Inside the Davenport Cabinet


I don’t know what to serve up today.

Should I talk about the guy who reeked of cologne and shook in the chair next to me when he sat down to figure out the IP addresses to reconnect our copier?  Should I talk about the guy twice our age who was all smarm who was trying to ingratiate himself with us in order to sell us carpet?  Should I talk about the anxiety I feel about not being able to complete this after spending an hour on the phone with my mentor and monkeying around with old festival space allotment numbers so that – or not that I can’t complete writing this, but that I can’t spend 20 minutes cleaning my room because I want so much to keep making progress and I worry because I know that even letting it lapse for one day means that I start to unravel my caring about it at all.

I would like things to be getting better, not worse.

You would like to think we’re getting to the point where doing this would be not unlike pushing a button.

My aunt, the psychic, relayed a gallery reading she attended where my grandmother showed up.  It is coming up in a few months on a year since she’s been gone.  I would think it would feel like a thousand years to my grandfather who is essentially in their old house, twenty minutes away from any real civilization, and who now only has my kind, but rather curmudgeonly uncle to look after him (apart from a nurse a few times a week) and nobody to give him the real gossip.

It’s been, as the old lingo used to go when John Edward was in his primacy, and you could put that kind of light entertainment on television on at all hours and people would be gripped by it, a year since she crossed over.  The shaman I saw in January who assured me that I would have all the things I wanted in love (but not this year, oh, clever she was) said that my grandmother had to look after everyone, had to still keep up her appointments even in the beyond.  Which sounds exactly like her.  Now, this psychic who might have some method of knowing this outside of a metaphysical cognition or…might not, said that she was up there with relatives and looking after my grandfather.  It was nice to hear, to contemplate.

Long before the gimmicks and the Davenport Brothers’ spirit cabinet was revealed for what it is, my mother watched John Edward faithfully.  It was never made clear in a way that a few more years of empathetic regard and understanding have since illuminated, but she was always looking for signs that her mother, who had passed almost twenty years ago now, could still connect.  That need for connection, I’ve always felt, overpowers the “truth” of these matters.  We want love, we want the first, best love, and we will do whatever dance needs doing to draw down that moon a little closer.  Even fool ourselves.

As for my aunt’s psychic ability, it’s truly not for me to say.  I only know the strange things that I’ve encountered and experienced over the years that make me both believe and disbelieve.  A skeptical mystic.  I want to believe is the thing.

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