Sometimes, Black Philip is a Tiny Goat in Your Shopping Cart

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I was dreaming/sleep walking a few nights ago. Jow had went to the loo in the middle of the night and when he came back, I was standing, wrapping myself in a sheet from the bed. He said he was worried I was mad about something and was going to sleep on the couch.

But apparently, even still asleep, I had the presence of mind to say, I’m still dreaming. And, I’ve got this.

All I remember in the dream is shopping and trying to find a dress and I bought a black baby mini goat who had tiny horns.

When he was in the cart, he would jump out and run. When I was holding him to my skin, he would sleep and stay. I was worried I didn’t know what to feed him or that he couldn’t be litter trained or he would be difficult with Max II. Whenever I was worried or he was in the cart, he would bolt and I would have to chase him. My sister bought a baby Pygmy goat and she wasn’t worried. Her goat sat calmly and well behaved in the cart.

That day, there was much discussion about this dream.  My sister was doing victory laps about her annoyingly well behaved goat.  Jow is too deep in the forest of nursing board study to do anything but pat my arm. Some of my inner circle was like, holy shit!  You sleep walk????  And were suitably impressed/dismayed when I said, oh yeah.  Also sometimes I hit if I’m fighting something in a dream, sometimes I scream out loud and sometimes I laugh reallllllly creepily as I’ve been told by several partners.  I also pull my nose ring out in my sleep too!  I’m super fun.  MFH pondered if the goats could be responsibility.  A2 immediately thought about Black Philip along with Amazon (who called my goat “chibi BP”).  Amazon is really patient with long, windy internal workings so eventually we came to wonder if CBP was representing actual delicious living to me.  When I freak or don’t wrap CBP in a cloth goat-sling, CBP bolts.  When I’m calm or wearing my goat baby, everything’s cool.

I started thinking about how off-track my brain has gotten in this last year with both myself and Jow burning and churning through his last year of nursing school.  In a way, I envied him – he was essentially doing his version of my NannyLife – grinding as hard as he could working nearly full time and going to school full time and studying, studying, studying.  When I would say “we” in reference to finishing school, I always felt like the other party gave a quiet eye roll which made me uber defensive.  Because here’s the thing – I already have fibro, I’m working a full time + job in corporate (where I pick up some of our household’s financial slack and give us bennies and savings for our future), I have my writing career, my witchy teaching career, my shop and I picked up more of the second shift at home.  No, I’m not studying, but on what planet is this not a team effort?  His side (from this side) sometimes seems like a cozy cocoon of internalized distress where you only have a couple things to manage.  Like tax season.  I love tax season for that very reason.

My brain has become ridiculously Neo-Puritanical with lots of ruts that go with that.  NO FUN FOOD, NO WINE, NO FUN CREATING, NO FUN KINDS OF EXERCISE, NO FUN WRITING, NO FUN SOCIALIZING.  Like, the real Puritans weren’t about that life.  They loved red stockings, playing games, drinking beer and suing each other when they got on each other’s nerves.  They worked hard, but they enjoyed life too.

My NPB (Neo-Puritan Brain) needed to be let off the leash, I realized.  Unless I wanted to start conducting a full orchestra while still asleep, I needed to get my shit together.  So I chose this weekend to do so.

So Friday night, I went to the new gym (read: Would Be Country Club for Kindof Poors) and it was everything I wanted it to be and honestly even more.

A gorgeous yoga wing. A dedicated barre studio. Lots of different classes. Lots of weight things. Lots of cardio machines. A coffee shop. Lounges. A cafe. Indoor lap pools. Outdoor lap pools. Lots and lots of towels. Lots of lounge chairs. A salon.

An amazing locker room with a steam bath, sauna and hot tub. Marble showers with everything you could need to take a really good shower with high quality bath goods. Everything is super clean and well maintained to a Korean spa level.

The young woman showing me around was so pretty and treated me…me and A2 say “like a person”. But we mean something really specific by that. We mean like a high end salesperson- someone who is not trying to upsell you, someone who is knowledgeable and someone with impeccable manners who treats everyone the same because you never really know who has money anymore, really. She knew I was there through PeerFit and she is working just as hard if not harder for me than someone dropping a ton of money through “standard” membership.

I found a lounge chair in the shade no problem and I listened to my book.

And then I decided to actually swim laps in the lap pool. I can’t remember the last time I’ve actually swam laps. Five years?  Maybe ten?  I used to live in my bath suit and in a pool if I wasn’t on roller skates. Like. I bought roller skates a couple years ago off amazon drunk on Campari. Now I want to actually use them.  There’s an outdoor skating park near my house I could use…especially if I was up early.  Jow agreed to be my skating spotter and to do it early so youngs will still be asleep and won’t point and laugh at me.

Anyway. Swimming laps kicked my ass in the best way. My bones felt slightly melted.  I just ordered goggles and water proof headphones off the intertubes, blatantly copying off of the young woman in the lane next to me.   I want to start doing swimming laps regularly.  Then I decided to go down the water slide, which is also something I loved to do as a kid. The kids were all excitedly dancing around me, excited to go. They seemed doubtful about me doing it but accepting enough. It was so fun!  I’m glad I did it.

After that, I went back in to do a round of hot tub/sauna/steam in the ladies’s locker room and took a shower with the nice rain shower head.

When I left, I felt like a battery had been recharged and crows sang to me in the parking lot.

Jow (went out with friends) and left me money for dinner. I went to Whole Foods and got the seafood salad that reminds me of Sicily but I always thought was too expensive and some yummy gematelli pasta with zucchini and prosciutto. I got a fresh ripe peach and a tiny espresso tart for dessert.  That night along with last night at a friend’s fortieth –  a lovely outdoor garden/patio party with beer, la Croix,   shrimp boil, melon and prosciutto, tiny sandwiches, cold soup shooters, bbq . . .just gorgeous and chill..  They had a big wading pool and mister that the kids splashed around in with the adults.  Every time I see Friends’ kid (he’s 4 now), I fall more in love with him!  I reminded him that I hung out with him and (his) mommy and daddy before and either he actually remembered me (impressive) or felt that was sufficient information to put me immediately to work – getting the straw into his sip box, refilling his plate, taking him to the bathroom, going in the pool together.  He shied away from the other girls and would press his little self to my arms and hug me, face first into my boobs.  I *miss* all that so much.  Not in a I NEED A BABY sort of way (Jow reassured me that he was sure that Bob and Gloria would lend him to me before I finished asking lol) but I miss that being my job.  I miss feeling connected that way and how calm it makes my brain (also with the knowledge I get to go home).  My sister and nephew came and fed us full of s’more cups and let us hug and kiss them.

I don’t generally think of myself as a super introvert, but I definitely need more “leave me the fuck alone” time than most people (often including myself) think.  Jow always thinks he needs almost 24/7 LMtFAT.  But we had also gotten used to working schedules that were just different enough that we both had solo LMtFAT where I could go shopping or dawdle excessively at the gym or you know, write something.  Since January, our schedules were almost completely matched.  Since summer they have been completely matched.  Also, I’m still marked up af from fighting off terrible poison ivy literally all summer and I have been taking great grim joy in murdering the shit out of it for the last few weeks.  Try being the Dowager of Occult Glam covered in poison ivy still for months even after taking prednisone.  I will blog about that when it doesn’t make me want to just howl like my favorite toddler does.

I find that now that I don’t feel completely burnt out, I want to write more so we’ll see where that takes us!

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


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