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.