Thursday, August 7, 2008

a reading

Once, when I was young and sad, I walked through a door underneath a sign that read Mrs. Rosa: Psychic. Behind the door, a set of stairs led below street level, opening on what looked like a living room with not enough light and too many pictures. It smelled like smoke and mold and damp wallpaper. A boy and a girl were sitting on the couch, watching cartoons and eating potato chips from an enormous bag.

A heavyset woman who must have been Mrs. Rosa waved me towards a little room on the left. She closed the door and lit a stick of incense. She looked at me without saying anything and I noticed that if I listened carefully, I could still hear the comforting hum of the tv. "I'll give you a three-card reading," she finally said and had me shuffle the deck, "so it will fill up with your energy." I riffed the cards and handed them back to her. She snapped down three on the table between us.

She turned the middle one over first. It was Justice, a seated woman with a crown, holding an upraised sword in one hand and a scale in the other. She wore no blindfold and her stare was accusing. The second card was the Hanged Man and the last was the seven of pentacles, reversed.

Mrs. Rosa put her fingers on top of mine. "Things are not going the way you planned." she said "I see broken dreams. I see broken promises." She was right, but it occurred to me that most people didn't visit pyschics because they were pleased with the way their lives were going.

She told me to put my hand on the table, palm up. She said there was someone who was trying to put the evil eye on me. She could see the shadows and feel the bad energy circling. "For another $25, I could give you a charm of protection," she said. I said it was okay and she said she would pray for me anyway.

When I walked out, the tv was still on and there was a little white dog lying on the floor. At the top of the stairs, I stepped over the threshhold and gingerly merged into the stream of people hurrying along the sidewalk. I had gone almost two blocks before I remembered the question I had meant to ask.

Have you ever been to a psychic? What did he or she tell you?


Julia said...

I took a palmistry course once, back in college. No joke. We had this one month period when almost anyone could teach a short not-for-credit course. This woman was staff in some department or other, and she ran this course for years. I can't remember anything I learned then, or what she said when she read my palm, but I remember finding my notes from that course not too long ago. Didn't re-read them.

Antigone said...

New Orleans. I must have been 18, maybe 19. She said I'd die a young, violent death. Well, I made it to 30 so I guess she was wrong. Maybe it was the Grateful Dead t-shirt I was wearing that day.

At some point around that time I bought Tarot cards and would give readings to strangers just for fun. I remember giving one to a woman who was working the night shift at a hole in the wall coffee shop. I read her cards and told her there was a man in her life she could not trust and a woman close to her who would betray her. Minutes later, just before my friends and I left, her husband pulled up to pick her up. Her sister was in the passenger seat. As soon as she saw them, her eyes teared up. That was the last time I messed with people. We're too vulnerable to suggestion.

Heather said...

I'll take the bait. What was the question you remembered too late to ask?

LawMommy said...

Once, at a street fair. I was about 17. She told me I would marry a green eyed man. I was sad at the time because my boyfriend (at the time) had blue eyes. I did marry a green eyed man, though. Eventually.

My mother had her palm read by a woman at the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1979. She was on her honeymoon with my step-father. The woman looked at her hand for a while and said she was confused. She said she saw one child separated from 3 others. She said she saw 2 children yet to be realized. My mother was so freaked out she got up and walked away from the woman. (My mother had one child when she married my step-dad (me) - he had three children from his first marriage. They were raising us together. They would later have two more children.)

Aunt Becky said...

When I got pregnant with Alex, I was very early on and this old waitress lady read my palm. She informed me that this baby would be a boy (we were sure it was a girl) and that I would have another child. It would be a girl and my last. I would also develop, "The High Blood Pressure" with her.

Guess next month we'll find out if I should start to worry about Preeclampsia.

Either way, it's on my mind more than I'd care to admit.

janis said...

I've been to a couple of Chinese fortune-tellers. Not psychics, not the same. And they say in Chinese, "The heavenly secrets cannot be revealed." If the fortune teller could see and told you what should not be revealed, that future will change. So, I dunno what's the point? Anyways, from palmistry, from horoscope, blah blahs, they can tell you some things. I don't even remember most of it, I guess they did not come through.

I do, on my own, use a set of Goddess Oracle cards. They've been amazing.

Ms. Planner said...

No but I am both dying to go to one and simultaneously terrified of what they might tell me.

thailandchani said...

Well, I've been to a few... Sylvia Browne once before she became so famous.. and some others. Not a single one said anything that was accurate. (The past life stuff is basically unverifiable. :) I suspect they scope out the general demographic and then say things that will apply to most of that population. When they're so wrong, it just sounds stupid. Most of the wording is vague enough to fit into any situation but when they get specific and it's wrong.. oh.. ugh! :)


Aurelia said...

I've been to one when I was very little, he was a famous palm reader, who performed in Vegas and was in my town visiting relatives.

He said that I would be married when I was 21, (wrong) and have three children (right), a boy and two girls, (wrong).

There was lots of other stuff I don't remember, but honestly, I really think it was ridiculous. My mother and aunt were very religious and I remember thinking how incredibly strange that they wanted me to do this, and even pushed me to do it. Normally I'd get a lecture about God striking me dead if I played with a ouija board.

(I didn't believe that either!)

Molly said...

Funny you should ask. I just went to one this past weekend in Ohio. It was on my list of things to do before I turn 30. She was a very intuitive woman, and some of the things she told me were uncanny. Some were very general, granted, and could be anything. But I'm very curious as to what the loud piano playing that she kept hearing means.

It was interesting -I didn't think I would be so nervous, but about 10 minutes in I realized my legs were jittering under the table. A friend asked me how I felt afterwards, and I replied, "Calm." If the psychic gave me nothing else, she gave me confidence in going forward. That was worth a 5-hour drive and $45.

niobe said...

Heather: Oh noes! If I answered questions like that, what would remain of my ineffable aura of mystery?

(Though the truth is that it was a long time ago and I don't exactly remember)

Wabi said...

Once in a grocery store in San Francisco I bent down to get a can of tomatoes, and someone knocked into me with her cart. She apologized and then a few rows later when we crossed paths again, she handed me her card. She was a psychic/tarot reader.

"You have a VERY interesting aura," she said. "I really think you should come to me for a reading soon."

I thanked her, but never went. If someone can't see your rump sticking out there in the canned goods aisle, what are the chances they can see your aura and your future so clearly?

Karen said...

Wabi - in my experience that is exactly the type of person who probably can see your aura so clearly.
my experience with the extra-sensory stuff is that it is all right there & open for interpretation or misinterpretation -like faith & prayer and hope. the future doesn't really exist yet. But sometimes I'll get a psychic-like hit from the universe, or my belly, or God and I'll just see how things might be. Sometimes it turns out that way. I try not to go forecasting, b/c I don't think it really works that way.

Anonymous said...

I saw a psychic a couple of months before I met my husband and she told me a few things about the man I was going to marry and how I wouldn't meet him in a typical way.

After meeting him in a way that wasn't typical, I went back to see her, told her nothing, and she went on to tell me I had met the man I was going to marry, gave me his initials (all three were right) and then told me the timeline our relationship would take. She was right about it all.

I wish I could find her now and see what she had to say about my future 10 years later. It was skeptical, but she knew too much. I had to believe her.

dana said...

i went to a psychic last summer, after the death of my newborn daughter emma.

i delivered identical twin girls on august 14, 2007. baby emma, the bigger, stronger (read healthier) of the two died 17 days later on august 31.

i was despondent. wtf? why have me go through the whole "high risk pregnancy" and 5 1/2 weeks in the hospital only to have a baby die? if she had died in utero, i would have been sort of prepared. but this?? inconceivable.

so i went to a psychic to find out why.

i walked in guarded, too worried to "give away" too much of my story. what she told me gave me such peace: "she was never meant to stay. her job was to bring molly here safely and to keep her company so she wouldn't be scared."

who knows if it's true. but i did feel better.

debbie said...

I consulted with an astrologer/tarot card reader/friend of a friend. I saw her once just for fun, once before our termination, and once this summer. She told me that my chart showed "a break with parenthood" on the same day our termination was scheduled; that my husband was in the perfect place for himself; and that if we had another child right away, it was likely to end in death.
She also said that we would have some big surprise in eight to ten weeks and that our family was going to see a lot of stability in the near future.
The eight to ten week period is coming up in a few weeks, so I guess we'll soon find out if she's right.
Are you going to see one again?

Monica H said...

I've always wanted to go and I almost did in Durango, but my husband just laughed at me.

Although I did go with my sister a few years ago. She was dating this guy for a few years who was all wrong for her, but it was her first love. The lady told her she was madly in love, but her love interest would hurt her and he wasn't the one. He cheated on her and became a verbally abusive drunk. Though she loved him, it did not last. They broke up for good about a year later.

Eva said...

Yes! When I was a teenager. In Venice Beach. I asked something like "would I escape my mother's clutches and be happy." She said yes. She was right.

sweetsalty kate said...

dana, you just made me cry for the first time in a while.

Azaera said...

C and I do our own tarot readings actually and 99% of the time they turn out right. My grama used to go to a psychic a lot actually and she was really accurate. The last reading my grama went to she told her that she was going to die at the age of 68. And she stopped going to see her after hearing that because well I guess that's not what most people want to hear. Anyway she died of cancer in 1998, at the age of 68 years old.

Elizabeth said...

When I was about 14, I went with my mother to a psychic. She told me that I would have a job that would have me up and down a lot and not sitting still and that I would have 4 kids. I'm giving that reading an F.

I've always been interested in the occult, though, and used to do tarot card readings for people at college. I found them more a helpful psychological/personality tool than any sort of mystical communion with the other world unfortunately.

Topcat said...

I was only thinking about this the other day. When I was 16, I was at a gypsy carnival in England with my family. There was a fortune tellers caravan, it looked so grimy and alluring. I hesitated, wanting to get my fortune read so badly. I chose not to.

A few weeks later, we flew back to Australia and my stepfather promptly killed himself.

I wonder, if I had my fortune read that day, what she would have said?!

Kami said...

I did during desperate times. She sad we should use DS because she didn't see it working with DH's. She saw success with my eggs. Dead wrong.

Zee said...

Funny you should ask. Just recently. Like, a week ago. To ask about, you know, if I'd ever have a baby. And, before I could even ask my question, she launched into a whole thing about I was with the wrong man and how this relationship will never amount to anything. When I looked horrified, she said, "Well, if you didn't have doubts about it, you wouldn't be here." So I said, "well, that's not actually what I came to ask about," and she looked stunned. Then I asked my question and she said, rather brusquely, that although I might have a child (two future pregnancies, one future child -- nice, right?) it wouldn't be with VB. That cheered me right the hell up. Great idea, Zee!

Mand said...

What a great post topic!

I've actually had readings from a few different people, and only one failed to give insight to things neither of us could have known at the time. (She also happened to be the one that had them most "I'm in this for the money" vibe)

Most notable to me, however, was the reading I had last summer. I was newly pregnant with my son but not yet showing. She mentioned the pregnancy, talked about the complications and scares that would occur, very late onset GD (just a couple weeks before he was born) and more. I'd pretty much forgotten about most of what she said by the time these things started happening.....and forgotten several things until I referred back to my notes after his birth.

She was really, really good.

Jennifer said...

I read my own cards.