Shadows | Spokane, WA | 2018

On a lark, my Dad suggested that we have our auras cleansed. A poster for a New Orleans voodoo shop had touted “a better life, a better you” after just one incorporeal scrubbing. That night, we sat in folding chairs while a large woman with cascading black hair and 12 inches of cleavage warmed her hands in her armpits. “Hot hands cut through your aura’s sludge like butter,” she explained. Then she told me to lean forward (yep, at least a foot of cleavage) and breathe deeply (vanilla). She held her hands a few millimeters from my scalp and face, scooped off any ethereal gunk, and declared me clean in less than 30 seconds. I didn’t feel a tingle. But Dad was more of a challenge. “You have clarity, you have shadow,” she told him as she scoured. “Half and half, light and dark.” She worked on him for 10 minutes. I saw sweat on her breast bone. She ended with: “I’ve done what I can.” Later, Dad dismissed her diagnosis. We’re all light and shadow, he told me. “It’s what makes us interesting.” Yes, definitely. My father had become more interesting.