Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rosemary & Some Other Bramford Tenants, 1968




“I am not saying,” Hutch said,“that you will walk into the Bramford and be hit on the head with a piano or eaten by spinsters or turned to stone. I am simply saying that the record is there and ought to be considered along with the reasonable rent and the working fireplace: the house has a high incidence of unpleasant happenings. Why deliberately enter a danger zone? Go to the Dakota or the Osborne if you’re dead set on nineteenth century splendor.”
“The Dakota is co-op,” Rosemary said,“and the Osborne’s going to be torn down.”
“Aren’t you exaggerating a little bit, Hutch?” Guy said.“Have there been any other ‘unpleasant happenings’ in the past few years? Besides that baby in the basement?”
“An elevator man was killed last winter,” Hutch said.“In a not-at-the-dinner-table kind of accident. I was at the library this afternoon with the Times Index and three hours of microfilm; would you care to hear more?”


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

True Mystic Science, 1930s



While Minnie & I are vacationing on the ragged coast of Galicia, we wanted to check in with a stack of magazines we purchased from a regionally-renowned crystal gazer while having drinks at a blissfully atmospheric little grotto bar in the capital city of Santiago de Compostela. The club resembles the glowing, magical jazz dive in the movie Bell, Book & Candle, but is decorated with actual "souvenirs" from the Spanish Inquisition's 17th Century pogrom against the Magickally-inclined, including various torture devices & large pieces from extremely graphic murals, depicting all manner of absurd unpleasantness. Though I'm sure some would object to lounging among such a museum of cruelty, we found the place very cozy & returned again & again for their long, luxurious Happy Hour. On one such occasion, while lingering over queimada cocktails (served in the traditional manner -- in small pumpkin shells!), we met our crystal gazer, a humble little seer in well-worn Oxford baggies, a blindingly white starched shirt & a threadbare Irish plaid blazer. He divined our fortunes with so little aptitude or showmanship that we were instantly taken with him & two days later he found us again pleasantly lazing through our queimadas while staring blankly into the spiked recesses of a particularly grisly Spanish version of the Iron Maiden. From a cracked leather valise he produced a stack of the 1930s magazine of the occult, True Mystic Science, with all the issues in perfect condition. As if he was afraid we wouldn't accept such a generous gift, he placed them quite firmly in my outstretched hands without meeting my grateful gaze, made a round sweeping caress over the topmost magazine cover & hurried from the bar. So far he hasn't returned to our spot, but we do hope to see him again in order to buy him a few drinks as a thank you. 









Have a lovely late summer & we'll see you all again at the end of the month. Until then, Hail Satan!