I Threw Myself Away

The next article you are about to read is difficult. To write. To live. To relive. For you to digest. If you love me and can’t handle the truthfulness of what I’m about to retell, please, don’t read. You won’t hurt my feelings. This will be the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to relay. It’s taken me years to publish. It was the most significant obstacle in trying to publish the second volume of my memoir. Which I never did. And probably won’t. I could never finish this story.

Ice Cream Man

I am lying face down on dirty carpet. By choice. The ice cream van is swaying as we bump our way to some distant location. I can’t see out. I have been asked to hide myself on the floor of the van so the driver won’t be fired for having a passenger. Or that’s the excuse he gives. He may just be embarrassed to be seen with, specifically, me.

The driver is a boy that I just met two days ago. His name is Mike.

Mike is 18. He’s shorter than I am. He’s attractive. But not irresistible. Except for his pursuit of me. That is irresistible.

I am 16. Tall. Awkward. Overweight. Desperate for attention, excitement and love. And sex.

I grew up under the threat of nuclear war, the freedom of promiscuous sex and the towering height of materialism. A strange cocktail of risk and greed. Priming the pump of my stupidity.

I meet Mike at the mall. I’m talking to my best friend while she’s working in an ice cream shop. He’s passing through and spots my friend. They are acquaintances. He knows the boy she’s seeing. They greet one another and soon, Mike’s attention is squarely on me.

Mike chats me up. Even with my very limited experience with boys, I can tell he’s flirting with me. I’d been flirted with, at least. But this boy is hitting hard.

Within hours of meeting Mike, he is kissing my hand, walking me to my car, talking to me, kissing my lips and asking me for my phone number. This shimmering summer mirage of fantasy and thrill is what I have always dreamed. No boy has ever behaved this way. I’d never been kissed. I tell him so. I don’t know that he believes me.

He calls me the next day. He is interested in me. He wants to see me again. He wants to be with me. We talk for a while and he steers the conversation towards sex. With a few deft and experienced moves, Mike makes plans to see me again and makes it clear, we will have sex.

I agree because I am 16 and eager to find out what sex is. I am so lonely and desperate, I allow myself to believe that this is romance. I mistakenly equate sex with love. Something I will do, over and over, until I don’t.

I tell Mike that he was my first kiss. “No, really.” That he will be my first sexual partner. That I’m a virgin.


He is surprised. He believes me and I think he understands the implication of that statement. That we will be married. Some day. I should have said that out loud.

Only to hear for myself how stupid it sounded.

I have no concept of boys thinking differently or having different expectations. Again, I am 16. I am naïve, ridiculous, impetuous, hormonal, inexperienced and mentally ill. My frontal lobe is underdeveloped, as are all teens. I am an irrational lump of glands and pumping blood.

I really think that this is it. This is how it happens. I meet someone, I am swept off my feet and I am happy. The end.

Oh, my dear young Martha. This is nowhere near the end. This is only the bottom of a very full trash can of thrown-away romances/flings/pieces of your heart. And you put them there.

My inexperience and naïveté lead to stupid choices. Horribly misguided conclusions. Risky behavior. Terrible consequences.

The van comes to a stop. I sit up. From where I sit, I can only see the tops of trees. I assume we are in a remote park, miles from where I left my car. I somehow trust Mike.

He gives me no reason to trust him. I don’t know him, but somehow his charm has nudged the longings of my heart and my body. No one asked my brain.

He’s friends with my friend. Or friends with my friend’s friend. I have his phone number. He called me. He kissed me. He is pursuing me. He is attracted to me. There is no doubt that this will, at the very least, be my first boyfriend.

I thought my heart was more than ready to take this leap. Many of my friends were already engaging in or talking about engaging in sex.

What’s the big deal?

We complete an awkward demonstration of how not to lose your virginity. I will spare you the lousy details. And when we are done, I am sorely disappointed and confused.

Is that it? What IS the big deal?

It is hot out. So I get dressed and leave the van. We are smack dab in the middle of a garbage dump. That is not a joke. I have literally thrown myself away.

I get back in the van, cry my eyes out and ask to be taken back to my car. Mike consoles me. Tells me there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Comforts me. Compliments me. Finally takes me back to my car.

I never talk to or see him again. I try to call him, but I can’t reach him. I only tried once.

I still bare the shame and humiliation.

Life is full of memories that bring happiness and a smile. Pictures that flash. And just at their flashing, warm feelings and chemicals surge through your body.

Negative memories have the same effect, just a different set of chemicals course. This is the most shameful memory I have. The most difficult thing I have to share. I’ve never told anyone except a few close friends and my husband.

I thought I owed it to my collection of writing to set down my shame and let it go for all time. I’m not that person any more. Thank God I didn’t die from that choice or any stupid choices to follow.

I wish I could take it back. Save myself for marriage. Save the most holy consecration of intimacy for the one man who would cherish it. I wish I could have saved that for my husband. But he loves me anyway. Thank God for that.

I got lucky.




I was caught in a pussytrap once. That’s what my friend and I called it. We laughed about it later. Because it was so horrific and nothing to be done. No agency to report it to and no officer to tell.

Plus, when you’re young? You think the world is the way it is. And to squawk about it? Is unnecessary and useless. So laugh. So you don’t cry.

My friends and I went to a dance club in a university town. It was on a street with other clubs. Alcohol was served, but only to those with the over-21 stamp. I had the under-21 stamp.

We went to the bar to dance. Not to drink. We loved listening to music, dancing and laughing.

About 20 minutes in, we lined up to use the bathroom. The line stretched back to the bar and two young men started chatting us up.

We were young. Naive. We were friendly, inviting, charming, silly, laughing. We wanted boys to think we were cute. We wanted attention.

After a few moments, the line was going nowhere, and the boys started grabbing. First, my friend.

I was always the protector. The NO-sayer. The “Hey, watch it!” girl. So, I was laughing, but I said, “Hey! No!” Then they grabbed me.

First, my breasts. Quick, pinching, playful swipes and pokes. Then, my crotch. You can imagine that when someone grabs your breasts or tries to, you pull back. But that only presents your lower body for them to grab.

While all this was happening, another young man had positioned himself behind us. He would grab our butts when we tried to move away. Thus, the pussytrap. No way out. A vicious game of unwanted touching.

After a few moments of arms and punches and shuffling and finally just leaving without the use of the bathroom, we got away. We weren’t laughing any more. Just wide eyes and nothing to say.

That was it.

“Hey, why you leavin’?” They called after us.

No one ever taught me to stand up for myself. In fact, the lesson I learned was, “Take it.” But to be fair, my mother didn’t grow up in a time when young men acted this way. She didn’t know. And everyone else acted like it was no big deal. That this behavior was just “boys being boys”. Or locker room antics. Isn’t that what the president said to excuse his own behavior?

That should never happen. To anyone. It’s humilating. Not titillating. It’s meant to objectify and demean. It’s not foreplay. It’s degradation.

Especially to an actress. Especially to anyone who ever worked for or with the current POTUS.

These are your mothers, your sisters, your daughters, your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers, your fellow human beings. Your equals. Keep your hands to yourself. Or when we grab you back, you won’t like it.

If any man or boy ever touched my daughter like that, he’d be sorry. So would his balls.

Have I ever told you about the balltrap? LOL I’m older and wiser now.


Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Louis CK.

All stand accused. Are they all guilty?

For Harvey and Bill, let’s check the Magic 8 Ball–all signs point to yes. For Louis CK, I just don’t know. I really like his truthful, real-life comedy. I hope it’s not true. I would have to stop watching his stuff if it is. But it’s not for me to say in any case. That’s somebody else’s job.

What I do know, not all accused are guilty.

In the early 2000s, my husband and I served on a community theatre board. We were involved in day-to-day operations and acting in shows. We directed, performed, coordinated, sold tickets, designed, painted, printed, anything that needed doing we did. And loved it, mostly.

Our board was a tight-knit group of friends. Every show was just a pretense to hang out, laugh and sing some songs. I would linger long into the night with these people after rehearsal/performance. Talk big about the world, dream big about the future. It was a golden time.

Then the whole thing started to slide off into the ocean. Tremors were rumbling regarding allegations of sexual harassment.

The director of the summer musical was an older man in his 40s. A bachelor. He was a kind man with clear ideas. He was a bit arrogant, but friendly. He was the music and creative director of the show. A large task, but he was more than capable. He actually came to our home, had dinner. I cooked meatloaf. We got to know him. I’m glad.

Late into rehearsals, we had a costume parade 1-2 weeks before opening night. In community theatre, costuming was always a last-minute detail. Usually, each actor must provide the bulk (or lack thereof) of their costume, coordinating with the costumer and other actors to pull of a cohesive theme.

The show was not necessarily risque, but that summer Moulin Rouge had just come out and all the teenage girls in our production aspired to be the best dance hall vixen. Their costume choices reflected that mentality.

During one of our costume parades, the three girls in one of the lead ensembles came out in sparkly, festive, revealing costumes. Everyone reacted. Mostly appropriate reactions. Our director blushed, looked down at the floor and said with a shit-eating grin, “I’m not going to say ANYTHING!” Most everyone laughed.

That’s it.

That night or the next night, I’m standing in a parking lot, in an impromptu board meeting, talking about sexual harassment.

I tried to defend the director. These conversations went on for several weeks. I felt sympathy for the girl making accusations, but knew, for sure, nothing happened.

Should he have kept his mouth shut?

Should he have said, “You look nice.” or “I approve.”

Should he be black-balled and strung up?
Hell to the NO.

It was an awkward fumble. It was not sexual harassment, in my opinion. I was there. My husband was there. We saw it all and witnessed the alleged harassment. Nothing happened.

The loudest torch-carrying villager was a woman who was not even present during the incident. She bullied me for defending the director.

I relay all this, not to excuse the director’s faux pas. Not to excuse Weinstein, Cosby or Louis CK. To illustrate, sometimes there are witch hunts. Sometimes, the accused is just mildly stupid, awkward or mentally disabled, but not guilty. Sometimes, well, all the time, we need to withhold judgment and hear all the facts, first! Especially, if it’s up to you to decide what happens to the alleged creep. Let’s not crucify all men for what a few assholes did.

But. If it is true (and it looks like there’s mounting evidence), why did everyone sweep it under the rug? It’s disgusting!

And Harvey, if you did all this? Karma’s a bitch. That you molested for years. Time to pay.

Guy Maggio (Kacey Moe) said, “He may have been rich and powerful. Now, he’s just rich. But not for long.”

I agree. Taking this man’s power and money and reducing him to just an average toad is a well-deserved punishment. Should he do jail time? Would someone without his power and influence do jail time?

Do you fall in love with your own face?

Yes. Yes, you do.

I smashed the two halves of our faces together (my husband and I) one day and realized, “I fell in love with my own face!”

How utterly narcissistic. LOL Falling in love with your own face and then photoshopping your faces together. Both of those things are nar-suh-friggin’-sistic. 😀

But it’s true.

Granted, I don’t have the same skin tone and dark features, but! our facial symmetry is astonishing. To me. I did not stretch the image at all!

Are you part of a couple? Want me to smash your faces together to show you how much you look like your partner??

Send me two pix of same resolution size and facing forward in the same pose. Head shots. Send to martha.maggio@sbcglobal.net and I’ll smash ’em up for you! I love this theory.

If you send me your pix, I need your permission to share in future posts. K?

Can’t wait to see all the freaky faces.

What Is It To Be a Woman?

Men will never know
The painful joy of giving birth.
Thank God for that providence
Or we would have an empty Earth!

Men will always know
The advantage of being male.
They can’t understand
The privilege of that tale.

Men will never know
What it’s like to be preyed.
Simply take my “No.”
We live constantly afraid.

Men will never know
What it’s like to FEEL free.
I feel sorry for them.
They can’t be a woman like me.

Day Without a Woman

A day without a woman
Is a lifetime without:
Soft edges
Warm smiles
Tender kisses
Reason married to wit.

A day without women
Is a world without:
2nd income
Only income
Only parent
Lawful, peaceful resistance and protest.

We gather to make a difference.
We don’t loot. Or grab. Or lie.
Like Elizabeth and Maya,
We persist and rise!





Broken, unspoken

Battered and shattered

Beat up—written off

Abused, confused

I wander this world

Rebuked and refused

Men make advances

Fathers take advantage

The world crushes the weak

On the wheels of progress.

Women take control

Mother, don’t lose hope

The world can’t exist without us.

Paranormal Revenge Fantasy (1-5!)

*MATURE CONTENT* Chapters 1-4, with new Chapter 5! for easier reading or just to catch up.

1. Time To Wake Up

The room is white. White, sheer panels over the windows. White sheets on the bed. White carpet, white furniture, white trim. The only bit of color is a tan, overweight man sleeping peacefully on his stomach in a twist of wrinkled cotton ridges.
There is a dark figure sitting on top of a dresser in the corner. Its legs are folded underneath. It is motionless and silent. The white panels ripple in the breeze and rising sun. The shadowy form flaps in and out of focus behind the curtains as they fly. The almost stillness hangs on for several moments.
The black figure leaps.
John was immediately awake. Barely able to inhale, John struggled for his breath, partly from the terror running through his body, partly from the pressure of something very large on top of him. John could not move. Only the figure’s sick-red lips and milky chin emerged from the dark hood surrounding its face. It whispered wetly in John’s ear.
“Rough night? I know you’re awake now, right? I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, John. I’m going to enjoy this.”
There was a long pause. John was terrified. He didn’t bother to ask the question of who the figure was. He understood. This was a person that he had wronged. His lifestyle and work placed him next to dangerous people. He ran a successful car service. Most of the people in Miami who used his company were powerful men who played terrifying games. Drugs, sex, crime. He had arrangements, entanglements, loans with these men. His success had come at a great price, his freedom. It wasn’t a surprise to have someone threatening him, but an invasion of his home was new.
The voice on top of him sang sweet like a woman, but the body was very large and heavy. Even if he had wanted to ask some question, he was not able to speak. He had just enough air to keep from losing consciousness. His mind seized as well. He could simply listen and wait for the next moment.
“I know you didn’t expect to see me. I know you thought you would never have to think about what happened again. Oh, you thought about me for a couple of days. But you didn’t worry about how I felt. You only shuddered occasionally thinking I would show up at your door. But how could I? I only had your number and you took care of that. But you didn’t need to unplug the phone, I only called that one time.”
John’s mind immediately flooded with memories of many girls from the past. He tried to place the arousing lilt and scratch of this voice, but it vibrated with echoes and harmonies. He thought of how many times he had unplugged his phone. Avoided the calls of those girls he wanted, slept with and couldn’t bear to see again. John always looked for girls. Women.
He couldn’t help it. It was a habit. Like chewing gum or biting fingernails. He didn’t sweat over it. He did it unconsciously. Involuntarily. Like bleeding.
“I’m Hy.” She placed her elbow in John’s back as she steadied herself to stand. John yelped and squirmed in pain. “Sorry, John.”

2. Let’s Party

Hy slogged across the room. The pieces of fabric tied to her coat jumped up and down, they danced like wooden wind chimes clacking together on the breeze. Dark hair oozed out of her hood and swished around like ink on marble. When she passed the window, he noticed that she was just as tall. She had to be almost 7 feet. Her legs were long enough to step onto the dresser, turn and squat with her black boots tucked under her, supporting her body.
John realized as she sat that he was free and scrambled on all fours through the sheets to the cell phone on his night stand. It was off. He pressed the power button and nothing happened. He slammed the phone down and called for someone, “Deana??! Are you still here??!” No answer.
He got up off the bed and walked quickly to the door. Before he could reach the hall, Hy silently flicked her finger and slammed the windows and doors shut without even looking up from her task. John stopped. He turned to Hy with his fists formed, not angry, scared. Hy swiped her finger across the small screen of a handheld device.
“This Deana? I’m looking at your Facebook, Johnny. She’s cute. Professional cheerleader, huh? And what else does she do? Professionally, of course. On the side? She’s pretty. How long before she cheated on ya, Jaybird?”
Hy vacantly blinks and smiles for a few moments at John. He has no response. He walks slowly towards the dresser and pulls out a black pair of shorts, unsure if she will allow this.
“I’m at least going to put on some clothes.”
“Oh, yeah, please do. I don’t wanna see that. Can I even see it??” Hy giggled. “You know, that always was a lot like your height and personality. Always coming up short.” Big smile.
John sits down on the foot of the bed to face Hy. She turns her face back toward the screen in her lap as she stretches out one leg and sits on the other. She shifts; gets comfortable. “Yeah, Deana won’t be back.”
“Why, what did you do?” He was angry.
“Oh, I didn’t do anything. It’s what you did. When she walked out of here last night, it was for the last time.” Back to the screen. “Looks like you have a successful company. How much do you owe to the banks? Or this guy?” Hy showed a picture of El Rey, known in Miami as a big-league businessman with ties to the drug cartels, a money launderer. No doubt he washed some of the money in John’s cars.
“Oh, here’s a fun picture. The sweaty, beer-stained collar of your shirt really catches the light in this one.” She laughs. “It’s starting to catch up with you, John.” She continues to swipe the screen, flipping through pictures and pages.
“I can’t see how old you are, Jooooohn. No birthday? By my calculations, you are, let’s see, 45 right?” Hy closes her eyes and then pops them open with the answer. “No! My bad. 46. I missed your birthday this year. Sorry ‘bout that. Happy birthday.” Hy is sitting on the dresser, kicking her dangling leg with absolutely no trace of a smile.
“What do you want?” John asked.
“Yay! I finally get to kick you in the proverbial balls. Here’s the real gut-punch, John.” Hy rose into the air. She floated above the dresser with her arms stretched wide. She was done playing around with her mouse. Her voice consumed most of the air in the room and John’s lungs.
“I am righteous anger. I am vengeance. I am every single girl, woman, person you ever violated. I am the pooling blood of the innocent. I am violence. I am justice. I am the voice of the girl you raped and killed. I am the dark angel formed by all the pain and suffering you have left in your life. I’m here for that life, John.”
“I never raped anyone! I never killed anyone!” John gasped.
Hy raised her hands and pushed an invisible force toward John. He was thrown against the wall, pinned by his wrists to the white suede headboard. She seethed and spit through teeth. “You had sex with a drunk, unconscious woman. Remember Rachel? Maybe you don’t remember her name? Maybe you never knew it. That was rape. Your friend took pictures of you having sex with her. He shared the pictures of you raping her with everyone.” Hy clicked her tongue, “Real sloppy, John.”
John was ashamed, afraid, confused and in pain. He started to cry. His chin dropped to his chest along with small streams of tears.
“Rachel saw those pictures being passed around at school. She was taunted by your friends. But you wouldn’t know that. You never went to college. You simply hung around at the parties, preying on girls. You didn’t know that Rachel was mentally ill. She’d have to be mentally ill to sleep with you, honey. Believe me, we all were.
“You also never knew that she stopped taking her medicine because she ran out. She was too afraid and embarrassed to even walk to the pharmacy to refill her prescription or ask for help.”
Hy swooped down and raised John’s head. She whispered the rest into John’s face, her eyes darting back and forth between his, searching for any sign of recognition or remorse.
“She stopped going to class. She stopped eating food. Rachel killed herself because of what you did. Do you remember Rachel now? She sliced her wrists open in the dorm bathroom while her roommates were at a party. You were even at that party. Her
blood is on your hands.”
She removed the force from his hands and his palms landed limply on the bed. She glided to a stand at the edge of the bed. John could not speak or move. He was motionless with fear and shame. Hy stared into John’s eyes for a moment and then returned to a chair near the window. She sat and folded her arms and crossed her legs.
“You didn’t know that did you? You never called her or spoke to her again. You never picked up a newspaper or watched TV. You were too busy fucking someone else to notice.”

3. The Apology

“I’m–sorry.” A few more tears. John was weak.

“Did you just say ‘sorry’?” Hy was angry.

“I AM sorry. I’m so terribly sorry.” John pleaded.

Hy sat still for a moment. She stared at John. She saw past the surface. She saw past the watery eyes. She saw past the terror and despair. She looked into his heart and saw nothing. “You’re pathetic.”

John groveled. “What should I say? I regret doing that. I was young. I was stupid and drunk. I want to take that back.”

“You can’t take it back! She’s gone and I’m what’s left.”

“I don’t want to die. I don’t want this. I’ll do whatever you want, just please don’t kill me.” John whimpered, “I’ll make amends.”

Hy sighed. “You want to make amends. You have no idea what that even means. What that entails? You cannot make amends. You do not want to make amends. You can’t lie to me. You can’t charm me.”

John shouted, “I’ll do whatever it takes!”

Hy moved so quickly to John’s side that her body blurred behind. She was close to his ear within a second. As sweet as you please, “You know what we’re going to do, don’t you?”

4. Back to the Beginning

John panicked. He was terrified by his own words spoken back to him. Those words are the ones he always whispered to women the moment before he kissed them for the first time. His mind flipped back through time, through each woman, flashing through pictures, rapidly increasing in speed. Then everything came to a bright, white halt.

He landed on the one picture he didn’t expect to see. His own mother. The image in his mind began to play like a home movie, soft and dull at first. Her dress and hair faded into vividly bright spots of swimming color. Her face comes close to his. Her face is distorted. She whispers, “You know what were going to do, don’t you?”

John shuddered and dropped the image like a boiling pan. He shut his eyes tightly and went blank. He tried to dampen the overwhelming feelings that struck like lightning bolts.

Hy sneered. “You’ll do whatever it takes, huh?”

“I get it,” John whimpered.

Hy reassured John. “You don’t get the half of it. That’s only the beginning.”

5. Behind Closed Doors

Hy walked slowly to the door and it opened. John watched Hy as she turned to look back at him. For just a moment, a second before she disappeared, her face melted into something different. She started to shrink and wither. She was gone.

John closed his eyes tight for a few seconds and gathered himself. Trying to understand what he had just been through and seen, he heard soft cries of a small girl from the next room.

What is THAT?

The soft, wet breaths increased. A few gasps. The sounds intensified. Weakly, “No.”

She repeated the simple word until John stood. The noise immediately broke, but his mind accelerated. He was afraid to go into the next room.

Even though the noise had stopped, he could still feel things happening down the hall. Light. Warmth. An energy. His chest ached and dragged. He walked slowly to the door.

He looked and listened down the hallway for the now-silent voice. Everything was still for several seconds. He heard a small noise. Not a voice, but a body shift or a paper move. Someone was in the next room.

The hallway was dark. The hallway was usually bright with sunlight reflected in mirrors, artwork glass and light-colored tile. It was never dark. Even at night, the moon and stars found their way down the hall. The house was different. The tile was replaced with dirty, matted olive-green carpet. There was a smell: stale, heavy, metallic.

He took small steps and strained to make out cigarette butts, crumpled plastic cups, crushed beer cans and torn pieces of paper littering the floor.

As he approached the end of the exaggerated hall, he saw a sliver of silver highlighting the edges of a closed door. Whatever was happening was just beyond. The light bounced, dark to bright, when something bumped the door from the other side. He couldn’t breathe or swallow. His chest was burning. He stretched out his hand to turn the knob.