About Me

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thought i was a donut, ya tried to glaze me

6.20.2007

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dear loyal readers (hi kerri fortune!),

This following has been published in the 2007 edition of the Sequoya, the literary and arts publication at St. John's. Pick up a copy at the Writing Center to see it in the flesh. Trust me, it's not all fluff like this; they just put mine in because I paid them to.



Psychics



When I was a senior in high school my friend Candace and I went to visit my sister Roseanne at college. Candace had just applied to SUNY New Paltz and wanted a weekend to check things out, and I wanted a weekend away from my parents, so it was the perfect situation. We arrived Saturday morning, too early for my sister, but she let us into Bevier Hall and her dorm room anyway. Our plan for the day was to spend some time on campus and walk around town, do a little shopping, get some lunch.


“And maybe we can even go to one of the psychics in town!”


My sister knew how much I loved psychics. I always wanted to visit one, even after all those nuns in school told me they were against my religion and they didn’t know what they were talking about. But what did the Sisters know, anyway? They obviously hadn’t seen Sylvia Brown on Montel—she seemed like Light and the Way, at least to me. I assumed all psychics were as great as she was, and I built up my first psychic reading to be life altering and amazing. What would I learn? Who from the great beyond would contact me? I waited a long time for the moment to happen, and sitting in a dorm room at SUNY New Paltz, I was assured my moment was about to come.


By noon we were walking up Main Street. We passed stores like The Groovy Blueberry, which only sold tie-dyed clothes, and some store that only sold incense. We ate burgers at McGillicudy’s and then continued down the street, and I knew with each step I was getting closer to my life-changing psychic experience. When we finally arrived at The Awareness Shop, built in an old white house with a wooden sign pegged into the front lawn, I was almost too anxious to go in. Who knew what was waiting for me through those big double-doors? I walked through the hallway and tried hard to take it all in—the tapestries on the wall, the crystals hanging from the doorframes, the faint smell of peyote. This, I thought, was exactly what I dreamed about. The people here were about to tell me what the rest of my tomorrows were going to be like, and trust me, I was ready.


My sister walked up to the front register and got some information. The woman sitting there told her the three psychics were all in the middle of readings, and would be out in a couple of minutes. She encouraged us to take that time to look around the shop.


“We have a sale on healing stones, three for $10,” the woman told us, motioning towards the section of the store marked… “Healing Stones.” I was tired of shopping for things I didn’t really have a use for, so instead I took a seat on one of the couches in the corner. There, I mentally prepared a list of things I wanted to ask my psychic. Things like--where would I go to college next year? What was I going to do for the rest of my life? Will there ever be peace on earth? Would I ever find true love? Who was I taking to senior prom?

When the first psychic emerged from her office, she was smiling and laughing with her client. I didn’t want to be the first to go, so I made Candace go with her. Introductions were made, and the two of them went behind a curtain, where I assumed predictions of a bright future were waiting. The next two psychics came out at the same time, 10 minutes later. One was an elderly woman with purple glasses, and she, like the first psychic, walked out smiling and laughing with the other women who walked through the beaded curtain. They even shared a hug and a kiss on the cheek. The other psychic was a guy, and he walked silently out of his cubicle with another woman, but they didn’t look very happy. Something about it didn’t seem right, and then I heard him say something to the women that didn’t help: “I’m sorry, it’s just what’s in your stars.” And I could’ve been wrong, but I think the lady might have actually been...crying.


I wondered what that was all about. But then I thought, maybe she just has a really shitty future and doesn’t know how to deal with it. I’m sure this guy was just being honest with her, and if I had my reading with him, things would be different, obviously. And sure enough, my sister ended up with the smiling woman and I walked slowly over to the guy, who was talking to the woman at the register.


He didn’t notice me at first so I waited and listened for a break in conversation so I could jump in. Except...there was no break in conversation. It was a nonstop gab-fest, like they hadn’t seen each other in years. What was worse, they weren’t even talking about stuff I expected psychics to talk about. No mention of tarot cards or sharing of next week’s lottery numbers-- they were talking about how much oil had gone up and how it made the utilities on this dude’s apartment higher.


Didn’t he see me standing there? Didn’t he at least FEEL my presence?


I finally had to wave my hand in front of them to get their attention.


“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t see you there.”


He turned to the woman at the register, and let out a heavy, disgruntled sigh. As if I wasn’t standing right there.


“This is my next session?”


She nodded her head and he held out his hand.


“I’m Ron, let’s go inside.”


I followed Psychic Ron into his corner of the shop, to the left of the bathroom. There was no beaded curtain or moon tapestry to walk through, and his space was blocked off by a wall, making it just as private but not as cool as walking through beads. He invited me to take a seat on his wicker bench, which was a lot more uncomfortable than I expected it to be. Psychic Ron sat across from me, next to a desk with a laptop on it. His Psychic Certification certificate was hanging on the wall, not in a frame but instead pinned with a thumbtack. There was a photo of a kitten on his desk.


“So, hi. I’m...Ron. I didn’t’ catch your name.”


“Uh, Katie.”


“Katie? Alright, Katie, what the next thirty minutes will be about is you using my abilities to find the answers to all the unanswered questions in you life. Now, what I use is a program on my computer to get your star chart—“


A computer program?


“—and from there, we can find the map of your life that has been predetermined by the alignment of the moon and stars the moment you were born and—“


Seriously, a computer program?


“—hopefully give you some answers. Sounds good?”


What the--?


“What kind of computer program do you use?”


“Oh, just something I got off the internet. It’s...it’s really just a starting point—“


He got it off the fucking internet?


“—that I use in predicting things. Alright, so, uh, what is your date of birth?”


I gave him the information—my date of birth, the time I was born, what part of the Earth I was born on. He typed it all into the computer and waited—

“Sometimes it takes a while…this computer’s a piece of crap. I’m thinking about making the switch to a Mac.”


--and waited. Finally he looked down at the screen and shifted in his chair.


“Ah, alright, ok. Sagittarius—you are optimistic and freedom-loving, jovial and good-humored, honest and straight-forward, intellectual and philosophical...”


All true, of course, but I could have gotten that in the back of Cosmo. I wanted him to get to the good stuff—my future.


“With your star chart here....uh huuuh....alright.....ok. Now, if there anything specific you want to know?”


Here’s where my mental list came in handy. My voice cracked as I asked him--


“Uh, yea, well....so I’m a senior in high school? And I applied to a whole bunch of colleges? I was just wondering how that’ll all turn out?”


Psychic Ron rubbed his chin, his eyes still fixed on the screen.


“What kind of colleges?”


“The 4 year kind?”


Ron nodded his head.


“Now, judging by your chart here? I don’t think a regular 4-year university would be ideal for you.”


I knew I should have applied to the Ivies!


“See....I feel a school with a career at the end of it will be the best decision for you. Maybe a trade school….basically, something that doesn’t take as long but guarantees you a job when you graduate.”


Oh.


“Oh. Uh, alright. But like, what if I just try at one of these colleges that I applied to?”


“You’ll probably fail miserably. Now, did you want to study anything in particular at these schools?”


At 17 my main goal in life was to one day write for All My Children....and maybe it still is. Don’t judge me.


“Uh, something in television?”


“Yea, well....it’s not here. I don’t see you working in that field.”


He waited a few seconds for a reaction.


“Sounds good?”


Sounds good? It sounded terrible! Now what was I supposed to do for the rest of my life—air conditioner repair?


“So what else would you like to know?”


Psychic Ron, the dream killer, didn’t seem to notice the look on my face because he kept moving on. At that point the only thing I still wanted to know about was my future love life.


“I was wondering. about…my love life? True love… and stuff? Is there anything on that chart about that?’


He banged a few keys and then his computer starting making a weird noise and Ron looked up at me.


“Ok, so, your love life. Alright, well, you’re going to find love early. I foresee a young marriage.”


Young marriage --that’s adorable! Maybe I’d marry the person I took to prom!!! Just imagine all the great photos!


“But you see--”


Uh oh.


“The only reason you will marry the guy is because you’ll be pregnant.”


Oh my God.


“And like, the guy…he’s an alright guy, but you don’t really love him. You just marry him because he can provide for you and the baby.”


Oh my God. Oh my God. In twenty minutes my life went from working in soap operas, to being one.


Psychic Ron glanced at his watch and said—“I think we’re almost done here. Anything last minute questions you want to ask me?”


Maybe who the hell let you be a psychic?


“No, I’m all set.”


But I wasn’t. My head was spinning and my face felt hot and I couldn’t hide my disappointment any longer. I bet if I met with Sylvia Brown my future would look better. I bet if I was in the audience of Montel she’d tell me what I wanted to hear.


Ron walked me out and looked at me; I guess he saw in my face just how upset I was. And then he said the words I heard thirty minutes before, back when I didn’t think they applied to me.


“Hey, you know, I’m sorry…it’s just what’s in your stars.”


I felt like crying.


But instead I nodded at him, and thought about how great it would feel to punch him in his face. I wish I knew when I walked into that stupid, smelly shop that it was full of dirty liars. I wish I never went in to that big white house—I should have stayed back in my sister’s dorm, and played Playstation or something. Anything was better than this.


Roseanne and Candace were outside on the couch, smiling and waiting for me. They both looked so excited, and they shared with me their own psychic predictions. Roseanne’s psychic told her she’d find a career she loved after graduation, and meet her “true love” just in time for Spring Weekend. Candace’s psychic told her she’d really “come into her own” in college, and meet a boy who would play guitar, and blah blah blah.


Really, who cares? Hooray for them, and their bright futures. I’d be lying if I said I was happy for them, because I wasn’t. And I still had to pay $30, which sucked, because I could have spent that money on one of those hemp pullovers I saw at a shop on Main Street. At least then I’d have something to show for my trip.


Once we left the shop I let Roseanne and Candace know what my psychic told me, and they just laughed and laughed. They didn’t think it was really true, and I guess I didn’t either, but I still didn’t find it very funny. I now I had a story to tell at parties, but something about it still hurt. None of these things came true—I’ve made it through college, and I haven’t gotten knocked up (yet). But the worst part about this was I lost my faith in all of the outer worldly things I once believed in. I no longer read my horoscope. I threw out the Tarot Cards my sister gave me for my birthday. If Sylvia Brown is on a talk show, I immediately switch to Judge Joe Brown because the initial pain and deceit of this former demy-God is too much for me to take.


…But you know what? I always switch back. I guess I’m still waiting for my moment with the woman who, for me, started it all, so I can finally hear exactly what I want to hear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I kinda want to go to a psychic, still.

-Bridgid

I wonder if my writing has even improved?