But then there was a celebration, a real gardenia party. I got in line behind the women and dipped two cups in violet oil, and carried them to the dining room where a pale southern lady with an African nose sat upon on an altar, on a throne. One dollar’s worth of donation in a red plastic cup and you poured your oil over the fetish, a hard wood harubang. A burning wick with flowers, fruit, a feast already all laid out. Madame was fierce. She told me with 7 candles I’d have all the love I needed. But I didn’t want to give all seven, such an ostentatious presentation. So I chose 2 and made my plea and joined the people ahead of me on the sidewalk, drinking, eating. Madame was fierce and busy. I waited until everyone had left, helped clean up a bit. She remembered my hands, and spoke to me in silence. I said to her out loud: What about the gift of music? Teach me how to dance. She didn’t say yes or no. She only said that it was a matter of right timing, and the fetish on the table who told me I was charming.