She didn’t read cards, palms, or bones. She drank tea and admitted rare visitors into a room lit by shadows only. She revealed nothing of her form. She might not have been present on the other side of the table, yet the teacup raised and lowered—a whispered sip elicited between.
“I fall apart,” I said. Twenty hours south by train; the sound of my words fell like chattery dice on the table’s dark cloth. Muted—the cast incomplete, caught in the fabric. The numbers untrue to the roll.
“Shh.” She held my hands. One clasped in ice, the other flame. “You must gather yourself before it is too late.”
She said, “Take one of your bodies and bury it softly. Do it again. Bury all your dead, hollowing selves–bury them softly.”
It seemed such simple magical advice. Nothing better than magic to solve our problems. That I could be whole—a complete individual—simply by burying my incomplete selves; planting them into a fresh damp hole where moss caresses lovingly the roots of ancient trees—that such would knit my selves into the single me was not just compelling; it was salvation. What I failed to grasp—and she as well—were the uncounted numbers of my hollow selves. Every day, I splinter. The fragments stumble and fall into another half-aware version of me.