Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Exorcism of Christina

The first thing Jenni talked me about as she picked me up from the airport was Christina. She was irritated about the amount of noise she made and how much she walked around at night.

I was puzzled. “I didn’t think you had a roommate.”

“Oh, I don’t,” she said. “Christina is the ghost that lives in my apartment. You & Kate are going to help me get rid of her.”

Over dinner that first night, Kate & I discussed upping Jenni’s prescriptions.

Jenni was so convinced that Christina was among us that she had already looked into an exorcism ritual which we were going to do after Primanti’s sandwiches the next day.

I don’t think Jenni is a heavy sleeper. Every noise or creak had her shouting from her pillow, “Did you hear that?” On my 3 AM bathroom run, I was greeted with a “Steve, is that you?....
or is it you, Christina?”

Now we tried to explain to Jenni the next morning that her building was old; it most likely had pipes and boards that were adjusting in their old age. Buildings will settle into their foundations over time. Plus, most of the other tenants were right out of college and stayed up to all hours.

Jenni would have no part of this and reported the plan. “Tomorrow, we will buy the exorcism supplies and drive that bitch out.”

“What supplies are we getting?” I asked.

Jenni consulted her list. “Sage and Lemon Grass.”

“Umm, are we exorcising a demon or making stuffing?” Kate asked. For the record, I opted for stuffing.

Later that afternoon, we found ourselves in the Penzey’s spice store. If you don’t know already, Penzey’s has some of the best spices. We buy all our seasonings from there, for cooking and well, now exorcisms too.

“Can you please show me where the whole leaf sage is?” Jenni asked. For some reason, I had pictured this scene to take place in a dark alley of a backstreet market with some 80-year Asian woman helping us. Instead, we have Scott, clad in his green apron, walking us through carefully organized displays.

Jenni grabbed a large bag indicating that it would need a lot of rid ourselves of Christina. “I don’t know how fast it will burn and we have to go through each room with the burning leaves.” I begin formulating my story for the fire department.

As she checked out, I asked Jenni about the small bottle of lemon grass on the counter. She turned around and said quietly that the lemon grass is to welcome the good spirits. (And with 17 boxes of pharmaceutical supplies in your neighbor’s lobby, this is needed for good spirits.)

On a way out, Scott asked if we wanted a catalog. I looked back at him. “Probably not. Trust me when I say that these are not being used for you think they are.”

Scott looked around to make sure none of his colleagues were listening. “Dude, there are some bizarre people out there.”

If he only knew.



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