Witchcraft on Water
by Nic Olson
It is perhaps ill advised to housesit for two different homes in one week when you are overwhelmingly busy and underwhelmingly bothered by relationships. I am here to keep the Communist-inspired dog from getting lonely, but when my only comfort of the weekend becomes playing with and speaking to a self-sufficient domesticated animal who is so deaf that an airhorn in the ear would not even make him lick his balls, then I wonder who is in need of help. Who really needs the doors opened for him here, Fidel?
But it gave me the chance to witch for water. Grandma suggested I do so, saying that it is in the family’s blood. Water witching consists of walking around in a field with a y-shaped branch or several metal pieces to find underground water, minerals, pirate treasure, sweet sweet oil, underground chocolate rivers, or anything you fancy you are looking for. Many may consider this a form of quackery but I see it as a return to the roots of our ancestors. Ancestors: those people with stolid faces and dirty trousers who were able to plant a garden with seeds they sowed themselves with water they found themselves with a horse they broke themselves, all without the divine assistance of an international database of information, or even a single book, that is unless the Bible explains in detail the steps of dowsing. But as far as I can tell I found a few spots where the water table opened its top to the arms of witchcraft. I cut and bent two metal clothes hangers into L-shaped instruments, walked around in the several-acre long yard with the hangers balancing delicately parallel between my four fingers. Beforehand, to assist with the exhilaration, I downed three beers. I hit a point between two trees (fuck if I even know what kind of trees they were. My ancestors roll in their graves, and only partially because I said ‘fuck’). The arms of my instrument swung inwards and crossed at the point where water was supposedly resting underground. I smiled and maybe even thrust my hips in a south-easternly direction.
You never know if water-witching is one of those things that you want to happen so bad, that you make it happen. Like seeing a ghost in your grandma’s basement, or feeling the hand of Jesus on your shoulder when singing at church. This system doesn’t work for anything that matters; I want most of Regina City Council to get a raging bout of herpes, but I cannot will my subconscious to tilt my water-witching tools so that those old troglodytes start growing sores on their genitals (I’d have to contract that kind of work out to someone with more hip-thrusting talent.) Positive energy can have a great affect on the outcome or the outlook of many things, I am learning this slowly. Sweet shit, I maybe now know why I have been consistently so miserable.
I really wanted to find water. And though I don’t have the tools to dig a well to see if my witching was water-worthy, I have faith that it was. That my ancestors left me one useful, practical skill. It will come in handy when we in the lower class don’t have homes and don’t have running water so I can witch for water, potash, oil, an underground bakery, to survive.
The only thing I can hear is Fidel licking clean his dinner dish on the tile floor, the rest of the neighbourhood is silent. He needs me to feed him, and that’s about it. He can piss in the basement, he can lounge his days away. I need more than to sit around and will for things to happen, lounging decades away with my hands down my pants. Positive energy isn’t that strong. Willing for water to exist, and getting up when I hear the door chime and let the dog outside to take a shit, have two entirely different outcomes.