As I prepared the table for summoning the spirit, I had the false memory of holding a small cedar box in my hands. Even though I had not uncapped the bottle yet, I could smell the wood. I noted the hint, filed it under “optional”, and went on with the summoning of the spirit.
After speaking the summoning phrase, the chamber appeared to darken and extend. The room was filled with a heavy presence that I could either ascribe to the day’s heat already at work or my subconscious trying to trick myself again.
I noted a heavy weight on my face. The scent of cedar intensified. Wary, I did not accept the scant clues I was given and demanded that any spirit present both identify themselves and prove their declared identity.
Even with my eyes wide open, I saw something like the shade of a man superimposed on the occupied table before me. The shade lifted his right hand and made a gesture that caused the ring on the right pinky finger to catch the light from the physical and burning candles. Even though the symbols are still indistinct to me, I recognized the ring.
Because I still don’t have a functioning sense of self-preservation, I duplicated the gesture with my own right hand. I felt the weight of the ring settle on my unadorned pinky finger and the scent of cedar completely wrapped around me.
«Let this be between us.»
“Aye. I’m sure I’ll learn what the gesture is for in due time. But for now, dear [Patient Caller], tell me about the ring.”
«Let us return to your purpose.»
“For fuck’s sake, this isn’t talk therapy time!”
«No, but I shall prescribe a treatment for you anyway. Take up a habit of prayer, to be performed four times a day. When you wake, at the height of the day, in the evening, and at night when you lay for rest. Whichever hour and timing is most compatible with your duties and obligations will be appropriate.»
I had no words, initially. What words did eventually come to my mind were plentiful and improper for all but the least polite of settings. After allowing those mental horses to run their field, I finally found more civil words to drop on the floor.
“I’m not Christian.”
«That has not stopped you from praying to [God] before or after your apostasy.»
“Those were specific instances for specific goals. Besides, I’m not beholden to any god.”
«The prescription is not worship. Only prayer.»
Only a word I still do not understand the meaning of and an action that continues to elude me. “Prayer for what, then? The ability to accept the things I cannot change?“
«Prayer for engagement and connection, as that is what you need to learn if you are going to continue after your obligation ends. If you require inspiration, may I suggest [this task that you have been dodging for a while already]?»
One day, I’m gonna make that spirit physically manifest for the sole purpose of cleaning his clock.
“My morning is getting pretty damn crowded. I’m going to have to start getting up at midnight to get everything done in time for me to go to work.”
«If your prayer is short and focused enough, you can use it as your mantra for your meditation work. Which you should not drop.»
I could think of a lot of things I wanted to drop at that moment. However, I did state my intent for this month was to change whatever in me needed to be changed to deal with my life in a constructive manner with the help of this spirit. I already know the consequences of doing nothing. What’s the worst that could happen? I develop patience or some shit?
“Okay. I’ll see what I can do.”
«Tomorrow, if it is not too much of a burden and by the allowance of your grace, I will speak of the ring.»
It was with clenched teeth that I gave the license to depart, sent him away, and closed the ritual.
being reminded that I asked for this shit: 11 minutes.