Archive | October, 2013

Why Did The Ghost Cross The Road?

31 Oct

To get to “The Other Side”. Ha. Just a little Halloween pun to get things rolling.

But, seriously:

In early September, we discovered that our doorbell wasn’t working. A Verizon installation guy had been ringing and ringing and finally gave me a call to come let him in. After he left, I tested the doorbell again. Nothing. Hallelujah. I hate that thing.

Being a good tenant, I let my landlord know and she said it probably needs a new battery (doorbells are powered by batteries?!?). I told her I would fix it…but I obviously never did. That doorbell is an unnecessary evil.

A few nights ago, my boyfriend and I were watching TV when he blurted out: “Oh! I forgot to tell you. Right after I got home this afternoon, the doorbell rang. I went downstairs, but no one was there.”

“Huh. That’s weird,” I said. “I thought the doorbell was broken.”

“It is,” he replied. “I tested it when I was down there and it doesn’t work.”

And then all the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I got a pit in my stomach.

“So…it rang…even though it doesn’t work?”

“Yup. Was it the ghost?”

At this point I had to tell him to stop talking about it because I was too freaked out. I asked him later that night if he was telling the truth, and then again the next day. He was.

Apparently, while I had told him about the ghost in the apartment before he moved in, I hadn’t told him the doorbell story. He couldn’t have tried to scare me on purpose with the doorbell because HE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT. And, the facts that he 1. TOOK THE SAW OUT OF THE ATTIC AND USED IT TO SAW WOOD and 2. was dream talking the other night and told me to “be careful out there; they’re watching you” make this story a whole lot creepier.

I wish he hadn’t told me while we were watching American Horror Story.

Happy Halloween!

Song of the Day: Thriller by Michael Jackson. Just because.

I Have Magical Powers

27 Oct

I’m pretty sure I have magical powers. As a child who grew up soaking in fairy magic, Neverland, Hogwarts, and knowing what a Wiccan was by the age of 10 (and attempting to convert to one), I have convinced myself I am a creature capable of magic.

Bethany and I used to do seances with my Ouija board at the age of 8 or 9. I was obsessed with scary stories and witches. All I wanted to do was cast spells and speak to the dead. This was all while wearing a sparkly dress and/or princess crown, mind you. We used to sit in Bethany’s room and light candles and think of people we wanted to contact. We started with the typical celebrities: Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, and I think Freddy Mercury. Every time the flames of the candles would move, we were convinced the dead were trying to communicate with us. This whole process was very honest. We never tried to lie or trick each other. We really felt it was happening. I mean, cause it totally was. Duh. Thought according to the all powerful Ouija, I am supposed to marry a man named Jolt. So…still working on that one.

In fourth grade, I got really into magic and scary stories in fourth grade. I decided I was psychic and kept constantly trying to predict phone calls and move objects with my mind. It worked very well with candle flames and friendly phone calls. I also tried this with the radio and it worked 9 out of 10 times. To play devil’s advocate, however, our pop radio station was known for playing the same popular songs every 20 minutes it seemed so it wasn’t the best way to exercise my powers but I had to develop them somehow. To this day, I find I can predict or feel certain things. While in Disney World recently, I had sent a friend flowers for a show opening. I hadn’t heard from him and I thought “Huh, I should check my phone to make sure he got them.” And sure enough, I had received a text from him moments prior and my phone was in a backpack I was not wearing so I heard no sound or felt a vibration. This happens to me a lot and usually with unexpected calls or texts. I pick up the phone at the right time and boom, I know before I even look. PSYCHIC.

In college, my friend Lindsay had received the Fairies tarot cards, designed by Brian Froud of Henson and more specifically “Labyrinth” fame. Lindsay was incredibly talented at reading them and I fell in love with the design and concept and bought my own box. With the support of the Fae, I became very gifted at reading the cards. At first, I worried it was because I was reading for my friends I knew well and was familiar with what was happening in their lives. But then I started reading people I didn’t know well and was nailing it. It can be uncomfortable having that power though. One of my best friends was leaving for a gig for a long time and I was reading his cards in front of his then girlfriend. She was upset, obviously, he was leaving and wanted to stay in a relationship. Through the cards, and not really reading the situation at hand, I revealed that he should let go of anything he is holding onto here and move forward with this great opportunity. I felt he wasn’t realizing his potential and that he has this nagging choice in his head for some reason even though it was very clear he was making the right decision by leaving to do this job. It got awkward very quickly once I looked up and saw her face and everyone in the room realized that it was totally about their relationship and I found out later they had talked right before coming over about ending it. Oops. In spite of that, friends still ask me to read their cards and I read my own. There’s something about them that connects with me and flows through me and I don’t even think when I’m reading for others or myself when I speak. Once I see the cards and peruse the descriptions, I just know what to say. I know what you’re all thinking. It’s because I am part fairy. Sigh. If only it wasn’t so obvious.

We went to Salem a few years back and I was browsing through the spell books in this one gift shop. I’ve always wanted to own a spell book and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to purchase. The spells seemed simple and I understood them immediately. I wanted to get one and buy ingredients and start creating potions and spells for every day life. I use candles and objects to make requests or wishes. I believe in their power and when you focus enough of yourself onto that one goal or item you want to achieve, it is possible. It’s soothing in a way to fall into yourself that deeply while projecting outward to some superior power. I’ve heard countless successes from this type of process and I, too, have found great victories in performing these tasks. I light a candle every time I travel that burns for safety and serenity. I have objects that I use to calm myself down when I am anxious or scared. I use my cards for guidance when I am stuck or lost. I’ve had my cards read to me for comfort as well. That may not be magic to some people, but to me it is.

Places like Salem that are known for their haunts, I feel a weird connection to. I’ve been to Savannah, Georgia and felt a strange presence and energy in that entire city. It’s called a city build on her dead for a reason. There are so many tortured souls and deep magic happening in that town, like Salem. You can feel it down to your bones if you pay close enough attention. Same goes for places in Europe like the Tower of London and touring the crime scenes where Jack the Ripper struck. There’s something lingering there and not it’s not necessarily a gust of cold wind. It’s something more permanent that won’t leave and hangs heavy in the air. I love places like that.

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah. Terrifying and beautiful.

I have a strange power with animals. I’ve never met an animal that has been outright cruel to me. True, I can’t call to birds and have them land on my finger, but I have very rarely encountered a creature that showed fear at me. Dogs rarely bark. Cats never scratch. I have people say to me, “Wow, he never does that with strangers” very often. I think it’s my fairy nature coming through and connecting me to the earth. Ever since Fern Gully came out, I have felt a connection to trees. I used to touch them and say if I felt their pain or not. This was when I was a small child, I do not still do this…a lot. I loved stories about trees and dryads and nymphs that rely on nature. I loved Peter and the Lost Boys hideout in the old tree and the magical tree doorways in The Nightmare Before Christmas that lead you to the holiday lands.

I believe in magic. I think it exists. I believe I have magical powers. And no, I’m not an insane person. I think we all have magical powers. Especially this time of year around Halloween. There’s an energy and a crisp spark that happens. I feel it when I light my candles. I feel it when I read my cards and Oliver the cat comes over and lays down beside me to sit with the fairies as I use their guidance to make choices. I feel it every time I make a wish. It’s as simple as being in Disney World watching the fireworks with hundreds of people and gasping all at the same time. That is magic. Being in a bar where every one suddenly starts singing the song at the same time is magic. When you feel the moment when it’s happening is magic. Looking up and seeing the person across from you on the subway reading the same book and head nodding acknowledgment to each other is magic. It isn’t all spells, potions, and familiars. I’m a magical creature and I will read your fairy cards for you any time.

Everyone hail to the pumpkin song.

The Nose Knows Best

25 Oct

Scent and memory are a funny thing. It’s amazing how you can be minding your own business, pass by someone on the street who is wearing the same cologne your boyfriend in 8th grade wore, and suddenly you’re in his basement in the dark…sitting on the floor playing Mario Kart on a Nintendo 64. For real. Get your mind out of the gutter. We were only 13!

This morning, I reached up to grab my hairspray only to find out that the can was empty. If you know me, you know that this is somewhat of a tragedy. I’m a girl who loves her hairspray. Thinking I might have some squirreled away somewhere, I dug around in the drawer where I keep spare toothpaste and contact solution and came out with a bottle I’ve had for a while. Several years ago, I was Betty Draper for Halloween and tried to do it as authentically as possible (pantyhose with the seam up the back, red lipstick, curled hair that was set with rollers) and bought a can of Aqua Net to really do it right. It’s been in the drawer ever since.

Just one spray of this stuff sends me back to my grandmother’s house, into the back room that belonged to my mom and aunt when they were growing up- the room that became my grandmother’s closet and dressing room after they moved away. There was a built in vanity along the wall where my grandmother kept her Aqua Net and lipsticks and lotions. I’d often stay in that room when I came for a visit and hang out in there while my grandma was getting ready. My grandmother moved out of that house more than 10 years ago and she passed away seven years ago, but every time I use Aqua Net I’m back in that room and I can picture the very 60’s yellow-y carpet and wood paneled walls, the poster of the kitten on the wall telling me to “Hang In There” (that poster always made me sad and I didn’t like it next to the bed), the water color of a sunset that hung on the ceiling, the tiny windows that overlooked the side yard and the creek beyond. I see closet where I staged a photo shoot of my stuffed animals the Christmas I received my very own camera (my mom wasn’t too happy when she paid to develop the film and realized the WHOLE ROLL was Care Bears, bunnies, and lambs).  I’m suddenly in the tiny bathroom next to the bedroom with my grandfather’s shaving cream mug and brush next to the sink and the Palmolive that my grandmother used to give me bubble baths in sitting on the tub ledge. Huh. Palmolive. That’s another one to add to my list.

The scent of Bactine always, always, always turns me into a 17 year old who, after begging her mother for a year, was finally allowed to get her belly button pierced. She was given instructions to leave the silver hoop in for two months and to clean it regularly with Bactine and she followed those instructions to a T until she got sick of the hoop and changed it for a little barbell just shy of the two month mark. She kept her bellybutton pierced until she was 29 years old and finally decided it was time to grow up, just a little bit.

Some of the scent-related memories are bittersweet. The smell of hand sanitizer sends me back four and half years to the hospital where my then boyfriend’s sister was battling cancer for the third time. She was only 32. We used hand sanitizer and donned surgical masks before going in to visit her. She’d had a bone marrow transplant and her environment needed to be sterile. She didn’t survive her fight with cancer. I only knew her a short time, but I’m glad I have something, even something so small, that reminds me of her and what a wonderful person she was and that I’m lucky to have known her.

Fall is my favorite time of year. Leaves in piles on the ground mixed with the smell of smoke coming from a chimney and the crisp scent of cool air take me to Halloweens past and dressing up in costume and running around the neighborhood trick-or-treating. Sometimes when I’m walking home from the bus stop in the evening, I’ll stop and soak in that smell. It’s a quintessential New England scent and always reminds me of autumn at home in Vermont.

Having a scent trigger a vivid memory isn’t something that happens to me every day, which another reason it’s such a special occurrence. I love the random instances when you’re suddenly taken back in time and reminded that life is more than the day-to-day: it’s the people you love, the places you’ve gone, and the memories you’ve made.

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousand of miles and all the years you have lived.” – Helen Keller

Song of the Day: The Background by Third Eye Blind