Nursery Slopes

One of the (supposedly) gentler arts is that of Therapist. Meet Charisma, Charisma is serious people. Charisma was not her birth name, but as she grew up, lived her mistakes and changed her name before coming to Buckloe, forgiveness for all that stuff is inherent.
To be ill around Charisma the Therapist is to invite full disappointment, not for her the weak, feeble or timid. She loves life, enjoys every precious second with arms open wide.
Illness is a symptom; a sign of blocked energy somewhere in the person’s mind, physical ways of living or energy diverted from dreams unfulfilled. Lost cat or dog? Remedy needed. Dead dog? What does this represent in your life? Cantankerous children? What part of you needs to play?
Charisma was able, brilliant and a total pain in the arse.
She knew this and had indeed applied various remedies, none seemed efficacious, and as a therapist she recognised the terrible potential of being unable to cure, as a human her recognition was more of personal loss and loneliness to come. In the meantime she resolved to continue to see if others noticed, if they didn’t she added this as a further symptom to whatever ailed them, if they did, she knew that whatever cure was needed was certainly near. In this, she felt herself to be the therapy equivalent of a mineshaft canary. Those in the know felt instead this to be further evidence of her being a pain in the arse.
Part of the Charisma school of therapy was that patients had invited in illness, she tried to be very careful about this, it wasn’t their fault, because fault like blame was bad, however (a good Charisma word) somehow they had made an invitation and illness had accepted. She could bang on for hours about vegetables, fruit and nourishing drinks that didn’t destroy body chemicals, here she would furrow her brow to really, no I mean really, express her distaste of those poisons tea and coffee.
She wasn’t faddy, that was too effete, she was bang on the money with this, after all who hadn’t seen those 70’s experiments with spiders spinning webs after caffeine? Tea has as much caffeine you know she’d rhetorically not question. She was able to be teased, the urchins would squeal ‘witch’ at her as she made her way from vegetarian restaurant to wholefood shop, she would wave fingers, threaten to turn them into frogs, they would squeal away quickly on small wheel bikes not sure if or when they would turn green.
Her long earrings represented long ears, the ability to hear. Her sensible cotton or wool clothing a back to nature movement. Her clients or patients respected her ideals, motives, even if they weren’t sure what the hell they were. Those who suspected she was a pain, colluded with this, they too gained a certain cachet at dinner parties: “oh, you see Charisma, tell me is it true?” and out would be trotted the rumours, innuendoes, half-truths that make up legend in small towns. The trick was to nod as if you knew the real truth but had been sworn to never reveal or even more cachet gathering to add ” and there’s more” but never ever reveal what that more could be.
Charisma guessed that these moments occurred and in her happier, saner moments regretted those she had wished as frogs, those who had failed her remedies, blandishments back to health. A prophet without cure is after all only a quack along with all others in the duck pond.
Charisma lived in genteel poverty, minimalism was a misnomer for her, whatever could be chucked, had been chucked and then those things, items, that needn’t be chucked had also been flung. The result in Feng shui terms was energy waiting to flow. The expert had been summoned at expense of hours sitting and really, really listening to clients woes. She had arrived, sniffed the air as one who knows odour and made pronouncements beyond the leaving of toilet seats down and the provision of chimes for visitors to tangle their hair in, pronouncements that hinted at great wondrous changes to come, had arranged plants, furniture and little mirrors to facilitate ‘flow’ Charisma had smiled, wanted a second opinion of course and then gently aided the feng shui professional to mental well being. Fee swaps never went amiss and were just so, so validating.
Luckily every now and then there was a cure, a reversal of fortune to smile over, rejoice in. Not that cure was hers; oh no, any joy that came arrived from the client. Theirs was the work the pain that had been endured, hers was only to guide the way, light possible trails. Charisma indeed was a pain in the arse.
Charisma had no partner, no man, no woman, no love thing that any person remotely interested could detect. She was alone. Not that she was lonely, she had ‘holism’ to comfort her. Newer ideas evolving from this fin de siecle had to be examined to see if they were worthy. Held to light as it were, scrutinised for worth value and healing, and if worthiness was lacking… she could discard with the best of fundamentalist/revisionist clerics in any face off.
Her home was Spartan, as only Sparta could have been after a visit from junkie thieves, not that it was without comfort, some was to be had, but a search was necessary first. Not for her the overstuffed couch, the widescreen t.v. And the remotes cluttering the floor for video, hi fi and on. Charisma was serious people, these plastic gadgets were for informing, aiding meditation or off to the charity shops they went with other detritus from the fag end of the 20th century.
Little old ladies who ran these places loved her, welcoming her into their little b.o. And wee smelling shops, they tried hard to mask this heady aroma with rose scents and cheap powders and wondered why the shop filled with Alzheimer victims who felt-but weren’t quite sure if they’d found home. Her goods sold well to unadventurous would be hippies, wool, cotton can always be died black. The difficulty with this for Charisma is that as had she bonded so deeply with her clothes, her obje’ts, many, many times she would bump metaphysically and physically into would be ‘love children’ dressed in black that she began to wonder if black clothing made its wearers clumsy or naturally clumsy people turned to black to hide bruises. Her obje’ts proudly displayed in new owners homes she visited would pronounce their homing instinct by shattering in pieces at her feet or would be used as ammunition in fights after her presence had gone. Charisma has that effect upon people, her serenity if better employed as a diplomatic weapon could have set enemies upon each other and saved billions on defence programmes.
There were those who wondered about the possibilities of entering into love with her, her clients felt love that is true, but not one had dared to rub close enough to her burning light. Would they fall and die as their wings melted? Would she talk to them of technique and timing as their technique and timing scrambled into the mess of no dignity that only love can really usher into relationship?
Truth be told, cowardice around Charisma was the more valiant option for those who dare not look inward in case they found what they thought was outward.
Dealing with money was to be her downfall. Money expects to have power, to be treated with kid gloves, to be conned into staying exactly where they are but with an appearance of movement. Charisma San Andreas’ faulted a she was could not do this, she shimmied, danced beautifully but eventually could not do anything but that for which she was designed; she kicked elegantly, expensive and expansive butt, hard. Fill in your own detail here, I’m sure you can imagine the story, the outrage.
Within days, stories of her earlier wild years in another town, stories of random violence on defenceless animals, failed attendance at AA meetings or attendance: Drunk. Drug parties with younger people in the dead of night, all totally unsubstantiated, all totally deniable, one denial suggests truth, more than two stories suggests truth…
Nobody won with this campaign; the rich maintain no dignity, but then how can they?
Charisma move a little down market, she avoided the ‘tell your fortune’ racket, though that was tempting as she developed wisdom and insight into the way of the world. The possibility of be-coined headress, anything but fun wear…honestly. She maintained dignity of a sort, the genteel poverty that losing does.
Charisma is a pain in the arse.


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