Amanda said: "It was terrifying seeing a completely different side to the lovely spirit I had seen before. But Amanda says her health has improved drastically since she left the pirate and she has now sworn off all spiritual work. She met Jack after growing tired of "physical world" men and the couple got legally married on a boat off the Irish coast in international waters after two years together.
At the wedding, she held a flag bearing a skull and crossbone as a symbol for her husband but because Jack couldn't wear his ring, it was fitted to a candle used to represent him. She previously claimed that she and year-old Jack went on dates, had rows and even had an active sex life, adding: "Spiritual sex is all about being able to feel the energy. Sign in. All Football. Holly Christodoulou.
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A lighter. Evidence he was real. We discovered snails had devoured everything but our beet greens. Baby lettuce and flowers had wilted, sheared down to damp soil. Most of the snails were gone, but some stragglers still remained, caught in the act. We poked at basil leaves with lacework holes in them. I shivered. This solution proved too costly, however, so we found a metallic Sharpie, and he numbered their shells while I marked their approximate locations, which made me feel very sciencey, even though I refused to touch them.
Cristian Fasoli Fotografo: Ghost Of The Sun ( on Dark Beauty magazine )
Salted butter. Sober by sunrise, we forgot about snails. In the following weeks we occasionally spotted one in the yard, doing whatever it is hermaphroditic gastropods do, but mostly they seemed to disappear, except for Number 6, who stayed and stayed, sleeping in the lilies by our front door, where a family of peaceful wasps built their nest of mud. I met Luke after my marriage ended. I was twenty-nine by then, with a daughter named Cadence who still believed in magical things like mermaids, and walruses that swam in park fountains, and the pirate king Ratty Tatty, who tangled her hair while she slept, then sometimes cracked raw eggs on the kitchen floor for us to clean up in the mornings, no matter how we tried to reason with him.
He was a very unreasonable rat. My ex-husband met a woman in Peru via an online dating site and spent his inheritance to bring her here. We were divorced by I moved just inland to a quiet mountain town in Humboldt County, California. Our kitchen window looked out on a crumbling graveyard where deer came to browse among tombstones and redwood boughs. It rained and rained that autumn until the river that ran through town swelled gray and the orchard trees shed their leaves. The walls were monarch orange.
I put Cadence to bed. There was a pumpkin pie and a bottle of wine in the almost-empty fridge. My daughter looked up at me.
I looked up at the ceiling. I tried not to fall in love with Luke, my white-collar hacker from the South who mined cryptocurrency, wore flannel shirts, and sometimes grew the beginnings of a soft, blond beard that I felt when we kissed, his face between my palms.
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He lived in a yurt on a mountaintop vineyard hidden by miles of thick redwoods. It took ninety minutes to reach him: there was a thin dirt road where the black bull escaped its fence; a gate with a chain; and the forked curve of the Eel River. I watched as he fixed things. I watched him lift my small daughter into his arms across the clearing and wondered what they were saying to one another as he pointed into the darkening valley, where twilight fog sank through the forest. She resembled Luke more than she did her own father; strangers must have believed we were a family on afternoons in town when she held our hands to walk between us.
Our life together was woodstoves and lofts, claw-foot tubs and grafted fruit trees. Wild turkeys in the compost. Moss on rough porch steps and the sound of them bending under our weight. Brambles and a shy bobcat in the ferns. Rain on yurt canvas. Bleached bee boxes in winter sunlight. Rows of grapevines. Sprouted potatoes planted some cold afternoon on our knees. The cellar full of pumpkins and straw bales, where we took the temperature of nascent wine. His yellow cat tiptoeing in fresh snow. My lover chopping wood, or brewing coffee, or waking in the night to add another log to glowing embers.
Maybe our own wedding in an orchard someday. When I finally understood what was happening, it was too late. At night, lying awake in that sleigh bed, I listened for the sound of his truck tires on gravel. Each time he returned, he promised to never go again, a thing I wanted to be truer than all others. I wanted to begin once more from the start, to hear his voice again for the first time, to see his face. I gained thirty pounds and gave myself micro bangs that got shorter and shorter until a friend confiscated my scissors.
I thought everything was my fault; that I could mend Luke, or us; that I needed to communicate better, to be more patient, to convince him to see a therapist.
It was like trying to keep a man who was sometimes a ghost. It seems stupid now, but I held on for two years, because when it was good, it was so good we believed it would always be that way. I was ashamed. I took the photos off the wall. I fucked a German firefighter who spanked me. For days afterward the sound of sirens evoked images of rough sex. I packed. I was going home. I was weird and awkward. I had inexplicable anxiety. I wanted wide-open, rugged landscapes; bareback Appaloosa horses with rope halters; and poems.
It was changed. It was ours. In one of my favorite memories of my mother, she comes home late from a conference smelling like makeup and smiling. She wakes me just to give me a set of Beatrix Potter books, where the animals talk and go on foolhardy adventures. The books are colorless and all the same. They fit together inside a tiny box, side by side. Yet the women in my family have subtle, complicated relationships to each other. Before my tenth birthday I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. But who was that other daughter? Really it was the lack of malice that cut me, because she said it simply, like it was already acknowledged fact.
We were all doing the best we knew how.
Orkney wedding snapper captures ‘ghost’ on camera – can you spot it?
We were winging it. We still are. To belong anywhere is messy. And she was both right and wrong: I was changed.
Sickness taught me about mortality and time, which is a kind of equation balanced by mystery.
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