Down The Hatch Part II

When Melissa arrives to pick me up, she looks far more concerned than angry. I let out a huge sigh of relief, and timidly peel myself off of the cold concrete and try to make my way to the passenger’s side of her Audi without making eye contact. The second her wheels stop, however, she is out of the car and standing inches from my face. She already has her hands on me, making sure I’m ok and trying to assess just how drunk I am.

“Are you ok?” she asks urgently, noticing that I’m wobbly but still upright and not vomiting.

“Yessss, I’m so sorry I just so much vodka and shots and it got bad and I got nauseated but then I wanted pizza and lost so I called you because no cab money,” I blurted. The words were tumbling out of my numb lips in an incoherent blur. Melissa’s stare had become stone cold and I was starting to get anxious.

“Get into the car,” she demanded, “you have to be freezing.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I reply solemnly, slithering into the car and slouching down to make myself small. I want to explain myself, but my brain is moving faster than my mouth, so I don’t want to risk slurring my speech again and making her more angry. Melissa’s mouth is set in a firm, straight line and her narrowed eyes are looking straight ahead at the road. Shit, she’s really mad. “I’m sorry about this,” I try again, “If you take me home I’ll have water and a bagel and never take shots again in my entire life.” Melissa just sighed in annoyance.

“You’re not going home. You’re coming to my house so that I can keep an eye on you. You’re absolutely trashed. That’s concerning for many reasons, one of which is the fact that you’re underage. Your skin has been exposed to the cold air for God knows how long, and your legs are bright red. You need some water, and you need to get warm, and with any luck I won’t have to spend the entire night preventing you from choking on your own vomit.” Her voice is steely but I can tell from her concerned expression that she was worried about me. It’s endearing. And suddenly the crushing weight of making her worry makes me feel absolutely terrible. I lean my head against the window and squeeze my eyes shut so that I don’t cry. I mumble how sorry I am quietly until we pull up into her driveway. “Just hush for a minute, please,” she says softly as she helps unbuckle me and steer me to the front door. “Everything will be ok,” she whispers, placing her hand on my back as she unlocks the door.

Once we get into the warm house, my frigid body relaxes a bit. She goes to grab me a glass of water, and I feel like my drunk brain is experiencing deja vu. It’s just like the last time I was here, but darker outside and I’m way more intoxicated. I take off my converse and stand awkwardly by the door until she summons me into the kitchen. She has a peanut butter sandwich on a plate next to a glass of cold water. “Eat, drink,” she commands. I sit down and oblige. I mostly eat in silence, but at one point I can’t resist attempting another apology.

“I’m so sorry about this,” I say, “I really didn’t mean to bother you so late and inconvenience you and I know you’re probably really mad about a lot of things, not the least of which is the contract that I haven’t read, so I probably broke 98493389 rules. I’ve just been working so hard with the psychologist and trying to eat three solid meals and dance has been super rough with auditions for the December performance and on top of all of that I’m starting to worry that maybe I’m gay.” All of this comes rushing out, and gets nothing but a sigh and an eyebrow raise from Melissa.

“It’s late and you are drunk, she says carefully. We can chat in the morning, ok? I care very much about your thoughts, but I also care about getting you some rest. I’m going to lay you down in the guest bedroom,” she explains. “I think maybe you should take a shower first to warm up. I’m going to stand by the door just in case.” I nod submissively. It’s a little awkward to have her hovering around while I shower, but I know I gave up my right to make demands when I drunk dialed her on Halloween night.

“I didn’t ruin your Halloween, did I?” I whine pathetically as she starts the shower and assembles a couple of towels.

“My son is too old for Halloween,” she says with a small smile, “but it looks like you had enough fun for everyone.” Her tone is mostly dry, but I can tell she’s gone from livid to mildly annoyed and somewhat amused. This is progress, I think to myself. Melissa stands in the doorway as I undress. I glance at her shyly, as if to ask if she plans to shut the door and give me privacy, but she mouths an impatient “let’s go” so I strip the spandex off and hop into the shower as quickly as I can. Once behind the curtain, I take a deep breath and let the hot water soothe my previously icy skin. It feels amazing, but I’m also starting to get a little sleepy, so I wash the scent of the bar off of me as quickly as possible and turn the faucet off. I can sense Melissa standing in the door frame.

“You don’t have to be shy,” she teases, “I’ve seen your bottom plenty of times, and it’s not like your costume was covering much anyway.” Throwing a bratty glare her way as I step out of the shower naked, I whip the towel around my shoulders and wait patiently for my next instructions. She gestures to the sink where there’s already a spare toothbrush laid out for me. I nod in embarrassment and brush my teeth while she continues to observe me. I hope that my whole lesbian comment didn’t creep her out. Luckily, she seems unfazed by pretty much everything.

I’ve never seen Melissa in casual clothes before. Even last time I was at her house she was still in a suit. She looks really pretty and snuggly with her hair un-done and her oversized Yale sweater on. I wonder briefly if she went to school there, but it’s best not to change the topic when she’s in “you’re in trouble” mode. When I finish brushing my teeth, Melissa walks me back to the guest room.

“Oh… pajamas. Ok. Here.” She takes off her large Yale sweater and hands it to me. She’s wearing a black tank top under it. I smile and throw it on over my naked body. It almost covers my lower half entirely. I look at her expectantly, but she just smiles. “When you wake up,” she says, “you’re not going to need pants on, so I figured we’d make your discipline easier tomorrow.”

“But your son…” I say uncomfortably.

“Is at a friend’s house for a sleepover.”

“Your husband?” I ask quizzically.

“I never said I had a husband. You’re fine. You need to stop arguing and go to bed, unless you want to get half of your spanking tonight.”

I start to shake my head, but then I shrug. “I don’t know,” I slur, “I just feel soo guilty but I’m also tired.  I shouldn’t have had so much to drink. And I gave you my life story and you probably think I’m so annoying.”

“I think you’re drunk and need sleep,” she insists again. She rubs my head and then leans over and kisses my temple. “You are SO difficult sometimes,” she smiles, “get some sleep. I’ll check on you in a little bit.”

I think about protesting, but the alcohol and emotions are wearing me out. Melissa is still sitting next to me on the bed. I tentatively reach a hand out and place it in hers. She jerks in surprise a little bit, but then gently rubs my hand with her thumb as I drift off to sleep, nice and warm, but with my bottom cheeks tingling in anticipation of tomorrow’s punishment.

HEHE… TO BE CONTINUED ONE MORE TIME!

[Open to suggestions about what Melissa should do to Shae tomorrow]

Down the Hatch

It’s a Friday night, and I’m currently being felt up by a banana. Ok, it’s some fratty college bro dressed as a banana for Halloween, so I guess that was misleading 😉 Regardless, banana bro had found me on the dance floor, already drunk on the warm vodka and Pepsi that my friends and I had pregamed with briefly on our rainy walk to another frat party. He grabbed my ass sans permission, and when I turned around to yell at him, my voice was concealed by the pounding music. Probably taking my angry expression as some weird sort of consent, he tried again at grabbing my ass. Disgusted and frustrated, I shoved him away and went to find my friends. Staying together at a frat party is always a challenge, but on Halloween night things are especially packed.

Eventually, I spot a couple of my skinny dance friends vying for more liquor at the makeshift bar in the back of the room, and I quickly make a beeline for them. When they see me, Leah squeals and says, “MORE SHOTS, BABY!” Caroline nods her approval enthusiastically, and I’m handed a small paper cup filled with pineapple juice and more warm vodka. Damn college students and their inability to buy (and chill) liquor appropriately. I’m already feeling the effects of our irresponsible pre-gaming, but I also know that I won’t have any fun with these sleazy college men unless I keep the alcohol coming. I pound another two shots with my girlfriends at the bar, and then we stumble away red-cheeked and giggling to see what trouble we can get into.

The three of us are a “sexy oreo.” I know. It’s dumb. But all I had to do to be a “sexy oreo cookie” was don a tight black spandex skirt and an equally tight black spandex crop top. It was cheap, easy, and group costumes always give you an excuse to ditch the sweaty, gross boy you’re dancing with in favor of gabbing another photo with your companions. “You guysssss,” I drawl, a little drunk for sure, “I think we should just go to a bar. It’s hot and crowded and I don’t know any of these weird guys.”

Carolyn frowns. “My fake ID isn’t that good,” she whines, “So if we don’t all get in you have to promise to leave the bar with me.” We all pinky promise, and we head out into the cool October night. Walking to the bar in the cold helps me sober up at least a tiny bit. When we arrive, we wait our turns in line, shivering and giggling, and then boldly fork over IDs that used to belong to older dancers. They aren’t fake, they just don’t belong to us. Borrowing a fakie from an older dancer is sort of a right of passage. The bouncer is overwhelmed by the Halloween crowds and ushers us in without really comparing us to the pictures of similar looking- but decidedly different- girls on our ID cards. Whooping in glee, we hightail it to the bar and order more drinks. And more drinks. We dance and we chat and we keep ordering. Eventually, Leah wanders off and starts making out with someone seemingly dressed as a dead professor. Charming. Caroline sees some friends from a religious group she’s in, and is suddenly dancing on a table with a couple of them. My friends are still in sight, so I ditch my half-full drink and run off to the bathroom to pee.

The moment that I sit down in a stall, away from the blaring music and loud voices, I realize just how drunk I am. The room is starting to spin a little, and my tongue and lips are completely numb. I try to text Caroline, but my hand-eye coordination has plummeted. Shit. I stand up and make my way over to the sink to wash my hands. I give myself a few minutes to catch my breath and vow to return to the bar for some water. Nearly to the bar, I’m intercepted by a cute girl named Teresa that I know from a running club that I briefly joined during the compulsive exercise phase of my freshman year. “HI!!!!” I say in a voice that’s probably a bit over-excited, and I pull her into an embrace.

“Heyyy, so good to see you, too,” she smiles, “are you a ninja or something?” she asks while assessing my black-on-black spandex and converse situation.

“No, I’m an oreo, well… part of an oreo… it’s whatever.”

“That’s AMAZING,” she says with a big laugh, “c’mon, let me buy you a drink real fast.” I start to say no, but I haven’t seen her in a while and I’m in a good mood. What’s one more shot. She insists on rum, which I grudgingly accept. We take it straight with no chaser and then high-five while giggling. I haven’t giggled this much in ages. It’s both freeing and a little concerning, especially as I feel my legs get more wobbly by the minute. Teresa gives me another hug and disappears to find her running club friends. She vows to text me soon. I nod politely, but am starting to really not feel well. I’m getting dizzier and dizzier and I’m starting to panic.

I look around for my friends, but the Halloween crowds are unreal. I decide to grab some fresh air outside. I stumble out the door and sit down on the cool concrete, leaning against the wall of the bar. I suddenly realize that I’m starving. I had a normal-sized piece of chicken for dinner, and several pieces of broccoli. I guess the meal was barely 300 calories, but protein is supposed to help absorb alcohol. That’s what they say, anyway. I’m certain that there is a greasy by-the-slice pizza place not far from here. Determined, I stand up and walk towards what I think the right intersection is. The problem is, it’s dark, I haven’t ever actually gone to this pizza place, and my legs are not doing a great job getting me down the sidewalk. There are plenty of crowds of partygoers in costume around, so I feel safe, but I’ve never been this drunk and I’m starting to doubt whether I can make it without passing out. My eyes feel heavy even though I wasn’t tired a few minutes ago, and like usual, I’m stuck outside in the cold air with no jacket and no tights. “FUCK,” I exclaim to no one in particular.

I have my phone, ID, fake ID, a few hair ties, and $5. That won’t cut it for a cab ride. I think about returning to the bar, but Caroline and Leah aren’t answering my texts and calls anyway. With my stomach in knots- either from nausea or nervousness- I get out my phone to call Melissa. She said she was always here for me, and I *really* need a lift. I can’t call anyone else in my sorority, because I could get kicked out for an offense like using a fake ID if they found out where I was. None of my other friends have cars. I press the call button by her name, hands shaking, and hope that she’s still awake.

TO BE CONTINUED.

Asking For Help

I left my mandatory meeting with the university dietitian buzzing with anxiety. I wasn’t sure what happened. I walked in confident, but when the kind dietitian started asking questions, the words that tumbled out of my mouth were complete lies. One question after the other was met with a mistruth or prevarication. It’s like a completely different person was speaking on my behalf. When it was over, she told me that it sounded like I was doing great, and she signed the paperwork that I would need to get back to dance. If I got the psychologist to sign off, too, Dr. Doom could end my probation period and I could go back to participating free of conditions. This should have been good news, but it wasn’t sitting right under the circumstances.

As I scuttled out of her office, I shoved her note into the pocket of my purple raincoat and yanked the hood over my head so that no one would see me. When I arrived at home, soaking wet from the rain and mad with myself for the “everything is fine” performance, I collapsed onto my bed and took a deep breath. I still had to see the psychologist, but otherwise no one else knew about what I was going through besides my dance instructor and Dr. Doom. The Doc did offer to talk to me if I ever needed anything, but maybe she just said that to be polite. I slowly wiped the raindrops off of my phone screen and debated whether or not I should reach out to her. My room mate and I had recently been arguing, and my parents would never be any help. I wasn’t quite ready to tell my friends or my classmates yet, so with a shaky breath and a steadily-thumping heart, I dialed Dr. Doom.

I felt a combination of relief and disappointment when it went to voicemail. “Hi… it’s me… Shae. From, you know, I was in your office last week. About the eating di- anyway, you probably remember. I just wanted to let you know that I saw the dietitian, and the thing is, I’m uncomfortable accepting her permission for me to return to dance, because I don’t feel like I managed to be completely truthful and open with her. I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me. It was really hard. I don’t want anyone to judge me and I’m just so new to talking about this with people. So, ok. Just wanted to let you know, and maybe you can help me schedule a follow-up appointment so that I can actually get some help.” 

When I hung up the phone, I replayed what I had said in my head over and over. Did I sound stupid? Pathetic? Would she be mad at me for lying? Maybe she wouldn’t call back at all. My time to worry was cut short when I realized that I had killed all of my downtime and was running really late to Italian. I didn’t have time to grab a snack, but I figured it was okay since I had eaten breakfast before seeing the dietitian (I didn’t want my stomach rumbling in front of the nutrition expert). After Italian, I took the bus straight to the performing arts center for dance, where I was occupied for 4 hours with classes. Thankfully, my instructor wasn’t treating me any differently in light of the eating disorder news. I left tired and sweaty, like always. While I was swapping my pointe shoes for rain boots, I glanced at my cell phone and noticed a missed call. My heart stopped. It was the doctor. My classmates were chatting but I wasn’t paying attention. I waived and said bye to no one in particular, and then rushed outside into the damp fall air to call her back. Please don’t let us be playing phone tag, I thought. I wasn’t even sure why I wanted to talk to her so desperately, but when I heard her steely voice greet me, my whole body seemed to tense and relax simultaneously. She had an effect on me that no one else in my life did.

“Hi Shae.”

“H-hi, Dr. Doom.”

“You can call me Melissa,” she said, with only the slightest hint of warmth in her voice.

“Oh. Okay, Ma’am. I mean, Melissa.” I heard her stifle a laugh. “Well anyway, thanks for calling back. I didn’t know who else to talk to.”

“It’s not a problem,” she said evenly, “I’m responsible for letting your instructor know when your probationary period is over, so it’s important that I’m fully aware of what’s going on with your appointments. I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t able to make good use of your time with Nancy today. Obviously, you’ll have to go back in order to have an accurate assessment done, and I will see to it that the next assessment isn’t a waste of everyone’s time.”

“I’m sorry. I’ll go back whenever it’s convenient for everyone. I didn’t mean to mess things up,” I whispered.

“I understand that you’re having a hard time,” she said slowly, “And as I said, the psychologist and dietitian are best equipped to help with the bulk of your issues. I would, however, like to help with what I can. I won’t be in the office much this week, but why don’t we have a quick chat tonight if you’re free?”

“Oh,” I said with surprise, “I guess I’m free, I just have to, you know, like shower and eat.”

“I’ll swing by your place to grab you at 7,” she said authoritatively, “Text me your address.”

“Ok, yeah, I’ll be ready.” With a glance at the time on my phone screen, I realized that I would have to rush. I ran to the bus stop, and when it deposited me just outside of my sorority house, I sprinted through the door and up to my room so that I could shower and change before Melissa’s arrival. I was ready to go around 6:50. That gave me ten minutes to eat dinner. I realized that the only thing I’d eaten since breakfast was an apple. Dammit. I scarfed down a modest bowl of pasta and a handful of carrots. At about 7:02, a text let me know that Melissa was outside waiting.

Melissa drove a beautiful white Audi SUV. I gaped at the nice, new interior as she stared over my shoulder at my sorority house. “It’s charming,” she said simply. I blushed.

“I know. I’m a walking stereotype. Dancer and sorority girl. But my sisters are super great and honestly, I’m cool. Like, I’m not spoiled or mean or whatever else you’re thinking.”

“No,” she smiled, “just skinny and bratty.” Without another word, she picked up speed and we glided down the street. “My son has soccer practice, so I figured we could just chat at my house,” she explained.

“Ok,” I nodded. We proceeded to sit in silence for the remainder of the drive. She seemed focused on driving and I was focused on how nervous yet excited I was to spend time with her, especially at her house. It only took about 10 minutes for us to pull up to a beautiful two-story house in a wooded neighborhood that I was wholly unfamiliar with as a campus-dwelling dancer. Still without speaking, she ushered me inside and offered me a glass of water or tea while I removed my shoes.

“Am I in trouble?” I asked, “because then wine might be better.” I said it with a smirk to denote I was joking, but it got me nothing more than a glare. “Ok, jeesh, just trying to lighten the mood. Water is great.”

“Why don’t you join me in the living room,” she said firmly as she handed me a glass. I followed her obediently. When she sat down on her couch, I decided to take a seat on another couch across the room from her. Distance is always a good idea when one’s behind might be on the line.

“Shae. I think that you know that you have a problem. And that you need help. You might need more help than I can give you individually, but what I can offer you is consistent medical advice and accountability. The latter might be more valuable to you. I think you need someone to help you stay on track. I wouldn’t normally offer to take on a bratty dancer, but I happen to think highly of you and I’d like to see you be successful.” She paused for effect and I nodded my understanding. “Great,” she said, folding her hands neatly on her lap, “So I think you understand how I ordinarily handle discipline. I plan to spank you for your stint at the dietitian’s office today, and I plan to spank you every time you fall short of my expectations, which- by the way- are high. But I think you also have high expectations of yourself, and we can be a good team. But to clarify, I’m the captain of the team. I want to spank you not only to punish you, but to show you that you aren’t always in control; you can’t be, and you don’t have to be. Whenever you’re with me, you can count on me. I mean that in many ways. You can count on me to tan your hide when you’re bratty or deceptive, but you can also count on me when you need someone to help.” She slowed down when she saw tears falling from my eyes.

“Thank you,” I said simply, “I’m not mad or sad. Just overwhelmed. And maybe a little anxious about the whole spanking thing,” I added with a small laugh. She smiled again.

“It’s ok,” she said. “Why don’t we start with the punishment and get it out of the way, and then we’ll talk about some ground rules and expectations.” I nodded my acquiescence, but I didn’t move from the couch. “Come sit over here,” she instructed. I shuffled across the room and sat down gingerly next to her. “Now,” she said, “I’m spanking you for lying to the dietitian today. I know you might have a hard time being open with people, but it was really unfair to her and to yourself. In the future, lying to anyone will earn you a trip over my knee, no questions asked. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” I sniffled, eyes wide.

“Great. Is there anything else you want to tell me before we begin?”

“I guess not,” I said carefully, “But, I mean, I’m just feeling a little guilty because you’re letting me continue to dance while I work on my recovery, but I know I haven’t made enough effort to fuel my body properly. I only ate two small meals and a small apple today, and I danced for four hours.” I looked down at my hands in shame. Melissa put her hand under my chin and forced me to look at her.

“I understand,” she said, “I’m glad that you know it’s unacceptable. I don’t expect you to get rid of all of your bad habits overnight, but I do expect from now on that you can follow a simple, healthy meal schedule if you want to keep dancing. We can talk about that more after your spanking.” With my admission out in the open, I felt my shoulders relax, and my breathing returned to normal. I was still nervous, but the confession had taken a weight off of me in a way that I didn’t expect. I’m a very private person, but talking to Melissa made me feel better. I was interrupted from my thoughts when Melissa pulled me swiftly over her knee. Apparently the chat was over.

This time, Melissa started spanking me over my leggings. They were too thin to protect me much, but it prevented the heat from building as quickly as it had last time. The pain was more of a dull ache than a sharp sting. Her rhythm was almost relaxing. Before I could even think that it “wasn’t too bad,” she ordered me to stand up. She unceremoniously peeled my leggings down to my kneecaps. Luckily, I didn’t have much time to revel in the embarrassment of the situation, since she quickly pulled me back over her knee and resumed her assault on my upturned bottom. The bare-bottom smacks brought on a searing pain each time they landed. Damn, Melissa was strong.

“I know you know why you’re being punished,” she said, “So we’re going to skip any further lecturing. All I will say is that I don’t give many warnings. The next time you have to resume this position for lying, you are going to be feeling my hairbrush.” With that, Melissa fell silent and I could only hear the sound of her hand striking me over and over. The echo of her smacks filled the room, and the sting in my bottom grew and grew. After what felt like an eternity, she stopped to elevate her knee and raise my bottom further into the air. I was hit with a new wave of humiliation, and she began spanking even faster and harder. I wailed and kicked my legs. I begged her to stop and dug my hands into the carpet and tried to get away from her. She barely reacted to my tantrum- she simply adjusted my bottom again and wrapped her left arm even more tightly around my waist. Her physical strength was overpowering. I ceased my resistance and cried while she continued to smack my already burning bottom. Finally, she slowed down her smacks. The last few were softer, and somehow almost pleasant. I breathed softly and relaxed. She eventually transitioned to rubbing my bottom, and then my back. When I wasn’t crying anymore, she helped me sit up. I didn’t know what to do with myself, but she pulled me into her embrace and gently rubbed my hair, so I closed my eyes and whispered one final apology.

“It’s all fine,” she said, “You did a good job for your first proper spanking. It will certainly be worse in the future if you don’t behave,” she warned. I nodded emphatically and continued to snuggle my head into her collar bone. She was surprisingly warm and comfy for someone with such a cold and commanding personality.

After a few minutes, she encouraged me to drink the rest of my water, and she began to lay out the ground rules. I was tired and having a hard time focusing, so she agreed to send the rules via email instead, and she kindly ushered me to the car and drove me back home. Sitting through the car ride was, erm, not fun to say the least, but I went to bed that night feeling relieved and protected. Just before I drifted off, I sent the doc a quick text message: “Thanks for everything, Dr. Melissa, I really appreciate it :)”

“Sleep :)” was her characteristically short response. Well, I thought, at least I got a smiley face. She might make me behave, but eventually I’ll get her to be more cheerful!

 

Meeting Dr. Doom

As I sit in the waiting room at the tiny University physician’s office, I feel like a walking stereotype. I’m a dance major at a large liberal arts school, and I recently had to confide in one of my instructors about my eating disorder. I’m irritated with myself but I don’t quite know why. Eating disorders persist despite the victims intelligence, confidence, happiness, and desire to be healthy. I keep repeating that it’s not my fault; I’m not making fellow dancers “look bad,” and I’m not a burden for needing to seek help.

My eating disorder had started over a year ago, when I realized that dance in college was a whole ‘nother ball game, so to speak. No matter what I told myself about how talented I was, I couldn’t help but think that I would be as talented as my intimidating classmates if I could just be more thin. More beautiful. More graceful. Lean. What started as a promise to eat healthy spiraled into near-starvation, compulsive exercise, and eventually vomiting. After coming back from a summer dance intensive feeling ill and looking like a string bean, I was forced to have “the talk” with one of my favorite professors. She said that I would have to see one of the university’s physicians to get a letter of approval for my participation that semester. I whined, but there was nothing I could say to change her mind. She was kind but firm about the requirement. “It’ll be fine,” she had promised with a reassuring smile, “Dr. (let’s call her Doom) is fantastic.”

So, there I sat in the doctor’s waiting room, at 9am sharp on a Monday, pretending to study from my Italian textbook while listening to my heart thud in my chest. When my name was called, I shuffled down the narrow hallway into a small exam room. My backpack and rain coat were drowning my small frame, and I kept my eyes down. My palms were sweaty and my heart was thumping ever faster, but I promised myself that the appointment would only take 20 minutes. I’d promise that I was getting better- eating more- and she would let me go. The doctor hadn’t quite greeted me yet. She was sizing me up while applying an inhuman amount of hand sanitizer to both hands. The doctor was tall, with sharp facial features and a cold, demanding stare. I felt about two inches tall when I looked up at her from the exam table. I know that she works for the university’s athletic department. She’s probably used to fixing the broken bones of soccer stars and managing the illnesses of football players four times her size. I imagine that she’d rather be doing anything but talking to little, silly me. Finally, she breaks the awkward silence.

“So… your professor sent you here for an eating disorder?”

I choose not to answer because what she really did was make a statement, and I’m not going to reward the obvious with an answer. Seemingly annoyed by my blank stare, she says, with zero emotion or tenderness, “So what is it that you do? I mean, are you not eating? Are you vomiting?”

My face scrunches up in annoyance. No way in H-E-doublehockeysticks am I going to let this judgmental jerk get an answer out of me.

“Uhm. Yeah I guess.” I’m purposely vague and my nervousness has been replaced with straight irritation. I can feel my eyes narrowing involuntarily, as if my inner defensive brat can’t help but punish the rude question with an evil stare.

The doctor sighs and tells me that she needs to weigh me. I silently acquiesce. She has me sit back on the exam table, and explains in a business-like fashion that she has to check my throat for signs of trauma. We do the tongue depressor thing, she pokes around my throat with her cold fingers, and she stabs at my abdomen to see if anything hurts. I keep my eyes on the ceiling, feigning disinterest in this whole process. On the inside, I’m simmering with embarrassment. She finally backs up again, and returns to her favorite position: arms crossed and face set in a blank, intimidating stare.

“Physically, you look okay right now,” she says slowly, “but I have to warn you that with the vomiting and–”

“I’m not stupid!” I spit, interrupting her impending lecture, “I know that it’s bad for me. I’m working on it.” She looks a little irritated at the interruption, but she shifts tactics smoothly.

“Look. If you want to exercise the way that your schedule demands, it’s really not sustainable for you to not eat.” She continues her lecture, but all I can hear is her patronizing tone and all that I can really focus on is her un-amused stare. I have never felt so ridiculous before.

“FINE!” I interrupt for a second time, “I know I’m an idiot, ok? I know I have to eat. I didn’t need to come to the doctor because there’s nothing really wrong with me. My professor made me schedule this appointment, and I know you don’t want to talk to some dumb skinny dancer about how foolish she’s being. As long as I’m good to return to dance class, I don’t need anything else. I’m sure you have plenty of better things to do with your time and I’m sorry I had to come annoy you about my ineptitude. I’m obviously having a hard time, and you’re kind of being a jerk. You’re talking to me like… like… I’m the scum of the earth or something. So I can just go or whatever. If I’m fine to dance and all.” When I finish my tirade, it dawns on me that perhaps I didn’t need to speak quite so loudly. Dr. Doom’s eyebrows are raised, but she doesn’t look particularly surprised, nor does she necessarily look angry. The silence in the room is deafening.

“Ok,” says Dr. Doom, still eerily calm, “why don’t you stand on the ground and turn around for me?” I look back at her with wide eyes. “Stand up,” she repeats, “and turn around.” I don’t know what else to do at this point, so I stand up and turn around slowly. “Put your hands on the exam table,” she instructs calmly. I do. “I’m going to pull your pants down, and I’m going to spank you,” she says matter-of-factly. “Eating disorders are about control,” she explains, “and in my exam room, I’m in control. I’m sorry that you didn’t get the sympathy that you were hoping for, but I’m trying to do my job. I’m trying to make sure that you’re healthy and capable of performing your usual activities. So now, you are going to stay still and stay silent, and I am going to spank you for how incredibly rude you’ve been.” It is a very good thing that I’m already bent over, because I feel extremely lightheaded. Can doctors spank people?!?! I’m too humiliated to speak, so I wait to see if she is going to say anything. “I need your consent,” she finally says, “and this isn’t medical treatment, it’s a personal offer to give you something that you obviously need.” Her voice is still amazingly businesslike, a little exasperated perhaps. I’m not sure what options I have at this point.

“Oh. Ok. Ye- I mean, sure.” My voice is suddenly quiet and whiny, in stark contrast to my bold proclamations less than two minutes ago. Having gotten the go-ahead from yours truly, Dr. Doom takes a step closer to me. With one hand on the exam table next to me, she raises her right hand and brings it down with an alarmingly painful crack. “AH, OW!” I exclaim automatically.

“You will get precisely one reminder to be quiet,” she says in a low voice, pinching my inner thigh painfully for emphasis.

“Ok, sorry!” I whisper urgently, letting my breath out slowly as she raises her hand again. SMACK! Geez, it’s painful when she hits me. I was never spanked as a child, but good Lord I didn’t think it would hurt so darn much. SMACK. SMACK. SMACK. No one else was in the waiting room, but I wonder if the receptionist can hear. SMACK SMACK SMACK. My embarrassment is driven from my mind temporarily as I try to adjust to the pain. Dr. Doom keeps spanking both cheeks- and the tops of my thighs- while I will wiggle and breathe heavily. She moves her second hand to my lower back as she continues to smack my bare bottom. As painful as the spanking is, I feel oddly serene under her control. Like the only thing that I have to focus on is submitting to her authority, and my previously complicated emotions have simplified. SMACK SMACK SMACK.

“Do you know why you’re being spanked?” she asks, not stopping the onslaught of smacks.

“I was rude to you and it was disrespectful,” I squeak out.

“Good girl. I’m spanking you because you were rude, and also because you need to learn a lesson about control. Learning to let go is going to help you. So *SMACK SMACK* will eating.” Her swats have slowed down since I have stopped wiggling. The pain and embarrassment and stress of the whole morning get to me and I start to cry. She delivers a few more swats to the back of each of my thighs.

“I’m sorry,” I mumble into the silence.

“What’s that?” she asks, her voice finally the softest it has been all morning.

“I’m sorry,” I repeat. “Actually, I was apologizing for crying because you don’t seem like the type of person who would appreciate a crybaby, but while I’m at it, I’m also sorry for… you know… snapping at you and stuff. I know you were just doing your job. I shouldn’t have taken my nervousness out on you. I’m just embarrassed and frustrated and scared, ya know…” I start to cry harder after my admission rushes out of my mouth, and she rubs my back gently.

“It’s ok,” she finally whispers, “everything is fine. I sometimes forget to be mindful of sensitive topics. I’m a pretty straightforward person.”

“No… really?” I ask with a sarcastic smile. She smiles for the first time all morning and laughs.

“Stand up,” she says kindly, helping me up into standing position. I feel incredibly awkward standing in front of her with my leggings pulled halfway down, but I look up at her and wait for more instructions rather than adjusting them. “I’m not a psychologist,” she says carefully, “and you need to see the university psychologist. But I do know when a brat needs a spanking, and you were begging for one this morning.”

“Y-yes, Ma’am. Uh… thank you?” I mumble awkwardly, looking between Dr. Doom and the ground.

“Pull your pants up,” she says with a small smile. “I’m going to write a letter to your dance teacher that you’re ok to participate for now, but I’m expecting you to see the psychologist… and the dietitian.”

“Yes, Ma’am, I will,” I nod emphatically.

“And why don’t I give you my business card in case you have any questions,” she offers kindly. “You’re won’t be bothering me,” she emphasizes, briefly putting her hand under my chin. I nod gratefully and she hands me a tissue.

“Do you, like, want a hug or something?” I ask timidly as she moves to open the door and release me back into the world. She laughs and opens her arms slightly, so I take that as a yes. I quickly wrap my arms around her tall frame, pressing my cheek against her chest. She pats me gently on the back and holds me until I am ready to pull away.

“Be good. Take care of yourself,” she says as she walks me back to the reception area.

“Ok. Thank you,” I say with sincerity. And with that, I head back out into the bright September sunshine. My bottom is still stinging, but I hold onto her business card and smile. That was a strange appointment, I think to myself, but I might actually be back to see Dr. Doom. Maybe her doom was just what I needed to get better.