Saturday, June 26, 2004
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I've opted not to do the trance dance tonight. For the benefit of the beginners in the group, Chantal has decided to allow people not to wear blindfolds if they choose. So I'm not keen. For me, the sacred space created by the blindfolds is why I feel able to do my vision questing. It's a pity, cos Jacqui is dancing tonight, and it was really lovely seeing her before, and chatting.
But it's cool, cos there'll be other dances, when the blindfolds will be in place, and that'll be my time.
Right now, I'm in a fairly bizarre space. I've been thrust by the universe into the position of urban shaman, something that I am, but seldom practise in any formal way. Tonight, it's formal. I'm the Lurvv Doctor tonight.
One of the books I ended up buying on the Exclusive Books sale is THE BOOK OF LOVE ANSWERS by Carol Bolt. It's been on my table since I pulled my sketching equipment out of my bag.
One of the waiters spots it. "What's this all about?" he asks.
"Think of a question about love, then open the book anywhere at random for a solution," I say. I'm busy drawing a beauty sitting three tables away. She's with a dude, and they're fascinated by each other, so she hasn't noticed me scratching away at my palmtop.
The waiter takes the book, asks a question, opens it. "Wow," he says. "Can I try again?"
"Go for it," I say.
He takes the book away and stands near the wall. I see him opening it, smiling, closing, thinking, opening, frowning, thinking, opening again, smiling. he comes back after a good ten minutes. "Wow," he says. "Excellent."
Another waiter comes and touches the book. It's got a red, felt cover, so it's very sumptuous. "Can I try?" says Evans.
"Sure," I say.
"But you must open it for me," he says.
"Okay," I say. "Have you got a question?"
"Is my girlfriend cheating on me?" he says.
I open the book at random. Each page only has one sentence on it. Something enigmatic, provocative. The line I arrive at says, 'It's not what you think.'
"The book says this," I say. "And my interpretation is that maybe there's something in you that's making you suspicious of her. What makes you think she's cheating?"
We talk and talk and talk, and I ask a good few questions, trying to get clarity. My sense is that he's feeling insecure about himself, and that he's putting that onto her. He keeps asking for more of the book, and each answer is more provocative than the next.
It's a twenty-minute conversation, with him standing beside me, my neck craning round so I can make eye contact with him every now and again. In these situations, eye contact isn't always good, cos it's fairly intimidating. And I've got very piercing eyes, so that can be disconcerting all on its own. But sometimes it's important to see someone's eyes. I want to see if I'm touching home base with this dude. I want to know that I'm on the right track.
At the end of it, he says, "This book is very good. But it's grinding me. This book is grinding me, hey?"
"Well, it's saying that there are things inside yourself that you need to look at."
"Thanks," he says.
Lebo is next in line. "Can I try?" he says. "But you must open for me also."
"What's your question?" I say.
"Well, I've been seeing this girl for three months, and she wants me to move in with her. Does she really love me? Must I move in with her?"
I open the book. 'Express yourself,' it says.
"Lebo," I say, "it seems to me that maybe you don't have enough information to make any decisions. You're having some kind of doubts. Are you guys communicating?"
He looks like someone's rammed a syringe into his heart, like John Travolta nailing Uma Thurman in PULP FICTION.
This chat's also twenty minutes. It ends with Lebo saying, "Eish, thank you, my broer. I've got some work to do with myself. This book is amazing. Amazing. An amazing thing. I'm going to do this work with myself. Thank you."
Phshew. That's vastly cool for me. I've contributed to the lives of two dudes tonight.
I think about Jacqui, and open the book. 'Be ready.'
And two minutes later my phone beeps me with an sms. It's Jacqui. She's finished the trance dance, and wants me to know that it was great that I was there in the beginning, and that she hopes I wasn't too disappointed that I didn't dance. She tells me that it was a brilliant dance for her. I sms her to tell her that I've just had these two counselling sessions. She smss me back to say that I'm the Lurvv Doctor.
Well, I'm ready, dammit.