This story is based on true events, without sugar coating it or adding any extra excitment here is what happened to me.
One could say that my Caribbean roots and thick accent was the stereotypical motive for calling me a witch. Perhaps this idea had to do with those Miss Cleo commercials from the 90s which added both ridiculousness and witchcraft to my name. For many the only way to authenticate a true Caribbean voice was to belt out the tagline call me now for your free tarot reading. While they were only jesting for their own amusement on my expense, it wasn’t the first time I was called a witch, as I vividly recall the first few times the word was thrown my way was in high school. I couldn’t for the life of me begin to understand why anyone would call me a witch back then. I was a very shy and unpopular student, who feared public embarrassment from peers more than death. I never talked about curses, spells or black magic; and no one ever heard me claim to be a witch, but still I was called one. While deep down inside I always thought witchcraft to be cool and artful, I didn’t believe in magic. If I couldn’t see, taste, or touch it no amount of concentration would make me believe in anything that wasn’t physical. For me being called a witch was linked to one other element that society shunned. The only people we knew at the time who came close to being real witches were odd anti-social individuals whose lifestyle was collectively summed up as eccentric. Eccentrism was almost always linked to some form of madness that everyone did their best to avoid, so calling me a witch was carefully highlighting my mental wellbeing and the vast difference in my personality that couldn’t truly be appreciated as a child.
What is a witch? A witch for me was always defined as a woman who casts spells whether good or bad. She kept to herself, had a demon or spirit trapped in an animal’s body follow her around, and held a particular distaste for young children. To me witches were unusual women with nasty attitudes and ugly appearance. For the powers they held so close to their hearts an offering of their youth and beauty was always required. If ever a witch was beautiful, the idea of the devil being involved in her aesthetic appeal always came to mind. I often imagined that witches lived on the outskirts of a town or village; where the residences would secretly visit her for good luck charm, voodoo dolls, and love spell; but no one would ever admit to acquiring her services. If she didn’t live alone she would cohabitate with other likeminded women or live in close proximity to each other in groups of 13 forming a coven. No male presence was ever seen around them, which caused the wild imagination of onlookers to deem their childless and man less state an incredible sin.
For me it all started when I was 18 years old shortly after moving away from my childhood home. Perhaps everything begins when a great change in life occurs, and the greatest change for any was that slow painful realization that their childhood as slipping away from them.
To be continued…