Skinny White Woman

By Stasia Minkowsky
Chapter 1

Zao continued to speak for an hour and a half. He was insistent that I needed to know the information he was giving me for the good of my life path. In fact, he was so insistent that as the minutes carelessly passed by, he casually reminded me that the price was still only twenty dollars. Maybe that’s why even the skeptical part of me was starting to believe him. What did he have to gain by telling me this stuff? And why were the things he was telling me creating waves of emotion from somewhere deep inside of me? Somewhere that I didn’t even know existed? By the time the reading came to a close, I had already broken down crying twice and I hated crying in front of people. I again found myself choked up as he asked me to pull a piece of paper out of a black sac and read it aloud.
“I am becoming more fully who I am. I understand there is a greater plan behind any suffering I may experience,” I said as I sucked in my breath and looked at him.
“The bookstore is closing in a few minutes and I feel like I’ve overwhelmed you with information.”
“Yeah,” I said as finally exhaled. The things he had suggested were so beyond my comprehension that I didn’t know what to say, let alone what to do.
“If you want, you’re welcome to come back to the house I’m staying at and ask more questions.”
As I followed Zao’s brown, dilapidated, A-Team van up a long, winding hill into a group of houses nestled in the red rocks, it did occur to me that he could be a serial killer or a rapist. But somehow, I didn’t care. All I could think of was, who the hell was I going to talk to about being a lightworker, anyway? One of my regulars at the bar? He had said that lightworkers worked in all capacities. Did that include getting people drunk for a living? I lit a cigarette and took a swig off what was left of my cold morning coffee. It was all pretty confusing. Zao had even told me that I had the ability to do readings and channelings, no differently than he did. What would I be? Some kind of new age stoner with a crystal ball and a bong?
I parked behind Zao and carefully stepped foot inside my first new age house like it was a museum. The fireplace was adorned with Buddhist tapestries, candles, incense, photos of mysterious looking holy looking people, pictures of geometric swirls that Zao called, “chakras,” various types of beads, sage and other herbs. Zao explained how the woman who lived there was frequently out of town and had offered him a place to stay while he finished his book.
“I could really see you living in Sedona,” Zao said as he threw together some sprout infested vegetarian meal. “There’s all kinds of places you could do readings.”
I had been told that I had psychic gifts before, but no one had ever suggested that I could get paid for it. I didn’t even know how to use them. My psychic/ intuitive ability was as unpredictable as lighting old fireworks. Sometimes it would fire. Other times, it was a dud that I couldn’t use to save my own life, let alone another’s. Most of the time, it all came through my dreams anyway. I really had no control over it.
“Do you mind if I reheat my coffee and have a smoke?” I felt a little weird by his holy presence, like I was a heathen. He smiled at me patiently.

“Soon,” he announced confidently. “You won’t need any of that.”
Yeah, right, I thought as I closed the sliding glass door behind me and stepped onto the patio. What was this guy smoking? A Jesus doobie? And speaking of doobies, where could I sneak away to smoke mine? I walked my cigarette smelling self back inside and Zao instinctively answered my question.
“Do you smoke pot?”
“Uh, yeah,” I said hesitantly, wondering if there was an oncoming lecture.
“Do you have some?”
You smoke?”
“I enjoy taking a hit here and there. I’m usually always in the clouds anyway so it doesn’t take me much.”
I pulled my joint out of my cigarette pack and handed it to him. It was the least I could offer and I was glad we were finally speaking the same language. He had a hard time lighting it and I wondered if he had ever smoked at all.
“That’s your half,” he said as he pushed a sandwich toward me and passed me the half-lit joint which was now canoeing. I did some saliva patchwork, relit it and inhaled voraciously. Ever since the reading, all I had wanted to do was get high. I wanted to take another puff, but I didn’t want to look like a pothead, so I passed him the joint and bit into my sandwich. I chewed on it curiously. What was in it? Rubber?
“Tofu,” he said as he exhaled a tiny puff. “You know, you’re more than welcome to stay here instead of driving all the way back to Phoenix. There’s two extra bedrooms and we can get up early and hike in the morning if you’d like.”
After growing up with four older brothers, I was quite certain that I could take his skinny, starving ass down if I had to. And, I was exhausted. It was after eleven p.m. and the weed was beginning to relax all the obsessive compulsive thoughts about being a lightworker out of my head. But still, for all that he had offered, would he expect me to sleep with him?
“You’re also welcome to spend the night with me,” he offered.
It was kinda freaky how he kept answering my thoughts.
“Connecting with another person sexually can be a wonderful healing tool. Even though I’m not physically attracted to her, I have sex with the owner of the house.”
He even knew that I wasn’t remotely attracted to him.
“Is it okay for me to sleep in front of the fireplace?” I asked.
“Sure, whatever you want.”
And with that, he passed me the joint, cleaned up the kitchen and walked down the hall toward his bedroom. But not before he would ask me again, “You sure?”
“Yes,” I answered distractedly as I took another hit.
“Okay!” he sang out as he closed the bedroom door.
I walked back outside to sit on the patio and smoke another cigarette. It was as though my entire life had changed yet nothing had changed at all. I had come to Sedona to find the answers and now, I was being offered sex by the man who had the answers.


The only thing left to do was get as high as possible to forget the visual of him naked and counteract any lingering thoughts about what it meant to be a lightworker. When I drove back to Phoenix in the morning, I would listen to the tape and try to make sense of who was crazier… him or me?



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