Walk Down Misery Street

My acquaintance with Cynthia happened just as I decided to give up the habit of frequenting strip clubs, where enchanting ladies would skillfully devastate my wallet. It’s true that everything happens for a reason. Meeting Cynthia turned into a challenge for me.

She often went on trips with her boyfriends to relax, snort coke, and drink. It’s true she hadn’t hit rock bottom yet. What bottom? What are you talking about? Cynthia gave the impression of being a carefree, almost happy young woman, living the life, even though she hadn’t been to college and hadn’t even finished high school. She thought of herself as a bit clueless and a scatterbrain. Her husband, she said, was a real bore who cared only about annoying domestic routines. But Cynthia wanted fire, light, music, crazy love . . .

What could be done? She’d fallen in love with yet another playboy and gone on a sweet tour with him, living it up in restaurants and partying in hotels. But soon this gentleman was looking at her as—forgive me—a common whore. And he sent her packing.

Cynthia was very sensitive. Her separations and heartbreaks with men pained her greatly. The Emergency Room of our hospital once called me to confirm some information about Cynthia. It turned out that after yet another admirer left her, she drank, smoked weed, and climbed to the top of a 22-story building to dance on the edge of the roof.

She needed just one document from me for court. She asked me to write that she was “good and clean.” She hoped the judge would let her see her son without restrictions. But her husband insisted that she was an active addict and shouldn’t be allowed near the child.

What a show she conducted in my office during one session! But she was limited to a chair, not on a stage in a strip club. She had to find a way to entertain without rising from the chair: She bent her body in different ways, lean over, press her elbows against her chest, and constantly adjust the straps of her bra.

Looking at Cynthia, I felt transported back to a roaring strip club, to a room of magic smiles and silky-skinned feminine hips. In short, I was fighting my own madness, too.

Once in my office, Cynthia cried seriously and bitterly of how badly everything in her life had turned out, that she was a terrible mother. She said her son was dearer to her than life itself and she couldn’t imagine not being able to see him.