The Priest and the CinnerbyCinner©
"Do you have anything to share with the group today, Cinnamon? You did very well last week."
I see you smile encouragingly at me. I have been famous for being difficult. This is our eighth meeting and I spoke for the first time last week. Then, I told everyone that my name was Cinner, short for Cinnamon, and that I was very angry. I didn't give the details that everyone was undoubtedly hoping for, but nevertheless, everyone applauded. That made me even angrier. Patronising people always do.
I think about declining the invitation to share again this week, but three things work against me: my suddenly remembered disdain for this group, my love of talking about myself and the need to shock you from your complacent little life. I smile graciously, take a sip of water, and begin, anticipating your shock when I complete the spinning of my story.
"First of all, I should tell you, from the outset, that my priest and I did NOT have sex; so if that is what you're hoping for here then you'd be wasting your time listening to me any further," I watch you straighten up slightly and glance at me nervously. Our eyes meet briefly before you glance at the other members of our circle, gauging their response to my dramatic opening statement. I continue before you can say anything.
"I've told you that I am aware of my rage. You have seen only one aspect of my personality during these past weeks but believe me there is another; a much darker manifestation of who I am. It was when this could no longer be ignored that my caseworker checked me into therapy. For about 18 months I think, between August 2010 and February of this year, I was seeing both a psychiatrist and a psychologist in order to deal with my rage. I decided to do this when I found myself picking fights with my parents and my friends, my neighbours, the shop assistants, a policeman who tried to ask for my car's papers..."
I pause at the memory of that particular incident, wondering at myself. How could I have become so self-destructive?
"And, I was picking on just about everybody really! In any event, I was told that I had to get into counselling or end up in jail. So I chose someone with whom I had never worked before. I don't think that I really had a choice. I think that no one wanted to work with me and so it was difficult to get an appointment to see anyone. My case was in the papers four years ago and so I am very well known in the industry you see. They've all failed to help me at one point or another, so I decided to try someone new, and met with Dr. I. for the first time one Tuesday afternoon. My first impressions of him were that he was both very good-looking and very friendly."
I hear an inane giggling from the two girls nearest me on the left. I see them nudge each other and cuddle closer together, giving fodder to the lesbian fantasies of the men in the group.
"Gawd, Dr. Pearson! If I didn't know better I'd think she was talking about you!" the doll-like little bleached blond called Faith gushes, telling everyone in the process that she thinks you, our session leader, to be both good-looking and very friendly.
Black men don't blush, but I see you come close. I watch you squirm in your chair and think about shutting me up, but not everyone here is as dumb as Faith, and if you try to stop me now it will raise unhealthy suspicion.
"This is strange because, unknown to me, he had a reputation for being a very cold fish," I continue, rapidly.
I watch the eyebrows of a huge bear of a man seated next to you, rise questioningly. He glances briefly at me, but looks away embarrassed in your direction. I wonder how much longer it will take the others to draw conclusions of any kind.
"In fact, during the time that I was seeing him, several people asked me how I could stand him and all the time I wanted to jump this man's bones!"
I hear you cough violently and I want to laugh out loud. I control myself though and turn huge, innocent eyes on you. I see the entire circle of participants turn toward you as well, and stare. The big bearded man next to you thumps your back hard; sympathetically, helping you to breathe again.
You begin to croak something that doesn't quite come out. Somehow though, we all know that you are going to try to bring my contribution to today's session to an end. Smut titillates though and after my opening which is still ringing in everyone's ears, no one, but you, wants me to stop now. Quite a few people protest and insist that I continue. It has been eight weeks of near silence and already in seven minutes I have more than multiplied my contribution to the group ten-fold.
"Anyway, I did what I usually do in such counselling situations,' I continue. "I began a verbal and mental chess match, with my counsellor being cast in the role as my opponent. That this man took me on in this, and played this game with me for 18 months, has made him one of my favourite people in this life."
I watch you relax slightly. My contribution does not sound so bad, and but for Faith's comment few people would even think to add two and two.
"As you must all know by now, I have mixed feelings about the desirability of sex in my life. It may disappoint you to know that I don't particularly enjoy the physical act itself."
Several people look disbelieving at my statement. I can't blame them really. I'm wearing a blue-and-white floral baby-doll dress from which my boobs are threatening to pop out at any minute and strappy white sandals that show off my pretty, manicured feet.
"It took 18 months for us to blame the rape and the fact that I gelded the man and got away with it after I was declared competent enough to stand trial; but at the time, I thought that I had got over that, and, to be fair to him, he didn't know about it at all since it was not in my file! So what happened was that I began seeing him and we chatted about a lot of things: my family, my sex life and my plans for the future being the main topics. I noticed that he seemed to be most interested in my family and in my sex life. I noticed that he seemed to be VERY interested in my sex life and that he did what I tend to do... displace it to the most unavailable group of people possible. What I mean by that is that I like to watch and think about gay men at play and he seemed to have a lesbian fantasy. For me that was where my first spark of genuine interest developed. The fact that this man fantasized about lesbian women made him pretty cool as far as I was concerned. The fact that he gave me permission to be one from our very first meeting was interesting. I also remember liking him the first day that he admitted that he was a cad! I like that in men! Honesty! Say exactly what they're about. It's rare though. I play a little sax and piano with a little jazz band on Sundays, and he admitted to doing piano lessons in order to impress a woman. I thought that that was really sweet. It took me some time to see it for what it really was, a subtle power shift in our dynamic that neither of us understood at the time, but it opened the way for the flirting that we started doing. I'd tease him about that incident and he'd use double entendre and innuendo with me. Our talks began to revolve solely around my sex life and my sexual fantasies and he began to make suggestions about how I could make these fantasies come true."
No one makes a sound as I pause for breath and to sip some water from my bottle. I see almost everyone leaning forward, some considerably more than slightly, so I know that I have everyone hooked. I glance at you and notice an awful plea in your eyes and an almost imperceptible shaking of your head. I like to watch you beg. You're so beautiful when you do. You give me so much power. I ignore you and begin my tale again.
"I remember that one afternoon we were talking and a woman walked by the window. Dr. I. commented about her butt. He thought that she was lovely. I offered to go tell her what he'd said and bring her in to meet him right then and there during my session. We both knew that I was serious - that was the extent to which our relationship had become outrageous. He declined my invitation and told me that he was very happy with the person with whom he was with at the moment - and it was the way that he looked at me when he said that that took my breath away. The truth is that in that moment I became genuinely interested in him as a man and, despite the fact that I have my own boyfriend, and I will have a chance to be with him when he comes out of prison in six months, I became jealous of the women in his life and began to speculate about whom they might be."
You try to take control of the situation by distracting me from my mission to self-destruct and take as many people as possible with me. You are not that good a chess player though.
"Why is your boyfriend in prison?" you ask, innocently. "You don't seem like the sort of girl who would be caught up with a man who commits crimes."
"My boyfriend is Lincoln Freemont," I say with finality.
For anyone who watches the local news that should have been enough of an explanation. Your life, however, seems to be even more sheltered than I can imagine possible.
"Who is Lincoln Freemont?" you ask naively; just as someone asked me if he was THE Lincoln Freemont.
The disbelieving gasps in the room alert you to the fact that you've lost even more ground to me than you realise during this session. Everyone, except you, is looking at me either admiringly or doubtfully.
"Okay, okay!" you back-pedal, clumsily. "Obviously I need to get out more!" you chuckle disparagingly at yourself. You look at me questioningly, wondering for the first time perhaps, who I really am as a person. On reflection I resent that.
"The thing though is that I'm really not about interfering in people's marriages and so I stamped down on my feelings for Dr I. I continued to see him but I put up the wall again as if we'd just met. He commented about this and it caused him to open up to me more about his own family life. I could see that it was a technique to regain my trust. I made him work hard with that without any success for weeks! I even tried to force him back into the realm of therapist-client relationship -- interpret that to mean, nothing's going to happen between us man so stop talking about yourself, you're not impressing me! And ironically it was then that I realised that I needed to be very careful with him; I was already impressed. That was when I looked him up on Google to see if I could find him, and I discovered that he was a Roman Catholic priest!"
"How many of you are there, Dr. Pearson?" Inez asked, delightedly.
"I beg your pardon?"
"How many priests come counsellors are there?" she asked.
"I don't know. There must be hundreds, I'm sure."
"Living in Jamaica?" she asked doubtfully.
"Well, there are eight at this facility alone," you explain hoping that she'll drop the subject. "And there are several more who work in the various parishes. Even my brother was once a practicing psychiatrist, but he's been promoted and so now does more administrative work in our Order. I think he sees one or two persons just to keep his hand in. He's exceptionally good at what he does. So yes, to answer your question, there are quite a few of us who work in Jamaica. Maybe not hundreds, but still a lot."
You turn to me and frown slightly.
"Do you have anything more to say, Cinnamon?" you say making it clear to me that it would be best if I did not. "We need to get to someone else now."
"Of course," I smile sweetly at everyone. "I've got lots to say today. I'll just take a few minutes more. I actually have something important to tell you but I want to tell you the whole story first... Before learning these things about him, it was his sheer intelligence and irreverence that had attracted me but after those discoveries it was his incorruptibility and ultimate unattainability that impressed me along with the knowledge that I had unwittingly opened a valve for him to release some of his sexual frustration. After learning that he was a Priest our talks became more about God and sex than about my family and sex. I didn't mind sharing my fantasies with him because I thought that I was helping him. I felt that if he needed something to go home with at night, that I didn't mind helping him out there and I'll admit, I'd much rather have him think about me than about anyone else. I let him know that I had no intention of corrupting him and he seemed to like to challenge me to see if that were true. He would sit close to me, if he sat across the room from me, it was with an open sprawl; and he became very aggressive about discussing my sexuality and in discussing Lincoln and his life. Some weeks, just to tease him, I would be the one holding back on that and reminding him that I came to him with an anger problem and he would ignore me and talk about sex. He seemed to like the fact that I was a sexual submissive more than anything else but he also liked the fact that I liked violent men and he loved my breastfeeding fetish and talking about my breasts. As I've said, he made several recommendations about how I could move these from the realm of fantasy into reality."
The man next to you adjusts himself surreptitiously and smiles secretly. I think I heard somewhere that he caned his wife Helen and her boyfriend Troy and it was only because of his connections that he didn't go to prison. I can't be sure though. Rumours have a way of not being quite true. I must get to know him better. He looks interesting. I look straight into his eyes and he smiles more openly. He glances at my breasts and licks his lips. I smile naughtily when I feel my nipples harden. I see you glance at my breasts too, but you look away guiltily. You don't dare move your hand toward your crotch so you just sit like a statue. Are you hoping that everyone keeps looking at me?
"We reached the stage where he defined his personal space very carefully because I noticed that whenever I came into the room and when I was leaving, he would step away from me physically and we would always have a space between us so that our bodies would never touch. He offered me help with finding a man who could satisfy me sexually, he couldn't stop talking about the fact that my boyfriend, Lincoln, wasn't good enough for me and he tried to meet him and to get me to leave him."
A few people protest vociferously at the thought that someone could have tried to get me to leave Lincoln Freemont. The man seated next to you frowns, disapprovingly. Faith shakes her head at the stupidity of my nameless advisor.
"He must not have known who he was!" someone says, awed.
"But she said they discussed him! So he must have known," someone else argues.
"Idiot!" somebody else exclaims and there is general assent before anyone remembers that you had already confessed to not knowing who he is either.
There is an embarrassed silence for a minute or so before someone urges me to go on with my story. I have no problem obliging.
"I remember one day I told him that I had decided to marry Lincoln and he objected in the strongest possible terms. It was a spontaneous outburst and shocked us both. I don't think that he realised that he felt this way. We laughed about it when he calmed down but it was out there. Worst of all, one day he confessed to me that having me as a client was beginning to challenge his professional ethics and that when a younger colleague had asked him for advice a few days before he found that he couldn't give it to her because he would be guilty of some of the things that he would have been warning her against. Of course, I found a rational justification for everything that we were doing and gave my arguments to him. He humoured me by agreeing that I was right. For my part, I found myself dressing up for him, going to the hairdresser when I knew that I had a session with him, rehearsing what I planned to tell him that day so that he would find me interesting, giving him gifts, talking about him all the time with my friends, going out socially to places where I knew I'd run into him, going to Mass to see him! Note, I am not Roman Catholic; befriending his friends and calling and e-mailing him at work and home!"
I see you hang your head. You do not seem to know where to look. You do not seem to know how to stop me from destroying the programme that you and your colleagues have spent years building. If I out a priest here sexually it would be big news! Who will trust any of you ever again? These things just do not happen in Jamaica. They are the stuff of the British tabloid news!
I see you try to say something. I see you fail and try again. You still can't find the appropriate words. Poor baby!
"Of course you know that this couldn't last. One day we didn't pretend anymore. I went in and said hello. He said something back; I don't know what because I was watching his lips move. They looked so good to me and the next thing I knew was that I was pressed up against the wall and he was kissing me."
I see the man seated next to you cross his arms. He's becoming judgemental. Maybe what they say about him and his wife is true. Family and loyalty seem important to him. Too bad!
"I kissed him back and we ended up fucking like wild animals on the floor of his office. He had my breast out of my bra in a flash, and his mouth on my nipple a second later. He had his hand on my ass and he was lifting my dress up and peeling my panties to the side. It was great! He was exceptional! Exceptionally large too if you know what I mean! Obviously, I wasn't his first. He did me doggy style and reverse cowgirl and he gave it to me in my ass. Ironically, the only thing that he didn't want was missionary. I found that hilarious! His hands were everywhere. I suppose that all that waiting was worth it for me in the end."
Everyone gasps. I'm not sure what they had expected to hear. It was clear to me where this would end up.
"So you cheated on Lincoln?" Faith asks, worriedly.
Somehow, the fact that I'm telling these 12 people that I've been screwed by a priest who was supposed to be looking out for my emotional welfare doesn't matter as much as the fact that a jury of his peers found Lincoln Freemont guilty of a crime that no one believes he committed. Go figure. There's no justice anywhere, is there. I thought that these people were my peers. Oh, I see my miscalculation now. They really are my peers, and so they're judging me, the victim here.
"But I thought you said that you didn't have sex with the priest," a weedy little man named Sol reminds everyone after a moment's silence.
"Yes, you did say that!" some nameless woman agrees.
I see everyone turn back to stare at me again, waiting for an explanation. There isn't one.
"I lied," I say blandly. "I did have sex with him. I must have done, I'm carrying his child."
"Shit!" I hear you exclaim, angrily. "That's enough Cinnamon! You know you're lying! I have never touched you that way! We've only petted a little! These are very serious charges! You could ruin my life if you go around saying untrue things about me! What the fuck is wrong with you?"
I smile. I know it's a mean one. I'm about to kill a second bird with the stone that you just threw at me.
"Oh, I'm telling the truth, Dr. Pearson. I wasn't talking about you at all."
I smile sweetly at the horror in your eyes. You've just realised that you've given yourself away. You put the final nail in your own coffin. You didn't need me for that. I have other fish to fry now.
"I just thought that you might want to know that you're going to be an uncle in five and a half months' time."