Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Column: Dial 'M' for mysterious Mystic

I once was asked to choose a single adjective that least describes who I am. I considered "fastidious," and "sculpted," and "dapper," and "conservative," but eventually settled on "spiritual."

I don't want to offend the many perfectly nice, earnest simpletons who believe in astrology or numerology or crystal therapy or feng shui or geomancy or, say, the healing power of labyrinths, but I myself scoff at that sort of magical thinking. I believe that if the human race doesn't extinguish itself first, everything one day will be explainable on a scientific basis (with the possible exception of the enduring popularity of those word-search puzzles).

In short, I have managed to churn through the many days of my life without ever even considering consulting a psychic. That changed one day recently. I got suckered in by an ad.

It was a professional-looking sandwich-board sign on the sidewalk. This is what it said, verbatim:

Grand Opeing!

Psychi Readings

By Monica. $5.

The bargain price was definitely a factor, but that wasn't the deal closer. What got me were the casual, dreadful misspellings. If I was going to invest in a psychic, I wanted to be amused. I wanted a cut-rate psychic with spectacular inattention to detail.

(Initially, I had read it as "Opieing," suggesting an appealingly transformative process to return to a simpler time, and a fishin' hole.)

Monica's pad was at the top of the stairs, and her studio didn't resemble what I imagined a psychic's lair would look like. There was no dim lighting or hanging draperies or crystal balls. There were kids running around. We went into her brightly lit consultation room, and she asked to see my right palm, which she held. She said she was going to read my energies.

Monica was young and pretty, and I think I was partially wrong about inattention to detail because she favored the sort of decolletage that might distract some more distractible male clients from noticing any errors that might happen to occur, such as when she immediately nodded at my hand and said, "Four children."

I said no, I have two.

"I know," she said. "But you were meant to have four children." She said this in a meaningful way, as though she was disappointed I had not lived up to my cosmic fecundity.

She spoke very rapidly. There is cancer and diabetes in my family.

True enough! My mom died of cancer and my father was partly blinded by diabetes. However, I must note that, based on health statistics I have just pulled up, and doing some actuarial computations, it turns out the odds of both cancer and diabetes existing somewhere within, say, three generations of anyone's extended family is roughly four in five. Still.

Monica assured me I am going to live into old age, which I strongly doubt inasmuch as I have half a liver, intemperate habits and generally slothful, sedentary behavior. However, at 61, I arguably have already lived into old age, so maybe she was just noting the obvious.

She continued: I work hard but think I am not accomplishing as much as I am, I should travel more, and almost everyone I know who is not my family is my enemy.

Wait. What? She had just thrown this in at the end of a sentence!

Yep, she said gravely. They are all envious of me and wish me harm, and I must be very careful that they do not take advantage of me. Be particularly wary, she said, of people with an M or a J in their names.

That was it! The end of the session. I ponied up a $10 bill and told her to keep the change.

It was only when I got back into the street that I realized: "Monica" begins with an M.

Gene Weingarten can be reached at weingartenwashpost.com. Follow him on Twitter, geneweingarten.

© 2013 Washington Post Writers Group

Column: Dial 'M' for mysterious Mystic 08/29/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 30, 2013 5:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post - Writers Group.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg and ex-cheerleader Lynn Aronberg finalize their divorce

    Blogs

    In announcing that her divorce was settled this week, Lynn Aronberg said the reason for the split in part was because she supports President Donald Trump and her Democratic husband does not.

    Dave and Lynn Aronberg were married on St. Pete Beach in May 2015.
  2. A trip down memory lane of Bucs' preseason expectations

    Bucs

    With HBO's Hard Knocks in town and the Bucs opening training camp Friday with their highest expectations in a decade, here's a look back at Tampa Bay's preseason expectations since their last playoff appearance in 2007 — and the results.

    2008

    Jameis Winston and running back Peyton Barber celebrate a touchdown last season against the 49ers. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. Boy Scouts apologize over Trump's remarks at jamboree

    National

    Facing an angry backlash from parents and former members, the chief executive of the Boy Scouts of America apologized on Thursday for political remarks made by President Donald Trump at the organization's national jamboree this week, during which the commander-in-chief crowed over his election victory, attacked the news …

    President DonaldTrump, front left, gestures as former boys scouts, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, watch at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit in Glen Jean, W.Va. Boy Scouts president Randall Stephenson told the Associated Press on Wednesday, July 26, in his first public comments on the furor over President Donald Trump's speech on Monday that he'd be "disingenuous" if he suggested he was surprised by the Republican president's comments. [Associated Press]
  4. Drones restrictions coming at Tampa Bay area airports

    Airlines

    Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, according to a press release.

    In this February 2017 file photo, a drone flies in Hanworth Park in west London. Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems,
[John Stillwell/PA via AP, File]
  5. Hit-run driver who refused to leave van threatened to shoot, Hillsborough deputies say

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Eddie Carly Colon Soto peeked his head out the broken side window of his van as a SWAT team closed in.

    The driver of this van tried to flee the scene of a crash in north Tampa Thursday morning until he could travel no farther, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said. Then he refused to leave the van and threatened sheriff's deputies, they said. [TONY MARRERO   |   Times]