falafel and the Vow
Friday, November 13 2020
I took a recreational 150 milligram dose of pseudoephedrine in hopes it would help me power through a boring workday task I really needed to finish. A few weeks back I'd installed and run an old application written in Delphi-5, trying to figure out how it worked so I could eventually specify how it be migrated. I don't really think the pseudoephedrine helped much, but the powering-through was successful enough that I actually felt good about what I accomplished at the end of the day, which has been a rare feeling for me over the 26 months I've been working for this company. I ook a few breaks, particularly near the end of the day, to tinker with laying out a new short piece of connector trail near the house and just west of the Farm Road. It passed through a section of small dead pine saplings that I'd already converted into kindling. The day had been a bit cold and rainy, though the skies cleared in the late afternoon.
Meanwhile Gretchen had met Celia, the wife of my boss Alex at the falafel place in Rhinebeck. For years now, Celia and Alex have been going through a prolonged version of what I'd gone through in the past week with my mother. Celia's mother used to live in a hoarder house in West Virginia, but for the past half decade or so she's been living at an old-age home in the Hudson Valley, and it's a common thing for her to cause some problem they have to deal with, perhaps with her prescription medicine, her finances, or the people running her facility.
When she returned from Rhinebeck, Gretchen brought me a falafel sandwich. She and I ended up watching a Jeopardy! and three episodes of The Vow. As we have in the past with other cults, we kept wondering what these attractive women saw in their cult leader, Kieth Raniere. These multilevel marketing (and, in Raniere's case, abuse) schemes seem to depend on a certain kind of person, a narcissist who desperately craves belonging, which causes them to respond well to their upline (for Raniere's sex-abuse group DOS, the person in the immediate upline is the "master"). To vent the humiliations, they turn to ordering around, or perhaps abusing, their downline (for DOS, the people in the immediate downline are "slaves").
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