First seen on You, Only Awesomer!
It all began in the late ’90s with a dream, a shelf full of crystal jewelry and a simple sign in the window offering chakra alignments.
When I started my shop, “Chakra Khan,” I didn’t set out to scam people. I had the purest of intentions. I have a real gift with auras. But then these boys started sloping into the shop with their flannel shirts and ankh tatted girlfriends, begging me to help them get in touch with their inner selves. I started feeling important.
I started getting greedy.
My decent began with tiny, white lies. If someone was perfectly aligned, I’d tell them they were little left of center. After I “fixed” them, they’d be so grateful they’d almost always buy some essential oils or a crystal necklace. But it wasn’t enough. I began offering “Free Alignment with Purchase of Oil.” On my signs, I underlined and italicized the “essential” in “essential oils” to emphasize how critical they were, like I was some kind of Madison Avenue slickster.
It wasn’t long before I was padding bills and making more repairs than necessary. Once I had a girl so off kilter, she stepped out of my door and smacked right into the side of the shop, like a child trying to walk after spinning in circles. I pretended not to notice and shut the door.
I’d never put much stock into being rich, but suddenly, I was able to buy the giant purple amethyst geode pair I’d always wanted. It had calcite growing along one edge and a row of amethyst “flowers” inside of it… I hardly had it displayed on my mantel before I found myself starting to purposely misalign my customer’s chakras, assuming they’d soon return and pay to have them realigned. Instead, I found shutting down the first and second chakras created an empty feeling that my musician clients actually appreciated. It enabled them to write more emotionally tortured music. Word got around. I became a sought after consultant for the post-grunge movement. I spent a full six months touring with the rock band Creed.
I bought the dress worn by Stevie Nicks in the “Stand Back” video at an auction for $9560. I wore it while standing on a reversed treadmill in front of a fan I bought at Target and taped a self help video that sold for $9.99 to every musician in the area. I had become mad with power.
I scraped extra energy from my clients, making a great show of saving the excess in pickling jars. In a month or two, I would sell them back the jars to help “boost” their power. I called it the Energy Bank. The name was so catchy; my clients didn’t stand a chance. I implemented a policy requiring new clients bring me the crystals and oils they already owned, just so I could tell them all their fluid needed changing. I insisted their crystal energy filters were dirty and needed to be replaced. I’d bring out crystals of my own that I’d swapped for theirs, and point out the imperfections with carefully rehearsed horror stories of clients who had traveled the path with shoddy equipment, only to be left broken and stranded. I convinced well-to-do clients to pay me to come to their homes and rotate their crystals. Often I didn’t even touch them. I just sat on their sofas and watched Oprah with their maids.
I’d hired some girls to watch my little shop. During a rare day behind the counter at Chakra Khan, a man in a nice suit entered my door and quietly asked me for the “oil, alignment and lube.” The girls had turned my store into “happy ending” chakra alignment shop. The kind of shop I’d mocked, just a few years earlier.
I went home in a daze and turned on my CD player. For the first time, I really heard Creed’s Human Clay album.
I burst into tears.
What had I done? How many lives had I ruined? How had I become so twisted?
The next day I sold my shop to the girls. They were able to pay all cash.
I left the business for good.
It took me four months to realign my own chakras.
Today, I’m a secretary at a transmission shop outside of Tallahassee. It isn’t glamorous, but it is good, honest work. When I told my new bosses about my time as a crystal shyster they just laughed and laughed. Clearly, they understood that I was lost, but have returned to the path of righteousness. A couple of the younger ones had trouble getting past the Creed part, though.
I didn’t tell them about my work with Nickleback.