The Tapeworm and Magician

by chelseajin

So I think the last 2 notable encounters I had in Tucson were with a boy who apparently had a tapeworm and a couple who were…”practitioners of magic”.

The little boy was probably around 7 years old. He’s such a sad case because it highlighted how long things take. His mother had come to the van almost a month ago, looking for help, but we couldn’t do anything because we needed to get his old hospital records. For some reason, that took forever and there was a bit of push-and-pull between the staff to actually look for the tapeworm or not. Finally, they came back with a stack of papers detailing his history and hopefully, they’ve given him some anti-parasitic like praziquantel.

Both the mother and son are super sweet, and you could tell he was almost lethargic and just too thin. How strange is it that after all the workup from the hospitals, they didn’t discharge him with the medication? It looks pretty cheap…

The day before I left, we had Tucson House which is a slow site, but it was topped off with the last people of the day. This couple comes in and I strike up a conversation with the husband who’s waiting outside. I mention his shirt, which I’ve seen on Threadless (or is it Woot?), a puppy Cerberus. He gets really excited and just starts talking about how he’s a “death-head” and schools me on all mythology, Greek, Roman, Norse.

What started it all

His wife’s name is Freya (Of course), and he starts telling me about the Ring Cycle, and I’m totally overwhelmed. He says some odd things about how he believes in magic, and I get the feeling that he’s something related to a Wiccan, where it’s almost a religion/way of life, but I really can’t tell. His wife is actually getting a bit antsy since they have an appointment to make and doesn’t let him go on too much.

He did give me something valuable though…

He had his and his wife’s bikes strung up on the sidewalk, and I asked him where he had started out from. He said a place that would have easily been 15 miles away, and I gave him a look of “wow, that was a workout”, and say it must have taken a long time.

He’s a bit of a smart alec, and smirks at me then says, “yeah well, we rode for a few blocks then took the bus.” To my expression, he supplies, “I only implied that we rode here, I never said I did. You made the assumption yourself. That’s what magic’s about– illusions”.