For starters, the psychic was drunk.
Maybe not out and out hammered, but at least half in the bag by the time it was my turn to flip the Tarot and find out what the cards, the stars and the woman that someone on Yelp said was the “premiere psychic’s psychic in New Orleans” saw for me.
By the time my reading was over two and a half hours later, we’d killed a bottle of Chianti between the two of us, I’d inhaled enough second-hand smoke from her Natural American Spirits (pun intended, I’m sure!) that I could probably blow a decent set of rings just from the haze in my lungs, and I’d starting saying things like “y’all,” “da babies” and other affectations of my other-worldly host in a mimic of her Nawlins-by-way-of-the-Bronx drawl.
If you’re wondering what brought me to her in the first place, let me step back a moment and let you know that I am that person.
So while I hail from Boston where witches were once routinely hung and curses are busted not with the help of metaphysics but rather money ball (READ: the Sox 2004 World Series win over St. Louis), I have moved past that naysayer upbringing and wade willingly into the Woo-Woo.
While it could be that LA, which gets that wrap anyways, has gone to my head, I’m also a person of a certain age with an itching to discover the meaning of life.
Not necessarily the Monty Python version (OK, well maybe a little of the Python version), but the spiritual seeker’s version.
So I do have a kick ass Asterian astrologer (who also fronts an increasingly popular “Deathtronica” LA-based band called Luna 13), practice TM, study Mussar (a Kabbalah corollary, sort of) and am generally grasping at straws to make some sense of this crazy-ass existence that I had the audacity to bring two beings into.
As I’ve said many a time, the world is fucked, so there’s GOT to be something we can do about it. That’s why I go on about the importance of human connection and also why I think getting a little metaphysical, if not philosophical and at the very least, thoughtful, is also a good idea.
So back to the psychic, who half the time was mumbling about her cats, her Erté, her mother’s ashes (perched on a precarious ledge that threatened to dump them all over my head AND my cards at any second) and my illustrious future. Between her drawl and strangely hypnotizing emphysemic breath, it was a little hard for me to concentrate… until she periodically would burst forth with random questions and observations:
“Male guardian angel! Who is your male guardian angel?”
As I scoured my brain for likely suspects (and honestly, neither of my deceased grandpas seemed to fit the bill), I finally landed on Channing Tatum. We both busted out in a Chianti-spiked chortle when I said that, so I took it as a yes.
The psychic then became a little focused on my daughter, which initially made me nervous, but given that I’d tipped my hat by revealing “dat baby” is 15 years old, made perfect sense. A slew of cards supported the idea that she is empathetic, kind and therefore especially susceptible to the cruelty of mean girls.
My job, according to the psychic, is to surround the kid with white light and protect her from those who would do her harm.
If that ain’t the definition of motherhood, then honestly I don’t know what is. Even as a grown ass lady, I’m all about the Girl Code, and I spend a lot of time teaching my kid about it.
Plus since the minute I realized I was pregnant with the first baby, I’ve been full o’ prayers to keep the kiddos safe.
Again, I didn’t need a psychic to tell me about the joy of worry.
Finally, she moved into the meat of the reading: what the hell did the cards hold pour moi?
That everything she threw down was career-focused was both encouraging and terrifying at the same time. I’m in the throes of a bonafide reemergency, so the idea that anything I laid my mitts on was related to sorting that midlife shit out made full-on sense to me.
“It’s coming… in three days…three weeks… three months…”
Of course three is an auspicious number, and there is a big difference between three days, three weeks and three months. Still, as she focused on the myriad upcoming awesome opportunities for me, she zeroed in on the one thing that she said that made a whole helluva lot of sense to me:
“Get it in writing!”
And suddenly, the psychic’s face morphed into someone else’s: my mother’s.
The best advice I’ve ever gotten from my mother — “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate” — was exactly what the shit-faced psychic pulled out of her bag of tricks.
As she urged me, over and over, to go the distance and have my colleagues, co-creators and clients sign on the dotted line, I thought about all the times I’ve caved to the path of least resistance thanks to a lethal combo platter of shaky self-esteem and outright laziness.
And then I thought about my newest client that essentially was getting my hard work on spec, no signatures anywhere. My brain then darted to my street savvy lawyer client whose #1 piece of advice is always YES, YOU NEED A CONTRACT.
Did I need a psychic to tell me to get my business in order?
While you might think not, all I have to say is I spent the plane ride home from New Orleans reviewing contracts and also napping. (I had to do SOMETHING with that Chianti hangover, now didn’t I?)
So if you see me dotting i’s and crossing t’s, just know that while nobody can predict the future, there are definite steps you can take to make sure it plays out how you want. Success may be in your cards, but if I were you, I’d get it in writing.