New Age

May 3, 2013

I spent the night in a cottage in the town of Mount Shasta. In the morning Jill let me pull two radishes from her garden. Magic radishes. Obviously. She didn’t even have to tell me.
I walked to town via a shortcut: behind the library and around the side of the the art bus a plank walk winds its way through marshland and connects houses at the base of the mountain to the shops and motels on the main drag.
At Berryvale Grocery I tried to be patient and kind while a crippled old man in anarchist black canvas slowly purchased and packed two quarts of ice cream and a slice of cheesecake while the glossy lipped high off-centered pony tailed young woman rang him up and talk-shouted encouragement. From my vantage point both the ice cream and cake went into the backpack on their sides but I was in no mood to intercede. Like everyone else in Shasta I was calm on the outside, burning with rage on the inside. Because New Agers are frustrating to everyone including themselves.
The strange and terrifying thing was that no one noticed I was a tourist, fresh from the road, newly peeled from the chic modern culture of Portland OR. On the contrary I seemed to blend right in with my beret and blazer. When did I become this woman? And why don’t I care?

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