For all of my witches out there that are artists or just love art of any kind, here are some things to consider adding to your craft.
Use vine or compressed charcoal dust to make black salt
Use sketchbooks as unique grimoires, book of shadows, book of cosmos, dream journals, etc that allow you to use markers, paints, etc to your heart’s desire
Red liquid ink can substitute for blood
Black liquid ink is good for curses especially for blinding, confusion and chaos
Blue liquid ink can represent water or the ocean
Yellow liquid ink for divination
Green liquid ink for protection and healing spells
Enchant your calligraphy pens for sigil work to strengthen the sigils you make or spells you write with them
Use doodles of people or how you see a person for taglocks in curses and bindings
Melt crayons for wax seals on jars or other spells by placing them in intense sun or heating them in a wax melter (use caution that you don’t heat them too high)
Melt crayons and mix with coconut oil and olive oil for anointing oil corresponding with the colors you use (also can be used as lipstick if desired)*
Use scrapbooking paper in your grimoire to give it unique and artsy pages
Use your paints to make painted spells. Make a sigil and paint it onto your page or canvas, and based on the sigil’s intent once dried paint over it an image that corresponds with that intent to activate. Hang up in your room or home. Cleanse and charge regularly
Glitter my witches, great for color magic and jar spells (note glitter is not good to be tossed into the environment so please don’t)
Write down a person or ‘force’ in your life you wish to remove and use erasers to erase it away as a simple severing spell
Use your dirty paint water for curses or inspiration spells
Use stickers to seal spell jars
Unable to burn something in your apartment? Drench it in black ink or paint instead
Use mechanical pencil lead in curses by break it up. very effective for writer’s block and creativity block curses
Bead enthusiasts or jewelry makers, use your beads to make spell/enchanted jewelry based on colors, shapes, and letters used in it for correspondences
Make your own ouija boards, crystal grids, pendulum charts, etc on some matte board or foam board using paints to make unique affordable tools
Use chalk dust for warding and protection spells
Buy chalkboard paint to turn a wall or other object into a chalkboard for sigil use, spell writing, organization, etc
Use those plastic reusable paint containers for small portable spell jars
Sharpies and black markers are good for curses in general
Use your color wheels for divination via colormancy
Use modeling clay or pottery clay to make your own offering bowls, statuettes and poppets for a variety of uses
For a quick and easy black mirror simply paint the back glass of a picture frame with black acrylic paint. It may take several layers
Reuse bottles and cans by painting them up to make them witchy containers for your tools, art supplies and other storage purposes
Make drawings, write poetry, write stories, make pottery, make a painting, etc to make as offerings to deities, fae, spirits, etc. Just be sure not to sign it if it is for fae (your name can give them power of you)
Use glue or tape to seal spells, for binding and for strengthening spells
Use whiteout for banishing and invisibility spells
Use henna, temporary tats or body safe paint for fun body sigils
Save pencil shavings for inspiration and creativity spells
Enchant your art supplies to bring you creativity, focus, motivation and inspiration when you use them
Use your paints to paint rocks colors for easy color magic
Turn your name into a sigil to sign your artwork so people will recognize it as yours (or other such desires)
Use used paint sponges to absorb negativity before throwing away
Mix paint or ink with water to make color potions or spell jars
Collect markers, crayons, colored pencils, pens, highlighters, etc to use for colorful written spells, amplify sigils, and to strengthen spells
Illustrate your grimoire, book of shadows, dream journal, etc with images that you feel are important or doodles to add your own extra touch to the spells and information inside. Make it your own
Paint, draw, or design your desires or wishes and charge the art in the moonlight to help welcome those things into your life. Keep the piece of art in your room or home
Use lines from your written poetry, stories, lyrics, etc as spell incantations or lines when writing spells to make them more personal
Use old sketchbooks, idea notebooks, free write journals, etc for bibliomancy
Try/Practice automatic writing or drawing for divination and spirit communication
Make collages out of posters, drawings, photos, writings, poems, etc on your wall to act as a low key altar
1) Pressed flowers
2) Coloured Sand
3) Thin buttons
4) Embroidery thread
5) Second hand postcards
6) magazine clippings
7) Patches for mending clothes
8) Denim from old jeans
9) Pages of old books
10) Pressed insects
11) Newspaper articles
12) Calligraphy inks (more vibrant and transparent than water-color)
13) Paper bags
15) Washi tape
16) Spray paint
17) Scrapbook paper
18) House paint (paint stores give away mistinted paint for extremely low prices, can confirm: I work at a paint store and get free paint every day.)
19) Colour chips (get these while you’re at the paint store :p)
20) Tin foil
21) Candle wax
22) Nail polish (if you pour it on the page and let it dry its beautifully shiny and textured. I use it to make eyes that glisten).
23) Oil pastels
24) Locks of your hair
25) Perfume samples
26) Resaraunt coasters
27) Gold leaf pen ( found at art stores)
29) Black coffee
30) Postage stamps
31) Junk mail
33) Dead butterflies and moths
34) Food lables
35) Coffee sleeves
37) Unused pages from previous journals/ notebooks.
38) Duct tape, patterned or otherwise.
41) Makeup (lipstick especially)
42) Lino Stamps (art stores sell ones you can carve yourself.)
43) Door numbers and letters (home depot has a whole wall of them).
44) Lables from a lable maker
45) Ticket stubs
47) Resaraunt menus
48) Other people’s drawings
49) Baggage tags
50) Recipe cards
51) Pencil crayon
52) Regular crayon
53) Acrylic paint
54) Pressed mushrooms
55) Little plastic bags
56) Felt pen
58) Straw and dried grasses
59) Old school notes and assignments
60) Printed photographs
61) Business cards
62) Parcel packaging
63) Yarn or wool
64) Book marks
65) Stickers from Starbucks coffee bags (you can ask for these without buying the coffee)
66) Tea and tea bags
67) Spider webs
68) Snake skin (pet stores)
69) Scraps of fabric
70) Pet fur
71) Hair dye
72) Berry juice
73) Wood stain
75) Masking tape
77) Notes from family members and loved ones
78) Beer and wine lables
81) Birthday cards
82) Oragami paper
83) Shoe laces
84) Dictionary entries
86) Melted Crayons
87) Chalk board paint and sidewalk chalk
88) Metallic foil
89) Coin rubbings
91) Thin tile
92) Spray on velvet
93) Cue cards
94) Name tags
96) Squished bottle caps
97) Paper doilies
99) Dried herbs
100) The inside of correlated cardboard.
The star-wrangling DJ takes Kanye’s meltdown and Bieber’s moods in his stylish stride at Luca
Is Nick Grimshaw still cool? This is, after all, precisely the reason why he was hired by the BBC in 2012 to host The Radio 1 Breakfast Show, taking over from the old, unfathomably uncool Chris Moyles. He certainly looks pretty cool as he hops from the back of a cab outside our lunch destination, all teeth and sports luxe.
Navy suede bomber, blue tailored trousers, black Vans and dark shades. He’s trendy yet clean, sort of Shoreditch via a bath, if you will; a hipster who’s made some decent wedge. The idea that authenticity (what young people think of as cool nowadays) can be upgraded for Joe Public via a little luxury befits our location, Luca, on St John Street in Clerkenwell. It’s run by the same team who run The Clove Club, a restaurant that brought sophisticated food - rather than just triple-cooked chips with aioli - to Shoreditch several years ago. This is their attempt at a posh Italian.
We begin by talking about Justin Bieber. Grimshaw and I - only school kids call him “Grimmy” - have something in common in that we both adore gossiping about famous people we’ve interviewed. Bieber, Beyoncé, Beckham, he’s done the lot. I tell him my worst interviewee by far was Christina Aguilera during her Stripped period. She was wearing so much fake tan that she left a trail of brown radioactive sludge wherever she perched. At the time, I remember thinking she resembled an enormous melted orange crayon.
“I’ve done Bieber every year since he was 14, so I’ve probably had deeper conversations with him than I’ve had with my own family,” he chuckles. Is he a terrible brat? “He used to be. But then every teenager is a dickhead, aren’t they? This year he came into the studio for a prerecord and he was monosyllabic and disinterested. I stopped the interview and asked him what the problem was. He told me he was hungover. So I got him a pint and a Nando’s. Celebrities are just dogs who need petting. Show them some love and they’ll be humping your leg before lunch.”
Speaking of which, we’ve ordered already: shaved fennel with pear salad and carpaccio of Hereford beef with oyster emulsion to start; for mains we choose pasta entrées: garganelli with pork sausage, tomato and anchovy (for him) and tiny pheasant milanese swimming in a peppery, sepia-coloured broth (for me). We drink lager and pale ale and agree the food is, although refined, broadly unexceptional.
Getting back to the gossip, I want his take on Kanye West - meltdown or precision press strategy? “Kanye might be having a nervous breakdown or he might just be really bored.” He’s bleached his hair, I say. Like with Britney Spears, extreme grooming is always a cultural cipher that indicates a celeb is one sad-face emoji short of self-immolation. “I like Kanye, or I like his music. I asked him once if he got lots of free stuff sent to him and he took it as an insult. ‘Do you think I’m cheap?’ he shouted. 'I drink champagne all day. Do you?’ No thanks, Kanye. It gives me dog breath.”
You can see why stars like Grimshaw. He’s brilliant fun, smart and utterly self-deprecating. “What I do isn’t work - it’s talking to myself in a room really early in the morning.” He doesn’t take talent, or himself, too seriously, thus he’s able to sweetly pop celebrities’ ego bubbles and talk to them like a normal person, something the swarming teams around megastars all too often are unable to do.
“I hate a kiss-ass,” he agrees. “Any celebrity that comes into the studio at 7am in the morning to be grilled by me and tells me how happy they are to be here is lying.” His realness has meant he’s been able to make friends with some of those he’s encountered along the way, Harry Styles, for one. Has he heard from Harry recently? “Sure, we texted this morning. He’s worried I won’t like his new solo record. He recorded it in Jamaica so I am praying it’s some awful white-man reggae.”
Cool? Yes, Nick Grimshaw will always be cooler than his employers -always has been, always will be. That’s why he didn’t fit in with Simon Cowell on The X Factor: “Everyone told me not to do it as it was so naff. Simon had weird energy: very Machiavellian.” So what happens when he eventually leaves The Radio 1 Breakfast Show? Where do DJs go to die? The pub? “I’m doing an internship,” he confesses proudly. “With Es Devlin, who designs huge stage sets for Adele and Beyoncé. I’ve been using a glue gun! I’ve always liked three things: music, nice shoes and good lighting. I’ve ticked two of those boxes, so why not the last?
"I’ve reached a point in my life where I know all that celebrity stuff is, ultimately, nonsense. What I need to think about is this: am I happy, am I healthy and am I being nice to my family? I guess it’s about being present.” Which is the least cool, but most honest thing Nick Grimshaw says all afternoon. GQ
I had some inspiration based on Witch tip posts. If you have old or broken crayons melt then down and make candles out of them. Wicks can often be found at craft stores like Michaels. Use old glass dishes (that you don’t plan on eating from), maybe add glitter, herbs, or essential oils, you can even use certain crayon colors in a candle for a certain intention, spell, or holiday. The possibilities are endless so get creative. It’s also a great craft project to do with kids.
“I’m a secret Witch and don’t have access to herbs. What can I use instead of ____?”
“I can’t afford a cauldron, what can I use instead?”
“I can’t get ______, can I use _______?”
So I get this kind of question a lot. Witchcraft in the modern day, especially Witchcraft as it’s practiced by younger people and/or people on social media Witchcraft groups, has a certain aesthetic around it that tends to popularise expensive cauldrons, gem-studded wands, expensive black velvet shawls, and all the other trappings of a field that has become caught, like so many things, in the web of materialism and a desire to be identifiably “Witchy”. Now, please understand that this is not an inherently bad thing - common aesthetic or cosmetic themes are a trope common to many cultures and subcultures around the world and through history. They serve as common binding elements, giving people a much-needed sense of community, a sense of belonging, and a certain amount of morale boosting that might otherwise be hard for a person in a somewhat shunned subculture to achieve.
However, for those who are unable to make this kind of subculture connection apparent for whatever reason be it societal, financial or otherwise, or for those who wish an alternative presentation and practice of the Craft, this can sometimes be problematic. Many Witchcraft resources online assume that a Witch has free and open access to certain things, such as a metal cauldron, a ceremonial athame, a certain number of expensive herbs or crystals, or other such tools or components. Since this isn’t always practical, here is a simple substitution guide for you, giving a non-exhaustive list of potential, basic substitutions.
Please bear in mind, this list only gives example substitutions - other options are also potentially possible!
Athame Most knives, especially things like letter-openers that are not
used for eating. It doesn’t have to be sharp, as athames should never be used
for cutting - that’s a boline’s job
Boline A boline is simply a sharp knife that is used for cutting spell
ingredients and the like. Any sharp knife will do, just cleanse it
appropriately before and after.
Cauldron Most bowls, though metal or fired and glazed clay is best as
these materials are both fireproof and waterproof. Flowerpots or ceramic mugs can work if nothing else is available!
Chalice Any glass will work, however something special and with a stem,
like a decorative or ornate wine glass, would be most suitable. You could also use a special or ornate mug, but one either without a handle or with two handles would be better than one with a single handle.
Coloured candles If you don’t mind the lack of colour, white is a good “general”
colour. However, if the colour is essential, consider tying coloured ribbons
around the base. Do not melt crayons into the wax, however - this can clog the candle-wick and cause it to explode, potentially violently.
Crystals Look up the associations for that stone, and see if any more
common ones would do. In a pinch, consider instead writing the intentions on
paper and burning it, or using stones from around your area that you feel have an appropriate energy.
Deity statues If your deities would find it appropriate, it may be possible to simply write their name on a candle, or inscribe a basic god or goddess figure into one, and burn that in place of using a statue or idol of your deities.
Grimmoiré A grimmoiré is really just a book that’s written in. Any notebook
will work, no matter if it’s bound in singed leather or in a plastic spiral-bound
Herbs Again, consider possible alternatives - if sage isn’t available,
rosemary is a good protective. If you don’t have feverfew for a headache charm,
consider willow leaves or bark.
Pentacle table top A pentacle drawn on a piece of paper will work well as an alternative, or you could consider using something like water daubed into a pentagram on the table top.
Ritual or altar cloth Cleanse and bless any clean, appropriately coloured fabric and
it will work well. A bedsheet is an ideal altar cloth. Black cloth is reserved
for Samhain or funerary altars.
Wands A wand is simply a channelling device for your own innate energies and abilities, so anything that channels will work. Something like a stick that’s been blessed will do, as will any rod made out of metal.
Have you been in a loop lately? Do you feel like you’ve been living the same day for months on end? It’s really not your fault, life tends to water us like we were meant to be more than just overgrown weeds waiting for the lawn to be mowed. It’s really not your fault, things will work out just fine if you take a second to ponder. Think about your many what if’s and what could’ve have been realities. It’s really not your fault, you’re allowed to cry. Do you ever wonder why the moon is constantly in a state of change? Or how the sun likes to sleep right when the party starts? It’s okay to feel alone, it’s okay to be weak every now and then, you are allowed to be human. Your soul demands it. It’s really not your fault, you’re just tired of the bullshit. So breathe in and breathe out. Your favorite people won’t leave without you. Your favorite song will still be your favorite song when you wake up from a long night. You are strong, you are going to be amazing some day. It’s really not your fault, the universe has a weird way to tell us hello. You get to have feelings for people that you shouldn’t. You get to have feelings for people who are no longer there. Although they’ve hurt you, once upon a time– they loved you. It’s really not your fault if you’re living in the past tense, just remember that your present is just as important. Your future is just a curious version of yourself waiting to burst into colors like a box of melted crayons sitting inside of a summer heated car. Do not be alarmed, you’re just melting. It’s okay to be colorful. It’s okay to properly deal with your hurt by eating your favorite ice cream. It’s really not your fault, they’re just learning too. It doesn’t matter if you start today, tomorrow, next week or next month– it’s just important that you start. And love does have a strange sense of humor, it was just a normal day, you just wanted to buy that new book that you’ve been anticipating for months. You get to fall in love with strangers. You get to start anew. No one’s going to judge you harder than yourself, so get used to loving that pretty smile. Get used to being happy. It starts when you’re ready, so like a masterpiece– you’ve been a blank canvas and the painting is already there, you just need to paint. Prepare your bristles and spray down your palette. You’re going to be someone’s somebody. Your voice will be their favorite song. Your skin will be their favorite chorus, how many times will you hold my hands today? Enough to speak the miracles into truths. Enough to spill ink around the moon. Mask the intensity with a splash of nervousness, won’t you let the real you come out to play? It’s really not your fault, you’re just you. As lovely as you have always been. As good as you’ll try. Arms stretched out to grab the sunrise, won’t you be my favorite rhythm tonight? The wolves will howl, the stars, they’ll shine. It was never our fault to live this life of ours, so go out and live it because you’re the only you that’ll ever happen today. As a matter of fact, it’s almost unbelievable that you’re here. Unique as they come. You’re like the sky, we’ll never experience the same sky twice. There will never, ever be another person like you on this earth ever again. I want to hug you good morning. I want to kiss you good night. So write these poems into your eyes and blink twice because life was meant to be nice, you were meant for this. Whatever your “this” is today, go out and do it. You were designed for this, from head to toe, you may fall, you may tip over, you may try to deny your own beauty– but the stars don’t lie, you were born from the very star that keeps you alive day after day. Don’t waste a single second living the same day over and over again. Wake up, you have changed. Each day bleeding into the next, you weren’t meant to be ran over by a lawn mower. You’re just waiting for the right person to dry press you into their journal. You’re just waiting for the right person to write about you. So I’m writing. And this? This isn’t your fault. We’re all built to be flawlessly flawed, beautifully beautiful, and enchantingly enchanting. It’s really not your fault that I’m writing about you. You needed this.
Ten years ago I was a student on my own in NYC. The price gouging of insulin in the US was just beginning. I have been type1 diabetic since the age of twelve. When I think of the struggles I’ve gone through in the past twenty years just to stay alive, a few memories stand out like shards of glass: clear, pointed, and bloody. This is one of those shards…
I am twenty. My alarm wakes me at six to get ready for class. It wakes me at six to begin the strict and unforgiving regimen that keeps me alive. Before anything else I test my blood sugar – blearily, groggily, automatically. The meter is a crappy drug store brand. I miss my old meter but I can’t afford to use that one anymore – the test strips were $75 a bottle. $375 a month. $15 a bottle for this one. Slide the strip into the meter and prick my finger. This meter requires more blood than my old one, so the poke has to be deeper, and I squeeze until a gory crimson pearl forms on my fingertip. The dull lancet hurts: you’re supposed to change them out after each use, but I change it out more like once a week, because a box of lancets is $20, and who can afford that? This is the first of between 8-20 tests I am supposed to each day: when I wake up, before and after each meal and snack, before, during, and after exercise, before bed, any time I feel “off”, and maybe a middle of the night check because I’m afraid of dying in my sleep.
Dead In Bed Syndrome is the number one cause of death for young type1s.
Truth be told, I don’t test as much as I am supposed to anymore. I can’t afford that. Once, when I tried to refill the script for my strips a week too early, the pharmacist told me coldly, “You’re testing too much.” “I’m type one,” I replied, nonplussed, thinking he should recognize the obvious implications of that statement. “You test four times a day. Prescription for four times a day,” he said patronizingly through a thick accent. In a rare moment of assertiveness fed by desperation, I slammed both hands on the counter, “Do you even know the difference between type one and two?” I asked, “You’re not a doctor! I’m testing exactly as much as my doctor told me to.” That was when I realized it was the insurance company I must defer to in matters of health, not my doctor. During class in the morning I feel hazy. Prof gets a bit blurred around the edges. Can’t make out the diagram of a neuron projected on the screen.
My meter beeps quietly when I test, and the bro next to me grunts, “Do you have to do that now?” having assumed I was fiddling with a phone or PDA. I crumple and say nothing. Time to calculate a correction. My entire life is math. I calculate how much insulin I need to correct – to bring my blood glucose down to the normal range. I calculate how many grams of carbohydrate are in anything I eat, and how much insulin I’ll need to compensate for them. I subtract for the insulin that’s still in my system. I subtract for any exercise I’ll be doing. I add for lack of sleep. I add for emotions: for anger, for sadness, for fear. I add for hormones: menstrual, cortisol from the stress of school, of working two jobs, and ironically, from the stress of not being able to afford my insulin. Surreptitiously under my desk, I draw the insulin up into a syringe and jab it into my belly. I don’t swab with alcohol first, because I can’t afford alcohol swabs. The shot hurts despite the needle being a hair’s thin gauge and only a half-inch long. It hurts because it is dull from overuse. Insulin syringes are single use only, but I can’t afford that. I put the biohazard orange cap back on and save the syringe for next time as another bruise forms on my belly. My belly is a constellation of pinpricks and bruises. I got into the habit of skipping meals to save money. I’d contemplated going low-carb, not because it’s trendy or healthier or better for type1 diabetics (it’s not), but because low carb means less insulin – I could save money! But the diet itself is expensive, so that evening I start boiling water for plain oatmeal. Five bucks for the extra large carton; a meal a day for a month! I could eat like queen if I didn’t spend all my money on prescription copays. But I remind myself as I stir my soggy beige repast that I am lucky to even have insurance. I am one of the lucky ones, I think, as I roll my vial of insulin gently between my palms to warm it and mix it when it slips from my hands and falls to the floor. I am one of the lucky ones. It shatters on the rust colored tiles and the reek of the hormone that keeps me alive (imagine concentrated Eau de Band-Aid) surrounds me like the Worst Cologne In the World.
The puddle on the floor is a week’s wages. The puddle on the floor is worth half a month’s rent. The puddle on the floor is worth two months’ food. The puddle on the floor is my life.
I sink to the floor next to the puddle and sob. And I am one of the lucky ones.
Some people let themselves go into DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis, a near-death state) so they can be taken to the ER. There they will be chastised for not taking their insulin – the term doctors use is “non-compliant”, like we’re parolees failing to meet the terms of our release. Like we’re snorting sugar like blow. But at least with the contempt and the upbraiding comes a free vial or two. For some this is the only way they know how to get insulin; each incident of DKA doing just a little more damage to the tiny blood vessels that feed their kidneys, to their eyes, their nerves, to their hearts, to their lungs. If they don’t die this time, they’re gambling with their future. But I’m still a coward. It’ll take another few years before I get pushed far enough to boldly (stupidly) play those odds myself. This time…this time, after three hours of sobbing, I walk to the pharmacy. Swollen face and red eyes. The cacophony of traffic and sirens and catcalls blend together into aural soup. The buildings, traffic, people around me blurring together too, unreal and waxy like a swirl of melting crayons. I’m not truly seeing or hearing: I am mathing. What if they won’t refill my prescription early? How much food can I afford when the currency is units of insulin? How long will I last? Maybe a few days? Maybe a week? I don’t actually know exactly how long I’ll live without it, but I’ll start feeling the effects within hours: my vision will blur, my thirst will become unquenchable, nausea and hunger will battle for reign supreme over my tummy. I’ll lose weight rapidly; I have an athletic physique now, but that will disappear almost overnight. I’ll get weaker. I’ll be winded walking a few blocks or climbing a flight of stairs. My muscles will twitch. I’ll vomit. I’ll faint. I’ll hyperventilate as my lungs desperately try to expel the toxins building up in my blood. My fingers will wrinkle until my hands look like a striga’s. My heart will pound. Then something will give way. Maybe a heart attack first. Maybe suffocation. My organs will fail in one order or another. I will die. And it will hurt. Maybe I can last long enough to scrounge up the money – borrowing, working extra shifts, saving: hey, I think darkly, “If you can’t afford to eat, at least insulin will last longer!” Silver fucking lining. The florescence of the drugstore rescues me from my mind. I head straight to the pharmacy, and to a pharmacist I’ve never met before. Thank god there’s no line. She is a woman in her forties with wavy auburn hair. In her white coat, she is the first thing I see with clarity. She is pretty. She has freckles. I ask for a refill. I tell her I broke my bottle. “You’re not due for a refill for a month,” she says. “Please?” I say…I don’t have anything else to say. I don’t have anything else at all. She consults her computer. She makes phone calls.
I pace and try not to look at the fitness magazines, with their diet and exercise advice. I try not to think about how people micromanage their nutrients, count their calories, and run, run, run from the Reaper. I will never be healthy. I am what they fear. I am what they are running from. The pretty pharmacist tells me there’s nothing she can do. Insurance won’t fill it for four more weeks. I don’t cry because I have no tears left, but I don’t know what to do, so I collapse against the wall in desperation, my arms wrapped around me, trying to think and trying not to think. How can insulin cost so much? How can they refuse me when my life literally depends on it?
How can my life be worth so much and so little at the same time?
I don’t know how long I stand frozen (or am I shaking?), against the wall when I feel the hand on my shoulder. I look up at a halo of auburn hair, but I can’t meet the eyes that look at me. She slips a refrigerator-chilled box into my hand, inside, a vial of insulin. “Don’t tell anyone,” she says, and walks away.