Return to 1873: Part 5
My Diary for December 1873
Friday, 31th December. Morning
I think I fainted being laced up this morning. I am not sure as I had been used and I was in a dream-like state when my master laced me up. It has happened before but not like this. Maybe I just had another orgasm. I don’t know. To have an orgasm just because I was being laced up? It was not even very painful, though tightening the crutch strap is now near agony as I have been whipped there. Naturally I have not be allowed to see anything of the damage down there, now may I touch the area.
To speak of an orgasm while being laced up is silly, of course. Physically it would be impossible but something happened and even now, hours later, I feel disassociated from my body; I know I hurt in all sorts of places but I can not accurately feel where the pain is or how intense it might be. But one thing is certain; each time I breath in any manner but the most shallow inhalation there is a pain surprisingly at the back of my ribs, where they join my spine. So doing things like scrubbing my room had to be done slowly and careful so I did not need to breath in deeply. Even moving from one room to the other must be controlled, not just by my hobbles but also by my desire to avoid unnecessary pain.
Having been laced up tightly for days on end, I find that I am now breathing solely through the tops of my lungs, or so it seems. It is as though my ribs have been compressed by the continuous pressure of my stays, allowing me only partial usage of my lungs. This feeling is born out by the fact that I not only suffer pain at the base of my ribs if I breath too deeply, but I become light headed when I exert myself at all. In some ways it is a pleasant sensation but I know that it is a dangerous one and, when my head starts to spin, I stop and wait until the sensation stops.
I have never experienced anything like this which is, I suppose, brought about by the severity of my lacing and lack of food. I tried to eat what little breakfast I earned for myself, but even the tiniest mouthful is now hard to force down, thanks to the compression about my stomach. I admit freely that I am terrified of what will happen during this afternoon exercise period. For climbing the stairs I need liberal quantities of air and, laced this tight, I do not see how I could obtain it.
Yet, if I put that thought out of my mind, I feel strangely at peace. Writing this diary calls for all the concentration I can muster and I know that I am writing more slowly and more labouriously than before. My fingers feel numb and I look down at my writing to see that it is not as neat and compact as once it was.
For all this, I also feel something approaching euphoria at times. This morning my Master’s harsh words merely washed over me, and although I understood what he was saying, they seemed remote and almost as though he was speaking to someone other than myself.
One thing does intrude into my strange state. That is the knowledge that tonight is the end of the year – a special year outside, though it is just 1873 in here. I would have thought that my Master would have allowed me to return to the ‘normal’ world for the final hours of the 20thCentury, but he shows no sign of doing so. He has ignored the subject and I may not ask him about it. I suppose that, if he wishes to keep me here during the Century-end and Millennium-end celebrations, that is his decision and I must accept it as best I can.
I have just noticed that I have smudged the word ‘wishes’ in the last sentence, and that there is evidence of my doing so in the ink stain on my glove. I know that I will be punished for my carelessness – presumably in the same hideous manner as has been the case when I first soiled my glove. Yet the delicious fear which I normally feel before such punishment is not there now. Instead the feeling of having left my body is ever stronger. I see everything so clearly and yet physical aspects of my existence do not seem to be of any importance now.
I realise that what I write must make little sense, and anyway the time allocated for my diary writing is over, my Master having just entered to tell me to wind down my writing. So I will stop so I may go to the corner of the room and there kneel facing the wall while he decides what is to be done with me next.
Friday Evening, 31st December
It would appear that I am not to be allowed to rejoin the world for tonight’s celebration. My Master looked at my diary this morning and informed me that, although he had considered the idea, the disgustingly sloppy manner in which I had written it made him realise that I had failed to earn such relief from my present servitude.
Instead I am to spend the night chained to my desk, copying pages from a book he will give me. He has deemed my hands to bruised to be whipped again so this is to be my punishment. While the world celebrates I am to be left up here copy writing at my desk until such time as my Master thinks I have learnt my lesson.
He threatens to keep me at my work all night long and to make me go without sleep right through until tomorrow night. I cannot imagine how I will cope with that, but I will just have to do so, if that is his command.
If the future appears grim, at least this morning’s diary entry alerted to him as to my fear about trying to walk up and down the stairs during exercise while so severely laced-up. For he actually loosened my stays a fraction before preparing me for exercise. It was still as purgatorial a time as ever, but I was able to breath without too much pain, and I did succeed in struggling through the time allotted for exercise.
However, as soon as it was over, he retightened my laces so that I am in as parlous a state as this morning.
Writing is harder than ever this evening. Time flies as I struggle to write without smudging or blotting my work, yet at other times it stands still.
My Master has returned and has ordered me to cease work.
If you have struggled though my 1873 diary this far, I must tell you what indeed had happened while I was locked away back in my private time warp.
Right from the first moment of my incarceration, The Bear, my Master, had started to play games with my estimate of the time. He made my nights extremely short, and similarly shortened my days so that, when I thought it was 31st December it was, in fact, only the 30th, and not the evening but midday. He had literally deprived me of more than a whole day or, as far as I was concerned, inserted 30 extra hours into my mental calendar.
His original idea had been to keep me locked away until the evening of what I thought was 1st January, so that I would emerge imagining I had missed all the Millennium celebrations. Then he would be able to surprise me by telling me we were soon going to walk down to the Thames and watch the end of the Century with the millions of other people lining the river for the grand firework display.
Unfortunately, that never happened as work intruded and I had to make some urgent phone calls which meant he was forced to liberate me 24 hours ahead of schedule. Even so I was totally shocked and surprised when I discovered how effectively he had distorted my sense of time.
Interestingly, regardless of what I may have written about being starved, I only lost less than a pound in weight during my time locked away and, once I had a long long bath (Oh it was bliss!) and a good night’s sleep, I felt tremendous.
Since then we have discussed the experiment in some depth. I want to try a far longer time shut away in my ‘Sybilienne World’. As always, the demands of 21st Century living and work make that a pipe-dream, certainly for the next six months. But, when we can arrange for me to be incarcerated again (probably under even more stringent conditions) I hope to keep another diary. And, if Peter is not too bored by this one, perhaps he will allow me to publish it here as well.
London. February 2000.
End of Entry 5 & Epilogue