I poked my finger on to the greasy type pad at the HEB on Oltorf several times while the cashier and bag girl admired my purchase.
“Aztec. Green. Mask.” the cashier said while he examined my purchase and then the girl asked what it was.
“It’s the best,” I said, finally getting to the screen that suggested I skip it.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw them rolling the squat plastic cylinder container back and forth between them, while one of them murmured ‘healing’ and the other whispered ‘ancient’. I didn’t get a receipt, but I think it cost me about $7.50, which is well worth it. I get a sense of detoxification and well, healing, when I use this mask more than any other beauty product and I was happy to have a fresh supply.
While it solidified into a thick, flaky mess on my face and neck, I thought about the painting I had bought earlier in the evening from an art show Alamo Collective off Webberville Road, in the building where Eastside Bikini’s used to be. It’s a small Jenaro Goode painting of biology. In it, two cells with their mitochondria exposed sit on a blade of grass among other blades of grass beneath a tree in front of a lovely blue evening sky. There is a drop of dew visible, giving me that same sense of healing I seem to be seeking these days.
I’ve met Jenaro before, when he gave me a private tour of his studio a few months ago. I’ve planned on buying his work for awhile and when I finally did, I bought it from his manager/hype man Ricky Morales. Ricky referred to himself as a collector; a former bud dealer who spent his earnings cultivating a solid art collection before deciding to focus on promoting the artists he loved. He was a lot of fun to talk to and it was easy enough to hand over a few hundred dollars for something I know I’ll love to look at.
Maybe it’s because I had a similar monetary exchange last week that I felt good buying the art if not also a little irresponsible. I bought a tarot card reading as a late birthday gift to myself and sat in the reader’s garden before my appointment feeling like I was in a Mucha painting, surrounded by dripping plants and metal plumes while chimes rang somewhere off in the distance. The reader swiped my credit card and wished me the money back a thousand fold. The reading was huge and has stayed with me for days. I cannot say here exactly what was told to me, but I will say I am glad this exchange came first in the timeline of things. The decadence of spending money on myself has worn off and been replaced by the circular feeling of support. If you want to keep it you have to give it away.