“I’m not telling you what to do, I’m just telling you what you’re going to do. There’s a difference.”
― Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The psychic asked me to sit down. Then she asked me to think of a question for her.
Career or love. Love or career. I thought to myself, because those are the two monsters that seem to be constant coordinated messes in my life.
Career! I screamed out loud, in my head.
“Love,” I said, out loud, to the psychic. “Please, tell me about my love life.”
“Current love?” she asked, as If I was eager to hear her to recap my latest and greatest awful date. “Or Future Love?”
My palms became so sweaty they slipped off the edge of the wobbly wooden table.
There was a line of people tapping their toes. Eyeing me from the side. Crossing then uncrossing then crossing their arms again. Waiting to have their own staring contest with a 5″3 blonde haired lady who knew the secrets to their tomorrow.
Who actually belives in psychics? I don’t know. I don’t think I do. But i’m not really sure.
I did wait in a 30-minute line, in 6-degree weather, to get into the club to meet with her, for free.
What people will do, in NYC, for free entertainment is bonkers.
But when it’s jaw-clenching cold out, and you haven’t left your apartment in 4 days, there’s a refreshing kind of beauty in spending time with a stranger who may or may not have the powers to tell you the game plan of your life.
A girl once told me that she went to a psychic and the psychic told her in a year from now she would meet a guy whose name started with the letter B and fall in love.
Two years later, outside a smokey bar with a broken PAC Man machine inside, she told me about how she was engaged to a guy named Brian.
A little prediction, I thought, even if it was as spotty as a weatherman prediticing rain in Florida, was better than approaching this love thing totally blind.
“Take me to that psychic right now,” I begged her. But it was 3am and all the psychics in NYC had closed down to get their beauty rest.
I left a voicemail on one’s phone asking if they would help a broken-hearted girl out.
6-months later, I was sitting in front of one, hoping she’d tell me the guy’s name started with a Z or a P so I could know that there was at least a guy out there that I was meant to marry.
Sorry, career, I love you. Sometimes more than anything else. But in this moment, I had to be a little selfish.
“I have bad news for you,” the psychic said.
“No, oh no, no,” I started to panic. You never want to hear anyone say they have bad news for you, let alone a psychic.
No news, I imagined, was better than bad news. Ignorance is bliss, but when it comes to your heart, ignorance is all we have.
“It’s going to take a year for you to even be ready to find someone.”
“A year?” I panicked. “I am ready now!” I said, popping out of my chair as if a teacher just asked the class who wanted to go to recess.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “You need time.”
“TIME! I DON’T NEED TIME.” I was screaming but I don’t really want to talk about that part.
“Until then, do things for yourself. Travel.”
My eyes splattered out tears.
“Oh, here is something interesting.” She went on, though I wish she had just stopped.
She tossed over a line of tarot cards. One had a dagger on it, another fire, and finally a crown.
“Go to Disney Land. That’s what you should do.”
I sat back in the chair. My face flushed. My heart punching.
“Disney Land? Are you kidding me?”
Love is not a fairytale. The last person I loved told me that. But here I am, hearing a psychic tell me, without really telling me, that I’m supposed to go off and marry Mickey Mouse, or ride Space Mountain and fall in love with the attendant who cleans up my post-rollercoaster puke.
“I wish I had better news for you,” she said, handing me her business card and a nonchalant smile. “But I don’t!”
“Oh,” I said, disappointed. The dagger, the fire, the crown, were all stabbing my heart at once.
I got up. Shook her hand. Took her card and flicked it into the trash can.
We are all so fearfully alone. So lost. So afraid of ourselves, our futures. What we even have left of our futures. That’s why we twinkle with a bit of comfort when we read horoscopes, or hear advice, or sit across from a stranger with a crystal ball and a pack of tarot cards, taking our little world into their hands, for a moment, and blabbering off what they think will happen to us.
Nobody knows what will happen to us. So it’s a maddening type of bliss to hear someone who claims they know our future.
Maybe in a year from now, I’ll end up at Disney, eating one of those jumbo-sized turkey legs, and lock eyes with my Mr. Forever, who is wearing a pair of Mickey Mouse ears.
Maybe I won’t.
I don’t know and I don’t think she does either. But maybe that’s the beauty of life – we are not supposed to know our future. If we did, this moment, right now, would be awfully boring and mundane.
I’d rather it not be. Would you?
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