August 15, 2011

Shaking the Devil

I broke a wine glass the other day. It shattered into a million pieces on the kitchen floor. The shards nicked my feet in three different places, leaving tiny bloody dots. I was really annoyed. I only had two wine glasses.

I decided to take it as a good omen.

Breaking clear glass will ward off The Evil Eye.

I know, it’s superstitious.

Hexes. Curses. The Evil Eye. All intentionally, or unintentionally, cause misfortune, illness, or harm.

Ever feel someone staring at you before you notice them? Feel the thick air of tension from someone agitated nearby? Is it that far fetched that someone can focus their agitation, envy, or hatred, and it cause harm?

After the Hok incident, my mother didn’t think so.

How do you protect yourself, you ask? Preemptive measures! When I was a child, that meant a ritual blessing and spiritual cleansing.

Flower petals, leaves, spices, and blessed water, these are the ingredients for a cleansing ritual. The specific ingredients change for the person, and the desired results. I remember the scent of cinnamon, and the shock of having freezing water poured over me, while my mother and aunt recited prayers.

I was SAVED!

There was a log break from the family witchery after that. Besides the bi-monthly tarot readings, all was calm. At least, until high school, when it was decided that I was hexed. I don’t remember how, or even why it was decided, but it was.

Put a glass of water under your bed tonight,” instructed my aunt, the bruja. She said she was going to come back the next morning. So, before I went to bed, I picked out sturdy glass, filled it with cold water, and found a spot directly below my pillow.

The next morning, I met her in the backyard with my glass. She told me to pour out the water, while reciting a prayer, and leave the glass. I did. As I turned to face her, I was assaulted with florida water. She dowsed her hands then splashed it at me.

The florida water I expected. I did not expect her to grab me by my shoulders, turn me towards the trees, and shake the Devil outta me. She shook me very hard, yelling, “Pray, pray!” while reciting a prayer herself.

I was taken incredibly off guard! In my head, I was like, What the fuck?? I tried my best not to laugh. It’s not that I didn’t take it all seriously, I just have a nervous laughter (which has gotten me into trouble).

Afterwards, she gestured with her hands, done. Then she walked into the house, and had a cup of coffee with my mother. You know, like any normal person would do after a sorta exorcism. I just went back to my room and gossiped about it with my sister.

Hexed or not, better safe then sorry.

NOTE: Florida water is a floral and citrus scented cologne used for ritual purification. It is available at your local botánica, voodoo shop, or witchcraft store.

August 10, 2011


 You know, I’ve always had a rape fantasy.” That’s what David said when I told him about my rape. I KNEW he was way too interested. He kept asking questions and leaning in to hear all the sordid details.

It happened a long time ago. I'm over it. Luckily, I wasn’t a virgin anymore. That would have been traumatic. I wasn’t beaten either. I suppose that would be the bright side, if there was a bright side to rape.

The History of Rape, he was almost proud to bring out his prized porno. I assume he thought that since he had a rape fantasy and that I had been raped, we were cosmically meant to have a deeper, meaningful relationship.

On the surface, David was highly educated, with a double major. He grew up in the Midwest, and was raised as a Conservative Jew. In reality, he was void of common sense. I often wondered how he survived life. He was also, hypocritically, an atheist. When I met him, he lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and worked in the financial field.

At this point, we were experimenting sexually, and had recently become exclusive. We were in the tell me your dark secret phase. “Can we role-play a rape?” He had the nerve to ask me that. I wanted to punch him in the face. Hard.

It may sound incredibly fucked up, but after some thought, I agreed.

The role-playing lasted about three minutes. I screamed as he ripped off my shirt then I did it. I punched him in the face. Hard. Suddenly, he wanted to stop. He said I was fighting too hard. I assured him that real life rape was nothing like his circa 1980, big bushed, oh-no-don’t-put-that-big-cock-inside-a-me, wannabe history of rape VHS.


I don’t know why I stayed with him. Maybe I was too busy with graduate school to invest time in anyone else. Besides, before the confession of his delusional rape fantasy, we got along well enough. David never brought it up again. Who knows, maybe that punch knocked some sense into him.

One can only hope. 

August 7, 2011

Bloody Sheets

As I mentioned in my Foot Note, sex was not a big topic in my family. I was “Catholic” and sex was for marriage. The idea of waiting until marriage was absolutely ridiculous. My greatest fear was loosing my virginity on my wedding night and it sucked. Then what? A life of bad sex? No thank you. Besides, unless I married young, it made no sense. I had plans. I wanted a career. I was not going to end up a thirty year old virgin because I wasn’t married.

About a year after the Awful Kiss, I decided I wanted to loose my virginity. Chris, a guy that lived just a few blocks away, was 2 years older, and was not virgin. He was very cute, funny, and slightly unsure of himself. I didn’t know him very well, and he was a little shocked when I asked him to be my first. “Don’t you want it to be special?” he asked.

I explained to him that I wanted the experience. I did not want to loose my virginity to a boyfriend, who would destroy my heart when we broke up. No man will have that hold on me. 

He obviously agreed. He’s a guy. Free (safe) sex. No brainer.

The first time was… painful. But it was an enjoyable pain. There was tearing. There was blood. But there were also endorphins, pheromones, and adrenaline. Afterwards, there was no awkwardness. I did not feel any different. I felt like I had gotten something out of the way.

We met up once or twice a week after that. I needed practice, and he’s a guy, free sex. I bled the first several times. The tearing healed up and ripped open every time he reentered my body. I was sore, and my inner thighs hurt like a bitch. Eventually though, my body adjusted. I felt a little bad about all the bloody sheets. When the bleeding finally stopped, we hi-fived.

I know everyone is told to wait until they’re in love, but that’s bullshit. No teenager can understand love. I mean no adult can understand love, or even being in love, unless you’ve had your heart stomped on. It’s the only way you understand your mistakes, and how to be a better person. Or at least, how to be a better person in a relationship.

I understood that even then. 

I was always so wise. 

August 1, 2011

Very Bad Dreams

I can’t wake up.

The doll with the burnt out eye is playing the piano and turns towards me, “You are going to die here.”  

I panic. I scream. My eyelids are heavy.  

I can’t wake up.

I know I am asleep. I know this is a dream. But this does not change the terror I feel when the doll looks at me.  

I open my eyes.

I feel the dead weight of my body. I am lying in bed. I can not move. I can still hear the piano. There is a dark figure standing over me, watching me. 

I can’t wake up.

I am in a waking dream; terrified, unable to move, unable to scream. I use every ounce of strength I have to move but I can only wiggle my pinky. It was enough. The spell is broken. I sit up. There is no dark figure. There is no music. It is 3 a.m. And once again, I can’t sleep.

Sleep paralysis. In the transition state from asleep to awake, my mind, in it’s terror, is partially woken. My body is paralyzed, playing catch-up with my mind. It’s fairly common. The effects are paralysis of the body and simultaneously being awake and dreaming causing hallucinations. Trippy and terrifying.

This all started because I have fucking insomnia. Between cramming all night, and work. I had too much on my mind. countless nights I'd lay in bed and stare at the crack in the ceiling.  I tried to exhaust myself at the gym, count backwards from a thousand, nothing worked. It wasn’t healthy. I needed sleep. 

On a random visit to the pharmacy I picked up some over-the-counter sleeping pills. Main active ingredient: diphenhydramine. They knocked me out. I was a rock. They also made me very groggy in the mornings. 

Everything seemed manageable until I had a very bad dream. I’ve always had bad dreams, ever since I was a child. In fact, the first dream I remember was a reoccurring nightmare. It involved furniture moving on it’s own, a barking rottweiler and the devil. I was seven and it terrified me. 

Over the years, my nightmares became worse. I dreamt of demons, dreamt of serial killers, dreamt of death. I became desensitized. No matter how bad the dream, I’d wake up and just go back to sleep. That was, until the sleeping pills. 

Sleep paralysis. I had two or three episodes a week; terrified, frozen, helpless (although, I enjoyed the one with the cartoons dancing around my room). At first, I didn't know that the sleeping pills contributed to my condition, when I did, I stopped taking them. I don't know why but the episodes continued. 

Knowing what was happening to me did not make me any less terrified. Every time it happened I focused on my pinky. My greatest fear was waiting for the day that moving a pinky no longer worked. I was afraid to sleep. So once again, I had insomnia. 

I continue to have insomnia. I've tried everything. I rarely take sleeping pills any more. If I do they are defiantly not diphenhydramine. I haven’t had an episode in a while (knock on wood).  But I still have very bad dreams.