The Journal of Desiree Onasis: Entry One
The following is the first journal entry of Desiree Onasis, as it follows events in Case Five: Embodiment. Please listen to the episode first. You can listen to the latest episodes of Kalila Stormfire's Economical Magick Services wherever you get your podcasts.
Today is October 9th. I am at the ER. First of all I hate hospitals, and second of all I hate the fact that I have no other option but to come here.
I can’t feel anything. Not the pen in my hand, not the floor under my legs. Not, like, dissociation where I only feel muted sensations...but real, true numbness. I thought it was just body weirdness. You know, my dysphoria coming back around in a scarier form. I was positive I was just imagining things. I thought I could ignore it and it would go away. But I’m scared. Could I have done something to paralyze myself? I can still move and stuff but it’s all too much. I’ve heard of things like this where people can’t feel pain, but I can’t feel anything.
They’re calling my name. We’ll see if this becomes the disaster I am afraid it’s going to be.
And of course the doctors are no use here. They’re think I’m faking or I’ve taken drugs or some shit. Of course I’m distrusted by some white cis folks who think their white tower PhD makes them experts on every human.
Gods, being angry about it isn’t going to help. I just don’t know what to do. What is going to happen to me?
Okay, first of all I’m okay. Also, thank the gods for the gallery’s insurance policy. A new doc, Dr. Grand came over after the PA had started to suggest a psych eval. Which...yeah, I was trying my best not to cry and yell at the same time. Managed to make the crying minimal through explaining that I knew they were out of their league with whatever was going on with me.
Dr. Grand asked to look at my file, and then looked me in the eye and asked if I had done any magick recently. I was silent for a second because none of the others had asked me about supernatural causes. Hell, I didn’t even think it could have been it. I told her that I only do the occasional tarot reading and astral projection. As soon as I said that, both of us realized what was up.
I explained that I had been working on more and more complex astral projection techniques. I guess looking back on the last time I returned from a trance I did feel my feet had gone to sleep. What I didn’t realize was they never actually woke back up again. It was only the morning after that I started to notice I couldn’t feel my own face when I showered.
She did a couple more tests which revealed a whole lot of nothing. Unfortunately, their resident witch was out of town. They don’t get a lot of magickal maladies anyway--what with the ad hoc restrictions from the Grand Coven influencing the types of magick done within city limits. Dr. Grand said I could come back tomorrow when the witch was back or get in contact with a friend of hers, who was also qualified to do magickal checks.
Given my experience, I asked for more information about this witch friend. Dr. Grand gave me a phone number. Their friend is named Kalila Agnihotri. She runs a business called “Kalila Stormfire’s Economic Magick Services”. The address isn’t that far from where I used to live with the Lupaviejas. It’s been a while since I checked up on the pack, actually. It was nice to move out and not have to worry about locking myself in the basement overnight so Jorge and Pritya and all of their werewolf siblings could roam untethered. Cheap housing always has its downsides, but on the other hand they were very clean roommates.
Dr. Grand apologized on behalf of her colleagues and told me that this witch friend of hers has experience with magickal maladies of all sorts. Also that Kalila “Stormfire” Agnihotri is bisexual with Cuban and Indian ancestry and would likely “be more sensitive” to my needs. I decided to call them up and not return to Brushland Medical unless I have to. A witch living in Southside is less likely to turn their nose up at someone who looks like me and has symptoms like mine. Well, depends on if they are in the Grand Coven. Some of those folks disagree with non-initiates doing higher levels of energy work. They can get a bit elitist, to be honest.
So I’m home now and I’m going to see if it’s worth my while to make an appointment for tomorrow morning. I’ll have to take the bus again. Not like my trashcan on wheels is any more reliable but I don’t trust myself driving when I can’t feel anything.
I really hope this Kalila knows what they’re doing. I’m going to call them now.
I don’t believe in miracles, but I do believe in divine guidance. The goddess Herself showed up to drop kick my soul back into my body. Kalila was surprisingly cool about everything, didn’t even bring up the fact that I do astral projection without a formally recognized coven. I felt, well, maybe not totally comfortable but she looked at me and treated me like a whole person. She didn’t talk down to me, like a lot of healers and medical professionals do. She’s not affiliated with the Grand Coven, either, which is a plus. I felt like I could, maybe, trust her with this thing at least.
Though, I wonder what problem Kalila has with Aphrodite. Aphrodite used her initiated title like a pet name, which seemed born of much more familiarity than Kalila was willing to accept. Kalila admitted later that she’d worked with Aphrodite in the past but didn’t seem eager to explain any further. I tried to ask the goddess afterwards but, as usual, She was coy and vague. I asked if it had to do with me or how Aphrodite appeared around me (most people don’t recognize Her as anything but white and blonde), but the goddess said no and that it had to do with Her relationship with Kalila. Said something about Kalila needing a break from her duties.
There was definitely a whole spurned lover feel about the whole thing.
Anyway, I don’t remember most of what happened in the ritual itself except my hand feeling like it was being stretched apart like putty. Everything feels so much heavier now. Kalila said it was to be expected and to let her know if it becomes more painful than necessary.
Not sure what that woman means by “necessary pain”, but I gotta say I do have a thing for ladies who have a sadistic side to their empathy. She was cute, which doesn’t hurt for having put my body through a significant amount of pain. Though, she did take quite a bit of it into herself. More than I would expect, actually. That was...unexpectedly compassionate. Regardless, I don’t have time for flirting when I’ve got these tedious therapeutic exercises to run to make sure my soul stitches back into place properly. Plus flirting with your healer seems a little unethical.
I really hope this all works quickly. The gallery has been slammed with Samhain festival planning. I’ve got two artists who think they’re hot shit and fighting over wall locations. Barely have my own time in the studio to sit and do some painting. Every time I’ve gone up into the astral, some ancestor has asked for their portrait. Edmonia Lewis, blessed ancestor of spirit, has been particularly...annoying about it. I don’t even do sculpture! Ugh. Also, Aphrodite keeps going on about how the beauty of art should tell me how to dive deeper into my past. That it’s okay to break the definitions of what is or is not considered art, and maybe some of my history and family history can help reframe that idea. I love Her, I truly do, because She’s the first god to step up and show me that I can be beautiful and make beauty and look and act and be who I am. She was the first god to admit that the gods must be decolonized, too. But She is sometimes more persistent than necessary. And on top of everything else, my sister has been calling and trying get me down for dinner some weekend soon.
There’s just...a lot and I hope this bit of healing is helping me turn a corner.