Horizontal Lives

True Tales of the Infamous Courtesan: Persephone N. Hades and her Horizontal Life underground. How she got there, her mis-adventures and her struggle to re-surface.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

My Freudian Slip is Showing

Aaahhh. A day off.

Since 1989, I have rarely allowed myself a day off. Burdened with a constant feeling that all this could come to an end one day, and one day sooner than I would expect it, out of sheer terror, I have worked almost seven days a week for fifteen years.

Today, I took time off.

Spent the day at a New York City FireHouse with the Fire Department and their families celebrating at an early Christmas Party.

Lots of ‘Kevin’s’ and ‘Patrick’s’, ‘John’s’ and ‘Joseph’s’. Wives mostly "Katherine’s’, ‘Mary’s’, ‘Margaret’s’ and ‘Colleen’s’. A mix of ‘O’Connell’s’, ‘O’Brien’s’, ‘O’Malley’s’, ‘Pascerini’s’, ‘Fabrini’s’, ‘Tortolini’s’, and ‘Fetticini’s’.

I’m the only Jew.


No one seemed to notice. They were jovial, kind, and uncomplicated. The simplicity was a relief.

Midway through, wandered out back to smoke a cig. Soon joined by several other Fireman smokers. We talked of family and children, of school districts and the cost of raising a family in New York. My laughter came easily. My shoulders came down from around my ears. I relaxed.

A little too much, I’m afraid.

One of the Firemen asked me: Hey, would you like a treat?

Me: I would love one.

Fireman: Let’s take you upstairs.

Me: Upstairs?

Fireman: Yeah. We’ll take you upstairs and let you slide down the pole. Would you like that?

Me: (without thinking) Oh no thank you. I do that all day at work. I want to enjoy my day off.

I laugh at my own poke at myself. Then look around at the faces that surround me and realize I am encircled by a ring of silent, raised eyebrows.


Me: (attempting to save myself from the slip) Joking! You guys! I was joking! I would love to slide down the pole.

As I climbed the stairs to the pole, I couldn’t help but feeling a bit of disappointment. Can I never get a day off?

And so, in my best Holiday clothes, terrified of heights, I forced myself to slide down that pole.
On the way down, I’m afraid my slip showed anyway.

But at least it was not my Freudian slip.


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