Vampires, faeries, ghosts and witches live among us. Psychic vampire goth scenesters. Radical faerie nature homos. Iridescent ghost hallucinations: my favorite Schizoaffective psychosis. Los Angeles seethes with Wiccan witches. I left Hollywood for Nevada. A solitary witch surrounded by ghosts.
My domestic partner committed suicide seven years ago. I would give all of this splendor I don’t feel like I deserve to have her back. I google, “Coping with suicide.” Weep at the results. Shock. Self-blame. Guilt. Stigma. All of this. Tears flow down my face like the Dame Darcy Queen of Swords Tarot card I wanted to have tattooed on my arm. A widow or woman of sorrow who once knew pleasure.
I go to the secret room at the end of the hall as if called there. Light incense surrounded by Byzantine blowjob paintings. Sit on white velvet pillows before my grief altar. I light a red candle. My wife’s green painted eyes across the altar stare deep into my soul.
“I forgive and I am forgiven,” I say. “I forgive you, Katie for taking all of my pills and dying with no pants on on the bed I still sleep on. Forgive me for not doing the same weeks or months after you. For still being alive who you are not. For the audacity of finding sobriety, creative success and unexpected prosperity after your death. I know my living a good life now is offensive to those who do not realize that this was not due to your death but because my only other choice was my own death. Forgive me, please, for surviving.”
Katie’s ghost in my mind whispers, “Yes, my love. I forgive you.” Is my madness only telling me what I want to hear? I don’t care.
I cry all the tears. Set my palm on her painted forehead. In the dark: forgiveness and renewal flows between us.
Andrea Lambert is the author of Jet Set Desolate, Lorazepam & the Valley of Skin: Extrapolations on Los Angeles and the chapbooks G(u)ilt and Lexapro Diary. Anthologies: Impact, Golden State 2017, Haunting Muses, Writing the Walls Down and elsewhere. Her food essay series “Dining with a Cursed Bloodline.” appears monthly in Entropy Magazine. Writing in Luna Luna Magazine, OCCULUM Journal, Grimoire and elsewhere. Twitter: @AndreaLamber. Site: https://andreaklambert.com.