Monday, November 21, 2016

One Small Fly

There's a fly on my computer.

One small fly.  It's even small by fly standards.

Why I see the images I see in my mind....  I see the fly flying into my mouth.  Not that I have to open my mouth wide to let it in.  Not that I even try to close my mouth to keep it out.  Not that I gulp it down or spit it out with a grimace.

The fly just flew in and out of my mouth just the same as if it were flying in and out of the house, through the sliding glass door in the dining room.  It was no big deal to the fly and it was no big deal to me.  I just kept on -- talking maybe -- like nothing was going on.

Of course, others would be disgusted by this.  But not me.

I was not talking.  Somehow, my hands were still working at the keyboard, typing the experience as it happened.  But my head was dead.  My mouth hung open and did not move - rigor mortise and all.  Somehow my eyes could still see.

So, my head was dead.  My face was dead.  My eyes could still see.  My mind could still think.  My hands could still type.  But the fly went in and out of the mouth on my dead face.  Landing on one corner of my mouth and walking around a bit.  Inside my lips.  Outside my lips.  Then buzzing around my dead mouth again.

No big deal to the fly.  No big deal to me.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Previous scene: "All Moved In"

The morning sun shining through the wood blinds, sliced the room into pieces.  Arms behind her head, Eva lay in the quiet, watching the dust float in the beams of light.  Breathing.  The dreams of the previous night swam in her head.  She couldn’t remember much.  A purple person who wasn't a person.  It was like a person but it was also like a liquid, a highly viscous liquid.  Eva was herself in her dream, looking through her own eyes at the being while the being looked at her.  That's all she remembered.

Through the door, Eva heard the familiar ting-ting of coffee cups jostling again each other.  The cupboard clapped shut.  The shhhh of water streaming from the faucet.  Lynn is a coffee junky and attends to that craving each morning before she does anything else.  Eva stayed in bed.  The gurgle of the coffee pot as it finished brewing.  Eva waited to hear Lynn pour her first cup of coffee.  Then, and only then, would Eva venture out to say good morning to her friend.  Greeting Lynn before said cup of coffee would only elicit a growl and a sharp remark.

Ah, there's it is.  The knock on the wooden table indicating that Lynn had her coffee and the coast was clear for Eva to go and enjoy a cup of coffee herself. She flipped the comforter off her bare legs and walked barefoot from the bedroom to the kitchen. Sophia padded quietly behind her, the jingle of tiny bells on her collar the only clue that the fat cat was following Eva through the house.


"Morning." Lynn responded with the standard sleepy statement.

"How'd you sleep?" Eva asked the typical first thing in the morning question.

"OK, I guess.  I kept dreaming."

"Me, too," Eva said.  "What did you dream about?"

"I'm not sure.  I don't remember much.” Lynn sipped her coffee.  “There was an almost human-looking figure hovering in front of me.  It was dark, so I couldn't make out any features.  It seemed to be looking at me, though.  It made me nervous.  I asked it what its name was and it said 'Amethyst'."

"Lynn, I dreamed that something was looking at me, too." In a taut voice, Eva described her own dream.

Lynn sang, "Do-do-do-do, Do-do-do-do" in the creepiest voice she could manage.  "I love coincidences like that!"

"Coincidences like what?" Natalie walked into the kitchen.  She lived down the street, but dropped in to have coffee with Eva and Lynn each day after her morning jog.

"Oh, nothing really." Lynn waved her hand dismissing the question as nothing significant.  "We were just sharing our dreams."

"Interesting," Natalie drew the word out slowly as she poured herself a cup of coffee. She settled into a chair at the table.  "You know, I had an odd dream last night myself.  I was alone in a dark void expect for one other thing.  The thing was some kind of entity, but I don’t mean like an alien.  It wasn't saying anything, but it was looking at me.  What a creepy feeling! That someone is watching you, you know.  So, I told it, 'I can see you.’  It splashed into lots of droplets in the air and a sweet female voice said 'And now you can't.'  Then the droplets fell to the floor and disappeared. It was gone."

Eva and Lynn sat in stunned silence at the table, staring wide-eyed at each other.

“There’s no way,” Eva said.

“Coincidence?” Lynn offered.

“No, no, no. No way Lynn.” She shook her head.

"What?" Natalie asked. “No way what?”

"Natalie, umm, how to tell you this…." Eva started.

Lynn finished the thought, "We all had the same dream last night."

All Moved In

Previous scene: "Where It Starts"

"One more."  Lynn carried the last box into the house from the one-car garage. Eva scooped Sophia, their overweight orange tabby cat, out of Lynn’s path.

"Finally," Eva sighed.  Lynn dropped the box onto the kitchen table and Eva set Sophia gently on the floor.

"We've been here a year," Lynn said shaking her head, "and we've only just now gotten to this last box."

Eva pointed at the calendar hanging over the microwave. “No, yesterday was our own-our-own-home one-year anniversary.” Eva poured herself and Lynn a second cup of coffee each.

“A year and a day.” Lynn slurped her coffee.  "Oh!  Oh!."  She breathed across the hot liquid in her mouth and fanned her mouth as if that would help it cool down faster.  "That's gotta cool down."  <Lynn's not one to sit around and wait.  She'd rather be doing something than nothing.>  She set her coffee on the counter nearby and picked at the packing tape holding the box closed.

"Wait!" Eva popped, "Natalie will be here soon.” She glanced at the clock on the wall above the door. “Thirty minutes. Let's wait 'till she arrives to open it."

"Ugh.” Lynn plopped into the kitchen chair and hung her head over the back of it.  “Why?  Don't you want to be done with this?"  <Lynn was eager to fold up that last cardboard box and leave it in the recycle.>

"Come on. Natalie has been helping us get moved in this whole time. This is a mile-stone moment and she’s earned the right to part of it. Besides, she’s my best friend."  Eva pleaded with puppy dog eyes and pouting lips that made Lynn smile.

"Ok. ok.  You win.  I can't resist that face.  I’ve waited this long.  I guess can wait another thirty minutes."

A cup of coffee later, Natalie walked through the front door.

"Hey, Nettie!  We were just talking about you."  Eva announced.

"Good things I hope."

"Of course," Eva spoke in her most innocent sounding voice.

"Seriously," Lynn broke in, "You see this box?" pointing at the obvious box resting on the kitchen table.  "This, my friend, is the last box before Eva and I are officially moved it."

"Nice," Natalie replied.  "Let's see what's in it."

Lynn grabbed the kitchen shears from the butcher block on the counter.

“Want to do the honors?” She offered the shears to Eva who sliced through the old tape holding the box shut.  She pulled the halves of the lid open.  The crumpled newspaper protecting the box’s precious contents held its shape.

Eva, Lynn, and Natalie each grabbed at the wads of newspaper, carefully unwrapping the treasures hidden within them.  Trinkets, ribbons won at competition, a mishmash of mementoes from more childish days.  Peeking through the newspaper, Natalie spied the cassette-tape case turned planchette she and Eva made back when they were in high school.  She gasped as she pulled it from the box.

Eva’s eyes grew wide. "I forgot I put that in here,” she said as she dug deeper through the newspaper to fish the homemade Ouija board off the bottom of the box.

"I kinda figured it got thrown into a fire someplace," Natalie said.

"So," Lynn drew the word out slowly, "What's the story?"

Next scene: "Dreaming"

Where It Starts

"Nope.  She won't take us to the store to get one."  The back door closed with a thud behind Eva as she walked through the small dining room and into the living room.  She stopped with her hands on her hips near her friend Natalie who was sitting cross-legged on the floor.

"Ugh.  My parents aren't going to help either."  Natalie was frustrated.

"Why not?" Eva asked, "Have you asked them?" 

"Seriously?"  Natalie asked sarcastically.  "She thinks they’re evil - like having the devil on speed dial."

Eva rolled her eyes, like only teenagers can do.

"I have an idea!"  Eva sprang to her feet and started rummaging through drawers and cabinets.  "We'll just have to make one."  She pulled a pen from a drawer and held it up triumphantly.  "Now I need paper."

Natalie grabbed her backpack and tore a sheet of loose leaf paper from her binder.

"Uh, no."  Eva grimaced.  "Pull a paper from my sketchbook.  It's nicer.  Heavier."

Natalie obliged her and handed her the nicer paper.

As Natalie described the phrases, letters, and symbols, Eva created a homemade Ouija board.  The letters of the alphabet, in a gentle arc centered on the page, spanned the entire width of the page.  "Yes" went into one corner and "No" into the opposite.  "Hello" and "Goodbye" occupied the remaining corners and the numbers 0 to 9 were spaced evenly across the bottom of the make-shift Ouija board.

"Hey, that doesn't look half bad," Eva remarked on her handiwork.  "It's not as nice as the kind you can buy from one of those big-box toy stores, but this will definitely do."

"It looks great, Eva," Natalie smirked.  "We need a pointer thingy still."

"A planchette?"  Eva asked the rhetorical question.

"Yeah," Natalie laughed at her own ignorance, a little embarrassed.  "whatever you call those things that usually look kinda like arrow heads with windows cut through the middle of them."

Eva scratched her head and looked slowly around the room.  After a moment, she leaned over and pulled open one of several junk drawers in the house.  She fished around in the back of the drawer before pulling out an old, empty cassette tape case.  Grabbing another sheet of sketchpad paper, Eva swiftly measured the case and cut the paper just right to neatly fit inside the cassette case.  Satisfied with the fit, she cut, in the middle of the paper, a hole that was just the right size to read the letters through.

"Viola!"  Eva placed the homemade planchette onto the homemade Ouija board.

Next scene: "All Moved In"

Monday, June 15, 2015

Is My SO Cursed Tarot Reading

After doing a reading to see if I am cursed I decided I should do one to see if my significant other (SO) is cursed. Looking into this is important to me because my reading on myself turned up a big "maybe" and pointed to people I can't identify. I thought maybe we would have some cards in common and that would help me identify who is involved.

My SO's reading looks like this:

If you read my post about whether I am cursed then you already know a little about how to read this spread. Of not, you can go read the the first part of it for a quick explanation of go to the Hoodoo sight for the original instructions.

This particular reading short and sweet, though, and you can get away with knowing one simple aspect of how to read this spread. All you need is how to determine if you are, are not, or might be cursed. The answer to that question hinges on where XV The Devil falls when you lay out the cards.If it falls in the top three cards, then yes you are cursed. If it falls in the bottom three cards then no you are not cursed. If It's one of the two cards across the middle of the spread then you may or may not be cursed. 

Notice that XV The Devil is one of the bottom three cards. Thus, my SO is not cursed. It's a bitter-sweet conclusion. I'm glad no curse has settled on my SO. I'm glad that we do not each have a curse acting in our lives and combining to become some more dreadful. I am sad that any curse that impacts our lives comes specifically from me.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Am I Cursed Tarot Reading

I am desperate. I need to figure out this curse that I swear keeps influencing my life. If I was all alone, a hermit, I might throw my hands up and say screw it. I'm not alone, though. I can't go live under a bridge because I refuse to drag my family and friends there. I've pulled enough people through more than enough of the mud and muck that fills so much of my life.

I explained how I feel and presented the evidence that I am cursed to a friend recently. She suggested a little divination. She offered to do a reading for me but I feel like I need to do a reading for myself. My friend loves me very much and I am concerned that she might pull some punches and not share the intensity of some of what she sees. Also, I can consider the cards at a level of intimacy that she is incapable of simply because she cannot crawl inside my brain and heart. Of course, that provides her with an objectivity that I am incapable of achieving because I cannot crawl out of my head and heart. I might still take her up on her offer to read for me for that reason.

I did a little research and found a spread that looks like it will be helpful. The original spread and full instructions are at the Texas Hoodoo website (

Basic Layout
Position 1 is the far left, XV The Devil in my spread.

Position 8 is the far right, the Knight of Wands.

Positions 2, 3, and 4 wrap clockwise over the top of the spread - the Page of Swords, the Knight of Pentacles, and the King of Swords.

Positions 5, 6, and 7 wrap counter clockwise across the bottom three cards - III The Empress, the Queen of Swords, and IV The Emperor.

Yes, No, Maybe

According to the directions, where XV The Devil lands in the spread determines whether I am cursed, I might be cursed, or I'm not cursed. Finding XV The Devil among the top three cards indicates a "yes, you're definitely cursed." If XV The Devil is one of the bottom three cards it indicates "no, you're definitely not cursed." When in the far left or far right position, the indication is "maybe you are and maybe you aren't."

Unfortunately for me, my reading fails to provide a clear yes or no answer. The spread tells me "maybe." My situation is more complicated than a simple yes or no can provide. This tells me that a dreadful force is acting in my life but so is a force acting to my benefit, which sounds about right for someone living with bipolar disorder. After all, the cycles of up and down bring cycles of creativity and destruction with them.


The spread also provides a little information about who is working against me and who is working for me. The top of the spread is the "yes" side so the people suggested in those cards are the ones working against me, possibly the person who initiated the curse. The bottom cards provide information about who is working with me and in opposition to the curse.

Specifically, positions 2 and 3, the Page of Swords and the Knight of Pentacle, reveal who is working with the curse while positions 6 and 7, the Queen of Swords and IV The Emperor, reveal who is working against it. I just have no idea at the moment who these cards represent.

Interesting Observations

III The Empress and IV The Emperor sit opposite one another, symetrically positioned across the bottom of the spread in the set of cards that represents the people helping me. According to the spread's instructions, III The Empress does not represent someone that's helping me but she is looking out at me. She sees me and knows my plight. IV The Emperor appears initially to be looking forward, at me or at his subjects, but he's actually looking out of the corners of his eyes at III The Empress. He's looking to her for guidance. He cannot do his job alone. Considering these things and the closeness of their relationship, I would say that IV The Emperor is helping me with careful attention to the guidance and advice of III The Empress.  I have one final observation about III The Empress and IV The Emperor. Aside from XV The Devil who represents the curse itself, they are the only Major Arcana cards in the spread. They are the heavy hitters and, fortunately, they are on my side.

The location of all the Sword cards is notable, too. They create a "V" through the middle of the spread.

The women in the spread appear only in the bottom. The Page may be a boy or a girl but will be a youth either way and can not be a mature woman.

No cards from the suite of Cups are present.

Back to Who

Intuition plays a role in reading tarot cards and it led me to impression that IV The Emperor represents a Greek God. Which one, though? These cards are not created around the Greek pantheon so I went in search of a deck that is. I found The Mythic Tarot. Matching my cards to the corresponding card in the Mythic Tarot deck indicated that IV The Emperor represents Zeus and III The Empress represents Demeter, both of whom I have strong connections to. The correlations rang true. I am certain that they are on my side in this.

The remaining cards, being Court cards and not Major Arcana cards, leads me to the conclusion that they represent regular people. Other than that, who they represent still eludes me.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Feeling Cursed

The human brain tends to remember the negative experiences of life. I'm pretty sure it's an evolutionary trait that helped us survive by reminding us of things, places, activities, etc that put us in unhealthy or dangerous situations. It's a good idea that, at least in my case, has gone awry. It acts with an intensity that can be paralyzing.

The negatives cling to me like parasites and leave little to no room for positives. I have a terrible time finding the positives and, when I do, keeping the positives in mind is just as hard. It adds up to feeling like I'm cursed. The extent of that cursed feeling waxes and wanes with my moods. Recognizing that correlation to my mood has been helpful in the sense that I'm better equipped to wait out the feeling but it does nothing the reduce the pain, anxiety, and sense of helplessness that comes along with it. Family and friends criticize me for being pessimistic or defeatist. Saying things like, "It could be worse," is not helpful. I continue to feel what I feel and a certain guilt for feeling that way is added to the emotional burden I already carry.

The other day, a valuable lesson I learned in a class I took a million years ago popped into my head. The context of the original lesson was completely different from my current situation so I never thought to use it in my battle against my curse before. The mind is resilient but that characteristic must be nurtured, it must be fed. Feeding it a diet primarily consisting of negatives kills it. It must be given plenty of positives. One positive for each negative is insufficient, though. It makes for a malnourished resiliency, one that's sick and leaves a person at risk of giving up. Because of this and the fact that critiquing each other was a significant part of the class, the teacher established an important rule. Before someone could offer up a criticism, they had to provide three compliments.

This provided me with a technique, a new weapon to wield against the darkness. I am forcing myself to find at least two positives that are directly related to the negative situation feeding the cursed feeling. A recent example is when the transmission went out on my vehicle. Positive 1) The vehicle rolled to a stop in a location safe from traffic and from being impounded. Positive 2) Someone near and dear to me was willing and able to tow it to the shop for me.

My curse is a little more intense than that. It involves a large number of things going wrong all in a small window of time. The transmission was just one of them. Looking at each problem, each thing that's gone wrong, and finding a couple of elements in each situation that worked to my advantage is time consuming. Hopefully it will be worth time.