The former host of “erotic night” at a Baltimore bookstore will be the first woman no. 2 cia officer.
on wednesday, barack obama nominated avril danica haines as cia deputy director, replacing michael morell, who twice served as the agency’s acting director but took much of the blame for editing the highly controversial talking points around 2012 attack on the consulate in benghazi. As an attorney in the White House Office of Counsel, Haines oversaw the approval process for CIA covert actions, acting as a vital liaison between the CIA and the President.
Reading: Adrian’s book cafe
But 20 years ago, Haines opened and co-owned Adrian’s Book Café in the Baltimore waterfront neighborhood of Fells Point. he opened adrian’s after dropping out of a physics graduate program at johns hopkins university. the store hosted regular “erotic nights.” including dinner and a series of guest readings from published works or his own prose, according to a 1995 report in the Baltimore Sun; couples could attend for $30, while singles paid $17.
“Eroticism has become more prevalent because people are trying to have sex without having sex. Others are trying to find new fantasies to make their monogamous relationships more fulfilling,” said Haines, then 20, to the sun. “what the heck erotic deals is spontaneity, twists and turns, and it affects everyone.” (She also told Baltimore Sun reporter Mary Corey that she was interrupted by friends of hers “you just want a massive orgy in your bookstore, whereas she and her co-owner were initially worried that only “dirty old men” would show up.)
the event Corey attended at the bookstore featured a red candlelit room where guests were served chicken tostadas, waiting to eat while Haines read aloud from the first few pages of the claiming of sleeping beauty, by Anne Rice. writing under the pseudonym a.n. roquelaire, which has passages such as:
“He mounted her, spread her legs apart, gave the white flesh of her inner thighs a soft, deep pinch and, cupping her right breast in his hand, pushed his sex inside her.
He held her as he did this, to bring her mouth to his, and as he broke her innocence, he opened her mouth with his tongue and pinched her chest hard.”
but his bookstore was barely defined by eroticism (which was filed between self-help and parenting), stocking titles from a variety of smaller publishers and local authors, and offering a cafe. haines was also well-respected in the close-knit waterfront neighborhood of fells point, according to former neighbors.
one of them, longtime neighborhood member steve bunker, who has since retired to maine, praised haines for the daily beast, saying, “she’s brilliant, she’s got a great iq, she’s easy to work with And it’s reliable.” He recalled going to New Year’s Eve parties with her in the $22 million dollar townhouses then owned by her father, Dr. thomas haines, liberal activist and prominent chemist, on new york’s upper west side.
Another neighborhood property owner, Howard Barstop, praised Haines’ work ethic, recalling rehabbing his apartment in “jeans or a pair of shorts.”
In an agency recently rocked by revelations about then-director David Petraeus’ secret erotic emails while he was having an affair with his biographer, Haines’ bookstore’s past seems considerably more alluring and almost as daring as a reader you might find in a libby lewis or jim webb novel.
Although Bunker was a bit surprised to learn that his former neighbor had gone from Baltimore bookstore owner to one of America’s top spies, “Stranger things have happened,” he said, predicting he would great job at the agency. His wife, Sharon Bondroff, agreed, calling Haines “a sweetheart.”