I once bought a large cardboard box with photo-albums and family documents at an auction. Thumbing through other people’s lives is a bit like trespassing, but I love history on grassroots level. And so birthdays, weddings, holidays and ageing people passed me by. Once they were full of life, now they were just nameless memories in a cardboard box. Then I opened album number six, called Rose. Who turned out to be an stunningly beautiful Mistress in Her time. I became intrigued and it took me months to find out a bit more about Her. According to a newspaper clipping, people came from far and near to visit Her dungeon. She was, the article said, a popular lifestyle Mistress who never gave up the belief that Women were born to rule over men. I wished I had known Her, even if just for a while, because She must have been an amazing person. So here’s to Lady Rose, who lived in the past, but believed in the future.
“I studied here in the fifties. My parents paid for it all and they found me a bording house in Rue Saint-Honoré. Madame Fouet, the landlady, lived on the ground floor. Oh, She was a shrewd Lady! She convinced my parents that it would be in my interest that She would be in charge of the monthly allowance. It gave Her absolute power over me. And the other five tenants, who suffered the same faith. We were Her slaves and She controlled literally everything. She was a real disciplinarian as well and She ruled without mercy. Now, a Woman dominating a man, that was unheard of in the fifties. Even my trusted friends refused to believe it. I graduated in ’59 and left a couple of months later. But I kept coming back once a week. Not because She ordered me to, but because I was lost without Her.” The nurse smiled and said: “You have such a vivid imagination Mr. Brown. Now, let me take you to the bingo for a bit of real fun, shall I?” They would not listen, they’re not listening still. Perhaps they never will.