It’s not that I’m a non-believer. I believe, alright. I just see my soul as unreadable, a dark untraceable map on the continent of my body. So when I found myself sitting across from a fortune teller at a house party, holding a mojito with a pineapple on the side, I realised I was more transparent than I initially believed.
I was also, quite possibly, a little pissed on rum.
(I made sure to sneak away from the party at some point to transcribe the conversation in my little red notebook. I then threw the notebook across the room in anger because I could hear my favourite songs playing downstairs and I couldn’t work out how to get myself to the dancefloor in time to dance to them, SO YOU BETTER APPRECIATE WHAT I SACRIFICED TO BRING THIS BLOG POST TO YOUR FACE okay).
I can’t remember the fortune teller’s name but I recall she had curly hair with wisps of grey throughout. She had the obligatory dark, stormy eyes and wore a black dress of lace, which I assume to be some sort of standard uniform in the divination world. Later someone added that she had Maori blood. I think this just added to her mystical nature or something.
I picked out my ten cards. She asked if I had ever done this before. I shook my head. She smiled. DID SHE ALREADY KNOW THAT? I thought, suddenly paranoid that she knew everything in the world.
‘Do you know anyone in the house?’ she asked casually.
‘Yes, my boyfriend lives here’.
Her whole face lit up with a massive smile.
‘Oh he was just in here!’ she declared (this is not divination; he’s the only straight guy who lives in the house).
Her smile grew wider as she shuffled the remaining cards. ‘Well isn’t that interesting…very interesting…what a unique person he is…very special’.
She flipped the first card: lovers. This was my foundation card apparently.
‘You have so much love at your centre. You surround yourself with people and people love and adore you. This is a good sign and a good start. Always come back to your core when you stray from this element’.
She flipped the next card and looked aghast all of a sudden.
‘If you don’t want children, you need to do something now to prevent it because children appear in your future!’
‘HOW SOON?!?!’ I shouted, jumping from the bed a little too excitedly.
‘It’s not too far off in your future so take care. I mean it could mean a new beginning and be referring to something else…but it’s more likely a baby’.
Although it seemed like an impossibility, my head began planning appropriate baby names and contemplating which school I would enrol the baby in, and would the baby turn out to be a gangster? Or would he/she be a revolutionary? I would accept the baby even if it chose to be an accountant, but I would put revolutionary posters in its crib, just to ensure that it was aware of all its options.
She flipped another card. Snakes, tangled and coiled. The Medusa card.
‘Something is troubling you now. You have a tendency to engage in troubling self-doubt. You lack confidence in yourself but it makes no sense for you to do that. You have so much talent. People adore you. You need to stop doubting yourself. Will you promise to stop?’ she asked, seriously concerned.
I promised the stranger lady with the seeing powers that I would try to believe in myself a little more.
Another card. ‘Your job will change soon and it will be on your terms…but you also have a big project in your life, an unfinished project that’s very close to your heart and it will take up more prominence in your life…are you writing something big?’
‘I’m writing a novel’ I said in a small voice.
‘Ahh that makes a lot of sense. And you struggle when you’re not in the right circumstances for writing, don’t you? You feel like it will only happen when you have the right time and place to do it. But you can do it anywhere…I sense there’s a poison in your life at the moment that’s stopping you from doing what you need to do’.
‘Will I finish it?’ my voice is barely audible.
She simply smiled back at me and took my hand. She peers carefully at the lines marked there.
‘OH MY! You will have many children! So many babies here…you will marry once.’ She paused in deep thought, brows furrowed.
‘But the question is, will I have enough babies to form a small soccer team?’ I interrupt with a serious expression.
‘Well isn’t this interesting? You are nothing like your family. You feel like you are from somewhere else, from a different family. You don’t think like anyone else in your family.’
I nodded, a little perplexed and flabbergasted at this assessment.
‘You will live a full and prosperous life with opportunities being thrown your way. You will always have money. At one stage, you will have a lot of it. Oh…that’s strange’. she says, as though my hand was just one big fat odd occurrence.
‘One line indicates stability. A careful, well thought out path. But the other line is faint and suggests unpredictability. In this line you could find fame and recognition for one major thing, but there are also two other strong things you accomplish. But this line is faint. Overall you will do many things in your life and you will do them well. I can see your unfinished project in these lines and it seems to prosper. There is an unpredictable chaos here next to your stable path. I suppose it could go either way…’
I stared at the faint line on my palm, the unpredictable one where my novel sat. I stared at it so hard, almost willing it to appear less faint on my hand.
Back to the cards: A ring of commitment appears.
‘He loves you. He is so committed to you. You have no idea just how much. A change will come soon for the two of you…a big change’.
A CHANGE LIKE MARRIAGE AND A FOOTBALL TEAM OF BABIES? I think quietly to myself, fully aware that she is probably reading my mind. In under ten minutes I have become a marriage-wanting-baby-machine.
She asks me to pick up another card because she needs to know more about this. The card is of a man. I assume I know what this means but I am wrong, of course.
‘Oh! Why?!’ You’re worried about him. And you’re letting it drive you crazy! Why are you worrying about him?’ she says, exasperated.
I briefly explained how he was a little bit wild like me sometimes but was more likely to live with a kind of reckless abandon and on the edge of things. I suppose I’m not like that, mainly because I inherited my mother’s paranoia and anxiety for most things in life.
But I didn’t elaborate on this or explain how he had a tough life, how he had to flee his home country as a refugee when he was a child or how he grew up in a very German town. I didn’t mention how his best friend was murdered or how he was in multiple car accidents where he nearly died nor did I reveal how he told me the fourth day of knowing me, that he feared he might die young.
I only let her know that all these things led to a kind of paranoia that had been building inside me, forcing me to worry the way my own mother might worry, allowing me to cry at the tip of a hat, just thinking about the worst that could happen.
It was here that her interpretation actually scared me. How could she know that? I was overwhelmed with emotions as she reassured me that he’ll be fine and I didn’t need to worry. This woman, who up until ten minutes ago had been a complete stranger, managed to cure me of my crazy. I felt instantly better, but secretly tapped my hand on the wooden table just to be safe.
Another card: ‘I’m worried that you’re somewhat of a loner’
Me: ‘Ha! But I’m fun loving and sociable! Look, I’m holding a mojito with a pineapple in it!’
‘It goes deeper than that. You are submissive. You always come back to love and need someone special in your life. But deep down you can be a real loner. I can see you have a bit of magic in you. The people who surround you see that and love you instantly for it. You have talent and your life will be full and prosperous. But this self-doubt is crippling you and your heart is the driving force of this pain. Stop worrying. You will write your book and you will be known for it. Your skill as a writer has got you here now but you have other places to go too. You will get there’.
Another card: ‘Ahh yes. You will live in Europe next year and love will be the motivating factor in that decision. There you’ll be nervous and uncomfortable for a while because it will feel unfamiliar and you will feel insecure all over again. You will struggle with the difficulty of a new home in a foreign country where you won’t speak the language at first. You’ve done this before. This time so many opportunities will arise from this. So many things are connected to that experience.’
‘You must go’
And that was that.