Friday, March 30, 2007

witches among us

Small victories first. Duckie has slept through the night with no accidents and no late-night bathroom trips for the last few days. Fingers crossed. I’m not used to sleeping through the night myself, so it will be a welcome adjustment.

Our six-month quality system audit came three months early yesterday due to budget shenanigans. This morning, I realized that I could easily choose to be grateful for the annoyance (and, yesterday, embarrassment) of our third-party auditor. Even though he’s a patronizing, Republican, Fox-watching, subtly sexist ex-engineer, there is a blissful relief that settles over my work mind once he’s gone. It’s hard not to be grateful for that.

Relief came in yet another way yesterday. Our favorite teacher at Duckie’s school (who has happily returned due to yet another personnel change) is a reiki practitioner. I asked her for five seconds and she gave me three minutes. Like Brian and Duckie, her hands are naturally warm to begin with, and by the time she finished, her hands were noticeably, startlingly hot against my back.

I was pain-free for six solid hours afterwards. I don’t know how it works, but I’d really like to learn.

Wednesday afternoon, my favorite co-worker here at the plant was overcome by a spell of dizziness, nausea, and cold sweat. It was worrying, and before her husband came to pick her up, she was still shaky. We sat in the front office and she tried to explain that it had happened before, she didn’t know why, and she was somewhat scared about it.

I leaned in slightly and said, “I know what’s wrong with you, April.”

“What?” she said, not wanting to hear the answer.
“You’re dying.”

Apparently it was the perfect thing to say, because she erupted into giggles.

Said giggles were also due to the unsettling behavior of my boss (I’ll call her MB from now on, as she plays a large part in my life, after all). She’s a charismatic Methodist. Kinda like a Methodist on steroids. She speaks in tongues. (Not at work. At least, not that I’ve noticed.) I know for a fact that we don’t agree on some things, but I have a lot of respect for her faith. I also appreciate the fact that she’s stopped asking me to come to her church. Might have to do with the picture of the Dalai Lama on my bulletin board.

A few minutes earlier, she had asked if she could pray over April.

April said, “Sure – I can use all the help I can get.”

MB knelt down right there in the front office, held April’s hand, and began to pray. It was a sweet, heartfelt prayer to Jesus for healing and love, and I did what I could to help out. It’s a good thing I didn’t meet April’s eye, though, because she was quietly freaking out at the time.

To break up the freak-out factor, I said, “It’s the chair, I’ll bet. RB used to have anxiety attacks and now April’s having panic attacks. I bet it’s the chair.”

So my boss exorcized the chair. I shit you not, she prayed over the chair and moved her hands in ways that would be called witchy if she weren’t so solidly based in the Christian faith.

It was completely unreal.

Later that evening a storm front came through. I was jumping up and down with glee in the kitchen and I thought of April, who is the only person I know who shares my infatuation with rainy weather. “She’s got to be loving this,” I thought. And then it occurred to me that her body must have felt this front come through hours before it hit.

I said as much the next day. She gave me an odd look and said that her doctor told her it was most likely an inner ear thing.

“That’s exactly what it was,” I said. “Barometric pressure dropped, you caught it before anyone else did. You’re a douser. Or, not exactly a douser, but a water witch. Don’t worry, I won’t tell my boss.”

April laughs easily. Then she quietly admitted that her grandfather had been a water witch, too – could always predict storms, knew where to dig wells, had a natural affinity for water.

“Well, there you go,” I said. “You’re a water witch. I do so love being right about stuff like this.”

I simply must start a teleplay about this place. I only witness some of the strangeness that goes on here – there’s no telling what kind of odd happenings you might see on the graveyard shift, you know? We could at least get a season out of it. There would, of course, be a murder. There are about a dozen ways to die in this place. And sex. I’ve already heard some lurid stories about trashy trysts on the third floor.

An industrial sitcom. I bet if I can get a pilot written and a catchy title, I could sell it in a heartbeat. Might even be enough to pay for school.

So, happy Friday, y'all!

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