THE SHUSHING SHAMAN

I’m writing and sipping tea at the Inn and Spa at Loretto’s Living Room bar. I come here often to write because it’s quiet, like a library. I look up as a man walks in, wearing a jacket and crisply ironed jeans. He’s accompanied by two willowy blondes. They sit on the other side of the lounge.



I get back to work on my computer. Then, in a booming voice he begins a phone conversation. My writing rhythm is derailed. I look up. Only the crown of his head is visible over the back of his chair.



“I’m not going to Paris!” he protests. “Brooklyn is closer.” References to Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio follow. Fascinating! Still, I let loose with a “Shhhhh!” For a few seconds it’s quieter, and then his voice grows loud again. “Shhhhh!” I hiss. And then he booms:



“No! I don’t want my name in the script to sound like the guy in Lolita! What’s his name, Herbert ... Humboldt?”



This is my moment. “Humbert Humbert!” I announce.



“You won’t believe this,” he says. “Someone just shouted Humbert Humbert’s name to me from across the room!”



“I was an English major, and I can hear every word of your conversation!” I blurt.



He walks across the lounge to my nook. He’s a handsome older guy with salt-and-pepper hair and a big smile on his face.



“Who are you?” he asks.



“My name is Luisa. I’m a therapist and shamanic healer.”



“You’re what?” he asks.



“I communicate with the spirit world to help my clients.”



“Now that’s interesting!” he says, and thanks me for my literary intervention.



“Who are you?” I ask.



“I’m Harvey Keitel. I’m here shooting a movie with Adam Sandler called The Ridiculous 6.”



One of the blond women summons him back with a gesture.



“Welcome to Santa Fe,” I say. “After listening to your call today, I know more about you than I ever could have learned from your movies!” —Luisa Kolker



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