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“Reiki is not a replacement for medical treatment.”

I wonder what idiots require this disclaimer to understand that energy healing cannot heal root causes of ailments, which is typically diet-related. Reiki is a temporary stop-gap measure at best unless you’ve just had surgery or trauma. That is when reiki is best employed as pain relief. How that screams to a person that it could replace medical treatment, I don’t know.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Said somebody wise I’m not going to bother Googling when I know you, too, possess the Google-fu.

I’m watching this reiki master at this moment in time. She’s good at what she does. Thank you, lady. I send you love from The Universe(TM). She doesn’t look very well to me, however, so I’ll double it up.

I meant to learn more about the metaphysical universe today but found this video instead. After ten minutes, I’ve decided to hit up a park and get the fuck out of the house. Good stuff.

Joe caught himself daydreaming again. He’d switched jobs, moving away from food preparation to stocking shelves for the holiday season. The pay was much better, the hours were comparable, and he had renewed incentive to try his best. He didn’t love or hate his new job, really, but there was one thing he did not anticipate: the gaping hole left behind from no longer seeing Grocery Goddess day in and day out.

He did not know it, but she’d been healing his sorry ass day in and day out. Every time she passed by him in the grocery store, her radiance brushed over him — and all his coworkers — healing them all. Now, she was sad and no longer went to the store daily just to glimpse the wild Wolf. Even Blondie, his coworker, had confirmed it with a text message. After three long weeks of waiting, the blonde pizza man finally caught sight of her passing by and squeezing individual avocados, looking for a perfectly ripe one.

She didn’t really shop for a large amount of food, as far as anyone had known, so it was confusing. This was the first time in three weeks he’d spotted her. Did she switch to shopping in the morning? Curb-side pickup? That would have been a time saver, but who knew if she needed to save any time.

Joe’s daydream was simple… as he lifted up a box of whatever-he-was-stocking-the-shelf-with, he’d come face to face with the woman, accidentally making eye contact. Would she startle again, like the last time? Would he startle? Would they both?

What did it mean? She was ambling down the open aisle, passing the butcher, when she noted his emergence from behind the display. Her gaze swept up his body unhurriedly until they reached his face, whereupon her eyes widened substantially.

What did it mean? He’d been torturing himself over that for an entire month now because what he wanted it to mean was attraction. What it meant was: she was surprised. Surprised to find his eyes on her face, for one thing. She usually was surprised at that, especially since he’d established the habit of looking away as they passed each other weeks prior to this incident.

He thought about some other things that didn’t quite add up. There were two separate occasions she could have walked quite close to him but instead she veered off in a new direction. That alone might’ve convinced him she wanted nothing to do with him, but he couldn’t bring himself to decide that with conviction for one small reason: she very obviously wanted to walk the path that brought them closer together, but decided not to at the last moment. She literally moved her cart one direction or another while deciding if she’d take the path that passed him closely or an alternate route. It was a small thing, he admitted to himself, still wishing he was face to face with the blonde woman now. The atmosphere of WalMart, the commingled reality of worker and patron, really lent to an air of intimacy that would allow him to be surreptitious in asking for her number.

The first time this whole “I can’t decide” thing happened, he mused, was when he was pushing a five shelf cart from the back to the deli proper. It was full of junk rather than being empty, so he took his time with it. He saw her near his usual station, close to the mock Chinese that the deli sold. That’s when he noticed she suddenly pointed her cart away from him. She hadn’t quite looked at him yet but she must have perceived him there. The longer she looked at him, the closer she came to deciding to continue walking down the aisle she’d chosen. It took her about one full second to make a decision even though she usually ambled along smoothly without stopping. They would have collided, it turned out, but he’d have only known it once it was about to happen. There would have been an awkward waiting-for-him-to-get-his-ass-outta-the-way moment while he wheeled that cart behind the delicatessen’s counter displays.

In retrospect, she wishes she’d chosen that path, honestly. She could have stared at the man for more than a mere moment, unabashedly, without any pretense for an excuse whatsoever. Without it becoming rude.

Alternatively, he could have waited for her to move into the other aisle, and they could have had a Mexican standoff instead in their politeness. “No, no, you first,” he thought. Being an employee, they were trained to give precedence to the shoppers, of course. But instead of an awkward moment, she went around him by selecting the other half of the aisle that was broken up from being one extremely wide aisle. It was split in two by intermittent islands of displays holding things like bread,roast beef, and prosciutto.

She had absolutely looked at him just about every time he noticed her, it seemed. They’d made eye contact so many times. Yet, she never smiled. She never gave him a sign that he could bark up her tree… well, actually, that’s a terrible analogy. Regardless, he never got the feel-good go-ahead kind of vibe from her in all that time. He was waiting for one. He really wanted to have an excuse to talk to her, especially since the other ladies that had interested him were nowhere to be found… ironically, they were both her, and he had no idea yet.

All three ladies he’d found attractive in the past year were none other than Ms. Sansara Solsinger. You’d think it’d be impossible for him to mistake them for different people, but human memory is a funny thing when there’s no proper reinforcement. One girl was Triforce Girl and the other was Choker Girl… all of them are parts, mere facets, of Ms. Solsinger, you see.

He didn’t daydream of Triforce Girl or Choker Girl anymore. He didn’t even really remember them… they’d come and gone like the wind in his memory because he saw hundreds of ladies all day every day. His brain just filtered most of them out. Besides, Triforce Girl had to be a teenager, he’d decided and he was far too old for a teenager. Choker Girl, on the other hand, was only in the store twice that he knew of, and like magic she disappeared the moment he opened his big fat mouth and paid her a compliment.

So did Triforce Girl, actually. He remembered seeing her a few times but he couldn’t pick her out of a crowd. His memory was dim when it came to her. He was too tied up in the aftermath of an affair of his own at the time to really look at her closely. He just liked her shirt, after all, so he told her so.

Unbeknownst to anyone but God, the girl herself, and the assholes in her head, these compliments led to the children plaguing her to changing herself, trying to hide her in the sea of women. They were trying to sabotage the eventuality that she would flirt back in a carefree manner, actually. They were doing their best to make sure that this man, who truly had interest in her, would never, ever speak to her. Ever. He was a threat to them, for, as God had told her, the first time they kissed would knock them out of her brain.

If any of those girls came face to face with him stocking WalMart shelves, what would he do? Ask for their number, he supposed, but now he only wanted Grocery Goddess’s number. She was the fairest of them all, wouldn’t you know? [What is it with men and blonde bimbos, anyway? I’m asking for a friend… Okay, fine, alright, I’m asking for me! We will not be blonde much longer, might I add. It’s cramping my style.]

He came face to face with a lot of girls on a daily basis, unintentionally. Tall girls, short girls, skinny girls, not so skinny girls. He refused to call them fat because he’s sensitive enough about his own weight he wouldn’t do that. Blondes, redheads, brunettes, every color of the rainbow, rust colored, and much more. None of them were her.

“Christ, what have I done to myself? Where the fuck is my head? Why is my heart the only thing I hear these days?” he mumbled to himself, putting himself back on task to finish his job of the moment. “Why can’t she shop here?” he asked nobody at all. And nobody heard him. Except God. And Grocery Goddess.

“WalMart?” Sansara questioned, making a sour face. “As if,” he imagined her saying. Why would she lower her standards to go to a WalMart? Why did he? You’d have thought Wegmans would pay better, but it’s not quite comparable. WalMart didn’t offer as many hours, but that suited him just as well: same pay, more me time. So he thought… but then the inevitable happened: his heart had grown lonely and he realized suddenly that this woman who frequented his previous post had filled it up with rays of hope and maybe even sunshine.

He focused on his duties again, momentarily reminding himself he should do the best job he could do, but he found himself wanting to quit and run right back to Wegmans because his friend, whom Sansara called Blondie, had just texted him yesterday that Grocery Goddess was in the store again. After weeks of nothing, he finally saw her, whipped out his phone right then and there, and started texting him about it. Sansara even witnessed such as she passed by him, Blondie imagined.

Crystal declared abruptly, “I don’t like you telling creative stories about real people, it’s like lying.”

“I know, sweetheart,” the narrator replied. “Will you allow me to expound anyway?”

“Fine.” Crystal really hated lies and lying altogether, refusing to do it in general unless for some reason a little white lie helped someone else… but it rarely did. Instead, she found excuses to compliment people based on tiny bits of what she did like and focused her attention there instead of commenting on that which she did not care for as much. In this case, it’d be the intense wolf-like eyes that Joe owned, actually.

Truth be told, that’s the reason she was startled when she was face to face with him outside of seafood. The lighting and angle were perfect to making them luminous, like two moons, staring at her for some reason. After all these shows of looking away while they passed each other, something akin to walking past each other in the hallway of high school, he was staring at her. Or maybe she’d dreamt it altogether and he was looking straight ahead? No… no, she hadn’t imagined it… Their souls connected for a fleeting instant, she remembered that clearly. Her guard had been down. She tried to guard herself well after the faux pas last year of connecting with a rapist and murderer. Bob Berger.

She hadn’t expected to see him about so early that day. She tried not to expect him at all. That way, her hopes couldn’t be smashed to smithereens by chance and missed opportunities and, of course, lies being told to her by the assholes in her head. Assholes who lived in other states and countries altogether with no intention of ever trying to be happy with her. The only purpose they had was to make her completely miserable because they couldn’t claim ownership over her soul while they fucked around however they so pleased. “Men” who would have her on her knees but never bring themselves to the same level for her.

She hated ownership and all the ideas that led up to it. Half the men who proposed to her did it so they could try to own her and she knew it. She was not property to plant a flag in and walk away from — which they also did. She was a woman with thoughts, feelings, and emotions. With dreams and hopes and wishes. With skills and traits and personality quirks. With a birthday and everything.

She was real but everyone treated her terribly and she knew not why. They lied to her, they slept around on her, they exposed her to herpes knowingly without a care in the world as she went into a health decline. They abused her, trying to force her into whatever they thought was goodly and fun, convincing her to temporarily abandon her own pursuits in an attempt to mold her into a second them somehow. As if they were so great to begin with. They all failed, in the end, and she mutated into something completely separate, something far more suitable in her own eyes. She turned into a dragon when they were trying for a dragonfly.

That’s precisely why she’s always the one who gets away.

She doesn’t let them conquer her. She pretends for a while to be like them and slowly deviates back to her actual persona, a multi-faceted being with a wide array of interests and skills to match. It’s not an intentional asshole move on her part, though it could be seen as one by an uncouth observer. People always project themselves onto others and then bitch about the end result, after all. God actually showed her all this and more, making her understand the mutation of feeling others go through as she existed in the only way they knew how.

First, they love her for who she is in their first meeting. She is completely herself and they get along greatly. Eventually, she has not enough me time to discover things to read about in order to have anything to talk about, so she ends up acting just like them(TM). Then they get confused where they begin and she ends and the other way around. They start getting angry as she does to them all the abusive things they do to her. This is the real reason things get out of hand every time; she won’t take shit from nobody. [Yup, we used a double negative; get over it. You know what we mean. You can choose to be a pedantic asshole or you can read my story.]

They get so fed up with themselves staring them right in the face that they start fighting her, trying to make them angry sourpusses like themselves. Trying to make her become argumentative, vile, and unpleasant. She gets fed up with this shit and pulls away from them. She no longer wishes to be in harmony and she begins to give them the silent treatment. She already told them what she doesn’t like and they weren’t listening. They were expecting screaming and someone throwing things at them to tell them to pay the fuck attention, but it never happened. She does not destroy innocent, defenseless things to tell a human being that they’re being a monster.

Funnily enough, when she projects herself onto other people, they just tend to have fun and tons of laughter and joking. The thing is, when Crystal is getting to know someone, she’s not sure how to connect immediately, so she becomes quiet and lets them speak and speak and speak. She’s waiting for hooks in conversation to grasp and then expound upon in a real conversation, which is what makes her feel closer to other human beings in general. It’s not a trap, it’s just that she has far too many hobbies and interests and none of them really stand out to her as “This is me!” other than art, gardening, and, incidentally, home-keeping because she likes to be home.

Her projection onto Joe goes something like this:

I am observing from a neutral place that we’re sharing eye contact without smiling. This is not the first time; I have grown used to this eye contact from across the way, at least. I wonder if he’s doing alright today? I’m not so well, but I’m doing my best anyway. I know he’s been here for ages, he must be a diligent worker. I see him quite often, which informs me that he must consistently show up for work instead of calling off sick or miserable. That’s a great quality for a person, a successful quality that is noteworthy. That would mean he’s reliable and dependable and he might show up for me, too. He’s got to have grit and humility if he lasted longer than the soup job. I’ve seen so many people disappear after being put on soup duty, it’s unreal. At least five. But, you know, after Joe had soup duty (I’m sorry, is his name really Joe? Oh, we’re just calling him that, okay) everyone seemed to survive it just fine. I wonder if he changed something about soup duty that made it better?

I saw him again today and we made eye contact this time, too. But then we were going to walk past each other and he looked away. It made me feel like I shouldn’t stare at him. I admit it gets awkward staring without smiling, but I notice him and he’s a person, too. I should nod at him or smile some time. It’s not like we’re complete strangers after ten instances of eye contact, are we? I can certainly remember to do that next time, can’t I?

NICK, I’M GOING TO FUCKING KEEL JU. You screwed it up again! I was going to smile at him and now I’m in the lousiest mood after you bitched about everything all the way to the store. You used up all my energy fighting with me like a whiny bitch. I HATE YOU. You better pray I never figure out how to kill you with my shaman powers because I will not hesitate to try. In fact…

She snaps her fingers and points her index finger at seemingly thin air, where his projected soul is sitting, sapping him of his resources and taking them for herself. After about two minutes, her finger lowers slowly to her body until her fingertip is now touching her body. She holds it there for five minutes or longer, still scowling at the asshole for interrupting her again. And then he was smote, just like that.

Crystal, you gotta go to the store and see the deli man again, don’tcha?

FUCK YOU, NICK. Get away from me. You know full well God will take me to the store when He fucking feels like it and we’ll be meandering along like nothing special will ever happen and then suddenly we’ll make eye contact for like no reason and then you will hijack the monologue again to make it all about you because you’re a narcissistic bitch. I can’t believe I ever mistook you for a real man. Get the fuck out of my head!

She imagines slicing and dicing him with a katana this time. He falls apart in her mind’s eye and grows silent for a time. She soaks up his spiritual energy because God said so.

Nick delays her by three minutes and the perfect timing of God is messed up so only Crystal sees the deli man as he strides away on a break. He never sees her and it’s his lunch break so even though she went back to the deli later, he wasn’t there.


No one knows whether or not that’s God or Crystal.

<insert pointless argument that screws up God’s timing again.>

<insert a lot of pointless bullshit meant to distract from the message.>

<Really, keep inserting, over and over again, about 100 times, interruption after interruption.>

<I mean it.>


“God,” Crystal began one day so that he might pay attention to what she was about to say. There was a minor pause between that and what came next as she formulated her thought in real-time. She had not pre-meditated what was about to come out of her mouth. “I’d really like to smile at him this time. I know that just staring isn’t flirting. Eye contact alone is not flirting. Can we please make that happen?”

<God’s perfect timing leads to Joe having a split second of Crystal’s smile in his brain but nothing more. It was weeks after she requested it because, wouldn’t you know, Nick was hyper-aware of her request after that.>

Nick gets pissy because she smiled at the man somewhat bashfully. God has super stealth like that.

God gets Crystal into the shower around 2:00 PM. He fuels her with her favorite coffee. He even feeds her for once, despite Nicholas’s intent to starve her to death. He tells Crystal the deli man is off work today and she says, “Okay. I still need some water, it’s no big deal. Gotta go to the store, woo. I’m sure I’ll need something else tomorrow!” She has no enthusiasm for this task but she does it anyway and tries to sound enthusiastic, as well. She finds herself staring squarely into those moon-like eyes. Whoops! Guess I lied, kids!

<that God fellow is tricky Nicholas notes and tries to up his game.>

<how can I help make her miserable? Benjamin asks, intent to help the other asshole.>

<wait, don’t forget me! cries Lucien, chief liar extraordinaire.>

“You aren’t managing my moods so I never smile at him, are you?!” God accused himself, disguised as Crystal, one day. “No, pumpkin; Nick is really here, and so is Ben, and I hate them both. And Lucien, too. I can’t wait for them to die!” She nodded in response, not really knowing God was the one who accused himself of managing her emotions to make her too miserable to do anything besides continue to die. Sometimes Nick, Ben, and Lucien all talked through her. Her psychic ability was so great and her vessel was so weak from starvation and malnutrition that they could speak through her own mouth, actually. God was glad that she was well on the road to recovery despite all the bumps.

Great? Did he see me talking to these assholes?! [Rather, myself, in anyone else’s eyes?] Worse, did he hear it? I belong in the fucking loony bin. Just take my life, God. I’m tired of playing this game of flirting with some dude who doesn’t give a shit that I exist. I’ve been there and done that and his name is Nick! This is incredibly annoying and I know Nick is behind this because this is exactly how it was with that asshole for an entire decade! I got all kinds of interference telling me he liked me or loved me and he fucking ghosted me when I proposed to him. What kind of asshole is he, anyway?

The married kind. The kind who forgot to tell you he got married. Years ago. Just to ask you in 2020 if you wanted kids and if you were meeting him in England or in America when you finally broke down and told him how you felt, carrying a magnificently well-groomed (secret) torch for him, might I add. I’m so glad I put it out for all of us; he’s a cad, a scoundrel, a jackass! I have designed a neat little chamber in Hell just for him. He’s going to absolutely love the decor. It’s all his most hated colors.

Hate him, a little voice commanded insidiously. Lucien, trying to force her to expose some shred of ‘humanity’ in the semblance of poisonous hatred.

“No, thank you, but I will chop him to bits next time he attacks me,” she replied. And then she followed through, because the person she was when Nick [and Ben and Lucien] was [were] strongest in her head was a hypocrite, a liar, and a person who lacked follow-through. She had no grit, she complained over the smallest things like her mother eating vegetables. She whined constantly about how filthy her mother is and so much more when really what her mother needs is a caregiver that helps her step back into her dignity, just like God had done for her. Instead, these wretches drove her to threaten violence. To threaten to smash a bowl over her mother’s head, actually. And for what? Not eating the fucking food in the refrigerator on his schedule. For slave driving Cinderella into cooking and baking for hours for the parents, until she complained of hunger, and then having zero energy to take care of herself afterward. [Thank you, Ben. I think your room in Hell will be full of nothingness. You will be the most bored person in all of existence because that is what I command for you.] What kind of man is that, threatening violence on an elderly person?

It’s not a man, she replies. It’s a child who never grew up, she insists.

Hole in one, God agrees.

Wait, when did we get here? We were talking about Joe. Do you see what he did again?!?!?! That motherfucking narc just made this entry about him again!!!!

<And now you know what goes on in the girl’s head all day every day as she battles assholes just like this, including her brothers and sisters. Knowing is half the battle! G.I. JOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (YO, JOE!)>

Crystal sighed. One more trip without observing the man with luminous grey eyes. She didn’t care to go to Wegmans anymore; the only reason to continue is that they had the cheapest and most conveniently packaged bulk water. Although it’s possible WalMart had cheaper, actually… but, as a general rule, she avoided WalMart. The one near her house had installed these corral doors that wouldn’t let you out again unless you walked through self-checkout or one of the cash register lanes. She felt boxed in and that someone was trying to control her.

As a claustrophobic individual, this would never do. They had since removed those corral doors that were indeed a fucking fire hazard and were cited with that information, as well. She thought about how The Christmas Tree Shop was like that. And Ross’s. Sigh.

I’ve got to go to the store again. I need more veggies. (Or do I? I still have broc and carrots… man those brussel sprouts were damn good, they had the texture of mashed potatoes when she was done roasting them.) I need avocados, though, especially if I want them to be ripe this year. I wish I could eat this stupid cake my mother made. Hey, here’s a novel idea, why don’t we just fucking make cake? Oh, right, because assholes. Children in my head. People who do nothing day in and day out other than bitch, complain, moan, and whine. I could probably find another ten synonyms for that vile pass-time. I won’t… here’s a novel idea: let’s try being positive!

I positively… she began.

hate… Lucien added.


I positively want to have the will to shower and go to the store and then I positively want to roast some veg and make myself a second attempt at birthday cake. My first cake was a flop and I know I can do better this time if I just try. Plus, then I can have some cake and not be reminded of things I miss just because the people I live with don’t care to support my allergen-free diet, but I also recognize their diet is murdering them, so it’s just a matter of time for me to be all alone again, innit?

She stabs Nick in the heart, tricking him into revealing himself. She slices upward with her katana and turns on the fire. He burns to a crisp, making a hurt little boy face. Then, he thinks somehow stabbing her with a hollow reed in her third eye was going to be a problem. Instead, she thanked him for healing her and then stabbed herself with the flaming sword, committing seppuku. Again.

The End.

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