Go big or do nothing at all

I pop in to see Bakerman after work to cheer him up and to check on how sick he really is. Het is not going well at all, temperature running high and a vague expression on his face. His body and his entire being is clearing his energy field of all the negativity that has accumulated. What I am about to hear is going to call the beginning of a brand-new era in our lives.

“Oh hi,” I greet him as I bustle into his bakery atelier. “My conf call turned out to be postponed. And I’m a bit late.”

“Better than never,” Bakerman smiles meekly, happy to see me.

“So my mother, positive evolution?” I ask him cutting straight to the chase.

“I am going to have a slice of cake and a big cup of tea now,” Bakerman skuttles around his workplace slowly gathering deliciously smelling items. “Do you want some?”

“Yesss please. Chocolate cake?” I am looking around at all the tempting things he has concocted. “Wim is going to start a blog too now. Fun huh.”

“I don’t know,” Bakerman has his back to me as he is shaking and trying carefully to prepare two big mugs of fresh tea. “My job is to help you look at alternatives instead of a single point of view that may or may not be correct.”

“Mmmm lost me,” I sigh as I take a big bite of the chocolate creamy cake he just placed in front of me. “Great cake though.”

“What was the whole reading for your mom?” Bakerman turns to face me now holding out a hot steamy mug of tea. I accept his offer quickly afraid he might spill half of the hot brew in his clumsy sickness.

“She’s financially well off but can’t see it,” I start recounting what the story of my wild unknown tarot cards. “She reaps what she sows with me and my brother. Too much in control. A big change is coming, sudden. And she’ll be upset. But it’s a blessing in disguise. In two years she will meet a new love interest. I told her to do AirBnB for extra income. Or English conversation. Or cake workshops. How to make a blue cake for instance. Hope renewed. Connect to the force within.”

“Was she not an accountant or something?” Bakerman asks as he slowly stirs his tea with a small dainty spoon.

“No she was an administrative assistant at the army,” I tell him. That translates into less than a secretary. “She liked to pretend she was very important.”

“Oh,” Bakerman shrugs as he takes a first sip of his tea.

“And she liked to copy the military,” I could go on forever on details regarding my mother. “She said she never saved for her pension. Can anybody really be so reckless?”

“Yes sure,” Bakerman nods at me unblinkingly.

“She says she only has one income,” I go over the inconsistencies with my best friend. “Does this mean my brother doesn’t contribute to paying the costs of living at home?”

“Of course not,” Bakerman laughs. “Your mother should have put him in a special nursing home years ago.”

“Haha,” I enjoy a good laugh. “Yes she should. I think he only works part time. Lazy sod.”

“The best way to treat your brother is to get him help in finding a job and keeping it then throw him out,” Bakerman eyes me coolly from his puffy red face.

“My mother will never throw him out,” I shake my head looking down at the tea mug resting in my lap. “I told her she should get him to move on. But always excuses.”

“She knows he can’t survive on his own,” Bakerman mocks.

“Yup,” I sigh.

“Make sure you teach your kids the value in achievement,” Bakerman warns me.

“I do all the time,” I smile back at him. “And they do chores.”

“Discipline is very good for kids,” Bakerman confirms.

“Yes I dont want morons like my brother,” I pull a funny face as I think of that genetic failure.

“Does he know he is the village idiot in Turnpoint Mountains?” Bakerman hears all the gossip in town as people come and go in his bakery. “There is another one very similar in Emelo Woods too. Guy is 40 and never worked a day in his life. Lived at home from birth.”

“I don’t think so,” I go on thinking deeply. My mother would have said something if it were the case. “Some call him ‘bambi’. My mother thinks that’s endearing somehow.”

“You should tell him,” Bakerman urges me. his fever clearly rising inside of him. “The whole village knows about him and laughs at him.”

“The village thinks he’s a little old man,” I tell him about the rumours I have heard. “They think he’s my mom’s boyfriend. Nobody believes me when I tell them he’s my brother. They laugh when I say he’s my younger brother. Incredible.”

“It was suggested once that I should offer free treatment for him,” Bakerman is holding my gaze. I remember him offering to talk to my brother last year, but that was the other brother.

“Yes you should,” I push him a little. I’m starting to wonder how much of the fever is actually doing the talking.

“No,” Bakerman shakes his head resolutely. “Incest cases are not my thing.”

“How is he involved in incest?” I am shocked to my core. Is there a simple way to talk to a man delirious with fever? “You mean with my mother? Now it is weird how they live together. Go on vacation together.”

“Who knows the truth,” Bakerman shrugs. “Such is the rumour.”

“Sleep in same bed on vacation,” I go over the weird evidence accumulating under my unbelieving eyes. “It is the rumour, I know. But it can’t be true.”

“Why not? I had a case like this long ago,” Bakerman remembers sourly. “Father and son were fighting all the time. Fist fighting and father couldn’t figure it out. Son was fucking mother and became possessive. Mother preferred fucking son. Son is now living in a mental institution as he is screwed up from this. Both parents are dead now. He has been a basket case for years. Hated having to submit a report to the authorities.”

“Oh my that sounds bad,” I shake my head. I know I can’t cope with even hearing about such things. I’d rather live in my peaceful little world, without drama and terrible stories only my birth family could come up with. “I couldn’t cope with cases like that.”

“Yes,” Bakerman nods solemnly. “Who is your brothers father?”

“I can’t even read the newspaper without getting upset,” my head is spinning now and I’ve lost track of the plot. Are we talking about my brother in the UK and the abuse he put up with from Graham? Or my brother here in Belgium? “My stepdad? Fwa-fwaaah.”

“Yes I know,” Bakerman nods mysteriously.

“Frank is his real name,” I go on. “He looks the spitting image of him.”

“Is he in touch with your brother?” Bakerman asks inquisitively.

“Yes but not often now,” I tell him only what I have heard. “He’s drinking again. And very involved with his new Philippino wife and her lot. He never bothers with me and my kids. Sometimes my brothers but not often.”

“Sounds good,” Bakerman smiles.

“Does it?” I pull up my eyebrow at him.

“You don’t need the added aggravation,” Bakerman points out.

“I don’t,” I sigh.

“Your brother just needs to meet a bitch like his mother and he will be off,” Bakerman lets me know it will all be okay.

“Hasn’t happened yet,” I point out the obvious flaw in his statement. “Don’t think he ever will.”

“There must be loads of them in Belgium,” Bakerman has told me before that there are a million more fish in the sea.

“Mother won’t allow it,” I snort. “There are. But what, come home, be quiet for mom?”

“I understand my elder sister is also crazy,” Bakerman reveals part of his story. “She has a boyfriend who is 30 years her junior. He is a paid companion. A gigolo I guess. Fat and useless. Worked six months in his life so far. Yet she hangs onto him as though butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. Maybe women go crazy when they hit menopause or 60. Maybe they think it will dry up. Even a dog that likes to lick is an option.”

“But he’s her son!” I am starting to feel defensive now. I hate horrible talk and even though I don’t like the lot of them, I won’t stand for nasty talk. “I don’t understand this. I want my children to live full lives. Adventures of their own. Not extensions of myself. Ugh my mom has cats. This is all very dirty, very scary and not healthy.”

“Ah but your autism is different from hers,” Bakerman continues in the same monotone voice. “She see things as possessions. If she can’t own you then you are the problem.”

“I am the problem,” I repeat for myself. “Oh dear, that’s psychopathic.”

“If you blog this please make up names and cities that protect your family,” Bakerman looks at me alarmed.

“Haha,” I laugh as I can’t for the life of me imagine to ever repeat what I have just heard. “Yes true. Like which names? Tweedledum is pretty good.”

“Sure it’s always the same pattern,” Bakerman nods. “Your mother needs to own everyone she is close to. The concept if love is very distant to her. Sex equals love.”

“And the Old-Woman-in-a-Shoe,” I burst out in hysterics now. This conversation has clearly gotten under my skin.

“Yes something like that,” Bakerman is eyeing me with growing concern.

“Ugh disgusting,” I curl my nose. “Now I know where my weird behaviour comes from.”

“Yes,” Bakerman confirms.

“Or how I thought I had to do,” I go on seeing the light. “And it never felt right. So she is doing it with him. Yuk disgusting.”

“My next point. You can change it,” Bakerman always offers options.

“That will never stop,” I give up before I have even started. “I can? That’s the death card. How?”

“Yes you can change your behaviour only,” Bakerman explains the rules to me.

“Ah but I’m fine,” I say firmly. “How do I save my mother and my brother?”

“Fiona you must not put your filters in when reading tarot,” Bakerman scolds me. “You don’t know what’s in her future. You can’t.”

“What do you mean?” I ask him desperately.

“You can’t save them only they can,” Bakerman looks at me with sorry eyes. “You can help them achieve the desire to change.”

“So my blog will expose them and force them to change?” I ponder as anxiety creeps further up my spine.

“No it will just bring a new law suite,” Bakerman sighs looking into his empty tea mug.

“Public shaming does work,” I speak up. “Will it? Even if I talk about Tweedledum?”

“You need proof,” Bakerman puts his cup down and moves over in a conspiratorial fashion. “Have a few mini bugs placed in their house and record them for a month. Then you will have evidence.”

“Okay sounds fun,” I wink at him. “I’ll get their place bugged next time I’m in there. Or get the kids to do it. Or I know people who know people.”

“I am going shopping now,” Bakerman gets up slowly. “You could just ask her to clarify the rumour which she will deny but might think about.”

“Ok will do,” I say reluctantly as I can’t see myself ever having this conversation ever again.

“Ok have fun,” Bakerman waves after me as I make my way out of his atelier, back into the fresh spring air outside. I will always marvel at Bakerman’s ability to match his coaching strategies to each client for maximum success. His fever seems to have left together with the negativity he just spun out. I could almost visually see him releasing it all as he exhaled. I inhale the fresh spring air and take in the fresh energy of the sun, allowing it to light the way to a brand-new era.

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

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Differentiate your passions into success stories

“Hello sunshine!” I cheer as I open my front door gazing out at the beautiful sun rising on this early morning in spring. I just love springtime. Everything comes back to life again. The days get longer and there is more daylight. The colours look different in this new light. The air is soft with a warm undertone, even on cooler days.

“Talk about big fish,” I continue my happy morning chatter. “Have received two requests for price offers. This time I will not sell myself cheap. This time I will reach all my targets and objectives. I will.”

I am feeling vibrant and determined this morning. A new springtime, a new chance to succeed in life. “How are you? How is your bread baking? How far are you in setting up your new business? How is Mary?”

“That sounds really promising,” Bakerman finally manages to get a word in sideways. “Mary is fine. I see her next week Tuesday. Bread business has a small snag. Need to solve it tomorrow.”

He hands me his parcels and greets me with a wave of his hand. “Teaching now!” he calls after me as he hops back into his van. Never ceases to amaze me how many parallel activities this man has going on. How many parallel universes all warped up into one life. How much meaningful knowledge and how fulfilling a life, pursuing multiple dreams.

When you do the same thing for more than ten years, you can call yourself an expert in that domain. However, doing the same thing for more than ten years is enough to make anyone want to escape the daily grind. For myself, I have found that I can find some relief from the daily hassle in allowing myself to pursue various passions. Yoga brings me many benefits, also in the form of relief. Meditation and reiki allow me to embark on short spiritual journeys. To each their own, I guess.

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

Epilogue #WizardOfOz

In my effort to explain the nature and workings of the world I live in, I found myself explaining cases of past memories from my childhood, as a young adult and from the life I live today with my three gorgeous children. Having no other way to explain these acquired memories, I also give credit to the feedback received from various participants in my stories.

  • Prince Charming came to see me and told me yes, he is my ex-husband but he disputes being my gay ex-husband. When pushed further on this distinctive issue he confirmed that yes, he had dabbled a bit in playing with other men, but that at the most would only make him bi, not gay. I mean seriously.
  • Wim admits to being addicted to morfine and loves the feeling of floating around on his pink fluffy cloud.
  • Charlie, my cat, is worried about getting fired and has solicited a new position both with the Star and with the Old-Woman-who-lives-in-a-Shoe.
  • The Star still has her little bun in the oven at the time of this writing.
  • The Old-Woman-who-lives-in-a-Shoe paid me a visit and offered yet a third version of how she got her hernia. She now reckons it came on after biking during her vacation in Asia with Tweedledum. I don’t know what to believe now. Her changing versions twice makes the Dormouse’s gossip all the more believable.
  • The Queen of Hearts keeps herself to herself nowadays baking tarts for the black birds.
  • The White Queen has unfriended me on Facebook.
  • Prince Charming has since been spotted at several occasions snooping around my house looking to talk to my spirit guide.
  • The Wizard of Oz has retired on the white sands of Cuba and has last been seen baking his daily bread.

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

The coins you’ll never forget #fystatements

I had a fantastic evening laughing and chatting with the Dormouse. The Wizard had slept almost all the way through our funny interlude. He only awoke at the end to tell me to pay off the Old-Woman-who-lived-in-a-Shoe. He told me to be sure to do this with disdain.

“Good morning,” I smile at my friend. “Buenos dias Doc Oz. Okay I’ll do that. How can I do it with disdain? Do I just think it?” I ask him puzzled. “What worries me most is what is next? I’m scared she will sue me to see Willem next. She has never shown any interest in the little fellow so you can’t tell me she’ll treat him right. My guess is she didn’t like something on my blog recently and needs to retaliate. Pester me for a reaction. Sad old woman.”

“How much do you owe her?” the Wizard wants to know.

“She says 2.769 Euros but I have noted down 2.500 Euros with all other payments I made,” I confess.

“If you can afford to pay her, do so in fifty cent pieces or ten cent pieces,” the Wizard says with a keen twinkle in his eyes. Mischief is brewing, I can sense it.

“In cash? Really?” I cry out in amazement. “Wim was going to transfer the money to me and I will transfer it this weekend. In cash is better? What about 5 Euro notes? Or 10 Euro notes?”

“Yes. One cent would be best but can be heavy to carry and off load,” the Wizard continues developing his devilish plan. “You tape her when you bring it in case she wants to reject your payment. She must count it in front of you and give you a signed receipt.”

“Seriously?” I can hardly keep my poise. Haven’t had so much fun in a long time. “Okay… So I record her. That’s what I don’t agree with.” I remember giving the White Queen quite a hard time for recording one of our last conversations.

“Well if you don’t want to be unconvinced do a telex transfer,” the Wizard rolls his eyes at me. “That way you have a paper trail. If you want to make it inconvenient for her do it in coins.”

“I openly film her?” I am in utter amazement at the genius behind this plan. “I will think about it. Love the idea.”

“What if she says take it back? I don’t want cash? What will you do?” the Wizard pushes me to think further. Consider the consequences.

“Yes what will I do?” I stop in stupor.

“Do you need a script?” the Wizard asks me annoyed.

“Yes,” I sigh as I fumble with my rings. “Unfortunately I do.”

“Really?” the Wizard’s eyes are popping and he is at a loss with my hopelessness.

“Really,” I insist. “What do I do if she doesn’t want the cash?”

“If she rejects cash you state she doesn’t want you to pay her back at all,” the Wizard smiles a full grin at me.

“Ok,” I confirm I see where he is getting at.

“If she does then she must take the cash coins,” the Wizard states with false modesty.

“Cash coins,” I repeat as my eyes light up and mischief dances through my mind.

“It’s either or,” the Wizard points out there is no in between.

“I still prefer the notes,” I play out the scenario in my mind. “Thanks. You’re brill as usual.”

“Do as you like,” the Wizard sighs.

“Absolute genius,” I confirm ignoring his changing mood.

“Notes means nothing,” the Wizard won’t let it go. He wants me to see the big picture.

“Do you think she will come after Willem?” I ask him anxiously. “Why do notes mean nothing?”

“No inconvenience to count or bank,” the Wizard tells me. “But coins out of the bank wrapping is a major pain in the butt. You just unwrap them and put them in a plastic bag. 2.500 in notes fits in your pocket. Coins is a big fuck you statement.”

“It is a big fuck you statement indeed,” I think rather pleased as that exactly matches the message I want to convey. “You are brilliant. How do you think up things like these?”

“I am sure you could too if you try,” the Wizard for some reason still believes I am no idiot.

“The old hag could think something like this,” I tell him. “Nothing quite as brilliant as this. But equally good. I am useless. I am really too nice and too good.”

“You need to decide what your aim is,” the Wizard winks at me. This means the real clue is coming. “Instead of being PC and emotional about her wanting to see and influence William.”

“PC?” I question him.

“Politically correct,” the Wizard replies. He has told me over and over the past couple of years that I need to ditch being politically correct. It doesn’t serve me.

“I want to keep her away from Willem,” I say resolutely.

“Why?” the Wizard wants to know.

“Because she is nasty?” my voice is nearing a sarcastic tone again.

“Winston and Lilly are still alive,” the Wizard throws back at me.

“Especially with little children,” I emphasize. “Winston and Lilly have a daddy.”

“Really. So what?” the Wizard retorts.

“The old hag is scared of David, and she wants to please men,” I go on explaining how different the Old-Woman-who-lives-in-a-Shoe reacts to men opposed to women. “She will hurt him to hurt me.”

“So Wim can play that roll,” the Wizard raises an eyebrow.

“She was nasty to me as a baby and as a little girl,” I tell him part of the story he already knows. “She would shake me and slap my face, hit me silly, also with sticks.”

“You still grew up just the same,” the Wizard says kindly.

“Yes and look at me,” I am using my sarcastic voice again. It annoys me.

“I think those days have past,” the Wizard gazes off into the distance for a moment.

“Oh ok. So not worry about her taking me to court?” I ask in utter disbelief. “If she wants the baby she can have him. Why do you think those days have passed?”

“You have to learn how to overcome the difficulties you face,” the Wizard coaches me. “Not run away from them.”

“Ok,” I take a deep breath. “So just give her the baby.”

“Wow the first thing you need is to suppress the bitch that lurks just under the surface,” the Wizard signals me not to jump the gun so fast. “No stop trying so hard to convince me you are brain dead. There are many solutions. I am talking about you not William or the Old-Woman-who-lives-in-a-Shoe. Most of your battles are because you don’t have a strategy, a clear picture of what is going on, how to deal with it for the good of all parties. You behave like a narcissist sometimes.”

“Oh shit. That’s bad,” I exclaim. I can’t believe I am turning into my worst nightmare myself. “But it’s true. I don’t know how to deal with things, or what’s going on, or how to win-win.”

“The Old-Woman-who-lives-in-a-Shoe is your mother,” the Wizard points out the obvious. “You know her and how she reacts. Pay her off so she has nothing left to talk about. Then just ignore her.”

“Ok,” I sigh again.

“You need to try other methods to see which one works best,” the Wizard lectures me. “The key is to stop being right and to look for ways that work for you that will bring you success. Once you find that just repeat it over and over.”

I smile as I find his words comforting and healing.

“She can Skype with the kids, see them some tea for an afternoon,” the Wizard continues to spell it all out. “Not more than 3 to 4 hours as she will loose interest after that.”

“She’s not interested in the kids. She never asks to see them,” I say with open disgust. “I always say yes when she asks. Last weekend when it was her court ordered Saturday she refused to see the kids because I had the flu. The only thing that interests her is pestering people.” I take a deep breath and decide to solve the issue at hand: “Should I give her the coins with or without the kids?”

“Without,” the Wizard replies without batting an eyelid.

“Ok,” I have heard him loud and clear. “So you think it’s going to be messy.”

“Yes,” the Wizard nods.

“Oh,” I sigh again. “I hate scenes with the old hag. She’s nasty.”

“My true advice is just transfer the money and let things work out,” the Wizard looks at me with a broad smile and he pats my forearm gently at the same time. His touch is warm and very soothing.

“Okay I will,” I smile relieved. “The idea was brilliant though. Just transfer then ignore.”

“If you want to fight then give her coins,” the Wizard points out that the alternative is still an option.

“Phew I really like that,” I smile as I feel light and warm, as if a heavy burden is being lifted off my shoulders.

“Yes just transfer and ignore or cut it down to a minimum,” the Wizard gives my arm another rub and a pat just to be sure I received all kind energy.

“No I’ve had enough,” I say as I jump to my feet and stand tall. “That’s her life. Her way of doing things. Pestering people and fighting. I just want peace. Little house on the prairie.” I stretch out my back and my arms taking on a few power poses I have learned in yoga class. “Okay I can do that. Thank you very much.”

“Ok,” the Wizard blows me a kiss as he floats loftily towards the door.

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

Extra weight #paranoia

The next morning the Wizard brings me up a cup of tea as I sit up in bed aching all over. I am hoping this strain of flu will be over by the Sunday evening.

“Good morning and buenos dias, Doctor Oz,” I smile as I accept my hot cuppa gratefully. “My girlfriends and tarot clients all have men troubles. Is there a cure or a fix?” I look at him with sore red eyes over the brim of my cup as I sip carefully. “How is your baking going? Wouldn’t it be nice to have your ‘broodje gebakken’? That would be nice and comfy.”

Having your ‘broodje gebakken’ literally translates into ‘having your bread baked‘ and it means that you are in a very comfortable financial situation.

“Hi,” the Wizard smiles at me fondly eyeing me up and down. “Yes there is a fix for your clients’ men problems. Of course I am assuming the problem is the men’s fault only and the women have no responsibility at all in the problem.”

“Of course,” I laugh at him. Doesn’t he know? Women are always right. “Some of them get desperate in attracting the man they have set their sights on. Others just can’t find the man they are looking for. Tough world isn’t it?”

“Ah that’s a different type of problem,” the Wizard sighs with disinterest. “No actually this issue is easy to solve. They need to understand their value and self hypnoses.”

“Hmmm so a guided meditation with me could help,” I ponder over my passions and business plans combined.

“Yes meditation is good,” the Wizard nods at me. “Focus on a solution.”

“Ah my meditations are fluffy,” I remember the last few I wrote. “I get them to imagine being together and to open up.”

Predicting the future is impossible. But if anyone could know what will be big in dating, it would be the Wizard of Oz. He’s a true leader on the frontlines of the mind, the soul and the heart. The game between men and women is one as old as the earth. It’s not hard for the Wizard to have a pulse on the history of romance.

The Wizard kept me company all day as I rested in the sofa with my littles. It’s not till evening came and my darlings to bed that I engage in some more conversation with him. Must warn you though, the flu drained my energy and left me prone to feelings of deep pessimism.

“The Old-Woman-who-swallowed-a-Fly sent me a weird text about photos of me little, such a sweet girl, made her cry,” I tell him with clear disdain.

“The Old-Woman-who-swallowed-a-Fly has just discovered she is mortal,” the Wizard informs me in a comforting voice. “Time to make peace?”

“I wouldn’t know how to make peace,” I sigh. “The Old-Woman-who-swallowed-a-Fly doesn’t want to. She said so. To me it just means she read my blog.”

“Ok,” the Wizard takes a deep breath as he rolls his eyes at me. “I agree you should live in the past and hold onto your ego very tightly.”

“As if it is all up to me,” I laugh at him.

“She just made the first step,” the Wizard points out with annoyance.

“I have tried numerous times,” I tell him as agitation creeps up on me. “The last time in September not so long ago. She didn’t. She told me she doesn’t want a relationship with me.”

“Oh I thought she did by crying over spilt milk,” the Wizard softens his tone instantly. “Your instincts are better than mine regarding the Old-Woman-who-swallowed-a-Fly.”

“She literally told me she wants to take care of Willem so that she could prove a bond and sue me again,” I spit out.

“I know the Old-Woman-who-swallowed-a-Fly is an idiot,” the Wizard sighs as he shakes his head.

“No she didn’t cry,” I go on setting the record straight. “She said she doesn’t believe in it. Sorry to say she is an idiot indeed. But you still want to believe she wants me.”

“Make up your mind,” the Wizard gets impatient again. “The photo made her cry or not?”

“Interesting,” I say with sarcasm. “No. She cried over my photo. She said that today.”

“Photos are like memories,” the Wizard’s eyes are almost popping as he tells me this.

“Oh right,” I say in the same continuous sarcasm.

“Today is not yesterday,” the Wizard’s patience is being put to the test, I can tell.

“Yes well she is see-saw mad,” I tell him fiercely. “Today nice so that she can hit me better tomorrow.”

“Like her daughter?” the Wizard mocks me.

“I am conditioned to be cautious,” I remind him. “I am not mad.”

“Who said that?” the Wizard booms with a laugh. “Of course you are mad. You wouldn’t be Fiona if you weren’t.”

“Bonkers,” I smile at him. “You taught me.”

As I make my way through this pessimistic day, I do stop to wonder every now and again whether it would be useful to have a ‘toolbox’ to clear out the stagnant energies, old patterns and beliefs, which is akin to plucking out the roots of the weeds that represent my relationship to the Old-Woman-who-swallowed-a-Fly. So we can start afresh, the activations will anchor in Light, which is so protective as we open up and truly expand ourselves, free to create a reflection of the world out there, that we have already created for ourselves on the inside!

Later that evening, when all little children have gone to bed, my mood has sunk even deeper and I am prone to yet another paranoia attack. The Wizard is curled up by my feet and watches me with keen eyes as I ramble on my nonsense.

“Anyway regarding the Old-Woman-who-swallowed-a-Fly, I will translate her message for you. She has read my latest blog articles and she is mocking me. She is happy to have had such a profound effect on me. It rejoices her that shunning me is ruining me and my business. She has almost succeeded. Incredible that even you continue to think she is a sweet little old lady. So back to Marta and conspiracy theories. Who would benefit from getting me to do a nude photo shoot? The Old-Woman-who-swallowed-a-Fly of course. It would help in a court case. Dubious character etc. And there is a connection: the Pied Piper, who I fired. There. Mystery stalker solved. And… the plot thickens… you see the Queen of Hearts asked Marta after all the Marta stuff had blown up how much she would charge for a photo shoot and she quoted her something like 300 Euros. A normal price. If I had paid 1.000 euros for a photoshoot, it would have looked bad too when I told the Old-Woman-who-swallowed-a-Fly I didn’t have the money to pay her back. It explains everything. I have been set up. And Marta failed in her mission. Also explains where the Old-Woman-who-swallowed-a-Fly was getting her info from at the time. I am like Sherlock Holmes. Paranoia is good sometimes. Sorry for the waffle.”

When I have clearly finished my ramble and feeling rather silly with myself for the entire waffle of nonsense, the Wizard rises on his cloud. It is only now that I notice his cloud is dark purple with wisps of dark grey swirling inside. There is lightening to be seen in the cloud and even a distant rumble of thunder.

“Fiona two things,” the Wizard growls at me. “One, I can only respond by what you tell me. If what you tell me is absolute garbage to manipulate me please stop wasting my time and energy. Should you require some sympathy tell me the relevant information and not the complete bullshit you keep talking about. Two, I don’t care so please stop making this my problem. Make Wim’s life a complete misery. That’s what he is there for. I can’t help you anymore. I don’t have the energy to give you anymore.”

And with that, his cloud lets out a loud cracking sound and the Wizard has disappeared into thin air. My bedroom is filled with a dense mist smelling of sulphur, which reminds me of the smell of a hundred candles being lit with a box of match sticks.

I now have time to think about what has been playing up lately. When I challenge the the Wizard to share his game-changing ideas, I am always amazed with his thoughtfulness, passion, and creativity. His drive to transform my world inspires me, and challenges me to find new ways to harness my own inner genius.

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

Value your life #accident

I had just arrived leisurely at the office this Friday morning when one phone call upset the rest of my day. Totally panic stricken I look around the empty meeting room I have used for my private call. The Wizard must have sensed something disturbing was up, because he appeared with a loud “plop” out of thin air blinking at me with his big dark blue eyes.

“Good day. How are you?” I ask him politely but with haste. “Prince Charming, my gay ex-husband, has had a car accident and has a cervical fracture. I know it’s not my problem but still find this upsetting.”

“That’s bad,” the Wizard sighs with visible relief. “Or just punishment?”

“He has nobody,” I continue as my breath sounds shallow. “Just punishment? He has had so many car accidents.”

“He has his parents I think,” the Wizard retorts annoyed with my involvement.

“Last time was 12 years ago with me when I fell pregnant with Winston,” I recount the car accident with horror. Still seeing the images in slow motion pass before my eyes.

“Drink and drive don’t go together I think,” the Wizard is spelling out the rules for me.

“Yes his parents will have to take care of him,” I nod with my head in my hands. “It was this morning. He wasn’t drinking. It’s awful.”

“I see,” the Wizard rolls his eyes. “Can you help him?”

“I feel… bad for him,” I sigh deeply. “No I can’t fix his broken neck. He’s going to have an operation.”

“But you could cook and stuff,” the Wizard shows me there is still comfort food as healing.

“I am not mother Theresa and I am not taking him in,” I wail as I try to fight back the tears stinging my eyes.

“Why not?” the Wizard demands of me.

“But yes, I would want to take him in till he is better,” I admit. “He is horrid to me. But he is my children’s father.”

“I see,” the Wizard glances sideways this time.

“I should take him in temporarily until he is better,” I am thinking out loud to the benefit of nobody really. “What do you think?”

“Well do what you think is right for you,” the Wizard is wise enough to stay far away from delicate decisions like these.

“Can’t just ignore this,” I tell him. “I don’t know.”

“Ask Wim,” the Wizard encourages me to remember our conversation of yesterday. Or was it some kind of prediction?

“He is the father of my children,” I repeat again thinking of my little darling cherub faces.

“So what?” the Wizard snaps at me. He can see I am getting far too emotionally involved.

“Wim says it is not my problem,” I am breathing very fast and my head is spinning. “I don’t agree.”

“I understand,” the Wizard calms me down with his deep hypnotic voice. “Do what makes you happy. You have to face the consequences.”

“I will,” I decide as I get up to vacate the meeting room. “What a year. Thank god for the au-pair.”

“Yes I know that will work out nicely,” the Wizard winks at me as he watches me leave the meeting room. He fades out of sight slowly.

“You think so?” I turn to face him as his image dissolves into clear smoke. “Wim won’t be happy for taking Prince Charming in. Maybe Wim is right. Prince Charming is not my problem anymore. Where was he when I needed help? Or shouldn’t I think like that? Maybe another blessing in disguise. Prince Charming will be out revalidating 6-12 months. I get kids fulltime and can make them happy and robust again. Wonderful. Prince Charming will have to be his parents’ problem now.”

That day was stressful. Adrenaline filled my body as my muscles tensed up. My neck had started to hurt really bad as if I myself had been caught up in the car accident with Prince Charming. At home later on that evening, I crashed in the sofa suffering the first symptoms of a heavy strain of flu. The past couple of weeks of worry and anxiety had finally caught up with me. And there is only one thing for me to do. Rest.

The Wizard appeared briefly at my bedside that evening just to blow me a distant kiss. I looked at him with sore eyes and a heavy body aching with flu. I whisper at him from afar: “He’s fiiiiine. Prince Charming is okay. Poop. And hurray!”

The Wizard doesn’t reply but smiles at me gently as he floats around my room keeping an eye on me in my restless sleep. It is time to rest and to take care of me first.

 

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

Men as allies #redtape

I have just treated myself to a café latté at the Barista when the Wizard appears floating besides me on my way up to the 9th floor in the lift. By now I am used to him showing up in the strangest of places.

“Good morning Bakerman,” I smile at him as the lyrics of the song get stuck in my head for the day. “Buenos dias.” As the lift opens on the 9th floor, I usher him into a neighbouring meeting room and close the door quickly. Not sure what my colleagues would think of me talking to a Wizard cat on a pink fluffy cloud. “Why do I keep getting panic attacks? Am I also in a dark place?”

“No. You get them because you don’t have sufficient knowledge,” the Wizard looks at me comfortingly. It’s at moments like these that his eyes turn a brighter shade of blue rather than turquoise and I get completely locked into his gaze. “Or you believe you don’t. You doubt yourself too much. What are you panicking about?”

“This morning in the shower I was panicking about the au-pair and whether I can afford it,” I confess looking down and fumbling with the rings on my fingers. “Then I got annoyed with myself, breathed deeply and told myself to go earn some good money.”

“Good girl,” the Wizard pats me on my upper arm with his soft padded paw. “I need your help.”

“Oh tell me. What can I do?” I exclaim. This is sudden news. The Wizard asking me for help. I feel alarmed as I can’t think why he would be turning to me. I’m just a silly woman of 41 with 3 kids and struggling with my own shadow. “I can actually do something for you? Oh goodie!”

“Wait,” the Wizard breaths deeply as he wants me to take it in very carefully. “I want you to confirm I stayed with you for a few months and paid rent for a bedroom.”

“Okay… but wait a minute,” I stutter as I feel doubt seeping in as the idea starts to take shape in my head and I see multiple doom scenarios popping up in my head and everywhere I look. “Who is it for and why? Will this ever fall in the hands of Wim?” I try to save the day by adding: “Happy unbirthday by the way. Sorry I forgot.”

“Thanks,” the Wizard brushes me off curtly. “It’s for the RVA.”

“The who?” I don’t know which governmental institution he is referring to. I have never been unemployed in my entire life, so I am literally clueless.

“VDAB,” the Wizard throws another institution at me. “Its for my ‘uitkeering’. You know, my monthly unemployment allowance.”

“What does your staying here have anything to do with your ‘uitkering’?” I don’t quite get the plot and panic is starting to creep into my voice. I can actually feel my heart beating in my throat. “From when till when did you stay here? And what kind of rent did you pay? The property is half Wim’s. Is there a document you are meant to fill in? What about where you really stayed? Your friends and the White Queen? Why is my place better? Am I a better front than the White Queen? Is there a form to be filled in or a number to call?”

“No,” the Wizard snaps at me.

“No what?” I ask him tartly.

“It is during the time I was away,” the Wizard goes on telling me. But it doesn’t make sense to me. I am not aware of his going abouts, or what he does, or where he is, or supposed to be. It is all very confusing. “They are asking me to show where I was living as I had signed out of Oz and not signed in anywhere for 11 months. So I want to spread out the months between friends all over the place. No form to fill in.”

“Ok,” I say but I am really not okay at all. I am thinking about all the possible consequences this written letter could have on me, my relationship, my taxes… and ultimately my kids.

“Ok what?” the Wizard snaps at me again. He is clearly wanting to get somewhere with me, but the destination is still very unclear to me.

“But then what do you need? And what time period?” I ask again trying to sort things out in my head. “Have you ever done this before? Will there be a control?”

“A short letter that can be backed up by answering the phone and saying the same thing without giving a long story,” the Wizard sighs heavily. His impatience and annoyance are almost tangible.

“I know these bastards,” I spit out. “Before you know it they are at your door asking to confirm the story. And that’s when Wim answers the door.”

“No it is my first time,” the Wizard is now avoiding eye contact.

“Which time period?” I repeat in total despair now. “You were in Keerbergen after Oz. What if they ask proof of payment?”

“It happened 9 months ago. I will give you the exact dates,” the Wizard retorts. “All you say is we are friends not lovers. I stayed with you for the time stated and I left. You don’t know where I went but I did say I will stay at another friend. I contributed to costs and bought my own food. Cash between friends no proof required.”

“How hard is this going to backfire?” I ask him anxiously. “I am worried Wim will find out and then I am solely responsible for my own sabotage.”

“Why should it?” the Wizard lifts an eyebrow, and then shakes his head. “I see it’s too difficult for you. Don’t give it another thought. It’s not a train smash. I just want to avoid paying money back to the RVA.”

“So only now they are asking about where you live?” I ask in disgust with the inefficiency of Belgian bureaucracy.

“Yes,” the Wizard blinks at me.

“Typical Belgium,” I let out still excited now my anxiety has started to ebb away. “How did they get hold of you? I thought you were in Keerbergen before you left.”

“I signed in at the White Queen for three months,” the Wizard tells me but I can’t remember anything of the kind.

“In reality or fiction?” I ask him as the story and timeline aren’t matching up in my head.

“In reality,” the Wizard gives me an annoyed look.

“Oh and then you were off to Cuba.”

“But I never stayed there,” the Wizard says just to make matters more complicated. “Yes.”

“Is that end of 2016?” I am still trying to puzzle the pieces together.

“No,” the Wizard replies impatiently.

“Didn’t they ask where you were going?” I enquire again as none of this makes sense at all.

“During 2017,” the Wizard corrects my previous thread.

“How old are you now?” I suddenly ask him. I have started Googling the Belgian legislation on allowances and where you are supposed to be living to be entitled to one.

“6,” the Wizard answers. He must mean he’s six years old in cat years.

“I think you are allowed to travel abroad after 60 and keep your ‘uitkering’,” I tell him my eyes glued to my iPhone screen. “But you need to be registered in Belgium. Where are you registered?”

“I am not 60,” the Wizard corrects me rather hurt.

“You’re not?” I ask him bewildered. I tried calculating cat years. How many cat years for a human year?

“No,” the Wizard shakes his head at me, eyes locking me into his. “51.”

“Oh shit I can’t remember,” I am feeling distressed at my inability to place events in time and at my inaccuracy of the moment to make a simple calculation. “You are not 51. You are like ancient old.”

“Today I am,” the Wizard teases me amused at my visible inner struggle.

“Let me think,” I urge him to let me think for a moment. “No you are not.”

“48,” the Wizard throws my way again.

“You are 62. I am sure of it,” I cry out looking at him questioningly. “Well almost. Or 59?”

“Really I must have lost a few years somewhere,” the Wizard jokes. “Yes let’s agree that I am 45.”

“Phew. Felt a little mad then,” I decide to let it go as well. “Brain won’t work. Ok so you have to stay home naughty man. Where are you registered? Or did you go off the grid?”

“I go off the grid soon,” the Wizard replies mysteriously. He is toying with me like a cat with a mouse, but I am too pre-occupied to notice or to be bothered by it.

“Hmmm. You know I am not registered in Tremelo but in Mechelen,” I remind him. “Who did you stay with this time?”

“Yes I know,” the Wizard winks at me.

“How did you do this when you went to Australia?” I continue to press him for answers.

“Its not important,” the Wizard is becoming defensive and evasive again.

“It is,” I urge him. I finally want to know what has been going on. I know so little.

“I went off the grid in Australia,” the Wizard tells me and I am having a hard time deciding whether he is lying or telling me the truth.

“You ask one damn thing and I go chicken shit,” I finally admit. “I am useless.”

“Yes,” the Wizard nods in agreement. “Sorry I asked.”

“You know part of me still thinks that was a smoke screen,” I remind him of my ideas on his disappearance acts. “No I am sorry I am not doing better. What about the White Rabbit? Can’t you have stayed with her?”

“Advice I don’t need,” the Wizard brushes me off. My ideas are useless too.

“Poop,” I sulk. “How much money is it?”

“Anything from 3.600 to 12.000,” the Wizard whispers at me.

“Shit loads of money,” I add in dismay.

“Yes,” the Wizard blinks at me again looking at me intently. He is obviously taking in every clue I am blatantly giving off in my body language.

“Can’t you say you were desperate and you slept on the street?” I ask him. “This does happen.”

“Yes it does,” the Wizard nods with a smile.

“It is called SDF, ‘sans domicile fixe’,” I inform him as if he is indeed only six years old. “Then you should tell them off. How can they let something like that happen?”

“Yes…” the Wizard hisses.

“In our day and age, and all the fucking social security I pay,” I am starting a rant. “No?”

“You tell them,” the Wizard looks at me bored.

“I’m not helping, am I?” I ask as at least I understood the look on his face.

“No,” the Wizard admits still amused.

“I don’t want to mess up,” I plead with him. “Knowing my luck it will boomerang back at me.”

“I understand,” the Wizard reminds me this is a conversation based purely on gut feeling. And the hidden message is still mine to uncover.

“Wim will throw a fit and explode his stoma and I will be out on my fanny,” I voice my ultimate doom scenario.

“Don’t worry about it,” the Wizard soothes me in a monotonous tone.

“What about the homeless option?” I know I am pushing my luck now. “I am just reading up about it.”

“It’s not an option,” the Wizard cuts me short.

“No I can imagine,” I answer as I know the Wizard is a proud man. “But they let you go off the grid. I don’t understand that.”

“Ok. It’s not a topic of conversation,” the Wizard informs me he has had enough of this conversation and that it is time I think about the deeper meaning. “I will solve it.”

“You know this means I can’t tell you all my silly thoughts anymore,” I sulk deeply.

“It does?” the Wizard turns around at me with a huge grin on his face.

“Well yes. I am always complaining,” I tell him. “You always listen. And I can’t return the favour. Epic friend fail.”

“True,” the Wizard says as he starts fading away in thin air. “I am in a meeting now.”

“Good,” I am happy to see him go for once. “Pay attention.”

 

As for the hidden message, the only one I could think of was how this situation resembles my sissy fit when the Star refused to babysit Winston and Lilly on Wednesday afternoons. Her allowance as an employee in an endangered environment might be up for discussion. I had been set straight by a cat Wizard. Don’t mess with red-tape administration. Don’t ‘sjoemel’ with your ‘uitkering’.

 

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.