The fairies are back. The ones with the gamin faces and the silver wings. They hold their little slender arms out, their sleeves and scarves and bits of flowing fabric catching the breeze. Remember how you tipped you head to the side and chuckled at them? How very silly they were, the paper cutouts? Remember? I do.
I remember when you went up to Lily Dale to meet the mediums. I remember how offended you were that all the spirit guides were some gross stereotype of what whites thought American Indians looked or acted like. Chief Bear Paw and Squaw of the Rolling Hills. The Indians who knew the truth of the world because only they were connected with the trees and the bears and the earth, unlike us, the Anglo-Saxons stumbling though life in our clumping boots.
You wanted to know the Spiritualists so that you could write them into your book. But you came away being thoroughly disgusted with their obvious tactics of trickery and deceit. "How can people be so gullible? Can they not SEE that the envelope reading is a ridiculous fake? The men in particular don't even try to make it look real. Their mouths move as they read the messages. To help them memorize it all I guess."
Remember how we talked about Phario's blind eye? And how if we wanted to we could make up a story as to why he was terrified of trailers? And that maybe he had injured his eye in a trailer accident? And we could set ourselves up as "animal psychics"? I do. I remember sitting at your antique farm table, cradling an iced coffee in my sweaty hand, the red glass pushing its lumpy smoothness into my left palm. It was never sweet, your coffee. It was milky and bitter. Like a Cadbury bar left too long in a desk drawer until the surface blooms white and the texture goes to sand.
Remember how we spent that afternoon drafting Phario's reading? Yeah. That was a good time. Why didn't we write that down?
Joyce, where ever you are now, you should know that animal psychics are all the rage, only now they call them animal communicators. And the American Indians, by way of Gawani Pony Boy, have taken over parts of the horse training industry. Don't bother to teach your horse manners, just commune with him as the ancient and knowing American Indians did. Then you'll achieve a true relationship with your personal spirit guide. Your horse.
But anyway, for all that I laugh at the charlatans, and hate the tricksters, I do somehow love part of all that craziness. As did you, I know. We're all attracted to the depth of a crystal and the purity of a flame.
I don't really completely believe in ghosts. They're too tangible and recognizable somehow. They're too easy to create out of a slip of paper, a camera and a willing audience. But I do somehow believe in spirits. Bad of me, I know. I think we can chalk it up to a deeply Christian upbringing. I can't quite imagine a death without an afterlife. How could something so rich and powerful just end? Pffft. A flame blown out. Doesn't seem possible that there's no smoke lingering in the air.
Hey, but I needed to tell you.
Those bells I heard when I was trying to sort through your stuff? It was nothing major or dramatic, just the small unbroken ringing of an alarm clock miles away when I sat at your computer that hot afternoon in May, hoping that searching all your files would deliver unto me a written record of what the hell you intended me to DO with all those horses you left behind. Yeah, that bell. Is that the sound of fairies laughing? Crying? Or just a touch on the shoulder? I'm guessing you know.
But I needed to tell you that the fairies, or the bell, or the memory of a bell and a chunky red glass of iced coffee, they're all fluttering in the wisps of my hair that won't stay back, won't stay tamed, and keep getting tangled in the hinge of my eyeglasses and tickling the edge of my upper lip.
Call me when you get a minute. I need to tell you something.