I arrived at the posh apartment building at 8:30 PM. I was greeted by Mr. Peterman who led upstairs to the penthouse. I began setting up my table. My hands shook a little as I pulled out my old purple velvet table cloth. My eyes welled up a bit, I didn’t realized how much I’d missed this. It seemed so silly, I mean it was all a bunch of lies anyway, but as I set out my candles and my tip jar I realized what I missed the most was the respect I got when I did a reading.
I’d never gotten much respect back in the Midwest, they’d taken one look at my pale skin and noticed the tremors in my hands and thought that I was someone to kick. It was the same way in Los Angeles at first, in fact it was worse for the first year, and then I’d started doing readings. After I started getting well know, a rumor had started that my skin was so pale because of the light inside me and my hands shook when the spirits were speaking to me.
Although I always sniggered at the delusional minds of Angelinos, I secretly understood. I had always found reality to be horribly depressing. I wished that I could believe in magic, but I just couldn’t. The people who came up to my table always went away happy, knowing that something good was coming their way, that whatever happened, happened for a reason and that the universe was fundamentally a just place.
I knew what a bunch of hogwash I was selling. I knew that everything happened for a reason and that reason was that people were greedy shits. I knew how dangerous it was to think that everything that happened, just couldn’t be helped. I knew how lazy and complacent that way of thinking could make people. At the same time I wanted the money and I liked the power. Every time I thought of quitting I remembered what it was like to be poor. Every time I felt guilty about lying, I remembered how people treated me when I was honest.
I sat down at the table and the party began. As people came up to me I started to remember details of this particular evening.
There was the guest of honor, a short man who reminded me a little of Dustin Hoffman. He wanted to know if he should start his own business. I had Googled him and I knew that he was a manger of music for a big company. I had remembered that five years ago I told him he should wait another five years before starting his own company and if he did wonderful things would happen. I wanted to give him something to look forward to. This time I told him that he should start the company in one year.
A lady with auburn hair came up to the table and sat down. I greeted her as if we were old friends. I remembered that she had started off by asking if she should buy a beach house and then confessed that she thought her husband was having an affair. I told her that no matter what the universe would provide for her. I also told her to get the beach house and put it in her name. A year later she’d found a receipt for the Beverly Hilton in her husband’s wallet for December 2nd when he said he had to work late. She confronted him and he left her and she was living in that beach house. This time I was more specific.
Before she could even ask about the beach house I said, “I see a woman with blond hair and green eyes, she and your husband are at a play. I’m getting 12’s and twos after that.”
She turned white when I said it. She grabbed a drink off a passing tray and began to cry. I told her that amazing things were going to happen to her as a result of this tragedy.
The next man I talked to was a producer of reality television shows. I told him that I was picking up on a vibe that his next big star was a soon to be divorced trophy wife who was somewhere in the room with us.
I headed home in the cab with $600 in my purse. The next day I sat in my old apartment all day. As far as I knew all I had to do was simply not buy the car.
While I waited I watched TV and surfed the net remember all the various celebrity scandals that had happened five years ago. I checked e mail and was glad to see that I didn’t have anything that need attention that day. I hesitantly went to my old blog. There it was, Confessions of a Fake Psychic. The only picture was that of a pink hat that I found at the bus stop the first night I did readings. I kept my identity and the identity of my clients well hidden, it was the only place I could really say what I thought and it was my way of reminding myself who I really was. I read a couple of the entries. I hadn’t even written THAT entry yet. I looked at the blog hits, it was pretty ironic how I hadn’t even gotten twenty hits a day. I thought about erasing everything, but I thought better of it. If I didn’t buy the car it wouldn’t break down. If the car didn’t break down there would have no reason to go to a mechanic, if I hadn’t gone to the mechanics, I wouldn’t have met Steve.
I lay in bed that night waiting for the 6:00 AM alarm to go off. I wondered how I checked to make sure I had the key to my future apartment at least 30 times. I hoped the key would work, I tried to make a plan if it didn’t.