I am cranky today. If I were twenty-five years younger, I’d be outside kicking at low-lying flowers and demanding that the dog leave me alone. Or I’d be throwing my toys around my room for no reason.

Instead, I’m just grouching around waiting until I can go to bed.

I’m having a mid-evening crisis.

I like my job, but I’m terrified that I’ve kind of reached the point where I’m doing what I’m going to do for the next decade or two and I can’t decide if that fills me with relief or dread. I like my life, but I keep wondering if I should have made other choices or if I should be making other choices.

I feel aimless and restless.

I feel like the things I do don’t actually give me any direction; they just mask my floundering.

But I’m afraid to make any changes, because I have no idea what I’d rather be doing.

Okay, that’s not true. Here’s one thing I’d rather be doing.

I’d like to open up a scary-ass occult shop here in Nashville.

All our “spiritual supply stores” are froo-froo new age places full of angels and soft, soothing music and the folks inside go out of the way to make you feel welcome.


But, really, if you’re up to something that requires you to formulate a plan and purchase ingredients and consult someone, you should be willing to go someplace that scares you, just a little.

If I had a place, I’d call it “Jack Macon’s” after a famous Nashville rootworker who bought his way out of slavery and then worked it so that he could stay in Tennessee (the state law was that freed slaves had to immediately leave the state, but so many white women wrote in to the Legislature testifying to his medical prowess that he was allowed to stay). His office was down on 1st Avenue, near, I think, where the Hard Rock is now.

I’d want the shop in an old building, for ambiance. You should walk in the front door and be met with all manner of creepy things that put you ill-at-ease: alligator skulls, candles, strange trinkets, and disturbing folk art. Behind the counter should be a large wall filled with all manner of roots and herbs and salts and silver dimes and coffin nails and The Black Pullet and The Seven Seals of Solomon and Powwow, or The Long Lost Friend and Aunt Polly’s Policy Player’s Dream Book.

When you sat down with my tarot card reader, she would look you up and down suspiciously and grunt and nod to herself, and then, she’d sit back, cross her arms over her chest and say “I already know what you want, but go ahead, tell me what you think you need to know.” And she’d say it with such authority, you’d believe it.

Nobody’d be doing reiki or taking pictures of your aura. This wouldn’t be the kind of place you’d come to in order to feel better. No one would look at your palm and tell you that your wife was faithful.

No, Jack Macon’s would be unsettling, to say the least. And never more so than when we’d shut the place down on Tuesday afternoon, parade over to the Nashville City Cemetery, and pick out a nice spot among the unmarked graves, and have tea with our namesake.

Let’s all distract ourselves

I’m having the kind of day where, after I went to all the trouble of dismantling a computer here in the office and repurposing all of the working parts (the mouse), I realized that I had neglected to transfer all of the files and so had to put it all back together again.


Let us imagine things that make us happy instead.

Let’s imagine a world in which our rain-soaked friend travels to Maine and meets a strange family that lives just down the road from Stephen King.

Now, wouldn’t that be a good story? Don’t we feel a little better?

I do, at least.

Religions–Random Thoughts Around a Theme

1. If you are a witch who is able to stir up storms–like say a tropical depression–the importance of the pointy hat with the wide brim becomes very apparent. Because, of course, you have to walk home once the storm has started and you need something to keep the rain out of your eyes.

If only I had had just as a fancy hat while walking Mrs. Wigglebottom this morning…

[Note to self: you live in an area where the weather comes in from the west or maybe the southwest. If the clouds are coming in from the east, it’s not a good sign.]

2. I have only a very preliminary understanding of both Scientology and Kabbalah, but both seem to promise people a great deal of success. And yet, the most visible members of both religions converted to those religions after they were successful. Why do really successful people need a religion that promises them success? Aren’t they just hogging all of the success at this point?

My Second Earliest Memory

My earliest memory is driving away from the hospital in the back seat of my grandparents’ car when the recalcitrant brother was born. I was two and a half.

My second memory is this. I remember being mad that the recalcitrant brother got to sleep in the crib and so I had this idea that I would climb up his dresser, into the crib, and toss him out so that I could have it back.

Instead, I pulled the dresser down on top of me. The marble top on the dresser landed just over my head and cracked in two. (It’s only been recently that my mom finally got it fixed.)

My foot also cracked in two.

I remember laying on the couch while my dad called the doctor and my mom sat on the edge of the couch crying about what a horrible mother she was. This, of course, was not true, as I’d worked very hard to sneak past her to reclaim the crib.

I got a walking cast, as there really was no way to keep me off my feet at that age.

And my dad took brown lunch bags, one for each day I had to wear my cast, and lined them up on the shelves in his office (which was in our house), and inside he placed one of his tube socks. Every morning I would go into his office and he would take down a paper bag, open it up, take out a sock, and decorate the socks with markers from his desk.

Then he’d slip the sock over my cast and send me on my way for the day.