Breeality Bites

Welcome to hell: Being a chemical queen in a world of all-natural goddesses

I'd never thought much about the statement "better living through chemistry" until recently, when a new witch moved into my commune. She seemed to take the already counterculture-heavy snow globe that is my home -- known as the Witch House House -- and shake it with a spell-driven vigor. She only cooks in cast-iron skillets, heals all ailments internally and externally with herbs and tinctures, meditates regularly, and for a moment, wanted us to cease the use of toilet paper. I freaked the fuck out.

Meanwhile, my existence depends on manic workouts at the gym and a life filled to the brim with Splenda and diet pills, wrapped in stretch pants from Forever 21 and doused in anti-aging products and Aquanet. And, of course, it contained toilet paper. See also: - Dixie Longate packs plastic and bullpucky in Dixie's Tupperware Party - I'm addicted to yoga. What are you on? - Five things I freaking hate about the Oscars -- thanks to the Academy!

In a rush to claim my territory in the commune, I immediately rejected her "weird" lifestyle, deemed it insane, and contemplated moving out. I was not about to have some traveling, pseudo-Burner holistic medicine woman change up the weirdo status quo in my house.

This home has always been an off-kilter (to me) but loving place that acted as a space for band practices, guided chanting and meditation sessions and, often, the setting for the occasional queer workout video rehearsal. But this new, sixth addition to our modest, 1,000-square-foot home had me questioning everything by which I identified myself. She was too different than my norm, and had no problem being 100 percent herself and instituting her rules, regulations and non-chemical cleaning products onto the Witch House House.

Radioactivity on my skin? I like that!

She made me feel like a '50s housewife stereotype, bound with devotion to a chemical magic -- whether it was in the form of processed diet food, anti-wrinkle creams or toilet bleach -- and I wasn't going to ever let it all go. This planet-friendly person was upsetting my existence, not to mention my love of bleach. I wanted to be able to curl my hair, microwave a Lean Cuisine and watch Teen Mom 2 while washing my clothes in Tide without feeling like I was doing everything in life wrong, damn it.

I strongly (and bizarrely) desired to keep on loving my chemical lifestyle filled with perfumes and dyes, magical cleansing agents and the romantic notion that food looked exactly like it did on the package when it came out of the microwave (which we no longer have, by the way). I am 32 years old, and there is no way I was going to change the simple things in my life that keep me happy now. I am all about positive changes and bettering myself, but this high-on-a-chemical-beauty diet of a life was not something I needed to fix. It wasn't broken.
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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies

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