Alli and Dani met in their usual pho restaurant on Lorimer Street, for two bowls of beef noodle soup, with sriracha and bottles of Perrier.
“I am being haunted,” Alli said.
Dani cooled her pho. She was not unused to such sentiments from her friend. Alli had Jupiter in Leo and Scorpio in Pluto, exalted in its house. Dallas was currently overseas on a several-week business trip to Victoria, Australia, and Alli often spoke of an astral tug.
“Love is like being haunted by another person, even when they are not physically there,” Alli said.
She had been to a palm reader that afternoon, who had traced her life and love lines. The psychic had said Alli was a shaman, standing with one foot in the spirit world, like the angel in the Book of Revelation: one foot on water and the other foot on dry land. The Tarot card of the Star had come up.
“It’s not necessarily an unpleasant experience, but it is a strange experience,” Alli said, “Like being in a haunted house as a kid, or a house of mirrors, full of spies.”
“Like aliens and ghosts?” Dani said helpfully.
“It’s having a psychic link with a living ghost, the astral projection of someone.” Alli said.
Alli could remember dancing with Dallas under the purple, blue and teal lights of their favorite club in downtown Manhattan, Labyrinth.
The spirit world was like morning air beyond a gossamer veil, and one could be close enough to fall through the veil, like falling into a pool of water, the Soho talisman collector had said.
“You could walk down the street and feel her walking behind you?” Dani asked.
“In an ethereal sense,” Alli said. They had been together for only a few months before Dallas had left for a remote island retreat off the coast of Tasmania.
“The tulpa follows me around, down pavements and past alleys,” Alli continued, “I write about it in my poetry night class.”
“You are on a line, spelunking out into the unknown, dangled out above a dark cave of great depth – like an astronaut, reeled out into space,” the oracle had said, kneading a Buddhist rosary.
“So, love is a haunting, then?” Dani said, pouring another glass of water.
Alli was drawn out of her reverie of candlelight and incense, in that closed room, furnished with beaded curtains, “Paintings askew, nightingale song off-kilter, the memory of a discordant note on a grand piano. You feel it all, walking home late at night, from 7-Eleven,” she added.
Dani stirred the espresso she had ordered for dessert. “‘The body exists only to verify one’s own existence,’” she quoted.
“Stay” by コンシャスTHOUGHTS
“夕暮れsunset” by 豊平区民TOYOHIRAKUMIN
“とうｃｈ my へあｒｔ。” by 猫 シ Corp.