I’m never going to see that hoodie again am I? You’re such a girl.
“You will never see it again,” I thought, lovingly wrapping my banishing and hexing altar with it months later. “Because I’m such a mage, you arrogant fuck”. But then he never took my gender or magic seriously. Foolish, when I had access to so much of his shit. Still, the significance of the item of clothing being the end of black life was never far from my mind. It served as a tone correct reminder that this wasn’t about punishing him. He was already leading a life that didn’t beg for the waste of materials and ultimately, he amounted to nothing more than a bare symptom. Oozing like a rash of unchecked internalized racial oppression and mental health neglect, his nature was never hidden from my perception. What had been the incantation I myself had uttered that led me to walk away from my power and into a glade of straight black man’s poison? I placed the proxy of me on the altar—A paintbrush of my grandmother’s, wrapped in hair that had fallen out as I was breaking up with him, also hair that had fallen out while as I was transforming into They, witchgrass for psychic protection, all bound in the strings of the hoodie.
I lit my ancestors’ candle, closed my eyes, and with a terrifying immediacy fell into a spirit dream.
The now condemned house of my childhood stood before me. It has always appeared in dreams sent by my ancestors as the site of information exchange between us. This time, however, every version of the house I’d ever seen fought to exist at once. Happy childhood porch, scorn laden teenage front door, adult rage/grief stricken driveway drenched in a warped sun all shook as many, snapping at the edges of one another in conflict. The house(s) jumped and flared greenish blue like corrupted VHS. As I walked inside the unstable setting, a living darkness bore down upon me. The vestibule whirled around like the image of it was made of locusts failing to settle long enough to make the entry solid. Calmly, I walked through swarming masses of house memory to the kitchen, situated in the very back.
Usually, I go through the back door, to a four way exit—Upstairs to my grandmother’s, downstairs to the basement, out to the backyard, or to the driveway leading to the front. Each symbolic of the crossroads of present earth between heaven, hell, past, and future. This time, I turned toward the bathroom. An old terror that I’d lost the description for crept over my heart. Once inside, I locked the door, walked past our small bathroom window. There framed was a giant white morning glory—a favorite flower of my grandmother’s to grow—solid state in the chaos, buzzing to have my attention. I sat down in the tub to look at the flower and half my sight went black. Unintelligible screaming erupted outside the bathroom door and a ringing overcame me that transformed me into a glitch between my present and child self. Clutching my head, I bowed into the tub, losing sight of the flower altogether.
The bathroom was the only door in the house that would lock. I remember being as young as seven-years-old and running in it to hide from my older, fully white, cis-het brother’s abuse. Outside the door, he would scream endless slurs and obscenities. I screamed back until I lost the will to defend myself. Exhausted, voiceless, and defenseless except for a thin brown door he would one day kick his way through, I would crawl to the tub, sob, and pray to:
Not feel anymore.
Not see anymore.
Not to hear anymore.
So damn plain, when I opened my eyes and came out of the dream, was the crudely childmade curse that bound me. Sanctuary I’d taken away from the virulent and unrelenting abuse of white supremacy had become solitary confinement. I picked up my proxy self and began to cut the cords
I’m so surprised that a cishet black man actually loves me
As the hoodie strings, hair, and witchgrass dropped into the metal pan, I shuddered at that thought. It had occurred just outside of my own reason’s hearing at the beginning of the relationship, just before I became They. I also thought about how I’d waited such a long time to turn my whole heart toward my own identify largely because I couldn’t convince myself that abandoning she was not the same as abandoning black womxn. As I set fire to the debris, the night I finally did came to mind. I had gone to his house after making the realization and my mercury dime—a protective tripwire meant to indicate spiritual attack and danger when discolored—snapped. After informing him that I was leaving, I made my exit in the wake of his unmitigated rage that I had chosen to listen to my ancestors and leave.
I watched for half an hour as the curse burned riotously. Annoyed at the insistence of the issue at taking up space even in death, I doused the flames with ancestor water, rolled the remains in the hoodie, and ditched the mess in a garbage off property. Later on, feeling a new rush of ease pouring into my heart, I swore down on the brownie I was consuming that from then on, I would only evuh consider dating cis or trans people that identify as men if they also identify as queer.