[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
why i don't read horoscopes - pt. ii
about a year after the “your destiny is to be a ho” incident, i actually let the very same friend convince me to accompany her when she went for a card reading.
i know, i know…whatever happens in the next several paragraphs, you gotta think i was, on some level, asking for it.
so, after ascertaining whether or not there would be snacks provided (yes!), i agree to go.
we arrive at the home of the card reader and go inside. there are, of course, lots of candles and psychic-y things, but we end up in the incredibly not-psychic-y kitchen for the reading. my friend cuts the cards, and the psychic-card-reader-woman (pcrw) begins to explain how things will proceed.
she asks if we have any questions, so i immediately step up to the plate.
“do you happen to have any napkins? these cheetos are making my fingers orange.”
“uh…just a moment.”
“thanks. oh, and just so i’m clear, do you have to stand on 16, or draw until there is some portent of death?”
i’m giggling madly, while they glare at me. i then make the universal hand symbol for zipping my lip and amuse myself with cheetos.
i’ll admit, the card reading was pretty good. just as there was with the chart reading, there was enough specific information to keep my friend convinced and pcrw managed to sell the whole thing pretty well considering it was on a formica dinette table under fluorescent lights.
so, of course, when my friend’s reading is over, pcrw turns to me and asks, “how about you? can i interest you in a reading?”
“actually, you could interest me in a sandwich, but i’m not big on the whole psychic-astrology stuff.”
my friend begins to shame me, and it actually works, and i shell out $30 and cut the cards.
the reading was pretty uneventful – noticeably absent was any mention of my life’s calling in the world’s oldest profession. i thought that was a sign that either pcrw super-sucked, or the bcpw had been dead wrong about me only being good for one thing. i chose to believe the former. my reading was filled, instead, with the promise of true love, a fulfilling career, and long life.
we left, and had lunch at a mexican place with great margaritas and laughed, drunk on the idea of our happily-ever-after lives to come. and the tequila.
less than two weeks later, my house burned to the ground. i lost everything i owned, including the most amazing dog to ever grace humankind with her presence.
for days i sat in a dark room, friends and family trying to coax me into eating or talking. honestly, i remember very little about those four days. but, i do remember day five.
i woke early and showered. i picked up the newspaper from several days earlier, and got into my car. i’m not sure i knew where i was going until i actually got there. and then, it seemed almost logical.
i rang the bell, and pcrw came to the door hesitantly.
“can i help you?”
“well, i don’t have an appointment, but i wondered if i could have a moment of your time. you did a reading for me about two weeks ago…i’m not sure you remember me….”
“sure, i do! come on in.”
i made my way through the house to the kitchen. i sat down at the formica table and waited.
“so, what can i do for you? would you like another reading? is there a specific question we might find an answer for today?”
“actually, yes, there is a specific question i would like to find an answer for.”
i unfolded the newspaper on the table.
there, on the front page, was a full-color photograph of my house engulfed in flames.
“this is my house. or was my house. it burned to the ground. less than two weeks after my reading with you. i’m not entirely sure why you wouldn’t see something like this. or, at the very least, a hint of something kind of bad. but you didn’t. you saw bluebirds and rainbows. true love and babies. i didn’t come here to have sunshine piped up my ass. actually, i just came here to spend the afternoon with my friend. i don’t even believe in this shit. but if you tell people that you can tell them the truth, and then they trust you and you lie to them, someone has to call you on that. and that’s why i’m here. you’re a phony. a scam artist.”
overhead, the fluorescent lights hummed quietly.
“i lost everything. my dog was killed.”
without a word, she got up from the table and went to the desk in the corner. she came back and laid the $30 on the table in front of me and walked out of the room. i sat there for another ten minutes, but she never came back. and, why would she? what else was there to say?
life is lived every day. you never know what’s coming. you’re not supposed to. you can’t cheat, you can’t sneak a look at what’s on the next page. you just take it as it comes, and you plow through.
and that’s why i don’t read horoscopes.
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