Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Story of Z (Part 2)

I only lasted one school year at Maine College or Art, one wouldn't think of a yuppie art school as a haven for bullies but THAT was ultimately what drove me away. And with a little convincing from my new friends, like Z, committing academic suicide and ultimately leaving the school for good wasn't hard at all. After everything I'd been subjected to and not even getting decent grades out of it, arriving at the eventual conclusion "Maybe this just isn't for me after-all" seemed the only logical end to the madness. 

If I'm really going to quit M.E.C.A. and turn over a new leaf, may as well start right now: I was borderline bankrupting myself over mostly useless knowledge that would never land me a real job at the current rate things were going. Sure you could teach people the right way to stretch a canvas so that it won't break apart, how to make sure the canvas is primed properly so that the enzymes in the paint won't eat a hole in it after 50 years, but how the fuck is there a right or wrong way to express ideas and/or feelings onto said canvas? That's just nonsense, but I was spending hard-earned Student Loan money on it just the same.

It saddens me that art is no longer about talent these days, it's about projecting the ideas of a Status-Quo from one direction or another.

There was a fundamental difference in Z's temperament between his different classes that he offered, even when just talking to daytime customers in his shop. He sold dried herbs and some oils, mostly trinkets and services though. Compared to other New Age shops most people have probably been to throughout the United States (or the UK, the two countries where Wicca is most widely practiced) Z's shop had a pretty sparse but very specialized selection of spiritually oriented goods. At the time you could go anywhere in Portland and go look for witchy-stuff, there were two other stores operating at that time with much more selection, neither of which Z had anything particularly remarkable to say about.

He had several repeat customers, mostly fellow students of his from his classes. There were one or two that even worked for him during daytime hours; One was a daughter of his from a previous marriage, the other was a tall girl with rather plain features. He said he had two wives, something which struck me as extremely out of place at the time, but since neither of them seemed at odds with each other I guess I didn't see any harm being done there. To most people this might have sent up a few red flags, but then again I am NOT most people and I didn't feel I had any reason to object or question this.

A recent bout of questioning MY OWN sexuality, to include orientation, made me feel like I wasn't in a position to criticize other adults who didn't seem (at the time) to be harming anyone.

I wasn't sure I was a lesbian, I do enjoy sex with men but with women as well. At that point in time I didn't have terribly many opportunities to experiment, what with having very few to almost no prospects for relationships due to my classmates acting like cunts. Z made it abundantly clear right off the bat what HIS position was regarding LGBT issues: Only straight people could perform rites and rituals effectively, this was due to gay sex (between males or females) negating the natural course of energy and something about the parasitic nature of gay relationships.

Don't get pissed off YET, I'm not finished.

He said that since gays and lesbians can't procreate naturally, one partner tends to feed off the others' energies and that's why we would see one as the "Butch" and the other as the "Bitch." This didn't make a lick of sense to me at the time, rather than try to publicly discuss this with him (which was rarely met well, he could be quite persuasive of his opinions. After'all, we were just students seeking out a self-described Master) I was brand-spanking new to Wicca at that point, I honestly thought that this was how a Coven was supposed to work.

Finding work after M.E.C.A. was a pain in the proverbial dick, I burned every black candle I could get my hands on trying to chase away any bad juju that may have been trying to keep me from finding gainful employment. After four unsuccessful interviews, I enlisted Z's help int he matter. I don't recall exactly what was done, but a few days later I stopped in to say hello and he told me I'd pretty much walk-in-and-take my next job interview with raving success: It was at a comic book shop and I actually failed the interview horribly, so no dice.

My NEXT interview after that, however, was at the Borders Bookstore in the Maine Mall complex and I got hired almost on-the-spot. Surely that's the one he was actually talking about, yes?

I loved that job, the first job I ever had that despite having to work retail I actually truly loved doing. I loved to read, and as luck would have it my supervisors put me in charge of the Spirituality and Religion section: ALL OF IT, including Christianity. Meh, a job is a job, right? Considering that this was divinely provided for me since Z must have done the right spell with the right candles and oils and such, and I was in the right mindset at the right phase of the moon... Look, you're either seething through your teeth or laughing your balls off at all of this and that's fine. I think at this point either reaction is perfectly reasonable to this wad of rubbish, but understand that I had been through the first of many difficult patches in my young-adult life and I really honestly thought that this was a good thing for me.

And sure as Climate Change fellow students would come to the store to ask me about finding books, Z would even ask me to put in an order or two for stuff he needed from time to time, which I paid for. Not to worry, though, he said he'd reimburse me every penny (and for the record no he didn't, but I wasn't going to press the matter with him because running a business in Portland was literally quite a taxing matter) 

So Z had a few opinions and practices I didn't always agree with 100%, that's the same with ANY religion though, right? 

Part 3, coming soon.

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