Ahhhh. September has passed and no one was sacrificed. Though I have to admit, it was a close one there on the last few days.
What October brings to The Bad Witch is detox. I know that much of the nation does their detox in
September (I mean, of course, those who actually detox) but I live in the Deep South and September is still far too tomatoes and green peppers for autumnal food practice.
But October . . . yes. And then there is the glorious sacred revelry of Samhain to look forward to (and six months of retoxing before spring)!
This year sees a detox of more than just my body. Without even trying, my extended-family life is taking a decidedly non-toxic turn after three years of storyline that would make The Real Housewives of Jersey Shore blush. The past ten-months seems to be the dénouement of it all.
Though The Bad Witch ascribes to a policy of unconditional forgiveness (especially for family members), sometimes absolution has to be requested. Not always.
Back in January, I met with the architect and perpetrator (emphasis on traitor) of my suffering. Newly married into my formerly close-knit family, I think she thought I was going to try to make amends or otherwise ingratiate myself to her in effort to end the turmoil she had introduced. But that tactic would only have spun a new web for me to be entangled in.
And what a tangled web it could be.
Now I’m going to talk out of school for a minute and it might sound like gossip. But I’m not going to tell you any of the ins-and-outs of the story that the whole damn town don’t already know. In fact, Imma tell you less.
I’ve known this woman for years. Was (I thought) best friends with her for years. Was her magical mentor for part of that time. (I just know I have bad Karma coming.) Cleaned up after her drunken lasciviousness for years. Pulled her out of premeditated-oops-look-what-I-did after conscious-I-accidentally-brought-a-boy-home after designed-now-I’m-in-a-jam-get-me-out for years.
Her mantra was: “I apologize.”
But, much like “Yes, ma’me” means “eff-off” to some of the Southern-bred young ladies in my classrooms, “I apologize” means, to this woman, “Just drop it and let me get away with everything.”
She mocked my ritualistic semi-annual detoxes and called it “chicken bones and tomatoes.”
I’ve heard years of “I apologize,” but I’ve never heard an apology from her.
Nonetheless, I sat across from my former confidant (turned apostate and, ew, niece-in-law) at a restaurant where we used to brunch, and said, “I forgive you.” And I meant it.
It didn’t feel like anything at the time. I’d hoped for closure. I’d hoped for a feeling of liberation from the grasps of her exploitation. But no. Cerebrally, I knew I had done the right thing. And that had to do. For now.
While she remains adversarial, over the past two months, I have garnered three sincere apologies from others involved in the family-debacle. And, as the toxins ablate from my physical body, I can finally feel the closure and liberation I’d hoped would come in January.
Now, anyone who has drank-smoked-chocolated-fast-fooded-salted-red-meated their way through ten months and then detoxed can tell you, it ain’t fun. But, anyone who has done it knows it’s also like a resurrection.
But, alas, “Anything dead coming back to life hurts.”
Anyone surprised that I’ve been dreaming of babies, (my) pregnancy, and (my) childbirth for well on three months now? Last night I gave birth to a beautiful, but hugely cephalic, fourteen-pound son who could talk and crawl after a day or so. My dream journal is set on a loop.
Want hilarity? She tattooed a stylized triquetra on her wrist; it looks like a biohazard sign.
 More impertinent as it was intended as a gesture toward the Voodoo I do not do.
 Especially on the first day. Especially when the previous day consisted of the drive-back from a weekend trip culminating in having eaten my weight in Kimch’i.
 Amy Denver to Sethe in Toni Morrison’s Beloved.