I'm a basic bitch that likes crystals, and here's why
We assign a lot of importance to these small, shiny chunks of rock. Some people say they can inspire creativity, balance chakras, even cure nightmares. Whether that’s true or whether its hokum I don’t know, but there’s something much more powerful crystals bring me. Nostalgia.
When I was nine I went to Bournemouth. It was the year before I had to wear glasses. It was the year before I got fat. We stayed in a white hotel, high above the beach.
In the shabby foyer of the hotel, standing adrift amidst the unashamedly 70s lounge chairs, was a glass cabinet. The glass cabinet was filled with crystals, a shimmering haul a pirate would be proud of. I was nine, and I loved crystals almost as much as I loved horses. I spent a good portion of the holiday with my nose pressed up against the glass, admiring one crystal in particular. It was a smooth, pale chunk of rose quartz, shaped into a polished pebble. Man, I wanted that crystal more than anything in the world. Even more than I wanted a pony.
That holiday stands out in my memory for a myriad of reasons. I spent more time in the water than out of it, swimming in the pool, and the sea. I got painfully sunburnt for the first time ever. My mother recently confided to me that it was the most boring holiday she’d ever been on, and my grandmother, who came with us, wouldn’t so much as let her slip down to the bar for five minutes. But I was nine, and pretending to be a dolphin, and I didn’t notice the undercurrent of tension every evening in our brown-and-orange family suite. The golden, sandy beaches of Bournemouth took my breath away.
But I couldn’t stop thinking about that crystal, sitting behind the glass. Always a shy child, I lurked silently around the cabinet every evening. I don’t remember who asked for the crystal, or who unlocked the glass door. I do remember hoarding my holiday money in anticipation, and spilling it over the reception counter in exchange for that coveted chunk of pink quartz. It fit perfectly in the palm of my hand, and that’s where it stayed, squeezed tight in my hot little fist, or tucked safely in the pocket of my denim jacket. My school friend, also a crystal lover, was suitably impressed. I bought other crystals, raw chunks of pyrite from day trips to museums, or shards of citrine from the ubiquitous hippy shops that were everywhere in the 90s. I ended up amassing quite a collection. But none of them compared to the carefully shaped piece of rose quartz. I wish I could say I still had it, but I don’t know what happened to that crystal. It was purged by me, or my mother, in a whirl of vicious decluttering.
The smooth chunk of rose quartz only exists now in my mind, like the memory of that holiday swimming in Bournemouth. But, damn, if I don’t like crystals.