled at Sara. Her expression was largely calm and focused now, with only occasional ripples of disquiet or fear. Looking at his watch, he nodded to himself before continuing on.
“Lana, who was always calm and relatively kind in her dealings with me, would attack people. This small, sweet-looking young girl would take a large man or a tiny woman, even sometimes a child, and brutally beat them without explanation or provocation. The location would vary—a park, their bedroom, a bathroom at school. She could move virtually undetected and no one would see me if I was with her despite what I did.”
Sara’s eyebrows twitched. “What did you do?”
Walker’s expression darkened slightly. “This is about Lana, sweetheart. Selah. Listen.” Her features smoothed.
“The degree of damage she did varied a great deal too. Some people would just get banged up, while others went to the hospital. Several she crippled, but only once did I see her kill anyone, and that was by accident. You know why she didn’t kill them?
“At the time I thought it was her showing restraint, trying to be merciful. I knew by this point that the family, these things, they were often cruel by nature, perhaps even by necessity. They fed on it somehow. But Lana was always nice and understanding. She was the closest thing I had to a friend among them. I didn’t know if it was because she was the newest to their life, but she seemed to have more humanity than the rest of them.
“Then, over the years, I realized why she didn’t kill. She would return to the same people. Over their lives, she would find them two, three, even four times and brutalize them again and again. Never any words or explanation. Just this ageless, raging girl that was inhumanly strong and fast that you couldn’t fight against and that could always find you for the next time.
“She would seek them out if we stopped nearby, and she always knew if they had already died, especially if it was a suicide. There were quite a few of those.”
His mouth twisted slightly as he spoke, his eyes flicking up to shake his head at an approaching waitress. The woman retreated and he kept speaking, his tone quieter now.
“I know that sounds terrible. Having to see it was worse, of course. The first couple of times I would throw up. But then I had to go out with Otis, the little boy. Nothing bothered me much after that.”
Again, slight stirring from Sara. “Why?”
“Well, the things Otis did to people…he looked like a boy, but he was one of the oldest of them. Maybe the oldest. He had more power than the others, and his interests…let’s just say that there were two sides to Otis. This sweet boy on the train, and the thing off the train.”
“What did he do?”
Walker looked genuinely distraught for a moment before smiling again, grimly and with little warmth. “Let’s just say that he could take things away and give them back. When we left the train, we would be gone for days, usually all with the same person or group of people. He…he can make people see things, bring things back, just…he is unique.” Clearing his throat, he spoke again, more to himself. “It doesn’t matter. Accommodation leads to evolution. Evolution leads to ascendance.”
Then to her, his smile back on as his gaze fixed upon hers again. “And I have improved. I’ve been through a lot, but it has made me a better and stronger person. A better person to come find my daughter, and strong enough to ask for her help.”
Sara blinked. “Help? You need my help, daddy?”
Walker nodded, his expression sorrowful. “I do. It shames me to ask, both because I have no right to ask anything of the child I abandoned, despite my reasons, and because the thing I ask is a terrible burden to bear.”
He paused for her to interject, but she continued to look on raptly.
“I…well, the thing I’ve done for these people, these things, for all this time, its something they have to have. This family, as they like to be called, well they aren’t human, of course. Well, how could they be and do all the wonderous things they can do? They’re this thing called Fomori. You can call it a monster or a demon, or just something a lot different and more special than us. But they still need us just the same. They don’t need much to survive, but they all have some unique and special need that drives them and on occasion the expression of that need has to be witnessed.
He leaned back in his chair, staring off for a moment as he spoke. “Now, I guess back in olden days they could go into a village or find a group of people off to themselves and do what they would. If no one was left, who would be the wiser? And if someone did survive, it was just another story to go with all the others of things out in the dark, be they true or false. But over time they’ve learned safer and more efficient ways of living. They get what they need without any real risk, and with minimal harm to the world at large. To the people in it.”
He paused here, his expression changing slightly as something akin to pride flickered across his face. “The witness is the key. The Fomori learned that if they had a designated and sanctified witness that lived with them, the benefits were exponentially greater. There is great power in the rituals of it and the witness’ understanding of what the Fomori do. It’s like this—you could either have a terrified participant witnessing what you do to others and to themselves, their mind half gone with fear, or you could have a bystander. An objective party who is removed from harm and over time will develop a deeper appreciation for the nuance and depth of what they are observing. The benefits for them are vast.”
Sara was beginning to look disturbed again, some remaining resistance pushing up to the surface. “I…I don’t…” Walker pressed on, his tone sharper, his eyes boring into her.
“The point is that the witness is safe from harm. But over time, over many years, the witness begins to lose his or her value. They have seen and heard too much. They begin to lose their ability to appreciate what they are seeing.
“I’m reaching this point, and they are aware of it. Despite the dark side of their nature, they are not unreasonable nor are they all bad. They appreciate my service, and were willing to work with me to find a replacement.
He took her hands again and squeezed them tightly. “That brings me to you.”
Sara started in her seat. “Me? What are…”
“It has to be you, Sara. For me to transfer my position while alive, it must be given to someone I love more than myself. And in doing so, they will let me stay with you and help you adjust to your role.”
Sara was slowly shaking her head as though trying to free it from invisible bindings, her mind creaking dangerously as she tried to object. “I…I…” Walker grimaced and kept going.
“They have promised they will only bind you as witness for ten years. If you wish to leave after that you may do so. And I will stay on with you until you’re done. Then we can both be free. Free and in each other’s lives. I’ve not aged normally, as you can see, and neither will you. We both have our lives ahead of us. If you will just help me.”
His face was open and pleading, tears shining in his eyes, and Sara’s resolve slipped away for the final time.
As they were leaving the diner, a man in his fifties approached Sara, his face at first relieved, but then as he saw the young man with her, slightly concerned.
“Sara, honey, I’m so sorry. I totally forgot I was going to meet you at 2. I must have…fallen asleep…” Seeing no recognition on his daugher’s face, he trailed off, his eyes going to the man. “Who’s your friend? I’ve never m..”
The man stepped forward, his lips twisting slightly as he hissed. “Selah. You are lost.”
Sara’s father blinked and looked around in some confusion before moving silently to sit at a booth, his shoulders bowing in as he stared down at his tightly gripped hands with bleak anguish. Sara never looked his way again as they left.
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2017.06.08 04:07 tombstoneshadows28 All of the MPAA/CARA-rated films of 2000 (out of the 3,823 films released worldwide that year.)
2016.12.04 15:29 emememaker73 Voyeur villa sex
· 1. Bodies of woman, dog found along shore of Nippersink Lake in Fox Lake (Chicago Tribune)
· 2. Gas station on U.S. 45 near Lake Villa robbed at gunpoint (CBS 2)
· 3. Maine South High School football team ends No. 1-ranked Loyola Academy's 30-game winning streak to win Class 8A championship (Chicago Tribune)
· 4. Civil-rights complaint against Waukegan School District 60 will mean staff, students to go through anti-sexual-harassment training, changes to policy on gender discrimination (Chicago Tribune/Lake County News-Sun)
· 5. Three people, including an infant, injured in crash on Eisenhower in Forest Park (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 6. Neuqua Valley High School students unveil new Naperville city flag during TEDx Naperville speakers conference (Daily Herald)
· 7. Plainfield South High School loses Class 7A football game to East St. Louis, following lawsuit by Fenwick High School over miscalled play (Chicago Tribune)
· 8. Man wearing Cubs World Series Champions sweatshirt robs Willow Springs bank on Black Friday (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 9. Northwest Indiana seeing hotel-building boom (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 10. Prompt Ambulance to discontinue serving Merrillville after contract expires Feb. 1, 2017 (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 11. Portage police officer injured after driver runs red light, T-bones squad car at Old Porter Road (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 12. Indiana Department of Natural Resources police investigate hunter's death in tree stand in Schererville (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 13. LaPorte County moves to take control of plans for Kingsbury Industrial Park rail spur (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 14. Merrillville reaches agreement with Gary Public Transportation Corp. that may bring shuttle-bus service to Broadway by mid-summer 2017 (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 15. Indiana Dunes Tourism doles out $26,250 in grants to 15 organizations to promote festivals, other events during 2017 (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 16. Lake County Sheriff's Office investigating report of gunshots fired in Beach Park on early Sunday morning (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 17. Waukegan police seek man who stole running vehicle from gas station, left the vehicle in Waukegan two days later (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 18. Round Lake man arrested after Lake County Sheriff's dog bites him; faces DUI, other charges (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 19. Two men sought in robbery of Waukegan motel (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 20. Libertyville High School mourns loss of two students, one 2016 graduate, retired school worker who passed away over Thanksgiving weekend (Daily Herald)
· 21. Kenosha police dog euthanized after sudden illness (ABC 7)
· 22. One person in critical condition following shooting at Fox View Apartment Complex in Carpentersville (Chicago Tribune/Elgin Courier-News)
· 23. Rolling Meadows teen sentenced to two years probation, must register as sex offender after molesting friend during sleepover (Daily Herald)
· 24. Elk Grove Village police issue 382 seat-belt citation during stepped-up Click It or Ticket campaign between Nov. 14-27 (Daily Herald)
· 25. Chicago man arrested in Riverside for third DUI after police officer sees him driving the wrong way on a one-way street (CBS 2)
· 26. Students from Oak Park and River Forest High School seek stronger sexual-assault regulations after revelation of investigation into off-campus party (Chicago Tribune/Oak Park)
· 27. Student from Aurora killed in house fire in Carbondale on Nov. 23 (Chicago Tribune/Aurora Beacon-News)
· 28. Four guards at Illinois Youth Center-St. Charles accused of encouraging inmates to fight (Chicago Tribune/Aurora Beacon-News)
· 29. AT&T worker shot during attempted robbery in Berwyn (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 30. Loyola Medicine Home Care and Hospice moves offices from Melrose Park to Oak Brook (Daily Herald)
· 31. Family donates replacement after winds knock down Aurora's Christmas tree (WBBM AM 780)
· 32. $1,000 reward offered for information on suspect in Naperville road-rage incident on Thanksgiving Day (ABC 7)
· 33. Two women arrested for stealing packages from Wheaton apartment building (ABC 7)
· 34. Sheridan man killed in three-vehicle crash on Route 71 near Newark Road in Kendall County (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 35. Old Plank Trail Community Bank in Frankfort robbed at gunpoint (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 36. Dolton man killed in Chicago Heights crash (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 37. Tri-Creek School Corp. approves bids for solar panels as part of 2017 project to reduce energy costs (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 38. Munster Town Council adopts resolution making Veterans Day a paid day off for employees (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 39. Harry Flournoy, history-making basketball standout from Gary, passes away at 72 (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 40. Chesterton man charged with sexually assaulting girl from age 6 to 10 (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 41. Two men shot in separate incidents in Gary (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 42. Dyer man, who has owned strip clubs in Bedford Park and Harvey, accused of conspiracy to commit aggravated battery in business dispute (Chicago Tribune)
· 43. IDOT: Illinois needs to prepare for driverless cars (CBS 2/WBBM AM 780)
· 44. Cook County pays $600,000 to man who accidentally got locked in a cell at county jail for 32 hours in 2015 (CBS 2)
· 45. Portion of Wauconda health-care facility evacuated after heater releases carbon monoxide (Daily Herald)
· 46. Lake County Sheriff's Office, Lindenhurst police investigate armed robberies in Lake Villa, Lindenhurst; crimes may have been done by same suspect (Daily Herald)
· 47. Hawthorn Woods approves 39-house/commercial development at corner of Illinois Route 22, Quentin Road (Daily Herald)
· 48. Northbrook-based Allstate to buy electronics-warranty provider SquareTrade for $1.4 billion (Crain's Chicago Business)
· 49. Highland Park parent of special-needs student sues North Shore School District 112 to prevent closure of school, layoff of teachers (Chicago Tribune/Highland Park News)
· 50. Barrington, Riverside filmmakers produce documentary on 1988 championship football game between Notre Dame and University of Miami for ESPN (Daily Herald)
· 51. Pedestrian struck by Metra Northwest Line train in Cary (CBS 2)
· 52. Glenview man charged with kidnapping, assaulting nurse, attacking two other employees at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights (Chicago Tribune/Arlington Heights Post)
· 53. Driver charged after his car is struck by Metra train after going under railroad cross arms in Mount Prospect (Daily Herald)
· 54. Oak Park and River Forest High School coach suspended as school officials, police investigate party that resulted in sexual assault at his home while he was out of town (Chicago Tribune/Oak Leaves)
· 55. Carol Stream to lease space at Glendale Heights Civic Center for some police operations; temporary village hall likely to be set up in warehouse (Daily Herald)
· 56. DuPage County Sheriff's Office, Winfield Township Road District create garden in memory of baby found dead in unincorporated Wheaton in June (CBS 2)
· 57. Target plans flexible-format store at Lake and Maple streets in Oak Park (NBC 5)
· 58. DuPage County prosecutors drop charges against 'Simpsons' graffiti artist (Chicago Tribune/Naperville Sun)
· 58. Bodies of two workers found at townhouse under construction in Lockport (ABC 7)
· 59. Calumet City man charged with soliciting sex from two children (Chicago Tribune/Post-Tribune)
· 60. Michigan City to study needs for new city hall, where it might be located (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 61. Harry Potter-themed, board-game-oriented The Librarium Cafe opens in downtown Hobart (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 62. Kingsford Heights man charged with cheating Portage resident out of $3,102 in home-repair scam (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 63. Griffith man accused of illegally dumping hazardous material in Gary garbage facility (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 64. Man sought for aggravated robbery in Fox Lake is arrested in Lake Geneva, Wis., resort (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 65. Diamond Lake Elementary School District 76 board approves four-year teachers contract backdated to 2015-16 school year (Daily Herald)
· 66. Volo seeks volunteers to conduct special census (Daily Herald)
· 67. Des Plaines man arrested after trying to push his way into Arlington Heights restaurant's kitchen to prepare his own food; he stands accused of assaulting employees (Chicago Tribune/Arlington Heights Post)
· 68. Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights certified as comprehensive stroke center, recognized for neurological care services (Daily Herald)
· 69. New long-term Palatine downtown plan calls for more multifamily housing near Metra station, better access to public transit for pedestrians and cyclists (Daily Herald)
· 70. Wheeling High School graduate the driving force behind Professor Watchlist website (Daily Herald)
· 71. Barrington Children's Charities give $10,000 to Barrington High School student group that filled 700 duffel bags with supplies for foster children (Daily Herald)
· 72. Car jumps curb, crashes into fitness club in Arlington Heights (Chicago Tribune/Arlington Heights Post)
· 73. Ex-Crystal Lake Central High School choir director accused of groping two students, plying one with alcohol, at his home in October (Chicago Tribune)
· 74. CEO, CFO of Schaumburg software company arrested on charges of wire fraud, falsifying financial reports (Chicago Tribune)
· 75. Ground broken for 270-unit apartment building at former Littelfuse industrial site in Des Plaines (Daily Herald)
· 76. Bald eagle believed to be nesting in Prospect Heights (Daily Herald)
· 77. Schaumburg promotes fire captain to deputy chief (Daily Herald)
· 78. Pace to install five bus shelters along Gary Avenue in Carol Stream (Daily Herald)
· 79. Glendale Heights man charged with burglary, possession of controlled substance after report of suspicious person looking into parked cars (Daily Herald)
· 80. Aurora man sentenced to 48 years in prison for ex-girlfriend's beating death in Aurora (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 81. Geneva alderman putting $75,000 into his bid to unseat incumbent mayor (Daily Herald)
· 82. Glen Ellyn Elementary School District 41 survey shows support plan to add onto Hadley Junior High School; full-day kindergarten less likely to get voter approval (Daily Herald)
· 83. Elk Grove Village promotes deputy police chief to top-cop post (Daily Herald)
· 84. Riverside doctor's license suspended as he's accused of running 'pill mill' that prescribed 1.6 million doses of pills to people in 10 states (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 85. Men found dead at Lockport construction site were brothers and both were shot to death (CBS 2)
· 86. Suspects in Joliet pet-store robbery reportedly shoplifted $1,400 worth of makeup from beauty store in Joliet before hitting pet store (CBS 2)
· 87. Driver arrested following hit-and-run crash in Lansing that left Lansing man dead (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 88. Mother of LaPorte native urges city to institute mandate for carbon-monoxide detectors after daughter's death (CBS 2)
· 89. St. John woman killed when her vehicle hit a tree off U.S. 41 near West 97th Place (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 90. Two people injured in head-on crash on Michigan Street in Hammond (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 91. Man charged in string of home burglaries in Hammond (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 92. Cook County officials agree to demolish three buildings in jail complex to save $188 million during next 10 years (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 93. Evanston man, Mississippi man arrested for bank heists in Zion, Northbrook (CBS 2)
· 94. O'Hare Airport to end six-month night-flight rotation on Christmas, despite pleas from Harwood Heights, Schiller Park mayors (CBS 2)
· 95. Metra trains temporarily halted in Mount Prospect after train strikes vehicle (NBC 5)
· 96. Mount Prospect woman sentenced to 13 years in prison for running over Illinois State Trooper, crashing into another vehicle while drunk on I-294 (ABC 7)
· 97. DaVinci Academy in Elgin closing doors at end of school year; officials blame decision on insufficient enrollment (CBS 2)
· 98. Arlington Heights woman charged with child endangerment after 6-year-old son calls police to report being left home while mother was out grocery-shopping (Chicago Tribune/Arlington Heights Post)
· 99. Five Palatine elected officials running unopposed in April 4, 2017 election (Daily Herald)
· 100. Des Plaines police investigating possible arson to a car along Northwest Highway (Daily Herald)
· 101. Former supply-chain manager from McHenry charged with embezzling more than $1 million from Itasca company (Daily Herald)
· 102. Former Bellwood village manageCFO pleads guilty to stealing money from village; sentence includes two years probation, repaying $100,000 (CBS 2)
· 103. Former Bellwood village manager pleads guilty to theft in plea deal which will reduce his pension to $100,000 annually (Chicago Tribune)
· 104. Downers Grove-based Sharing Connections, an organization that helps struggling families and veterans make their houses feel like homes, celebrates 30th anniversary (CBS 2)
· 105. No charges filed in fatal crash that killed Aurora cyclist in Hinsdale (Chicago Tribune/The Doings)
· 106. Western Springs man charged with battery after allegedly punching Uber driver; police tracked him down using Uber subscriber information (Chicago Tribune/The Doings)
· 107. Wheaton-Warrenville Unit School District 200 to have $132.5 million capital/educational funding referendum on April ballot (Daily Herald)
· 108. Naperville man dies from fall I-355 overpass in Lemont (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 109. Illinois Department of Corrections closes Stateville Correctional Center's 'roundhouse' as move to save state money (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 110. Customer sues Tinley Park massage parlor, claiming masseuse sexually assaulted her (CBS 2)
· 111. Ford Heights School District 169 put on lockdown while police search for suspect in murder of security guard in Harvey (NBC 5)
· 112. Michigan City's Shoreline Brewery and Restaurant plans expansion to double seating area, 50 percent more brewing capacity (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 113. Developer proposes seven-office-building/hotel complex in Highland (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 114. National Association for Town Watch gives Hammond award for outstanding participation in National Night Out in August (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 115. Elkhart man arrested in shooting death of Goshen man whose body was found at Kingsbury Fish and Wildlife Area near LaPorte (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 116. FBI agents interview Portage police chief in wake of mayor's indictment on bribery, obstruction charges (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 117. Gavit Middle-High School in Hammond named 2016 National Title I Distinguished School for Growth and Closing the Achievement Gap (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 118. Three homes in downtown Valparaiso burglarized while occupants slept (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 119. Zion man sues Lake County Sheriff's Office and Mundelein and North Chicago police over wrongful arrest that was part of probe into street-gang activity (CBS 2)
· 120. Man struck by CTA Purple Line train in Evanston dies (ABC 7)
· 121. Increased security planned for two-day festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines (Chicago Tribune)
· 122. McHenry man taken to hospital in critical condition after being shot in Hoffman Estates (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 123. East Dundee banquet hall facing revocation or suspension of liquor license after 60 noise complaints lodged against it (Daily Herald)
· 124. Village of Arlington Heights puts up wayfinding signs in hopes of encouraging more walking, better health (Daily Herald)
· 125. Park Ridge holiday-lights display honors last pop star Prince (FOX 32)
· 126. Elgin woman charged with aggravated battery and home invasion after attacking Elgin man in his home (Daily Herald)
· 127. Carpentersville manufacturer buys former Haeger Potteries property in East Dundee, plans to move operations there (Daily Herald)
· 128. Barrington man created 'chicken coop of the 21st century,' is launching Indiegogo campaign (Crain's Chicago Business)
· 129. 27-house development proposed for former Musselman Lumber site in Warrenville (Daily Herald)
· 130. West Chicago church housing Elgin man facing deportation forced to bring building up to code after firefighters respond to smoke alarm (Daily Herald)
· 131. Batavia man arrested for sexual abuse of teenage girl, possession of child porn (Daily Herald)
· 132. Two students stabbed in fight across the street from East Aurora High School (FOX 32)
· 133. Naperville retiree fatally shot in Chicago's North Austin neighborhood (FOX 32)
· 134. Naperville Marine driving wife and friend killed by wrong-way drunk driver on I-88 in Naperville (Chicago Tribune/Naperville Sun)
· 135. Owner of Felony Franks to run for Oak Park Village Board (Chicago Tribune/Oak Leaves)
· 136. Lisle man sentenced to seven years in prison for traveling to Aurora to pay for sex with two minors in 2013 (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 137. Two men in custody for kidnapping ride-share driver, stealing his car in Glen Ellyn (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 138. Employee of Batavia spa accused of offering to perform sex act for money, practicing massage therapy without a license (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 139. Comfort dogs allowed on the witness stand at Will County Courthouse (FOX 32)
· 140. Judge who allowed law clerk to wear judicial robe, hear traffic cases at Markham courthouse diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease; state board says she's unfit to do her job (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 141. Lake County Council makes appointments, swears in a number of people to Circuit Court system (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 142. Crown Point Police Department raises $2,000 while participating in No-Shave November cancer awareness campaign (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 143. Man found shot to death in 4200 block of Kentucky Street in Gary (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 144. LaCrosse man sentenced to 52 years in prison for molesting two girls that he adopted away from mother who pimped them in exchange for drugs (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 145. Six people arrested on charges of dealing cocaine in East Chicago (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 146. Police investigate fatal shooting of East Chicago man (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 147. Great Lakes Basin seeks to suspend environmental review of proposed 260-mile freight-train bypass of Chicago area; project still expected to remain on track (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 148. Solar panels being installed at two Grayslake High School District 127 buildings (Daily Herald)
· 149. Fox Lake woman going to prison for one year for waving gun, shooting at police during standoff in Wonder Lake (Chicago Tribune)
· 150. Fire extensively damages Elgin dollar store (Daily Herald)
· 151. Man killed when his car went off the road and struck a tree in Elgin (Daily Herald)
· 152. Aurora man sentenced to 15 years in prison for trafficking heroin, which he picked up at Aurora bus depot (Daily Herald)
· 153. Kane County sees decline in electronics-recycling dropoffs after restarting program at three sites (Daily Herald)
· 154. Teen arrested for attempted battery outside Batavia McDonald's after trying to rob another juvenile (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 155. Naperville police seek two woman accused of stealing another woman's purse, then beating her before escaping from store (Chicago Sun-Times)
· 156. Two teenage girls arrested on charges of stealing clothing from Dick's Sporting Goods in Bloomingdale and Naperville; they Maced an employee of Naperville store (Daily Herald)
· 157. Mother, son die after being found with multiple stab wounds in Posen home; son's death ruled suicide (Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown)
· 158. Reports of voyeur continue to plague Michigan City neighborhood (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 159. Federal judge sentences Merrillville woman to one year in prison for extorting bribes while she was Calumet Township deputy assessor (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 160. Hammond mayor to close city court in wake of Gov. Pence;s appointment of non-attorney as judge (Chicago Tribune/Post-Tribune)
· 161. Portage may loosen taxi regulations in face of competition with Uber, Lyft (Northwest Indiana Times)
· 162. Cook County to outsource most of its toxicology testing to a private company to save $1 million next year (Chicago Sun-Times)
submitted by emememaker73 to ChicagoSuburbs [link] [comments]
2012.05.28 12:52 tabledresser Voyeur villa sex
|You are a sexy historian which is not surprising because historians always have a date.||HEYOOO. I definitely like that joke. And thanks for the compliment!|
|Sorry, bad joke that I couldn't resist. You are very cute though.||Semen was thought of by Ancient Greek doctors as the life-essence of men. There weren't a lot of advancements in medicine during the Roman times in terms of improvement over what the Greeks had done, so the Roman attitudes toward semen was similar. There wasn't a lot of discussion of it as, like, an aspect of sex that was commonly fetishized, at least not that I've seen (though that doesn't indicate that it didn't happen!)|
|My question: What was their attitude towards cum? Life-giving, dirty, somewhere in between?||I freely admit that this is not something I have a load of knowledge about, so if anyone else has a better answer, then shoot. Just don't be a jerk about it.|
|Sooo... you're asking someone to shoot their load?||Why, I'm shocked you found any innuendo in that statement. I was requesting that anyone who had a stroke of enlightenment on the issue come and inform us about it.|
|So... you want someone who's been stroked to come?||Again, I really don't know where you're getting all of this double entendre. All I was saying was that if you have some knowledge handy that you can blow our minds with, it'd be nice to see men talking about it in this thread instead of holding it in.|
|Subtle ;)||Subtle is my middle name!|
|Wait a second...||I'm just really sad nobody's continued my pun thread. I feel a little let down by reddit, here.|
|They've gone soft on you. It's a shame.||HERO.|
|Could you give me a LI5 explanation of roman sexuality?||I don't know how comfortable I'd be explaining Roman sexuality to a five year old, but I'll give it a shot!|
|Roman mommies and Roman daddies had very different rules people expected them to follow about who got to touch their bodies and how. Roman daddies were allowed to touch anyone's bodies that they wanted to, especially if those Roman daddies were rich and powerful. Roman mommies were supposed to only be touched, and only then by their husbands. This led to Romans considering some very different things to be naughty than we do today. But, just like people have a hard time following rules about what is and isn't okay to do, so did the Romans. And then poets like Martial and Horace and Ovid wrote lots of awesome poems about people who broke those rules and what happened to them.|
|How'd I do?|
|Very well done. Now explain it like I'm a sex crazed teenage boy.||Hold on, let me get my sexy librarian costume...|
|Roman daddies were allowed to touch anyone's bodies that they wanted to, especially if those Roman daddies were rich and powerful.||For sure! It didn't, really. As long as the man was the "active" partner, he was completely within the bounds of pudicitia, the Roman idea of sexual morality that's kind of analogous to chastity, to fuck whatever gender he cared to fuck in whichever orifice he cared to fuck them. When it came to things like anal sex with a female, it was up to the female to be the gatekeeper in that regard - women were really only supposed to have vaginal sex - but it wouldn't reflect badly on the man if it happened, because he was doing what he was supposed to do (i.e. being the "active" partner.)|
|So you aren't wearing your sexy librarian costume in that dissertation picture?||No, that's just how I was dressed.|
|Is that why Christianity hates homosexuality? Because it was a practice early Christians saw their oppressors engage in and thus denounce it as evil because it was a virtuous practice for their enemies?||I think it has more to do with the laws within the Old Testament than anything else, given that most of Jesus's early disciples were themselves Jews who would have followed the rules in Leviticus.|
|I have ~feelings~ about the extent to which early Christians were actually persecuted, but that's a rant for another evening.|
|So how does this relate to homosexuality? Male "catchers" were shamed, but "pitchers" were not? And female homosexuality was taboo altogether?||It doesn't really relate to modern homosexuality. A Roman who fucked mostly men wouldn't have thought of himself as a homosexual because the concept didn't exist - his sexuality was about what he did with the people he was with rather than the gender of the people he was fucking/being fucked by.|
|Female homosexuality was something that occurred, and people knew about, but because most of our sources were men it's hard to know how the women themselves thought about it. In poems like Martial 1.90 (mentioned downthread) where Bassa is being rebuked for being adulterous with her female friends despite having a husband, Martial paints her as a woman who uses her monstrously large clitoris to penetrate other women. The problem here is twofold: her adultery, which is not within the bounds of pudicitia for a Roman matron, and her being the active partner, which is not appropriate for any Roman woman.|
|What do you mean by 'feelings'? ie they were persecuted much less than they are made out to have been?||Basically, yes. There's very little evidence that there was any kind of even a half-assed persecution, let alone the systematic, coordinated persecution that (non-contemporaneous!) Christian sources claim.|
|I don't want to say that they're liars liars togas on fire... but I will strongly imply it.|
|So what about when Roman men were being the passive partner? Obviously there were boys and men who liked it in the ass. I mean, Hadrian's little fuckbuddy, for instance. How would people have treated him? He was a Roman man who liked a good buggering.||There were, but they were referred to as pathici and cinaedi and looked upon with contempt. If you haven't read kinggimped's freaking awesome post from last year about Roman manliness and "homosexuality" then you should, because he answers this part of your question with all the same poems I'd pull but with, like, 80% more awesome writing.|
|what about women who were dominant in bed? Did Romans have BDSM parlors?||As for Hadrian's boyfriend, he was well-known throughout the empire and people would have crossed him at their own peril. He may have been breaking Roman conventions of pudicitia, but he was breaking those conventions with the Emperor of Rome.|
|Christians were told that dying as a martyr meant instant passage to Heaven. The Romans didn't seek out Christians and really just gave a formally-required slap on the wrist to those they stumbled across. Christians began purposefully seeking out Roman guards to flaunt their religion.||Basically this - at first Christianity was considered a sect of Judaism, which had a semi-protected status, but the Christians were all, "Oh, how dare you lump us in, we're special snowflakes" and the Romans did the same thing they did with other new cults - assessed whether loyalty to the religion meant breaking away from loyalty to the empire, which was shown through worship of the imperial cult. The Christians who would not light incense for the emperor's health, basically, were the ones who were prosecuted.|
|The problem with that is that we don't know how many Christians were actually seeking out martyrdom and how many were just like, bugger this all for a lark, I'm gonna get me some incense. And even with the ones who Christian sources say sought out martyrdom, none of the Christian sources come from anyone who was living at the time they claim the martyrdom happened.|
|Earlier someone talked about Greeks maybe possibly thinking huge penises were not the ideal, but that small ones were. Does the above poem relate to that notion in any way (I realize it was Roman, so I'm pretty much confused why it's a supposed burn...or maybe it's a compliment?)||I don't think it's supposed to be a compliment, but I think it's as much about the nose as it is about the penis. Anything freakish about one's appearance was fair game for Martial. I think with the Romans it's not so much that small penises were idealized, as with the Greeks, but that they weren't the subject of a socially acceptable fetish, like they are with modern American society.|
|I am a conventionally masculine gay man and very, very often wonder what my life would be like had I lived in antiquity. I think I would've had a pretty good time, save for the plague and hundreds of times higher rate of homicide, natch.||If you were a well-born Roman citizen, you probably would have cleaned up. (As for the plague - at least in the times I was dealing with, well-born Romans lived pretty long. So unless you were slumming it with the poors, you would have been good on that front.)|
|1.)If you are familiar with what happens at a modern bathhouse in the western world, how much of that also was happening in the darker corners of the baths of ancient Rome, for instance?||1) I am familiar! (I'm bi myself, and I have a couple of close gay friends who have discussed these things with me.) At public bathhouses, I think it may have happened a little bit, but there's not much evidence for it as something that happened frequently. (Of course, lack of evidence is not evidence of nothing!) Private bathhouses, on the other hand... well, it depended on who owned them. The emperor Hadrian, who built one of the most gorgeous villas in the ancient world that I highly recommend you go visit at Tivoli, south of Rome, had a fucking gorgeous Bithynian boyfriend called Antinous who he brought with him everywhere and tried to get made into a god when he died suddenly, tragically young. Antinous is one of the most sculpted faces in the ancient world, both because Hadrian loved him a lot and also because he's really, really, really, really pretty. I'm pretty sure there was a lot of shenanigans happening in their private bathhouse. (Hadrian actually built a little private island with a drawbridge in his villa, and I've read stories about how they used to go there and draw up the bridge and just be there together. This is possibly just made up, but I like it as a story.)|
|Anyway, thanks for indulging my puerile curiosities! :D.||Puerile curiosities are what I live for, friend.|
|I'm bi myself. Allll biiii myself...||Thanks so much for putting that in my head forever and ever.|
|One more quick thing: what are your thoughts about the Warren cup? I remember the first time I saw pictures of it several years ago I was like "wow! awesome! so hot!", and then I saw pictures of the other side where basically a child rape is depicted and was like "...oh my...that's....oh dear". So, I guess they didn't really have a concept of how much such a thing could damage a person back then? Or, perhaps they didn't care in the same way that consideration for rape of women was nonexistent unless the woman who was raped was of high status in society? Or, maybe, and possibly most disturbing, the lack of scandal and outrage surrounding "consensual" underage sex (ie. statutory rape) itself resulted in less psychological harm to the person experiencing it?||The Warren Cup is my single favorite item in the British Museum. If it makes you feel better about finding it hot, part of why it's such an interesting piece is that the people depicted on it are actually relatively close in age. The things that would mark out Boy vs. Man in Roman art are pretty definitive. The Warren Cup isn't generally thought to show child rape at all - the only person on the Cup who is coded as a Boy rather than a Man (or a young man) is the voyeur. As for Roman consideration for rape - if you were a Roman citizen, even if you were a woman, rape was a huge crime. If you were a slave and someone raped you, the punishment had to be paid to your owner, but there was still punishment there unless it was your owner who raped you. What we would consider statutory rape was a thing more in the Greek world than the Roman world. And I'd agree with your assessment about the acceptance of it as a good and normal thing (at least with the erastes/eromenos relationship of the Greeks) leading to less psychological damage.|
|I'm bi myself. Sorry, but this question pops immediately to my mind: Did your research have any influence on your sexuality, or did you identify as bisexual before you got in to the topic?||That's a really great question. I definitely had some idea that I was also interested in girls before I started my research, but I don't know that I really felt okay identifying as bi until well after I was finished with college. I called myself straightish until had my first real sex with a girl, and then I felt like I could really call myself bi. Maybe that's silly? I would consider myself a Kinsey 2 - not perfectly bi, but enough to identify as such. So I'm not sure that my researched was guided at all by my sexuality - I just found it interesting.|
|Why does it sound like your college life would make a great show on HBO?||Because it totally would have. Can you tell I really, really, really loved college?|
|Was there any kind of birth control back then? Or did they just get used to having a kid every 9 months?||There was definitely birth control! There are plants that have been used as birth control as well as abortion-inducers (abortifacients) for pretty much all of recorded history. Silphium, a now extinct plant that was a major trade item of the city of Cyrene, was one of the most well-known. The plant we know as Queen Anne's Lace, also known as wild carrot, is another.|
|Additionally there are records of women using things like sea sponges as diaphragms. People have asked about condoms - there's no evidence that condoms were in use during Roman times, but as always, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.|
|I read somewhere that the reason Silphium went extinct is because the Romans used all of it up. Is that true?||What we know is: it's extinct. We don't really even know what genus it was from. There's a lot of different explanations - overfarming, animal grazing on the only land where it grew - but we'll never know until we know for sure what plant it was. And that will probably never happen. Sadface.|
|How many awkward moments have you encountered when you tell a person about your degree? I imagine it garners some funny looks. And for a real question, do you think parts of this subject should be expanded on in education?||I generally just say I studied ancient history, and then wait for them to be drinking something when I drop the "my specialty was sexuality" thing on them. In all seriousness, it's led to difficulties putting my CV together, because on the one hand I really want to be accurate, but on the other I work with children. So I have to be judicious about how much I tell.|
|There's so much on this subject that has only recently begun to be okay for historians to study. I was lucky enough to be at the same university that Sir Kenneth Dover was chancellor of - prior to his seminal (pun kind of intended) Greek Homosexuality in '78 the sexuality of the Ancient World was not really considered academically appropriate. So when someone decides that this is something they're interested in studying, they're building on only about thirty years worth of academic work. That's nothing to a Classicist.|
|To really examine what things truly meant instead of just assuming based on modern sensibilities, it's going to take a lot more people willing to talk frankly about sex and willing to put aside their anachronistic views to look at what people at the time thought. When I was researching Martial, I had a bitch of a time finding academic analyses of his work and his life that did that - I found that a lot of work even within the 2000s just completely imposes the modern view of sexuality onto the Roman world, and it just doesn't work. Cantarella's Bisexuality in the Ancient World, an otherwise great text, was hugely guilty of this, in my opinion.|
|TL;DR: the history of sexuality really should be expanded on, particularly within ancient history.|
|How pissed were your parents when they found out that you were studying Roman Sexuality?||I don't have any contact with my father. My mom always encouraged me to study what I was most interested in, and when I told her what I was doing she thought it was hilarious. My mom and I had the best relationship, though. She died halfway through my final year at uni, and working on the dissertation was one of the only things that kept me sane.|
|Have you ever received any sort of flak for being a woman who is intellectually interested in sexuality and who isn't afraid to freely discuss it?||I think any woman who talks frankly about sex and sexuality gets some pushback at some point, especially from people who think that me discussing what I was studying was a come-on. I was really worried about doing my dissertation, actually, because my department at uni was heavy on the Greek-interested professors, with very few who had any interest in Rome. Really, only two people could have advised me, and one of them was known around the department as rather a lech. A hilarious, awesome guy, and totally enjoyable as a lecturer and tutor, but strayed over the "creepy" line way too often. Thankfully the man who ended up as my advisor, probably the smartest person I've ever had a conversation with, was a wonderful combination of unflappable in the face of my discussions of fellatio and anal sex, and old school Englishman proper. So it all worked out.|
|P.S. You're pretty cute for a historian.||Thank you! Historians are the cutest. It's just how things are.|
|Why did you choose Roman Sexuality?||My focus at the higher levels of my degree was always going to be Rome, but as I looked more and more at the various aspects of Roman history, I found that sex and gender was what interested me the most. Sexuality in particular has a very short history as an academically acceptable subject, so I felt like even as a newcomer to academia I could really do some research that wasn't just me rehashing someone else's work.|
|You throw innuendo into every sentence you type, don't you?||That one was actually unintentional, if you can believe it.|
|Kill-fuck-marry: Hadrian, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius?||Oh, man. Fuck Hadrian (three way with Antinous?), marry Trajan, kill the boring mofo Marcus Aurelius.|
|Kill Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher king? You get a downvote for that. Sorry.||If you'd ever had to translate Marcus Aurelius, you'd want to kill him too.|
|Nice! So I take it Antinous is your #1 dream boat emperor?||Well, he wasn't an emperor, but he was a dreamboat. Hadrian is my favorite emperor, actually, but he was not interested in women, so I wouldn't be down for marrying him. I loved Vespasian a whole lot, but he was a total troll.|
|You mentioned earlier that heterosexuality and homosexuality are modern terms, how were genders defined back then? any interesting facts in the topic? thanks!!||Gender isn't a modern term - though there are societies in which gender isn't considered to be a binary state, which does make it even more sad that our society treats Trans/GenderqueeIntersex folk with such contempt. (Stay strong, friends!)|
|For the Romans, it was mostly male/female. Hermaphrodites (stemming from the myth of Hermaphroditus, the sondaughter of Hermes and Aphrodite) were considered more a medical curiosity. There were men who dressed as women, and women who acted as men, but they were looked at as strange. There's a great Martial poem about one of these women, Philaenis, who he says is just a woman trying to act like a man who will never actually have any concept of what it is to be manly. (Martial 7.67)|
|What do you use to cite your facts about Roman sexuality? I just find it a tad hard to believe some aspects of history when I take into account what we base it on. Considering we werent living in those times and on occasion you'll find contradictory data in books and wall art, etc.||Well, a lot of it is drawing from a variety of sources to make educated guesses on attitudes. We're definitely past reading something in one source and believing it's the stone cold truth - there's too much that's clearly made up to believe it all. But at the same time, when you see the same themes again and again, it becomes more likely that an attitude wasn't just one man's feelings and was more about the society that man was writing in.|
|I'm genuinely curious; how do you know for sure what you studied is the truth?||That's part of the fun of history, though - unless you were there, you can never really know what the truth was, and even if you were there, your experiences might have a different truth than someone else who was also there. Historiography is the field that's concerned with how history gets written and how we can come to conclusions about objective fact. It's always been interesting to me - but for me, I like the uncertainty. It feels more aligned with my worldview than fields where one unassailable truth can be pointed to as The Answer.|
|As someone planning on doing Classical Studies, thanks for doing this!||Well, I mean, Caligula was bat crap crazy and probably was sleeping with his sister. According to some sources Nero married a dude.|
|My question is; who was the most sexed up emperor? I know a lot of them did crazy shit, but one of them must have had a shitload of orgies, or something.||But in terms of who was probably having the most sex? Gotta be Antoninus Pius. He seemed to actually really really really love his wife Faustina, who was gorgeous and kind and basically awesome, and they had four kids together. I'm sure they were always at it.|
|So gay marriage was permitted 2000 years ago by not today? ಠ_ಠ. Edit: it's called a joke guys...||Well, when you say permitted you need to remember that he was the emperor, and also insane, and between those two things he could do whatever the fuck he wanted to.|
|Were there really large orgies where everyone had sex with each other at the same time?||Probably at some point sometime this happened, but it wasn't recorded for posterity and it wasn't a common occurrence. Even the story of Messalina and her fuck-off with a prostitute is probably just Pliny spreading rumors. It's still a great story, though, even if it's not entirely true!|
|I hope this answer wasn't too disappointing for you.|
|When has knowledge of Roman Sexuality ever come in handy? (Job wise, not gigidytime-wise.)||Well, it's been handy, job-wise... wink, nudge, etc.|
|Knowledge of roman sexuality has made me no money whatsoever as of right now. Knowledge of how to effectively formulate a research question, find and assess sources for that question, and present the research in a coherent, comprehensive, concise way has been pretty much the only thing that's kept me in work in this economy. And I wouldn't have any of that to the extent that I do if it weren't for my ancient history degree. In that regard, it's been pretty handy.|
|Tell me about roman sexuality. Is there anything that seems really wild from a modern perspective?||The thing that made me sadface when I found it out was the cunnilingus being taboo thing. Poor Roman matrons!|
|>Commenta es dignum Thebano aenigmate monstrum,|
|> hic ubi uir non est, ut sit adulterium.|
|"You came up with a problem worthy of the Theban riddle: where there is no man, there is still adultery."|
|Seriously, though, gigantic clitorises. What the hell, Roman men. I guess that's what happens when you don't have access to lesbian porn on the Internet.|
|Sounds pretty bad for the women, but on a similar note wasn't oral sex pretty taboo until much more recently. (This is probably outside the scope of your study).||The /AskHistorians thread that my original answer was on was all about the history of oral sex, and there were some great answers on the economics of selling oral sex throughout history that answer this question pretty well.|
|I've heard Romans loved sexually explicit graffiti, is this true and if it is any good ones spring to mind?||My favorites were always the political graffiti, but I'm drawing a complete blank on it right now. I'm gonna try to find some examples and get back to you, but I make no promises.|
|I know you say you're not into the Greeks, but I ask this of all classicists I meet: who was the eromenos, Akhilleus or Patroklos?||No way that Achilles wasn't the erastes. Ditto with AlexandeHephaestion.|
|What were the sodomy laws, if any, under the Republic and later Principate (before Justinian)? I find information on the subject a little lacking. There was, of course, a difference in the outward moralizing of those Catonian senators and public figures as opposed to how they conducted themselves in private (Martial IX;27), but did those conservatives actually put anything on the "books"?||I'm not sure about sodomy laws - IIRC as long as the sodomizing was consensual, it was, as they say around here, all Gucci. There were definitely strong consequences for rape and adultery, but I can't remember anything in the Augustan reforms on sodomy. And if anyone would have put it in place, it would have been Augustus.|
|Did you cover any of Catullus' poetry in your dissertation? Anything particularly noteworthy, if so?||I didn't really talk about Catullus in my dissertation, which was focused on Martial and using his epigrams to examine sex and deviance in late 1st Century Rome. Catullus was a little early for that. I love me some Catullus, though! He's such a drama queen. He's definitely on my Top 10 Historical Figures I'd Like To Get A Drink With.|
|Drama Queen! O saeclum insapiens et infacetum!||Please let this be an actual novelty account. It'd be up there with the Cicero one in terms of awesomeness.|
|What are some documents or different sources where you learn about Roman Sexuality?||The book I've been pointing people to, even though it's pretty freaking expensive (though it's somewhat reasonable if you buy it used) is Skinner and Hallett's Roman Sexualities, which is a series of essays edited by Skinner and Hallett that deal with various aspects of Roman sexuality. It's a great overview, and their bibliographies will help lead you to source material that you can then look over and see if you agree with the conclusions the historians in the book drew.|
|How do you think Roman (and probably to a more extent Greek) sexuality influenced writings in the Bible. It would seem to me that considering the Bible was created in what was essentially a Roman colony that it was heavily influenced by an everything Roman/Greek is bad type of mentality, which may relate to the anti-homosexuality teachings in the Bible?||Within the Old Testament, I don't think Greco-Roman ideas of sexuality had any influence at all, given the likely dates that the books of the Old Testament were written. Within the new testament, the Greco-Roman ideas of sexuality (I can't say "homosexuality" or "heterosexuality" which would be neologisms and not applicable to the Roman spectrum of sexuality) may possibly have resulted in a push-back from people like Paul, who saw the ruling classes as immoral. Their sexual behavior may have been just one more thing that allowed him to confirm his own moral superiority over them. But this is pretty speculative - I only took one church history class at uni, and I always kind of hated Paul. But there isn't much discussion of homosexuality in the New Testament of the bible, and that's really the only thing that the Romans could have influenced.|
|Did you enjoy St. Andrews? Two of my friends are going there next year, and I'm considering submitting an application.||OH SO MUCH. I miss it on a daily basis. I had pretty much the ideal university experience - I loved the independence I had in directing my studies, I loved the friends I made, and I loved developing the cast iron liver that allows me to drink everyone here under the table. (Whisky tasting society for the win!)|
|As a former St Andrews bartender, I can attest to the Iron Liver casting. Boozeday Tuesday was my personal booze-slingin' specialty.||If you were a Vic bartender between 2004 and 2008, you served me booze during Boozeday Tuesday. (I therefore love you.)|
|Thanks :) Did you head into there knowing you wanted to study history or did it just come up eventually?||I had originally wanted to study Classics (Greek and Latin as one degree) but then I discovered that (a) I really hate Greek and (b) the history part of Latin is actually the stuff I was most interested in. It wasn't a hard transition to make!|
|Favorite Roman god/goddess and why?||Mercury! God of thieves and travelers. He's my favorite forever and ever.|
|What about the Caligula film? How much of that is historically accurate, and how much is laughable 70s porno?||Would you believe I've never seen the Caligula film? I can't speak to it at all, sorry. It's going on my to do list, though!|
|I have a BA in History. My Question for you, another historian...Where can I find a job that would allow me to eat multiple times a day AND pay rent? If that's not asking too much. I'd love suggestions.||Not in academia, that's for damn sure. Try teaching if you like kids. If you don't... uh, do you have any other skills besides historianing?|
|How was seduction at roman times? Were there any "pick up artist" or there was no need to?||An awesome question that has a really fun answer if you're willing to do some reading! The poet Ovid, my favorite of the Latin love elegists, also wrote a book called Ars Amatoria, or the Art of Love, that was a guide to picking up chicks in the city of Rome. You could say he was the forefather of the Pickup Artist movement.|
|What do you think of the viability of educational porn? My first working title is "Tacitus' Anals", where (ideally) Morgan Freeman would narrate over scenes of Messalina's parties.||If it's historically accurate, I'd be all for it.|
|Are you currently dating someone? If so what does e think about your area of expertise?||I am! He's actually a redditor and is finding all this interest kind of funny. He really could not care less about history - he's a very sciencey person.|