of strangers and smoky auras.

Today I weeded the garden, which was in a woeful state.  Well I weeded everything except for a patch that my good friend had stretched herself out in.  It took a couple of hours and I was covered in sweat and dirt when the task was done.

After cleaning up I walked all over the city, mostly looking for subjects to photograph for a new style column I’m gearing up for with RVANews.  To date, the people I have approached for this have all seemed very flattered and enthusiastic about having their pictures taken, but for some reason I still have difficulty approaching strangers for it.  This may be because I hate being approached by strangers myself.  As I walked all over the city, I thought about how silly it was for me to think that way, because if all it takes to make someone feel great and add an unexpected compliment to their day is for me to take a quick photo, I should be falling all over myself to do it.  But still I had trouble because (1) most people are wearing t-shirts and flip-flops, which I do NOT want to feature, and (2) some people look incredibly busy — talking on the phone, ordering food, etc.  And I hate to interrupt.

As I was pondering all these things after a three-hour walk and nearing my house, feeling defeated, I was the one who was approached.  This lady that I frequently see walking her dog (whose color changes almost weekly: green, purple, pink…I guess she dyes the poor beast) strolled up and said “Hello, I love the way you wear your bows.  Your hair is great, you have beautiful hair.”

“Thanks,” I said.  “I actually have a shop where I sell the bows; you should check it out” and I handed her a card.

She looked down at the card and said “I don’t have a computer.  I actually get a really bad aura from computers.  I’m a preschool teacher, and I try not to turn them on. ”

There was an uncomfortable silence, as I didn’t know what to say.  While I wouldn’t want to reward someone for being afraid of technology — especially as simple and easy to espouse as it’s been made in recent years — I also think that people should be allowed to live however the heck they choose as long as they’re not hurting anybody else.  So I didn’t say anything.

She squinted at me and said “You have this smoky aura about you.  It’s very mystic.  There’s something very mysterious…”

Another long silence…I wasn’t really sure how to respond.  I had been wondering what that smoky smell was for the past several blocks, and had assumed it was something burning.  But I didn’t want to burst her bubble.  So then I said “Thank you.  Well I recognize your dog, so I’ll sure we’ll run into each other again soon when you’re walking him.  We must be neighbors.”

“Or even sisters!” she said.  And then we parted ways.  Oooooookay.  What a disturbing / bizarre / delightful conversation.  Sisters indeed.  And yet, we are kind of sisters.  Human beings, and ladies walking around Richmond talking to strangers.

Never a dull moment here in Richmond…and especially in Oregon Hill.  ❤

And btw, it’s Formal Friday.


10 thoughts on “of strangers and smoky auras.

  1. Yay Tess! The stories you tell of your reality are so wonderfully written! The whole sisters part in a cosmos way was a great touch, and a great conversation piece too. And, fyi, sister, if your aura ever gets in trouble with the microwave maybe you can get in touch with her since she does live so close by??
    I just wrote on the thunderhorse blog to escape doing more background reading on metaphysics and ontology for what is going to be aka already a really painful grad class on epistemologly. ouch. I don’t think I’ll be able to come see you till I get my fucking degree!!!

  2. Aw, thanks Jen. Grad school sounds terrifying. I want you to come down here soon though! You’ve got to make some time! Maybe for some holiday where you won’t be able to go all the way back to CA?

  3. You want to spend Thanksgiving together!?? Why Tess that is a marvelous idea, haha!
    Randomly, I forgot to tell you about the mystery opera lady in my life- Since I live in a basement unit my window is at ground level and I can easily hear people outside talking as they walk by. Well, there is a mystery lady who walks by singing opera! I’d heard her about 2 times when it sounded like she suddenly stepped on a cat- she screeched and then abruptly stopped, then picked up where she left off singing a minute later. I didn’t see it happen though. I’ve heard her about 2 more times since, until I finally saw her today!!!
    I was a lil bit away from my house, down the block around the corner walking to the bus when I fucking heard her before I saw her!! It was so exciting- she was this 60+ year old nun like bag lady and as I got close she stooped down in the street while singing opera to pick up some trash and continue on her way!!
    I totally want to secretly document/investigate her!

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