Saturday, April 6
My friend Muriel invited some of our twelve-step friends over for dinner and put on a fabulous Mexican spread. She introduced me to Katherine, a child of drunks but not one herself.
“There’s a list of classic traits we all have,” Katherine said. “People pleasers, avoiding confrontation at all costs, emotionally shut down. The group I'm in is helping me break the cycle.”
“It’s helping me, too,” Muriel said. “You should come Brenda.”
“I don’t avoid confrontation. I’m not emotionally shut down. JB is, but he’s on his own now.” I sighed. “I don't know, maybe I’ll recommend your meeting.”
I left and picked up Pia and Tanya and drove downtown to the "Give Peace a Dance" event. A few days ago, Tanya sent me a website link to this thing. Her pagan drum teacher had sent it to her. Offerings would include a ritual drum circle, fire spinning, projected videos, and a DJ. Reiki, shamanic energy, and harmonic sound healers would be there, too.
“I spin one-world, life-positive, body-temple dance music,” the DJ wrote.
“To give voice to and release your energy,” the harmonic sound healer explained.
Another guy would give tarot card readings with AngeLynx cards he created.
“Words are spelled because they are castings of spells,” he explained. “AngeLynx explores the spells we cast on ourselves and our world.”
And there would be a Didgeridoo Choir.
“ROAR,” the website announced. “Right Of Admittance Refusal for any reason, especially aggressiveness, intoxication, meat-market energy, or if we are not comfortable with you at our celebration.”
I had to check it out. I sent Pia the link. She’s studying animal communication and reiki—practices I’m skeptical of—figuring she could find like-minded connections.
I pulled up and parked in an industrial area that was eerily deserted. Several people were outside a building drumming around a fire. Rain was drizzling. A woman was spinning around with flags. We walked inside, paid ten bucks, and began wandering. Down one hallway were small rooms where healers had set up. People were lounging in the dance room where videos of costumed men doing water ballet were playing. Laser beams swept the room. The bleach-blond DJ sporting a curly fur jacket looked like Pan.
Pia, from a small rural town, was trying to act like this was any other day at the farm. But her rigid body and darting eyes said different. We walked down the healing hall and saw the AngeLynx guy's dance card was already full.
“He’s really good,” a woman waiting to see him said. “You have to get here really early and sign up if you want to see him.”
Tanya pointed to a sign on a door. “This one looks interesting to me,” she said and popped into the room of the harmonic sound healer. Pia shrugged and signed her name to go next.
“I’m going for reiki,” I told Pia.
I walked into a reiki room and laid down on a padded table. I closed my eyes. The practitioner’s hands hovered over the crown of my head. My scalp began to tingle. I could hear the drumming circle in the next room. I sensed the practitioner’s hands hovering over my forehead. It felt like weight was pushing down, pressurizing my sinuses. Then it felt like a string was being pulled out of my forehead. Some of the pressure was releasing. The practitioner’s hands hovered over my chest. My lungs felt heavy. Breathing became labored. My chest began to tingle. The practitioner worked her way down my entire body and placed crystals on my chakras. When she finished, I felt relaxed, spacey, happy, buzzed. I floated out of the room and glided down the hall. Tanya popped in front of me. She looked wide-eyed and weird.
“I didn’t see Pia when I got out of the sound healer,” she panted. “I was looking for her. I wanted to warn her. She must have gone in while I wasn't looking. Oh my God. Brenda, that woman was howling over me like a coyote. She had me lay down and she bent over me and growled and grunted. Then she hopped up on this chair and did this high-pitched opera singing thing. She was doing primal sounds on top of me. She told me it was coming from vibrations within me. She was making screeching hawk noises, weird scary woods noises. Somehow that was supposed to bring me peace and harmony?”
“She was drawing out the creepy shit inside of you,” I laughed. “You should have gone for reiki. I feel high.”
“You look high.”
Tanya kept looking over her shoulder toward the sound healer’s room. She started laughing. “I can’t wait for Pia to get out.”
Pia appeared. Her expression was odd. Something between "I’m-staying-open-to-this" and "What-the-hell?"
“That was really interesting,” she slowly said.
Tanya doubled over laughing. “I wanted to warn you before you went in there. Was she howling over you? Did she do this?” Tanya let out a high-pitched warble.
“Well, she made some sounds over me,” Pia said. “But I think there was something to it.”
Tanya looked at me, at Pia, and back at me. She shrugged. We walked off to the dance floor and Pia sat on cushions while Tanya and I flailed around. Pia watched us with the same "I’m-staying-open-to-this" and "What-the-hell?" expression.