"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Will, Determination, And Female Power–The Story Of Flannery Higgins

Flannery Higgins was too big for her britches,or so her mother said. Full of piss and vinegar was what her father called her.  Strong-willed, said her teachers, and bordering on godless said the nuns at St. Anthony’s. No amount of hard thwacking on the knuckles or threats of Hell and Damnation could right the young girl who kept looking out the window, twirling a lock of her hair, or smiling at the cute boys in the front row. Flannery had a mind of her own, everyone agreed, but to what that was, nobody had a clue.


“Are you going to Confession?”, her father asked her every Saturday after lunch, knowing that perhaps God would forgive her willfulness, disobedience, and temper even if he couldn’t.

“I wouldn’t miss Confession for the world”, she said, finished putting on her sneakers, pulling her bike out of the garage, and riding down to Friendly’s to meet her girlfriends.

Flannery loved to make the fat priests squirm and watched them through the confessional grate as she told them big sins, the ones she and her girlfriends thought up about sex.  Their mothers never even whispered the word let alone explaining the ins and outs of sexual behavior. “Just mind your Ps and Qs” was all Flannery’s mother had ever told her.  “No funny business”, and “always keep your legs crossed”. None of this mattered.  Flannery paid as little attention to her mother as she did to the nuns, and between them her girlfriends had read enough forbidding passages from the books on the Legion of Decency’s blacklist to know all about fucking, sucking, and all the rest.  None of them were exactly sure how it all worked; but Flannery had enough to shock Fathers Mullins and Clancy.

Priest hearing confession

“Now, you really didn’t do all that, did you, young lady” the priest said when he heard Flannery’s sins.

“Oh yes, Father”, she replied, “and I am heartily sorry”, repeating a phrase from the missal.

Father Mullins wanted to hear more, of course, whether or not his young confessant had actually committed the sins or not.  He was as twisted and horny as any old fat man, and her confessions lasted more than twice as long as anyone else’s her age.  “Did he like it?”, asked the priest when she told him about going down on the cutest boy in the 10th grade.

“Oh yes, Father”, she said, “but I promise to God that I will never do such unholy things again.”  There was a rustle of cassock and frock from the other side of the confessional, and then Father Mullins gave her absolution and penance.

“What took you so long?”, asked Bobby Billings, the dumbest boy in her class but the one the Sister Mary Joseph said would quickly gain the Kingdom of Heaven.  Not that he would die first, but that he was so holy that God would have to push him to the head of the line.  He was godly only because he was too stupid to have any fun or even to know what fun was, thought Flannery.  Why did he even bother with Confession, she wondered.

It wasn’t long before Flannery took up the real thing.  She had always been a tease, and invited boys to go exploring in the woods behind her house.  None of them knew what was what, but obediently dropped their pants when she asked them too. “Show me the rest”, she said to Henry Cutler,, pointing at his little package of a cute bean sprout penis and ball sack.

Image result for images boys and girls playing doctor

“That’s all I’ve got”, said Henry, quickly pulling up his drawers, and wondering from that minute onwards whether or not God had shortchanged him.  Women have no idea how fragile men’s egos are; but precocious Flannery had an inkling.

As she got older, she continued to tease, but that only made the boys more interested in her.  None of them would pull up their shorts and run away. “So that’s what happens to the little bean sprout”, she said to herself when she saw Billy Rockford’s stand-up dick. “I always wondered.” Of course she wondered even more what that hard dick would feel like inside her, and it wasn’t long before she found out.

Despite her precociousness, Flannery did not turn out to be a precocious girl.  Far from it. Her real gift was manipulation.  She enjoyed the sexual power women had over men.  It was easy to keep them on a sexual leash through tease, promise, and a hard-earned reward or two; and she counted her victories not like other girls for whom ‘doing it’ was the only trophy on the mantelpiece; but the number of boys she had excited.

Image result for images dominatrix men on leash

Flannery easily extrapolated sexual power to secular power.  She soon found out that both men and women wanted things more badly than they should; and she learned how to exploit that immature overreaching.  She was a genius at both getting what she wanted and hanging enemies out to dry without leaving a clue.  Later on in life Jack Wilson found himself on the curb after many years as a Senior Vice President at Marshall International, victim of Flannery’s well-planned, silent, but effective plan to let him hang himself with his own noose. “He was stupid”, Flannery told a former colleague. “I did the company a favor”

What about family, friend, and relatives, one might ask? Did she trust or love anyone? Of course she did, but within reason.  Although Hedda Gabler and Strindberg’s Laura were her heroes (she loved the line in The Father when Laura says to her defeated, humiliated, and totally destroyed husband, “Now you have filled the unfortunately necessary functions of father and breadwinner. You are no longer needed, and you must go”); and she always maintained control in a relationship, she felt enough compassion, if not humanity, to share a little female comfort with her partners.

Image result for images diana rigg hedda gabler

“Cold comfort”, said a rival who was jealous of Flannery, hated her for her manipulative ways, but wanted the same female power that she had.

None of this shrewish carping bothered Flannery in the least.  Women are like that, she mused; which is why she always preferred the company of men.  They might be far less subtle and imperceptive, but at least they were honest, at least in sexual matters.  They were congenitally unable to hold things in, to be devious or duplicitous.  If they tomcatted and prowled sexual alleys at night, it was women’s fault for not electrifying the perimeter.  On a social plane, however, Flannery could expect far less of the backbiting and gossip that she heard from women.

In other words, Flannery ruled every roost.  “I’m not a genius”, she said to herself; but of course she was. Einstein had nothing on her when it came to figuring out the human condition; and what took more mental agility, quickness, and perceptiveness than to figure out how people worked and why.

Just like poor Jack Wilson who found himself on the K Street curb and wondered why and how he got there, all of the men and women in Flannery Higgins’ life felt the same way.  To them she was a model wife, lover, and friend.  That was her biggest gift – along with her innate brilliance and finely-tuned amorality, she had a silver tongue.  No one ever knew what hit them.

All this is to say that the world could use a lot more Flannery Higginses and far less of the well-meaning but soporific human beings who travelled in Nietzsche’s herd doing nothing but trampling the ground beneath them.  She, on the other hand, was like Hilda, the heroine of Ibsen’s Master Builder who knew ever since she was little exactly what she wanted, was never held back by any man, woman, or priest, did exactly as she pleased and led a happy life.

Image result for images the master builder ibsen

“One has to engineer things”, she said.  In other words, her sublime and unmatched talent for understanding human nature was not enough.  It was in moving people around on her chessboard that was the most exhilarating and satisfying.

Few people had a bad word to say about Flannery Higgins, and even fewer knew how she engineered her life so strategically.  One or two of those she let into her inner circle understood the pure joy she took playing the game.

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