Every morning, I draw a card.
This week, The Sun and The Moon kept appearing. Lately, when I draw The Sun, I get The Smiths stuck in my head. Spending warm summer days indoors writing frightening verse. I’m in the midst of doing the final final final edit of my next novel, so I have indeed been spending many sunny days indoors. It’s tough to focus. I wish I’d finished it in winter. When it’s sunny, I just wanna be outside all the time and have less responsibilities. Alas! Art!
Anyway, the last time I drew The Sun, I knew I had to go out.
I decided I’d wander along Queen, buy a bottle of fancy kombucha, and write in my diary down by the lake. I’m a Summer Goth. Strangely enough, it was taking MDMA a few years ago that made me love the sun so much. I remember drinking the most delicious lychee bubble tea of my life and walking until my body quit, never wanting to stop. Now, just being out in the sun brings me such pleasure and delight. And drinking bubble tea! These small joys are what make my life worth living.
So, I was wandering through the busy sidewalks, smiling, feeling cheerful and giddy, thinking about my daily Tarot card, and how dreamy my lil weird cripple witch life can be.
I was feeling the healing vibes of The Sun and the sun, feeling good as a cheerful loner (another word I’m reclaiming, yes!), when a shiny black car intercepted my path. A man rolled down the driver’s side window. I couldn’t see him clearly with the sun glaring off the awful condos, nor could I quite hear him over the noisy traffic, so I stepped closer. He’d stopped his car diagonally across the sidewalk, blocking my path, as well as the parking lot. I couldn’t walk around his car without stepping into oncoming traffic.
He started going on about how rich he is, how he wanted to give me his number, he wanted to fly me all over Europe with him, pay for everything. He asked me my name. I lied. He said he could tell I was an artist, and I’d be so much happier there. All the culture, history, beauty, he said. If I was looking for a sense of belonging, thats where Id find it. Ill take care of you, he said. Financially and emotionally.
You know that thing where men ask you for your number and they call you right away to make sure you’re not lying? Yeah. Usually in these situations, I walk away, or I scream, or I cry. But in that moment, I thought maybe it’d be funny to give him my number. I was daydreaming about flying away, having a good story to tell, even though I don’t have a passport, I obviously wasn’t gonna get into his car or onto a plane with him, and I haven’t been able to travel even short distances for a few years anyway. All the lives I haven’t lived have been on my mind again. He kept trying to get me into his car, but I told him I had plans. Call me anytime of the day or night, he said. He wrapped his arms around me and tried to kiss me, but I turned away and he got my cheek. I wondered how many others he’d approached that day, that week, and what stood out about me. My purple pigtails and tattoos My smile How was he reading me Did I seem young Naïve Impulsive Broke
I walked down to the lake and wrote in my diary. I scribbled pages and pages, wanting to remember everything. I wanted to remember this encounter, the feeling of it, and I was writing down notes from conversations I’d had with friends throughout the week, wanting to hold onto them. I sat there for an hour and a half. When I decided to go home, I realized I’d have to walk by the same spot I’d encountered the supposedly rich man. I hoped he’d left. He’d called me and texted me but I’d ignored him. I texted a friend to let them know what was going on in case something happened. Mostly I made a lot of jokes because it seemed so ridiculous.
I only walked two blocks back before the same man hopped out of his car again, which was parked on the side of the road by an antique store. He jumped out quickly, dashed around the car, and reached out to grab me. I realized hed been watching me the entire time. He knew I’d lied about having plans with friends and he was waiting for me to come back. He’d been watching me write in my diary under a tree all this time.
I wasn’t smiling anymore.
I don’t feel safe getting into your car, I said.
He looked disappointed, but he left me alone. He got back into his car. I walked away. I was feeling frazzled and forgot to check his license plate. I worried he was following me home. I’ve been followed home before. I’ve had strangers insist I give them my number, refuse to take no. It happens all the time. I’m used to it. But I can never figure out the correct response. I mean, there isn’t one. All the crying, screaming, threatening, hiding, laughing, acting nice, rolling my eyes, whatever, none of it makes me feel better. None of it seems to change anything.
I started to think of The Sun as feeling exposed. Feeling looked at, not seen. But still having this odd internal sense of stability that I’m not used to. It’s new to me, to not fall apart. To not make a scene.
The next day, I drew The Moon.
In the After Tarot, a figure wearing a red robe has appeared. She might be an old crone witch, she might be Little Red Riding Hood. I went out again, walked the same route as the day before, this time stopping to hang out at the library for a while, and then I turned back toward home.
In the distance, I saw a familiar woman with long grey hair and bright lipstick, riding a shiny red cruiser. Sometimes I have a difficult time with facial recognition . I know who people are when they’re in the place I usually see them, but it takes me some time to recognize them if we bump into one another elsewhere. When I got closer, I realized she was my favourite postal worker, a self-identified crazy lady who always has good stories to tell me, advice to give, encouraging words. There are two post offices she works at, and they’re the two where I’m a regular. So we see one another a lot. The last time we’d talked, shed asked where she could read my writing, and I told her maybe one day I’d interview her, since she’s the one who gets so much of my writing into the hands of others. I bet she’s had / is having a pretty cool life.
As we stopped on the sidewalk, I complimented her bike, and I realized, of course, that this would be my encounter with The Moon today. She told me she used to teach experimental acting, and shared an exercise with me that she’d give to students to develop self-confidence. Keep a card in your pocket with all your positive attributes, everything you like about yourself. Write it all in your favourite colours, make it look good. Whenever you encounter jerks – and you will! – and you start to feel bad about yourself, or unsure of yourself, take out your card and read it to yourself (I guess you could read it to the jerks, too!). It’ll bring you back to where you are and who you are. I hadn’t told her about my encounter the day before, but it was like she knew.
I haven’t made my card yet, but I will.
I’ve been thinking about what I’ll write. I like my imagination. I like the way Im kinda sorta feeling like I might like my strange body that Ive been told in a thousand ways since forever is not good enough. I like the skills Ive developed to survive, the questions I ask, the way Im able to make meaning out of the smallest moments and ordinary days. I like my home, I like hanging out with myself, I like my psychic messiness. Where once it took work to feel like others were missing out when I wasnt around, that I wasnt the one who was missing out, I really truly do feel that way now. All the time. I really like myself.
In She Is Sitting in The Night, Oliver Pickle writes:
Like the figure on this card whose hair is the fire of the sun, spring, and enthusiasm, when you pull this card in a reading you are overjoyed and ready to push forward into a life that will surely be more exciting or at least motion filled than it has been for a while. Everything is alive, and everything is beautiful, and this could be really annoying for anyone else around you who isn’t feeling it, but you are, so hopefully they let you enjoy it. It’s part of a cycle, and they’ll get there too.
What have you been dreaming about Whereve you been traveling Whos entered your life recently, and how do they make you feel What do you like about yourself What are you still learning
In my dreams, I’ve been traveling. I dreamed about riding a bike, I dreamed about a seven-hour bus ride. I haven’t ridden a bike for a long time, but I know I’m going somewhere.
Cards in this post are from Thea’s Tarot, the After Tarot, and the Radiant Rider Waite Tarot.
Maranda Elizabeth is a 30-something writer, zinester, identical twin, high school dropout, cane-user, recovering alcoholic, flâneux, and non-binary amethyst-femme. They write about recovery with BPD, c-(p)TSD, and fibromyalgia; writing & creativity; friendship, self-care, support, & $upport; and feelings, madness, disability, and magic! They’ve been writing zines for 15 years, and have published three books, including two novels, Ragdoll House, and We Are the Weirdos. Maranda is a Libra Sun, Sagittarius Moon, and Gemini Rising. They read Tarot for crazy people, cripple-queers, misfits, & outcasts!
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