Lazarus Kiss.22

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.


On the subway Trevor explained that Nilasha had come to Canada several years ago. She hoped her nursing diploma would be recognized but it wasn’t so she opted to study nutrition and got side tracked into the use of other medicals to treat people. In India she had been a practitioner of ancient ways and beliefs that she integrated into modern medicine. Too many doctors started with the body she always started with the aura.

The fog wasn’t as bad when they got to Vic Park station.

“Perfect night for the stalker to hit.” Trevor leaned against the wall as they waited for the bus.

“Don’t even joke about that.” He told Trevor about being told he was a suspect.

“Holy shit Dog there’s more to your life than you let on. What else are you hiding from me?”

The bus pulled in, a handful of people got off. They were the only one to get on. Three stops north and they got off.

“Your aunt have family here?”

“Bothers, sisters, lots of cousins, such as moi. Do you have something to give her. She won’t ask. But it is customary to offer a little gift.”

“Yeah you told me before.” Harris showed him the rose shaped soaps.

“That’s do it.”

The three story apartment block she lived in was swallowed by the fog. She buzzed them in and they went up to the second floor; through a long under-lit hall to the very end. Harris smelled fried onions, then stewed cabbage, then spicy pepper and as they neared the final door, jasmine.

“I feel like I’ve just walked the halls of the world.”

“Yeah, Dog, Plaza Place seems like a doctors office, you know. Clean with a hint of lemon. Here you get to smell people.” He knocked twice on the door.

It opened. The apartment was well lit. Harris had expected it to be as gloomy as the hall, only in reds and blues. The furniture had the Ikea modernity look. Colorless pine and pale greens. Two large framed photos of the Rockies on one wall and three smaller ones of light houses on the other.

“Remove your shoes and turn off your cellphones and sit down gentlemen. I’ve brewed a fresh pot tea.” Nilasha disappeared into the kitchen before Harris could get a good look at her. The voice was young. Not the wicked witch he expected.

They took off their shoes, sat on the couch and turned off their cellphones.

Nilasha came in with rose painted tea pot and mathcing cups on a tray.

“There. Now let me look at you Harris. Trevor has told me all about you’re situation. Cursed or so you claim.”

She took his face in her hands and peered into his eyes. She turned his hand over to examine the palm.

She was younger than he anticipated. Early 30’s. Short black hair in a pixie cut that had been gelled into scattered spikes. Jeans, light blue blouse. Ordinary. Her eyes were violet and her hands were rough. She let go of his hand. Poured them all a cup of tea.

“It is deep in the history of your blood.” She said as she sat. “A strange power.”

“It’s not as if I asked for it.” He sipped the tea. It was odorless with a strong ginger taste.

She clapped her hands and laughed . “Who asks for anything. Who asks to be born here and not there. Who asks to be a movie star. Who asks to die of cancer.”

“So what can I do with my power?”

“You have been sharing it too much. That is the problem. Many have wanted it and you have given too freely. You must learn to hold it closer to you.”

“That’s sort of what my father said. When he said no to it stopped.”

“Ah, child it never stops. Like the way children can see spirits till they are taught not believe what they and soon they stop seeing spirits. It is sad. You have what I might call the eye of love. The opposite of the evil eye.”

As she said ‘evil eye’ both she and Trevor quickly passed the palm of their left hand in front of their faces.

“Trevor does not have the eye of love. Do you?”

“No auntie but I have seen Harris’s love eye at work many times.”

“Ah and you learned nothing from it.” she laughed again. “Have you seen it make him happy?”

“No auntie.”

“Why do you still conclude love is the answer. Here is one who attracts it and still it leaves him unsatisfied.”

“Is there anything I can do? Anything I should do? My Dad told me about this just last week. I’m trying …”

“To figure it out.” She giggled. “There is no user manual for the human heart. Perhaps if you fall in love it may help the eye close for a time. But it never closes.”

“I’ve seen how it affects other people. One woman left her fiancee after meeting me. Oh yeah and a straight guy wants to move in with me.”

“What?” Trevor perked up.

“Trevor lead to you to hope I had a spell of protection?” She tisked. “Most people come to me for love spells or money potions. As if getting enough of one or the other will fix their lives. There is no spell or potion to close the eye of love.”

She stood.

“It time for you to go back to your life Harris. Thank you Trevor for bringing him to me. I have always wanted to meet a person who had been so blessed.”

“Thank you Nilasha. Here is a little gift for your time.” He gave her the soap samples he had grabbed before leaving his place. “If I had more notice I might have managed ….”

“Oh no these are fine.” she accepted the soap. “Ah gratitude comes easily to you Harris. There is one thing, if you permit me.”

She put the soaps down and took a small pair of scissors out of a drawer and quickly snipped off a lock of his hair. “I may be able to share your gift with others without them getting in your way.”

Waiting for the bus Trevor said. “Sorry about that. I thought she might help you.”

“That’s okay, Trevor. Yeah, I expecting her do a ritual for me, at least give me an amulet to ward this off but what she said made sense.”

The bus came and they rode in silence to the subway station.

“So who is this guy.” Trevor asked when they sat on the subway car.

“No one, really. I was exaggerating about that Story fellow.”

“The one who was running away from your place earlier?”
“He was not running away he was jogging. But yes him.”
“Dog, the tee he had on looked a lot like your Bizzaro World tee. I remember how excited you were to buy it.”

“Trevor what’s up with this me and guys stuff. Jealous?”
“Fuck right off Harris. Fuck right off.” he fumed till he got off at his stop.

The fog was still hanging in. It was much thicker here than it had been in the east end. He liked the way the trees were almost absorbed in the mist and the fuzz around the street lights.

He half-expected Alex to appear again.

He took out his cell and turned it back on. He had two messages.

The first was  was from Alex. “Harris that wasn’t the real me. I’s so anxious ‘bout doin’ the right thing I did the wrong things. I forget ya are as straight as me. Call. Soon.”

The other was from his Dad. “Harris it was good talking with you this afternoon. By the way your mother and I were wondering if you’d be willing to take a paternity test. Get back to me. Have a good one.”

Harris started to laugh. Only his Dad could make such a call and make it sound breezily casual. Paternity test. What the hell is that all about?

In the elevator he played Alex’s message again. He like the voice. Why was it easier to engage in a fantasy than the real thing?


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