I’m currently working on my memoir, one of two, possibly, for NaNoWriMo this year. It isn’t conventional to say the least when it comes to a life story, but it’s mine — well, ours — and it’s the only way I can tell it. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to gloss over certain experiences and things I deal with on a daily basis, mostly because it’s not been well received in the past. I’ve been met with disbelief or brushed off as an overactive imagination, which is the worst feeling not only for me, but for those I share this strange version of reality with. My alters and spirit guides, of which only I can see unless I draw them or agree to a switch, feel the brunt of the sting when they’re dismissed as much as I do.
My memoir isn’t just my story alone, but theirs as well as they live my life with me. This is a moment from it, edited for readability, but ultimately, it’s how it happened in what I call our ‘headspace,’ which is a difficult thing to explain. It not only takes place here in the reality we live in during actual events from my life, but upstairs in the space we share as well, which combines to create what I know and see of this reality. In this case, pertaining to a spirit guide, the lines become much more blurred.
I sat trembling internally in an uncomfortable institutional chair. The waiting room was almost empty save for one other person and the receptionist, and the clock was the only sound besides my own nervous breathing. I had made an appointment to discuss some issues I was having with the manager of my apartment building, but my best option was to just show up where her office was. Any calls would undoubtedly have gone unanswered and any other method to solve the problem was ineffective. I was down to one solution that left me with sweaty palms and quaking bones — heart hammering so loud that I’m sure others would have heard it if they paid any mind. My anxiety was my biggest hindrance in life, but this time, I wouldn’t allow it to get the best of me.
My breath caught in my throat as goosebumps traveled up my arms and a shiver ran up my spine. I felt the presence of something but I couldn’t quite place it, yet instinctively my eyes drifted over to the elevator. When the metal doors opened, I made eye contact with a very familiar figure. “Daro?” The name barely left my lips in a whisper as he smiled, approaching me with as much elegance as he always had before. My cheeks burned. He wasn’t in his usual attire. He wore small, rectangular wire-rimmed glasses with a white button-up shirt tucked neatly into a pair of black dress pants, a black tie, and a shiny pair of black dress shoes. His silver horns were visible, and his eyes shone with a light pink hue that reflected a hint of deviousness. My blood pressure rose for an entirely different reason than my anxiety. “Wow.”
“Yes, this does…” he paused for a moment before huffing and closing his eyes. “Suit me, does it not?”
“Did you just make a pun?”
“Perhaps. I do have a sense of humor from time to time. Humans have worn off on me, it seems.” He ‘tsked’ as he looked around, spotting the door to the offices around back. “Excuse me.”
“Wait!” The urge hit me to grab his sleeve and pull him back, but I realized quickly that it wasn’t possible to do.
“Dear Shane, I have some business to attend to.”
“Business? You’re not actually… now?! But you said—”
“I’d help you set that woman straight. A bit of fear can go a long way, can it not?”
“Well, yeah, but…” Someone cleared their throat loudly and I looked to see the receptionist opening the door to the back rooms where she disappeared. “Please don’t do anything irreparable.”
“I have much more class than that. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I cannot allow this to continue any longer.”
I fell back into my chair more comfortably knowing that Daro was nearby. I felt safe as my anxiety ebbed away, although I looked to the other waiting room guest out of self-consciousness. They seemed to be absorbed in a magazine and hadn’t realized anything was amiss with me. All I had to do then was wait.
* * *
After quite some time, Daro stepped back into the room, pausing to tuck his glasses into his shirt pocket. Oh dear. So the glasses had come off.
He approached me and invited me to stand, then led me to the stairs. “Shall we go for a walk? The weather is lovely and I believe there is an ice cream shop down the alley.”
“You — you want to get ice cream? Do you eat that stuff?”
“I enjoy things comprised mostly of sugar.” He smirked as we descended the stairs. “Although I am anything but sweet myself.”
“Besides that, can I ask you a question?”
“What is it?”
“Are you, um…” My heart skipped a beat. “Are you going to keep wearing that outfit?”
Daro hummed with amusement as we left the building. “If you like.”
As we sat outside with waffle cones, I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful weather. There was a slight breeze and it was in the low seventies, and the sun was out shining brightly. It strained my eyes, but it seemed to cause Daro’s to glisten even brighter. It was almost as if his eyes had a catlike ability to reflect the light.
He paused and stared right back at me, for I had apparently been gazing at him longer than was considered polite. I quickly busied myself with my ice cream and averted my eyes to the metaphysics shop across the way.
His baritone voice interrupted my buzzing mind. “Aren’t you curious?”
“Curious? About what?”
“What I accomplished in the back room with that woman?”
My face burned. “When you say it like that, it sounds kind of messed up.”
“Oh, dear.” He cringed. “Not with her.”
“I’d hope not.” I laughed and focused back on his eyes. “You didn’t hurt her, did you?”
“Of course not.” He tilted his head slightly to the side. “I can tell you one thing about that woman, and it is that she is highly miserable in her life. She does not hide it well. She wears it openly with her lack of care for her own image — it seeps forth from her very skin. I could taste it.”
“Really? I guess it’s kind of obvious.”
“You have more ability to see these things than you think.” Daro’s eyes drifted up to look at the sun, and then back to his ice cream. “It’s melting.”
“Yeah, heat does that.” I smiled as I finished my waffle cone, Daro’s still half-eaten in his hand, the ice cream dripping down his wrist to stain his white button-up. There was something strangely erotic about it that made my blood pressure rise again. He watched me curiously as I tried to hide my red face. As if to taunt me, he lifted his hand to unbutton the cuff around his wrist, rolling the sleeve up and then doing the same to the other. He then lifted his wrist to lick the ice cream dripping down his brown skin. My ears burned as I tried to look away. He knew what he was doing.
“You seem troubled.” The knowing smirk on his face widened. “Is the heat too much for you today?”
“It’s not even hot out. I mean, it’s hot — not what you just did, I mean. Oh god, it’s just the sun is—”
“Shall we carry on? The lakefront may do well to calm your nerves.”
“Yeah, and to get away from this crowd.” I stood up and began to panic. “Not that I want to be alone with you. I mean, we could stay in the crowd. That’s fine too. I’m not dying to go to the lake.”
“Calm yourself.” Daro chuckled before standing and tossing the remainder of his cone. “I enjoy the lake. It’s one of your realm’s most peaceful resting places and I believe you would do well with a bit of quiet.” He brushed past me, I hesitating before following him. “Perhaps a bit of privacy is warranted. I am quite good at calming you down.” His voice lowered impossibly more with the last word and it sent shivers up my spine despite the sun’s rays.
It was times like those that felt like a curse, but it was a wonderful curse.
©2019 Shane Blackheart