the ol' man tells me there's a new spirit sitting right in the middle of my back. new, 'cause he aint never seen it there before. funny how somebody else gotta see what's already decided to claim me. guess it's too many of 'em rotating seats right up on my spine like they playing musical chairs. i need ol' man to alert me to shift changes. he says this one is a real bonafide african but not born from the kongo, which aint really saying much considering africa is a whole damn continent. hell. i been to ghana. all the way up to paga through kumasi and on down to elmina and cape coast, where the atlantic don't hardly play with silly tourists wanting to swim on they backs. nah. that big water roars. bones and the souls what owns them beating out a rhythm gonna force you to surrender. and all up and through that country, you can't even count how many peoples and tongues roaming the land. so, i can hardly focus on what this spirit's name could be or how it should sound coming off my lips. that's the least of my concern.
right now, i want to know what she come for, 'cause since my cutting and the oath i been negotiating since that night, i am almost completely certain that any spirit come 'round me come to work. those that's sent for mischief get tight pretty soon as they catch light up in here. them ones ... they don't have much truck with me. but the others, the ones that come of their own volition, they definitely come to work. and while that might make some big head conjurer excited, quick to doctor up some new gris gris, pot, or mojo bag, it gives me caution. i know what it means to be called, to be a door-way and safe haven for souls what still got work to do in this world. they see you got a strong back, and get to plotting how to get you razor sharp and ready for some serious business. it's best to go slow.
i know some folk get it easy. spirit choose 'em and find it sufficient to give 'em good luck at shooting craps or attracting easy lovers. but not a single pact with a ghost has let me travel a road so simple. nah. used to be i would feel all special and righteous for the company, lighting plenty candles and sitting in the dark, trying to decipher what they talking between my own voice and the bare silence in my living room. got so i would let 'em run me ragged, doing whatever they missed out on when they was wrapped in flesh without considering whether i really wanted that mission to begin with. but now, i'm straight up. i want to know the deal.
if you somebody called to know a spirit's whisper from the wails and shimmies of the wind against a wood shingle, you better know how to bargain. and well.