She was nothing, if not charming. A master conversationalist, she smiled, listened with presence, commented intelligently, and was comfortable when talk lulled into silence. It made her seem deep and interesting. And she had a great laugh!

When we went up to look at the room she hesitated at the door, and with a look of genuine concern she said there was one thing she hadn’t mentioned, and she hoped I could “deal with it”.

“What? The place is haunted”?

She made a painful attempt at a smile in response to my joke, and winced, “kinda”.

She opened the door, walked down the hall,  pointed to the room that would be mine, and said, “see for yourself”.

The walls were covered with graffiti, or more accurately :  chaos magic sigils. I had skimmed through some of Austin Osman Spares’ books while browsing through The Green Apple, – interesting stuff.

“Yannis said you would know what to do about all of this … I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about it sooner”.

I immediately understood what was going on, – or at least, I thought I did.

Her ex-boyfriend, the sigils, confiding her troubles in Yannis, and me … It all came together. She was genuinely spooked, and needed help. I needed a room. And Yannis got to be the fixer for both of us. Win, win, win!

“My fucking ex-boyfriend did this and it really scares me, … I think this shit really works”.

I was laughing on the inside, but I managed to give her a concerned, knowing look.

“His trust fund was running out, and he started doing this stuff and the next thing you know he got a great job, and bought a house … please tell me you can deal with it”.

“I know just what to do”.

I gave her the deposit money and first month’s rent. She handed me a key, and left to go have dinner with friends.

I walked across the street to the Chinese convenience  store, bought a can of bone white primer, a roller brush and pan. Standing in front of the cash register, I thought of Kevin Kataoka’s joke, and laughed as I paid the bill. I really could have gotten, (what was it?) : a goose down vest, a velvet painting of Elvis, and pack of Red Vines ?

Back in the apartment I set myself to work. Using the task at hand as a chance to practice Mindfulness. I carefully opened the can of primmer and stirred it around first clockwise, then counter clockwise. I hadn’t taken the time to put down any old news paper, or anything, and I noticed that the carpet was brand new; so I took extra care not to spill or drip as I rolled the fresh brush into the thick, bone white paint.

Now, – what was I dealing with?

On the North wall there was one “magic markered” sigil. On the East was another, the South wall had two, and on the West, – three. I stood in the middle of the room, centered myself and took a deep breath; then it occurred to me to close the door, – where I found  five more magic sigils arranged to form the points of a pentagram.

One, one, two, three, five. The Fibonacci sequence. Hmph, whatever he was doing, he put a lot of thought into it …

It only took me a few minutes to finish the job. I could have used a brush for the door, but I made do with the roller, and it turned out fine.

I’m a wizard!


Not too many people in Micky D’s this morning. Just the table of old guys that meet here every morning, and the other regulars reading the morning paper.

Maybe I’ll get my hair cut and get a better job. Maybe not. My hair is getting down past my shoulders and the beard, (not be out-done) is making a come-back.

I don’t know, I might get a hair cut on Friday.

I want to order Doug Stanhope’s new book, but I also want to get The Open Source Intelligence Manifesto .

Maybe I’ll get both.


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