The Second Bath

posted in: Uncategorized | 5
It’s been a non stop swirl of work and social obligations since the holidaze as we slowly plummet into tax season.  You can imagine my excitement when I would finally have a moment to relax with MamaFran after a weekend of cemetery jaunts because that’s just how we do in my family.  Instead I found myself in a panicky headspace in an overly crowded hotel down in Atlantic City.
We were going from Sunday into Monday and usually that was a promise of light foot traffic and just enough people to make people watching interesting.  I’ve also been reading Gillian Flynn’s books non stop which probably (definitely) wasn’t helping any of this.  On an up side to that, if you want to feel fantastic about your relationship, your part in it and your partner(s)’ part in it, I cannot recommend reading Gone Girl enough.  The movie is a pale shadow comparatively.

So, I’m processing the fact that I have to go two hours (without traffic) each way, two completely separate ways to visit my dead people which is hella depressing because it’s hard to be in the car that long for a cold trip to the cemetery.  I mean, I got pizza, I got incredibly expensive food from the Italian market, April and I relived our teen lives together by getting lattes and bath bombs and sitting at the food court dishes,  but it was a lot that would be topped off with a fun visit the next day to the military cemetery where my dad is buried.  We used to visit my grandparents’ grave when we would visit my uncle but now he’s in the ground with them and my grief in the loss of him continues to be overwhelming.
So, obviously, let’s drink and gamble.  Because . . .really . . .what else can do you anyway?  I got myself on the list for the club and then promptly got too overwhelmed to go.  I tried to go to my usual haunts there to start writing again, a horse that continues to trample me post-book but they were too crowded, too much for me to manage.  I went back up to our room dejectedly and did a little work and then decided to start a bath in the cave-like tub in the suite.  I did my usual thing I do at home for my glamour bath rites, I put on music and . . .I couldn’t fucking calm down.  And the more I got into an anxiety spiral about it, the crazier I felt.  Who the fuck freaks out about taking the bath she’s been dying to take?  Who!  Who!  Me, apparently.  So . . .then I dropped my phone in the bath. Sh!  Don’t tell Jow.  Because his phone randomly stopped working earlier that day and I was yelling at him like a damn fishwife that he better not buy an iPhone 7 which is obviously why I needed to bring some Bewitched bullshit to the party.  I’m hissing, Nonononononono!  Fuck, fuck, fuck.  Please work.  Please.  Work.  I jump out of the bath and towel it off.  Obviously, I don’t have dry rice because I’m in a freaking hotel.  Luckily, it’s been fine since which is why this is how I’m choosing share this with Jow.  People live with secrets all the time/ You’ve got yours/ I’ve got mine!   By now I’m shaking like a tiny dog.  I drain the tub.
I don’t know what to do.
Oh.  Yeah.  To celebrate writing again (a start is a start!), I had a double espresso and a french macaroon.  Which helped kick off said panic attack because I was not as good at sugar/caffeine as I thought I was.
I go to dinner with my mom where we were surrounded by drunk boys and a long wait.  It’s only afterwards when we go for a drink at my favorite place do I actually start to relax and have a good time.  I crap out fast at the craps table (my old tricks don’t work like they used to) but get it back on a Wonder Woman slot machine which cheers me.
I read more Gillian Flynn and consider.  Should I take another bath?  My mom would kill me if she knew, it’s really wasteful to use that much water.  I had half of bath bomb left.  I floated the idea out to April who was dismayed that I managed to reach a new low as an anxious animal. Immediately, she told me to get my ass back in the tub.  I got the water right, I left my phone on the vanity and I read a magazine and sang along to my Spotify.  I relaxed.  I felt good again.
So obviously, in witchcraft, it doesn’t always go right.  Rituals get botched, the energy goes askew, you did the ritual and nothing happened or you got to have what we politely call “A Learning Experience” where mistakes were made and others were blamed.  What do you do then, what would a Final Girl do?  Do you give up?  Do you discourage yourself into a downward spiral of self doubt and self blame until you are curled into a ball?  I don’t think that’s how the Final Girl survives.  I don’t think she just impotently flails and cries.  She pulls herself together when something doesn’t go to plan and she re-assesses and figures out what to do.  Sometimes really fast.  Really really fast because you know, slashy bad guys are pretty quick and 2017 is starting to figure out your tricks.  2017 is starting to figure out you’re the one to watch.  2017 knows that you’re coming for it and it’s looking for your weak spots, to catch you in that moment.
Take the second bath.
Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.

She is a frequent contributor to Occult/Pagan sources such as the Llewellyn almanacs, Witchvox, PaganSquare and Witches & Pagans magazine.  She writes about Charms, Hexes, Weeknight Dinner Recipes, Glamoury and Unsolicited Opinions on Morals and Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure.

Deborah's book, The Arte of Glamour is available for purchase on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  

Deborah is a social media dork and can be found wasting far too much time on TwitterFacebookG+Instagram and Tumblr.

5 Responses

  1. I find (okay, I find hot baths pretty much *always* help a little, BUT) if a ritual thing isn’t spinning the way I need it to? I Scribble All The Things in a big old diary entry. Sometimes it takes a couple of days to get it all out (because I’m a Scorpio? Possibly?) but if I can put the spiraling stress-thoughts somewhere else, put them DOWN, I can generally get the ritual to work.
    But that’s me.
    I’m glad you took a second bath. 🙂

  2. Ivy Soulstice

    “2017 is starting to figure out your tricks. 2017 is starting to figure out you’re the one to watch. 2017 knows that you’re coming for it and it’s looking for your weak spots, to catch you in that moment…”
    Hot damn, woman. This is my reality right now. At the end of 2016, I thought “I got this”. I’d lost well over 20 lbs, was on the right track with my craft and other things, and then as soon as 1-1-17 hit, BAM! One thing after another. Murphy’s Law. Lack of discipline and procrastination came back to haunt me big time.
    I’ve managed to pull things together, fast acting and my inner trickster have saved my ass more times than I can count this year!

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