A Yearning for True Magic

A yearning for true magic

A recent dream has been haunting me. I’ll share the basics here.

Magical maze: 18th April 2013

Early morning dream. Tone: Numinous, shimmering.

I can see the entrance to a hedge maze, which seems to be so overgrown and in need of a trim that I am not sure I can actually enter it. The maze hedges are seemingly box, the leaves very fresh and shining green (the previous day I saw the knot gardens at Strangers’ hall in Norwich that are made of box) but when I somehow slip pass the entrance, the way between the hedges seems to have widened. I’ve gone in to see if the maze need maintenance ie trimming the hedges but once I am in, everything is different.

My first impression is that there is magic in action. Not conjuring or trickery but real magic. It’s a funny feeling. I’m very scathing about things that are pretend magic, like Disney and theme parks. I hate it. I hate people pretending that something that is set up to be a kind of backdrop for a scene is real. But this is real. Outside the maze it had been ordinary daylight but once inside I seem to be surrounded by shimmering moonlight and starlight. The light on the glossy leaves sparkles, and there is a sound like icicles ringing, high pitched like silvery bells but very tiny and almost inaudible. I can feel my senses tingling and I have a sense of excitement, of anticipation.

But I don’t know why I am there. I hadn’t planned to go in, I was just investigating to see if the hedges needed cutting and I feel out of place and unprepared now. I remember some lore concerning mazes that if you keep the hedge to your left/right shoulder you will find your way so I start to walk, following the twists and turns keeping the hedge to one side. I don’t want to be there; I have not planned this and I feel uncomfortable. It doesn’t feel the right time, despite the sensation of magic going on.

Eventually I reach what I think is the centre but I find there is an opening from it back to the normal ordinary world. I can see a street scene, very mundane with a bus going past. I feel odd, I’m not sure I want to leave but I do. I am aware I am going to go back and walk the maze properly when I am ready but when will that be?

Analysing the dream I can see that I want what I call magic to be real and yet I fear constantly that what is seen as magical is nothing of the sort and is a kind of con trick made by corporations wanting to give people a kind of a ride. Yet I do believe in magic, in the numinous encounters that I know are real and yet at times I doubt. I believe in fairies and yet at times I doubt everything. Somehow things need to prove their reality.

I don’t know what the maze is but perhaps it is my own mind.”

The dream reminded me how much I hate fakery. I don’t mean conjuring, stage magic but rather the kind of let’s pretend that accompanies theme parks, role play, cos-play and the like. It’s not for me, let’s just put it like that. I can’t pretend that the glitter really is faery dust or that the artificial special effects are the real deal. I have read a great deal of material from spell books and from esoterica and it draws me, powerfully, this yearning for the numinous, the otherness of the unseen realms. Some time ago, someone sent me a link to a site with fairy pictures. They were clearly just photo-shopped pictures, mostly cutesy children dressed up as fairies, with special effects. And yet, people were believing these were real. I could not. Apart from the fact that I suspect that supernatural beings are well able to evade photographers, the pictures were nauseatingly sweet in most cases.

I want real magic, something that shimmers through the fabric of what I think is reality, and changes how I feel about it. The yearning is currently painful, because there is so much fakery around. I can’t play let’s pretend and truly believe it, and yet, I desperately want to experience something that is beyond the usual run-of-the-mill mundane world that is filled with buses and newspapers and boredom. I need to spend time in the quiet liminal places of the world, trying to hear the silent song of the worlds beyond this one, tune my eyes to the subtle, fleeting incursions of other realities. And if a door opens up, I will step through, however ill-prepared I may seem. In the dream about the maze, I woke regretting that I had not journeyed to the centre to find what lay there. I’m done with caution. 

The Magician’s Nemesis

The Magician’s Nemesis ~

I have a very special knack of getting things wrong sometimes. Really, really wrong. I sometimes unconsciously pick up on the underlying currents of relationships and somehow come out with the precise remark that was either in the mind of the other person, or the very thing they would rather never hear. I do it a lot, and sometimes it’s a little spooky and sometimes it seems to be enough to topple a whole house of cards. I’m working at becoming a bit more conscious and censoring it long enough to consider what I am saying. But when I get tired, ill or stressed, it seems to happen even more and things can go wrong.

I also have a knack of being in completely the wrong place at the wrong moment. At school, I was a great fielder at baseball and rounders because I kept getting hit by stray balls. Over the Easter weekend I was at Phantasialand near to the city of Cologne for work. The group I was with all loved roller-coasters and rides, so it was quite a lonely day for me. Added to which it was so cold and snow kept drifting down, and I was suffering with an ongoing migraine attack that meant I was hazy and unfocussed, and the cold had got to my kidneys(which are somewhat scarred after infections), making them ache like crazy. I loathe roller coasters; they make me ill and I simply cannot see the point of them, so there was no way I was even going to go on any. I’ve tried enough in my time to know I’m never, ever going to enjoy them and I’m not going to do something that will make me ill just to prove something.

But one thing I did really want to go and see was the magician. I love magic. Even knowing it’s all fake makes no difference. I love watching even when I know how it’s done. There’s something so incredibly clever about it all. Christian Farla’s Sieben show was superbly Gothic, with elements of steam-punk and delicious costumes. I was a little late, and was the last person into the theatre, scurrying to the back where I thought I’d seen a spare seat. But when I got there it wasn’t spare at all, so I sat on a box at the back that I thought was probably something to do with storage. Almost as soon as I sat, the show started.

Mesmerised, I watched. But about halfway through I was startled to find a man in black coming down a ladder next to me and informing me (in German) that I wasn’t sitting in a good place, and needed to move, now. I shifted off my box and sat on the floor, feeling horribly embarrassed. Ten minutes later, the escapologist act that involved a giant, steam-punkish scorpion and a circular saw showed me why I had been sitting in entirely the wrong place. The box was where Mr Farla descended from the gods once he had escaped from the fatal scorpion. Had I not been moved, he’d have landed on me. I felt a complete idiot. Perhaps I am.

Or perhaps I am simply The Fool. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fool_(Tarot_card)#Symbolism That person who does and says the things that exist behind the serene surface of what we think is reality, that dark underbelly that most are oblivious of. That person who taps into what’s really going on and like the small child in The Emperor’s new clothes, actually blurts it out to the horror of all who would prefer to keep a lid on it all. That person who instinctively knows that things are not as they seem and somehow manages to blow the whole illusion sky high, showing all the naked flaws and ugliness beneath the masks.


Sandalwood meditation(Monday meditation)

 ..from the Aromatic meditations book in preparation.. 

Chapter Five


Meditation One 



Sandalwood is obtained as you might guess from the wood of an exotic tree. Most sandalwood plantations are in India, though some colonies have been planted in Australia. The wood has been used for statues, beads and incense for thousands of years and the essential oil is used extensively in both aromatherapy and in Ayurvedic medicine. It has a sweet and woody aroma that is very persistent; like frankincense it is used to slow and deepen the breathing to aid meditation. It is available as essential oil but can be expensive and it can be hard to obtain high quality oil. It is also available quite readily in the form of incense sticks (joss sticks) but the same caution applies here. Many joss sticks are named Sandalwood that have very little or no sandalwood present in them and while they may smell pleasant, they will have few of the beneficial effects offered by sticks made using high quality ingredients. The wood is sometimes available as shavings or chips and may be smouldered on charcoal to release the scent. If you are lucky enough to possess beads made from sandalwood, they release the scent when warmed by the body. The daughter of a good friend brought me some beads back from India recently and I love wearing them in hot weather as they continuously emit glorious but subtle wafts of fragrance as my body heat warms them.

For this meditation I recommend using a stick of sandalwood incense. If you have problems with smoke, light the stick in the room you intend to use for your meditation and once the stick has burned for ten or so minutes, put it out and leave the room for a further ten minutes to allow the smoke but not the aroma to dissipate. Then return to your room and shut the door. Make yourself comfortable and begin your preparations for meditation. When you are ready, relax and breathe deeply of the fragrance in the air.


 You are standing in a narrow street, surrounded by old buildings. There doesn’t seem to be anyone around right now and the street is very quiet and empty. The road is paved with cobblestones made shiny with centuries of feet polishing them. In front of you is a half-timbered shop with a low door and two wide windows on either side of the door. The door is slightly open and you can smell a lovely fragrance of sandalwood; indeed you can see a fine thread of smoke curling through the opening. This is very inviting and you step forward and push the door open and peer inside. Just inside the door a stick of incense is burning, filling the air with scented smoke. The shop appears to be deserted so step inside and look around you.

The shop is a fabulous emporium of arts, crafts and gifts from all around the world. For a moment, you stand entranced, unable to take it all in. There are so many things that attract the eye. Glass cases are filled with imaginative displays of jewellery, all lovingly created and set out to their best advantage. Hopi and Navajo silver lie alongside Celtic brooches set with amber. Statues are dotted around on shelves, carved from wood and bone or moulded from clay or resins. Take your time to look around and see what is there.

There’s a finely carved bookcase filled with rows of books. Some are empty journals, meant for you to write down your thoughts, though the majority are filled with the wisdom of a dozen or more cultures and philosophies. Take a moment to look through the titles and see if there is anything there that appeals to you. You may return later to the books if you choose.

Deeper into the shop, you see boxes of all different sizes and shapes, made from all different materials. Polished and worked silver and rough wooden boxes sit side by side, their lids a little open to invite you to see what they contain. Each box holds a different treasure; go and see for yourself what is in them.

You have the shop entirely to yourself today; you may look at anything you wish to. When you touch them, the locked glass display cabinets open for you. You may take out and handle whatever you like. You are trusted here.

When you have finished exploring the main body of the shop, walk further back and you will see there is a heavy crimson velvet curtain at the back. Pinned to it is a sign that says, “Welcome!” If you choose to, you may go through this curtain and see what is through there waiting to welcome you. If you prefer not to, then please go on exploring the wonders of the main shop or return to the books to browse further. I will return in a little while. 


It’s time to go now so step out of the shop and into the street again. There are people bustling around, so leave the door ajar so that the scent can invite someone else in. In your hand there is a parcel; this is the gift from the shop to you. Take a moment or two to see what you have been given and then allow yourself to return to the room where you began your meditation.


This is a short story that is part of an ongoing project to incorporate some of the more interesting Greek myth characters and themes into a modern setting. This one comes as a part of the cycle that includes the story, “Snag” published here a while ago https://zenandtheartoftightropewalking.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/snag/


   A spinning wheel in motion was the most incongruous thing you might find in a hospital lobby and it made her look twice. In the foyer of the maternity unit there was a row of small stalls next to the WRVS shop. She dimly recalled noticing adverts for the forthcoming charity craft fair raising money for the pre-term baby unit but it hadn’t really sunk in properly. Given recent events, a few old ladies selling tea cosies and home made jam didn’t seem important and if it hadn’t been for the elegance and compelling motion of the wheel in action she might well have passed on by without a second glance. But she was early and it would be better than sitting yet again in the hospital canteen drinking endless cups of unwanted tea to pass the time.

  She turned back. Most of the stalls were much as she’d expected; collections of handcrafted greetings cards, tissue box covers sewn from scraps of damask and velvet to turn a bedroom to a boudoir, and the ubiquitous knitted teddy bears and matinee jackets. Thankfully there wasn’t a jam jar in sight; the nearest equivalent was some rather nicely packaged jars of skin crème and bath salts. She’d delayed approaching the stall with the spinning wheel for reasons she couldn’t quite place; the girl working it seemed as unlikely as the wheel itself. While all the other ladies running the other stalls were the expected granite-haired grannies, this girl looked too young to be out of school. Yet she wielded the wheel with the skill and assurance of a professional. A wicker basket sat on the floor next to the wheel, spilling over with wool ready cared for spinning; she thought at first the wool was yellow but as she looked again she saw it had an odd tinge of old gold to it. It made her think obscurely of high hills and the smell of thyme with the sunshine upon it, and long ago holidays. Where had those holidays been now? All she could remember suddenly was the glory of blue skies and intensely blue seas.

  The girl glanced up at her, and let the wheel slow.

  “Can I help you?” she asked.

  Her voice was deeper than you’d expect from a girl that young; well modulated and ever so slightly unfamiliar, as if she had the trace of an accent that hinted at distant shores left long ago in early childhood. Yet the girl was fair, startlingly so, and with grey eyes.

  “Shouldn’t you be in school?” the woman asked.

  The girl smiled as though she were asked this all the time.

  “I’m older than I look,” she said. “Much older. See anything you like?”

  She gestured to her stall, which the woman now saw was arranged with the tiniest baby clothes imaginable. They almost looked like doll clothes. As she browsed through them, in wonder, she saw that they were knitted from the same wool the girl was spinning. Spun and knitted, it glowed.

  “Is there metal wire in this stuff?” she asked, rather sourly. “Like some of those Indian skirts that are shot through with threads of metal?”

  “No,” the girl replied. “That’s the just the way the wool is. No threads of gold, no. That would be scratchy and unpleasant. And these are only for newborns.”

  The woman picked up one of the tiny garments, and almost dropped it in surprise.

  “It’s so soft,” she said, astonished. “It’s so soft I can scarcely feel it and yet its like velvet. Not like wool at all.”

  She held the little jacket in her fingers, stroking the surface.

  “It’s the sheep,” said the girl. “The wool comes from a very rare breed. My family brought them over from Greece a long time ago. It’s the softest wool in the world.”

  “I’d love a jumper or a cardigan in it,” the woman said, longingly. “Do you do commissions?”

  “Sorry,” said the girl. “The wool is very precious and rare and I only make these baby clothes. It’s the best wool in the world for baby clothes.”

  The woman still held the jacket and she glanced now at the price tag.

  “But this is so cheap!” she exclaimed, in surprise.

  The girl shrugged and smiled.

  “It is for charity,” she said. “And babies thrive when they wear this wool.”

  She turned her attention back to her wheel and the motion made the woman feel softly dizzy, in a nice way, as she watched it. On the main body of the contraption there was a name carved into the shining wood.

  “Is that your name?” she asked the girl, pointing to the carving.

  “It’s an old Greek name,” the girl replied. “A family name.”

  “Clotho doesn’t sound very Greek to me. Are you Greek then? You really don’t look it.”

  “We’re an old Greek family, yes. You might even say ancient. But it’s a myth that Greeks must be dark. The original Hellenes were blonde. Both my sisters are fair too.”

  The wheel hummed as it turned and the girl’s hands seemed to be turning the fluffy cream clouds of unspun wool into pure gold. The thread spun on the spindle shone in the dull light of the foyer. Balls of it lay ready-wound in another basket at the girl’s feet.

  “So what do your sisters do?” the woman asked, as the spinning lulled and calmed her nerves.

  “My closest sister, well, you might say she works as a life coach. She helps people sort out their lives. So does my oldest sister. She’s a doctor. A consultant.”

  “Do you want to be a doctor when you’ve finished your studies?”

  A small, amused smile turned the corners of the girl’s mouth upwards.

  “I’m happy with what I do,” she said. “I like working with my hands and what I make helps people.”

  The woman turned with jacket indecisively over. Her hands were not work roughened and yet she could scarcely feel the wool at all, and she could feel her hands becoming warmer and softer and almost cocooned. It was a strange feeling. Her mind was still full of the image of the body in an incubator upstairs, more like a shaved starved monkey than a human baby. Today, she knew she would be saying goodbye and yet, in all the rush and terror of the last days, she’d not been able to give this brief, unexpected grandchild a single gift.

  “Can I have some bootees as well?” she said, and the girl nodded.

  “They’re at the end,” she said. “Put the money in the box. I can’t stop the wheel now or I’ll break the thread. And that’s a thing I try to avoid.”

   Taking the bootees and the little jacket, she put money in the box, far more than the prices asked and walked on, tears beginning to prickle at the corners of her eyes.

  Upstairs, she saw her daughter first, still terribly ill but starting to recover from the physical distress of the last few days and then went into the room where the incubators stood. The tiny naked body inside was so still she wondered if the baby was already dead. The tubes emerging from the minute body seemed wider than the thread-thin limbs.

  “He’s not going to last long,” the nurse said, bluntly. “It’s a matter of time now, I’m afraid. We’ve done all we can. I am so sorry.”

  Biting her lip, the woman nodded.

  “Then you won’t mind if I dress him,” she said. “I’d like to do that for him at least.”

  With the expert assistance of the nurse, the bootees and jacket were put on the baby, who moved softly under their hands. He felt more like a mouse than a baby, she thought.

  “Now we wait,” said the nurse. “Your daughter…?”

  “Bit better. Conscious but pretty ill.”

  They watched in silence. A hand no bigger than a spider twitched out and caught a hold of the jacket. It had seemed ludicrously tiny on the stall but even this dwarfed the baby. The bootees looked like they were meant for a giant, coming up to the knees. The hand began kneading the wool, playing through the soft plush of the surface.

  The woman sighed.

  “Well, he seems to like it anyway,” she said and the nurse passed her a box of tissues and took a handful herself.

   The day passed. And night. And another day. The woman slept at the side of her grandchild’s plastic crib, refusing to go home. She kept vigil, assisting the procession of nurses who turned the baby and cared for his needs, and spent few minutes away keeping her daughter up to date.

  “It’s amazing,” she said, as evening fell for a second time. “You won’t believe the difference. He even opened his eyes earlier. His colour’s better. The nurses won’t say it when the doctor is there but it’s a miracle.”

   When it was clear the tide had firmly turned, she allowed herself to be persuaded to go home and as she went through the foyer, she noticed the stalls were still there. But the one at the end was gone. The trestle table remained but was bare. The old lady running the stall next to it looked up.

  “Where did the girl with the spinning wheel go?” the woman asked.

  “Well, she sold everything and has gone,” the old lady replied. “ Raised a whole load of money; more than any of us I think. Funny child she was too. Talented. I don’t know anyone of that generation who can knit at all, let alone as well as that lassie did. Though she spun the whole day she was with us. Never saw her knit. She was spinning even when we all packed up and left for the night too. Oh, she said to say to you, if you came back, that she didn’t let the thread break. Like I said, funny child.”

  “Thank you,” said the woman. The empty table looked strange. Bare and blank like a fresh piece of paper. Or a new life. A faint gleam caught her eye; on the floor next to the table was a single snippet of the wool the girl had been spinning. She picked it up and held it. The wool felt as warm as if it had been spun seconds ago, and as soft as thistledown. The hint of gold needed the sun now to make it shine, and going out into the gloomy November day, she felt the sun was shining inside her heart and the thread too would always shine when she remembered. Tucking the relic in her purse, she went to the car and drove home, exhausted but ecstatically thankful.

A small but deep kind of magic


A very strange and magical thing has been happening today.

Something that baffles people even today as much as it must have baffled the ancients.

Bees arrived.

We set up our hive in the garden, not intending to leave it there, but because we’re incurable optimists, we added the tiny vial of bee pheromone. Nothing happened. We saw a bee or two have a little look and then vanish.

Then this morning one appeared that seemed to be taking a very keen interest and going inside. Later this afternoon, I was sitting in the garden and noticed not one but six or seven bees going in and out. Not daring to take the lid off, I fetched one of our stethoscopes (yes, we have about ten; it’s a long story) and listened at the side of the hive. Rising like the sound of distant chain saws came the noise of buzzing from deep within the cedarwood walls.

Bees have arrived. I’m not sure yet if they’ve come to rob the pristine frames of wax but I don’t think so.

Magic, old and deep as nature herself has happened. Yes, we helped it along maybe with the pheromones, but even so, no one is very sure how any of this works. As far as I am aware, there are no hives near us and yet, bees found this hive and moved in.

Amazing, isn’t it?

edited at 7pm.

Been out in my beesuit and found that I was mistaken and they haven’t yet moved in. But bees keep popping in and out and since my teacher tells me they don’t steal wax, I can only conclude that these are still scouts and they are still making up their(hive)mind whether this is the des.res. of their dreams.

Fingers crossed…..


I decide to ease my mind by writing a short story and it kind of took a life of its own….



The blue blinds billow silently as the breeze catches them, and a snatch of giggling emerges from the room within.


I sigh. I had a feeling already that this was going to be one of those hours of my life, stolen away by goblins and lost forever. Giggling goblins at that, the worst sort.


Most of those at the gathering are human, or enough so to qualify for the title, though an experienced goblin hunter knows enough to realise looks aren’t everything.


I mean, the chief goblin actually looks far more like an elf with a problem with self-esteem and personal hygiene. Take away the  facial piercings and the mantis-like figure and she’d almost pass for human. In the dim light of a nightclub, with your beer goggles on, she’d pass for all right for an off-night.


They don’t know who I am, of course. They think they do, but they’ve gotten careless in recent years and while it’s taken me a few years to track down this nest, I’m here now and they trust me. They think I’m a nice doormat of a teacher who is painfully eager to please and a pushover for other staff to manipulate. They can’t deny I’m a good teacher, but I still never get my dues and I get passed over for more popular newcomers for the plum jobs.


It’s a good cover and no one in the chief goblin’s coterie has the faintest idea of what’s coming. Actually, nor have I. I haven’t finalised my plan yet, but I’ve got my little bottle of Holy water in my pocket, just in case. I’ve been biding my time for the last two or so years, sometimes forgetting myself just who I am and what I am doing here.


I slip in, trying to be unobtrusive but a colleague accosts me for a hug. I’m not sure exactly what he is but I smile warmly but distractedly before seeking a seat at the very back. These briefings, so pretentiously designated as “Staff seminars” are utterly tedious but I can feel the tension coming off the newcomers like sweat in a Turkish bath. Some of them even clutch pens to take notes.


The usual format of introductions trickles by, glacially slow, and then the real meat begins.

I switch off. I’ve heard it all before. I filter it all out and just watch as the chief goblin cavorts manically, her face twisting into grotesque imitation of smiles. She can’t resist mangling language, turning innocuous words into parodies of themselves by adding extra letters. It’s supposed to be funny but it’s painful, or it would be if she were actually human. If she were human she’d be ashamed of the crimes she’s committed tonight against the English language. As it is, I can see the rough line of her spine emerging from her tunic, and the typical goblin scales and knobs are almost fully visible tonight. To a human she just looks mildly anorexic, and without any sense of sartorial style.


I’ve not been certain before tonight but it seems now that the boss is not a goblin at all but a human enchanted, enthralled by this creature and manipulated to her bidding. Well, that’s good. There are two more goblins, young ones, present, as far as I can see, and a few others I’m not certain of. With the chief goblin dealt with, the two youngsters will flee, and any others will retreat, I think. That is, if I do anything. But I don’t think I will. Not tonight.


The young one is speaking now and I feel a rush of sudden anger. A whole host of options fill my mind. I want to shout and protest at this gross imposition of extra, unpaid work, all because a few individuals want to put on a show. The humans have no idea how much work they’re imposing, but the goblins have calculated it to the nth degree. They go so far as the next-to-last straw that breaks the camel’s back, and then stop. It’s a form of torture they’re very good at. There’s no fun if people realise what’s going on and say no. But like frogs in hot water we just accept and accept and accept until our flesh falls away and we become soup for goblins. Of course, this is all a metaphor. Goblins haven’t eaten humans in millennia, except for a few rare cases that have been poorly documented.


The humans are sitting there smiling and I can see the magic dust twinkling in the evening sunlight. Every time the chief goblin moves clouds of it stream off her like dandruff and it pacifies everyone. I can hear a few dissenting thoughts but no one voices any concerns.


The hour is up and a minion, who is probably a goblin goes off to get drinks ready and like the good little slave I am I go through to help. Enough is enough. While her back is turned I add Holy Water to the bowl of fruity punch and to the wine. It won’t harm the humans but it’s going to be interesting what it does to the goblins. It’s been a long time since I did this and I’ll be glad to get it over with. I’ve had to breathe through an inhaler daily to survive the dust, though everyone thinks it’s Ventolin, and I’d like to breathe properly again.


“Here’s to the new term!” says the chief goblin, raising her glass of punch and clinking it with that of the goblin minion next to her. I can see her skin throwing off yet more dust and an artificial joviality fills the room like the office Christmas party, fuelled by cheap wine and white lines. Goblin magic is more subtle these days than it used to be but it IS effective.


She slings the whole glass down her throat and as I watch, she starts to shrink, her loud voice crying out shrill but diminishing rapidly as she dwindles from almost six feet tall to a speck on the carpet.

The curious thing is that no one notices her vanish; I guess it must be the magic. Minds simply edit her out of the story and restore it to where it might have been if she’d not been there


The two young goblins stare at where she was, their eyes full of horror and their mouths still full of juice. There’s a dilemma going on here: spit or swallow?


In the end, they spit, but discreetly into a pot plant. When they come back I can see their magic has faded almost to nothing just from having it in their mouths and know they are no danger to me, or anyone for many years. You can’t kill a goblin but you can make their lives very unpleasant.


“Why don’t you two go and wash the glasses?” I suggest with a smile.


“Yes, Boss,” they chorus and as they walk away, trying not to abase themselves and as they creep past me, a faint mosquito whine rises from the carpet.


It’s going to be decades before she comes back from that one.