Bad Spirit

Bad Spirit

I remember overhearing my aunt and mom talking one day about a special talismen that was put around the neck of small babies when there would be friends / family visiting. It was shaped like a horn, curved in the middle an hung from a cord (not usually a chain). It was either that or a small black fist with red and green beads at the wrist. The purpose of the talismen was to guard against bad spirits. Particularly from the envious eyes of women who couldn’t bear children or had tried and miscarried. Something about their gaze is too longing and too wanting and can hurt the baby. My aunt sat in wonder as she told the story of how one such woman was peering into my cousin’s crib during a family event (probably his christening) and when she happened upon him later, the talismen was cracked in half. I always rememberd that story. And I always feared being one of those women that new mothers feared. Never mind that I’m already in the miscarry category – but I would’ve hoped that my general spirit and love for the mothers would have overruled any fear.

Now, I’ll preface by saying that once upon a time, when I just dated a dude… and he’d be invited to a wedding… but they didn’t do a plus one… I’d get HELLA insulted. Until I had to put a list of my own together and totally understand why now – not paying an extra plate for someone who might end up just having been a jumpoff. So this may be a common reaction from women when they first have their children and I’ll be on the giving end of it one day. I concede that. But as for right now – I don’t know WHAT it is and I have to assume it’s me.

For some reason – despite the fact that it’s a whole other life that they have to learn to take care of, when my friends have babies… they hold me (i can’t speak for anyone else) at an arms length. I remember literally YELLING at one friend to please let me meet her baby since they’d been back in NY for MONTHS and after me offering numerous times she kept staving me off. One person taught her son to dislike me, so now when I come near, he completely recoils. Then there was today. I was all geared up and excited to see my spech and my godson again. My baby cancelled all his plans cause he couldn’t wait either. I called her to see what time was good. She made it sound like she had a pretty full day and probably couldn’t see us till later – so we were like… okay so 6 ish? She agreed. An hour later, she called, sounding very put off and can’t-be-bothered and announced that she had too much to do and we’d have to reschedule. “Maybe sometime next week or something?” she offered. I told her I’d have to see and I hung up after our short goodbyes and sat there staring at the screensaver of Justyn on my phone. Earl tried really hard to find out what was wrong with me… but it just launched me into an hour long bawling. Of the deep sobbing, choking, I-may-die-with-the-next-volley-of-tears style crying. I cried through my whole shower and cried all the way back to the room and while I was getting dressed. I didn’t want to tell Earl why I was crying because it seemed so silly… but here I was. It was confirmed. I was this bad spirit that everyone was worried about. He finally got me to talk it out with him… and I still felt like an asshole – but it’s amazing the things you carry around with you all your life. I must’ve been 5 when I heard the story. It truly makes me want to just leave everyone be who has a child. Immediately – so they don’t have to give me the constant Heisman when I come near. I get it. I’m not wanted.

So here in the throngs of new children being born – I’ll just wait to be invited over. Cause I have a SERIOUS headache and I can’t afford to cry like that often.


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