Last night was a bad night. I sent a message to my boyfriend, and when he didn't respond I sent another message apologizing, assuming I had pissed him off. I went to sleep. I wake up this morning to find out that my boyfriend has messaged me to tell me to calm down, that he had just gotten off a twelve hour shift and had fallen asleep right after, and that was why he didn't respond. My boyfriend starts work in the wee hours of the morning, so the post has a timestamp of 2 AM. I immediately message my boyfriend three walls of text apologizing, explaining that I had missed days of meds, and promising to fill my pill box this morning. I get a message saying that it's OK, but he's at work right now and can't talk. He ends this text with a kiss emoji. I message a kiss emoji back along with the words "Noted" and "Sorry."
I get dressed, eat breakfast, and go to work. The entire drive I am obsessing over my relationship. I am certain that I have torpedoed it, that I have ruined everything. I remind myself that this is depression talking, and I visualize a bindrune that I had created to channel away relationship stress. It works, either as an actual magic spell or as a mindfulness exercise that brings me back to the present. I go to work and am relatively calm, though I have my usual anxiety that everyone is going to hate me and that I am going to get fired. I swallow this anxiety the way I always do, and continue working until the end of my two hour shift, thinking about how my boyfriend works almost six times as long as I do on any given day. At the end of my shift, I go to the break room, get some coffee, and end up talking to a coworker about my relationship anxiety and desire to move out of my parents house as soon as I can. The coworker is a very good listener, and is very encouraging, and I leave.
When I get home, I find that my Mom has done a lot of cleaning in my room, which makes me feel like I'm twelve but is also very nice so I thank her. Truth be told, I'm kind of a slob, and the room does look so much better. I think about a book on sale at a local magic shop about witchy decorating, and wonder if that could trick me into taking better care of my stuff. I decide against it, because I had already bought a decent amount from the shop in the last two weeks. Every time I go in there, I buy something, because despite the store owner telling me otherwise my anxiety tells me that I can't just hang out there. But I love it there so much. It almost feels more like home than my house.
I go downstairs to get a cup of tea. I reflect that the last cup of tea, which was my first of a special blend with rose petals that a friend of mind made, tasted a little weak. I open the infuser to clean it out, and pull out what looks to be an entire rose. "Oh," I think. "So that's why." I fill the infuser again, making sure to put more teal leaves inside than rose petals, and put a cup of water in the microwave.
While the water is in the microwave, I reflect on how much I hate being stuck with my parents. My parents are good people, and I love them. They accept me with all my queerness and my witchiness, and are fairly progressive. By all accounts I should love living at home, because they take care of me. But I'm twenty eight. No one should be taking care of me. I should be taking care of myself. I can't afford to move out, though, so I end up feeling trapped. Trapped in a house full of people who love me, to be sure, but still trapped. By the time the water finishes boiling and I put the tea infuser into the cup, I hate living at home more than ever. I want out. Badly.
I come upstairs and sit down at my computer to write. Before I do, I open up my laptop and check Facebook. There is a post from the owner of the magic shop encouraging people to come in to the shop, that today is the day whether you have been or not. I resolve to go after I have something written. Then I remember that I still haven't filled my pill box, so I quickly run to the bathroom and do that before returning to my desk. I open the post editor on Weebly, write up to this very sentence, hit save, and close the laptop.
After writing, I leave and go to the magic shop. I spend most of the afternoon there. I talk to the owner, the tarot reader, and to a few of the regulars. I get a couple of books, including the book on witchy decorating, and also a notebook, because I am coming up with writing ideas while I'm there. Ponchi, the Tarot reader, loans me a pen. I sit down and fill the first three and a half pages. Miranda, the owner, makes tea for us.
It dawns on me, sitting on a comfy sofa with a throw-pillow that says "fuck," that I don't know of any other shop where you can just hang out and its no big deal. Every other shop I've ever walked into, people just want you to pay for your things and leave. But then again, no other shops have comfy sofas with throw pillows that say "fuck." Not even other magic shops.
How to describe this place? Imagine you have stepped into a Victorian boudoir that was plucked straight out of its time period by an intersectional feminist with a stolen time machine and a fondness for vintage candlesticks. There are candles and incense everywhere, but you will not find a single Palo Santo stick or bundle of white sage within these walls. The bookshelves along the walls house not only books on astrology, tarot and palmistry, but also feminism and queer theory. There are crystal balls and crystal pendulums and crystal wands and just plain crystals in bowls. There's a section of scented candles with spells on them, and the ones labeled "Protection from Internet Trolls" are marked fifty percent off.
Every time I come in here, I am home. A true home away from home if I ever had one. I feel better just being there, like my depression has melted away and I can think more clearly.
My boyfriend, Jeremy, messages me while I'm there and apologizes for earlier. He was stressed as well and he thought we both could use a breather. I tell him that he absolutely had the right idea. We talk for a bit, and I leave. I come home, make a burrito as a quick snack before dinner (I skipped lunch without realizing it), drink some coffee, and come upstairs to finish this blog post. I finish this blog post. I look it over, make a few edits, take a deep breath, and click the post button.