Every step you take turns the pavement into holy ground

I walked into the local new age shop looking for lavender oil. I was having trouble sleeping, and thought lavender bath salts would help...maybe. I poked around for a bit, because honestly, the place is one of the safer feeling spots I've been in. I guess I pick up on whether a place feels safe or not, and tend to stick around if it does.

The owner didn't have the essential oil I wanted, so I asked her to put in an order for me, and I'd come by in a couple weeks to see if it'd come in. We chatted for a bit, and I played with her daughter, Cassandra, who was "visiting" the shop for the afternoon. Now, Cassandra is three, and speaks very deliberately, with a great deal of slur and drool. But we got on terrificly, and I moved toward a bookshelf to poke at the deep secrets of the dark void of forbidden knowledge, or some similarly titled, mass-produced paperback.

After a time, a man came in and started chatting it up with the shop owner, he was, maybe thirty-five, marginally overweight, but he dropped off a stack of business cards with the name and number of the shop on them. Nifty. And then he starts looking at me. And I don't mean looking like men usually look at me. He is agape at me, and spiderweb-white, even to crown of his balding head. I asked if I knew him, and he said, "Yes, yes you do. Or, at least, I know you."


I can't deal with another crazed fan right now, especially if it's not even a pretty one.

"Okay, I'm sorry, but if we've met, I've forgotten...care to refresh my memory?"

"Oh, oh, I wouldn't dare compromise your integrity. Why don't you come out to get coffee with me? We can talk more then."


With ten minutes more coaxing, I convince him to stand with me outside the shop. "In Jaaanuary," he says, expecting recognition. I said, "Um, still not ringing a bell." "At the Sheraton!" Ah, he's talking about the Fetish Fair Flea Market, honestly, man...I try to smile politely, "We're the only patrons in this new age shop, and I've just purchased Pagan BDSM and the Ordeal Path by Raven Kaldera. I don't think you need protect my integrity."

"I was there, when they tied you to the chair, and you were dying. I saw you fall, and all the life drained out of your face. I was there in a second, with my knife to cut the ropes, but you were dead, and then you came back. I was there with the knife!"

I did pass out briefly. Note to self, when tied to a chair, if you fall, the whole chair falls with you, and if you arms are fastened behind the chair, the bodypart that breaks your fall is your chin. Chair bondage is taboo at these events for a reason. If you are stupid, you get fucked up. But that is another story. I don't remember meeting this newage store man, I remember that my partner Cwellan was there first at my side, to remove the restraints and walk me to the couch where I remained for the afternoon. I managed to escape the event with a small scar under my chin and chipped incisor.

I walked with this man across route 3A, to the Dunkin' Donuts, where he gave me his card and introduced himself as "Axesop." I wrote my spam email address on the back to silence his request for a phone number, and he talked to me about his super secret military contracts and his big house and his summer car. We walked back to the shop, where I got into my car. I realised that not only did he not have a car, but that before, he had gone over to a stranger's car and pretended to get something. Before I left, he came up to my window, and told me about this beautiful statue, that he had named "Angela," depicting an alabaster angel, that he had purchased it, and that it was a gift for me, just go into the shop and take it.

I closed my window and drove away.