Monday, July 17, 2006
I once saw the Virgin Mary being attacked by a hooded man. The image on the candle flickered in and out of my vision where I lay on a mattress, strung out with a fever of a hundred and two. I had a book review to write for Third Coast (Q Road by Bonnie Jo Campbell) and the words kept blurring on the page and my attention kept drifting back to the Virgin and the candle shadows on the wall. I lived in the Misery (see post before this one) and thought about how awful it was, how awful I felt, and how strange it was that the novena candle had turned from soothing to nighmarish in such a short time. I'd spent much of my life making the best of a bad situation and telling myself I could make it work through sheer force of will. Lying on the mattress without a frame in a room without much of a window, much less a view, I realized I'd been bullshitting myself.
After the fever broke, I wrote the review, and I tried to shake off the two days I was forced to keep myself company. I burned the novena candle for a little while, but I couldn't shake the vision I'd had. I had to throw it away and start over.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"We are everyone in our dreams." The Book of Dreams
1 shot of tequila (silver)
1 shot of lime juice
garnish with celery salt and olive
Benedictions and Maledictions
First published in Long Shot:
Can You See It?
“They’re everywhere,” my friend’s grandmother says,
standing on her tiptoes in the gleaming kitchen. “Rats.
Your mother doesn’t believe me.” She hugs her bony
arms to her chest, rocking back and forth. My friend
tells her she’s fine, but her grandmother looks up
and says, “You’re not. You’re really fat.” She looks
over at me and gives me the once over. “And you’re
too skinny. Are you sick or something?” I am,
but not in the way she thinks. She snaps back
into her world, where the rats are running all
over the floor. “Can you see it,” she says. “There’s
a big one behind the refrigerator.” For a moment,
I know what it’s like to be her, emaciated and crazy,
seen by everyone with pity and disbelief.