SEVENTEEN - Shamanism and Taxidermy

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December 28th

Ivy Irving and her dad showed up at our house on a quad late this afternoon. Mr. Irving said they wanted to make sure we were okay because the power was out in most places on the island. We were, but I was glad they came to check anyway.

Dad invited them in, and put the kettle on, and then Ivy said, "Can I see your room?" and I said sure, but inside I was freaking out because my room always has clothes everywhere, and I'm talking boxers and dirty socks. There is also a Harry Potter poster on my wall which is totally embarrassing because I am fourteen, and a guy, but I only have it because it reminds me of my last visit with Mom before she left to start her life with Jocelyn. She was trying not to cry and went and laid her hand on the poster and said she remembered reading all the books to me and how that was something she was never going to forget. And even though it was Dad who mostly read the books to me, I let her off the hook because she seemed generally overcome with  a rush of maternal love and emotion. It would have been cruel to burst her bubble during such a vulnerable moment.

Anyway, I kept the poster for nostalgic reasons. Fortunately, when Ivy saw my room, she didn't comment on it at all. She was much more taken with Peterson.

"Taxidermy?" she said. "You like dead animals? Gross!"

I explained to her about Norm, and animal totems, and my law of attraction book, and after twenty minutes or so, I think she was finally convinced I was more of a gentle Shaman than some douchebag trophy hunting jerk. Talk about relief.

Then she gave me her cell number and said to text her, and I said, "Sure, I guess," in what I hoped was a nonchalant kind of way, because I don't want her to know that I am a lonely mere shell of a guy with no one to talk to other than my dad and a forty-year-old stuffed raccoon.

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