Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An exorcism: Or when my naked body jumped over a dead chicken lit on fire

Karyna came along with me to visit them. I don’t remember their names, even though I knew them so well back then. Maybe that’s what was always intended. Once the job was done then there is no need for me to remember such things. As if my mind is predisposed to erase all traces of them from my memory. I would hardly call it a visit, it was more of an invasion from mutual sides. I was a lost teen searching for the answers we all spend a lifetime trying to figure out. Back then I thought someone could make it easy for me before things got more twisted and tangled. I now realize this moment marks the complete loss of any comfort ignorance can provide.

We pull up to the house around 8pm. It was your typical East Hialeah residence. Tiny, shabby and uncomfortably close to the neighbor’s house; no familiar comforts from the outside could prepare us for what awaited inside. For the sake of giving her a name of reference, I’ll call his wife Juana and I’ll call him, Fernando. Those names seem general enough to fit what they represent. Juana welcomed us in. She was warm and radiated with a light that tickles you in odd places. As if the light waves knew exactly where to penetrate in order to induce laughter and smiles. I don’t think she was with us anymore. Her mind seemed to have transcended somewhere happy and far away from your typical East Hialeah reality. At that time I could not really assess exactly where she went to, but I realized we all wish we can get there sooner then later.

She covered all grounds of formalities; we were welcomed, offered a seat and drink. We politely took a seat and waited for Fernando. Now it’s duly noted that in every reading I’ve ever had there is always a waiting period to see the seer. It’s never an immediate thing. And it’s never a normal wait. Time seems to abandon all forms of human established measurements. Minutes can mockingly pedal forward or hang back depending on the level of desperation you reach. But this situation was different. After all, we weren’t there to get our nails done; we were at a clairvoyant’s place of practice. You don’t go to a doctor’s office for teas and biscuits; you know that certain procedures will be done to you and that’s what stands your hairs at end.

Knowing the nature of what we were attempting to get done, we still weren’t ready for what was going on in this house. Karyna noticed first. “Maybe it’s just me, but why do those lights keep flickering on and off?” I dismissed it as random, not very important daily household dealings. But once she pointed it out it became rather hard to ignore. The lights, for no rhyme or reason, would turn on and off in different rooms of the house. Although we were in the living room we were still able to notice the change of light in the kitchen or in the hallway. Then Juana with her poetic timing chimed in, “That? Oh it’s just the ghost. Don’t worry the really bad ones are in the bedroom, they won’t come out.” Ay yes, time seemed to be working in reverse at that point.

Fernando came out of what seemed like a shadow projected on the wall. All big smiles and warm light in him too, yet he was still very much with us. He was holding it all together for his sake and Juana’s too. He will join her as soon as he knows they will both be okay. I’m afraid I’ve grown a bit cynical, this world isn’t made for people like Fernando and Juana. I don’t think he could ever join her without losing her along the way. He asked who’s first and I jumped out of my seat, leaving no chance for Karyna to chime in.

We stepped outside the house and the night seemed to taunt me. Somehow it knew more then I what I was about to be in store. Fernando didn’t say a word, we walked in silence. There was a small room, about 4 feet x 6 feet, outside the house in the place of what would have been a backyard. It closely resembled a tool shed or some kind of storage area. Privacy is key! As Fernando flips on the lights, my head flips with them.

To my immediate right there was a small bench like area surrounded by mountains of waxy leftovers from many burnt candles, where Fernando’s bottom must find comfort during his sessions. Hanging on the walls are scraps of paper filled with procedures, humorous accounts, blessings, curses, and iconic images. All pegged with a voodoo connection and the occasional anti-communist insult to Fidel Castro and family. The concrete grey floor was expectantly peppered with dirt but it had the added ingredient of cascaria. It’s a chalk made of eggshells. I wouldn’t recommend writing on your sidewalk with this stuff. Its main purpose is to cool or calm agitated people or places. In other words-it’s ghost valium. Fernando’s floor was covered with rubbed off spells and symbol made with the stuff. It definitely added to the ambiance of the place.

At the end, to my left, now there’s a sight- the main altar. It spans the whole wall. It was layer after layer of wax cinder and cigar ash, found objects and worthy goods. There were mountains of glasses and odd containers with servings of alcohol ranging from cheap to costly, mixed with rotting treats and decayed delights. Red and white objects reigned, all towering collectively to create the fortress for Chango. be continued.

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