Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

What It’s Like When Armed FDA Agents Raid Your Place While You’re Getting the Kids Ready for School

Monday, February 11th, 2019


I think there were 8 or 10 of them. Most of them wore beige, bulletproof vests. Some vests said FDA. They had guns, but left them in the holsters. I hadn’t actually noticed until my roommate said her son later told her they had guns.

My roommate had answered the door. I was downstairs with my daughter, helping her select a different dress when I heard a man’s voice. I got up and walked through the kids’ room to see a beige and black clad man with a crewcut coming down the stairs. He asked for me by name. He asked if anyone else was down there besides us, emphatically and repeatedly. I said no. I followed him upstairs.

In the kitchen he informed me that they had a Search and Seizure Warrant related to the distribution of pharmaceuticals without a prescription over the internet. I don’t remember if I nodded or perhaps I said “ok.” In the movies, people scream at the monsters, but in real life, we get quiet in the face of terror.

My daughter was still in her underwear. One of the men asked if we could put some clothes on her. The the beige and black agent – let’s call him Agent P, was the apparent mouthpiece for the group of men milling about my apartment. He explained that they would conduct a search the entire premises. Wait — they weren’t all men. In the stream of puffy crewcut, midwestern faces, there was a black woman, S. She had an interesting name and demeanor that I liked.

I don’t remember the next 40 minutes clearly. In my head it plays out like a jumble of disconnected vignettes. Agent P asking my roommate, if she could get the two kids to school so I could stay. Another agent asking if that was what I was wearing to work, adding that if I needed to change, then Agent S (the token female) would accompany me to my room — and if I needed to use the bathroom she would accompany me there too. They wanted to ask me some things, someplace private. I remember explaining to them that I had work meetings I had to get to in the morning but otherwise could take the rest of the day off. Agent P told my roommate that she had signed for some of the packages. She nodded with a confused frown. I felt terrible. I interrupted to tell him she didn’t know about any of this stuff. They found both my phones, personal and work, and asked if there were any more in the apartment. I said no. A notification came up on my personal phone. The agent holding it showed it to Agent P without a word and they exchanged looks. Later on, Agent P would explain the evidence-gathering and forensics that they would perform on my computer and hard drives for evidence like the message that came up on the phone. Another agent asked me about my storage space. He wanted to know where it was, and if I could take them there. I showed them on google maps. They moved back and forth through the building hallway, holding the apartment and building doors open to create a passage between the innards of my apartment and their cars parked at the curb. I lamented outloud about what my neighbors would think. They said that they had told them they were there to investigate a rat infestation. Right. Armed FDA agents investigating a rat infestation. The next day a friend in Boston called me to tell me that a friend of his from the neighborhood called him to exclaim I’d been arrested by the Feds.

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The (Massage Parlor) Interview

Monday, October 15th, 2018
It was during one of my freelance lulls one summer when I was 26, that a Craig’s list ad seeking erotic masseuses caught my eye. $80 an hour was a lot more than I was making doing design work, and the tone of the job description suggested an unassuming bashfulness that inspired me to respond.

I arrived a few minutes late at the address in Hell’s Kitchen. It was hot out and I was sweating. The lobby was modern and spacious, and without a doorman, so I was buzzed in. I pressed PH in the elevator. Penthouse.

The elevator let me out into a long corridor in blue and grey tones under fluorescents. It was bland but well-kept. I found the door and rang the buzzer. Soft steps padded up to the door. I always look away when I know I’m being observed through a peephole or camera, as if it’s impolite, or perhaps suspicious to admit you know you’re being observed. The door opened partially and a curly redhead peered around it’s edge. She looked both ways down the hallway before inviting me in, which I found curious.

It was a comfortable suite inside, carpeted and furnished with a large red brocade sofa in front of big windows looking out onto the city. The redhead, let’s call her A, asked me if I wanted any water and offered me a seat on the sofa before she sat down at the adjacent computer. She said J would be there shortly to conduct the interview but she was happy to answer any questions I had.

I wanted to know if she did massage. She did. I wanted to know if she’d ever had an unpleasant customer, and if so, how did they handle these things. She motioned to a spreadsheet on the computer screen and explained that sometimes people get blacklisted, but for the most part clients were respectful of boundaries.

Another girl, black and lanky, arrived. She’d also responded to the ad. She sat on the sofa next to me. We chatted with A, the redhead. I asked if she’d ever done anything like this before. She said no, and we giggled.

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Letter to every married mom that’s ever snubbed me because I am a single mom

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
On my bad days, I hate you. But most of the time, I feel sorry for you.

I feel sorry for you because you’ve let yourself go, which is why you give me the once-over with a grimace whenever you see me. And why wouldn’t you? You’re not supposed to be sexually available. You have an owner. You’ve settled down, like a good girl. Anyway, who has time to primp when cleaning up the perpetual trail of chaos that the hubby and kids leave in their wake?

I feel sorry for you because you’ve gotten so insecure about letting yourself go that you’d snub not just me but my kid too. Really? You’re gonna take your sexual resentment out on a CHILD? Go ahead, enjoy your playdates, help the other depressed married moms out with some babysitting. Keep that single mom and her spawn away, lest she go after your fat, balding husband that you haven’t fucked in 2 years. Puh-lease. I wouldn’t touch that creton with a ten-foot pole.

I feel sorry for you because I know you have to ask for something 4 times and then shout before he hears a word you say. It’s like you have to turn into an asshole in order to get ANY help. And then you have no patience left for the little ones, who deserve it so much more than he does.

It hurts when you snub me. I’m also juggling kids and a household. Childcare is just as much a financial burden for me as it is for your family. I could use the same break you and the married moms give each other. If you got to know me, I think you’d like me. But you’ve already decided, so my kid gets shut out.

Maybe you think I don’t notice. I don’t give you the benefit of the doubt anymore. The other single moms and I get together and we dish about how snotty you guys are to us.

I wilt a little every time my daughter asks me for a playdate with someone whose mom I know will not reply. I say that I’ll see what I can do. It gets harder the older she gets, because she remembers who she’s already asked about. I tell her that I sent the mom a message but she is probably just very, very busy.

This is totally an American thing too — the foreign moms are way cooler to me. Why can’t you be more like the foreign moms?

I feel sorry for you because deep down you know how fucked up it is when your kid wants to play with mine and you make up excuses as to why they can’t. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

I feel sorry for you because you make your friends based on something as ephemeral as relationship status, and not based on anything real in your heart.

I feel sorry for you because he cheats on you. Not yours you say? Wow, you have a lot to learn about men.

I feel sorry for you because there is a 50% chance you will also divorce. And when you do, and you get snubbed by the married moms, you will realize what a shitty person you’ve been.

I feel sorry for you because you share a bed with the last person on earth you’d want to tear your clothes off. Yup, it gets old, no matter how good it once was. And now you’re both celibate and stuck.

I feel sorry for you because you can’t really talk about it — everyone is supposed to stop asking how everyone else’s relationship is once the rings are on. Is that why you drink so much?

I feel sorry for you because deep down you know you want to leave him, but the money, the money, how will you do it? It all seems impossible. And scary. No wonder you hate single moms. They did the impossible. What would you talk about at a playdate? When the married moms get together everyone dishes about how lame the guy they’re stuck with is. “The single moms wouldn’t get it,” you think to yourself. Oh but we do. And we aren’t afraid to say the unthinkable: “Leave his trifling ass.”

I feel sorry for you because he doesn’t appreciate you, and never will.

I feel sorry for you because what’s behind me lies ahead for you, and the fear of it keeps you trapped. The lawyers, the courts, the money. Yes, it’s awful. I know that going through it is still better than staying in a shitty relationship. But you don’t know that. So you stand at the edge, looking but never daring.

Coupon – 70% off Enzo Labs services

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

If, like me, you’re uninsured, your physician should already have one of these coupons for you. If NOT, download it, print it up DOUBLE-SIDED and in COLOR, and then send it in with your bill and reduced payment. FYI, this is not an official distribution of the coupon, and I’d probably get in trouble for posting it online (or at least told to take it down), so follow instructions. I’m posting it because the last time I needed to get my annual just-to-be-safe slew of STD tests, my midwife didn’t have the coupon, and it was a royal pain in the neck to get the bill reduced.
Download the PDF with front and back
If you prefer the raw images, these are 600 dpi PNG format. You will need an image-editing program such as Adobe Photoshop to print the correct size (4.2″ x 5.4″, or 10.75cm x 13.77cm) Download Enzo_FRONT.png
Download Enzo_BACK.png