Saturday, November 26

Salem, part three

Yesterday was the long-anticipated Salem trip. Three or four people couldn't go, so it was just Dan and I, and Mike. We didn't leave RI until slightly past 11, but we still had plenty of time in Salem to do everything we wanted. Mapquest failed us utterly, but thanks to my Dad's prior corrections to the Mapquest directions and generously placed, tourist-luring Salem signs in Peabody, we got there alright. I'm proud to say that I didn't freak out, even when for a few minutes we had little idea of where we were.

We went to the same places we end up at every year: Front Street Coffee, the comic shop, the army barracks, Lotus Gifts, the cheap book store, and the varied witch shops. As I expected, Salem's atmosphere improves greatly without the Halloween chaos. The old New England architecture, the cobblestones, and all the lovely little spots thrown about everywhere-- it's all much more suited to an austere November day than to garish festivities. It was nice to just enjoy the town without witches, witch trials, roasted nuts, and Nathanial Hawthorne thrown in our faces.

The more witch/ pagan shops I see, the more boring they get. Some are better than others, but in general they all sell they same stuff, and they all have the same vibe. Gee, here's another store with the same frequently circulated pentacles, fantasy role-playing weaponry, and new age crystal-astrology-numerology-pseudo-spiritual hoodoo. I did actually mean to buy incense, but instead all I bought was a rather shoddily painted bell, blue with gold moons and stars. Likely the owner painted it themself. Of course I could have pulled off the same shoddy craftsmanship, but doing it myself would only have filtered various self-esteem issues into it, whereas having someone else paint it turns it to a totally different creature. Cute, even.

I also bought The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, all the Hitchhiker novels in one volume. I didn't want to buy it before because of the price, but at the used book place it was only $16. At a gift shop, I got Jeffrey a stuffed Edgar Allen Poe with detachable raven for Christmas (he's been getting into Poe lately). Later on at the army barracks store I bought myself a plain black ammo bag, which I'll be decorating, and then a pony/ Christmas ornament with lucky coin at the Asian gift store.

On the ride home, after dropping Mike off, Dan and I saw a shooting star. It was right over Petersen farms on route 44. This was the first one Dan's ever seen, but I actually saw another one just about a month ago, on Halloween. It didn't give me the same magical, thoroughly awed feeling as the first one, yet I think it's a good sign.

"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -Douglas Adams


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