A couple of weeks ago I told you about how I occasionally use psychics, especially during those times of life when I can’t see the forest from the trees and I need some outside perspective. Some of you said that you, too, believe in that stuff, and others said no way-- psychics are nothing but con artists. I agree that yes, some are, but not all.
Let me tell you a little story about my last day in New Orleans after JazzFest 2008. (I’m writing this quickly, so forgive me—it’s not the best sample of my literary abilities.) The partying members of my family had already departed for Albany, and I had a later flight back to Vegas, so I had a few hours to kill by myself in the French Quarter. One of the tarot card readers sitting in Jackson Square called me over for a reading. I resisted, since I have my own psychics I call on when I need them.
Well, if you’ve ever been to New Orleans, you know how aggressive the street performers and vendors can be. “I’m the best reader here,” he said. “I guarantee this will be the best reading you’ve ever had.”
Nope. Not interested.
And then as I walked away, he called after me, “You’ve been married twice, and that second one was a real doozie, wasn’t he?”
Okay, you have my attention. I sat down, give him $30 and waited for other brilliant cosmic insights. Some things he said were pretty right-on, though just about anyone who assesses my style of clothing and jewelry can figure out I’m a “creative type.” He offered some encouraging predictions—my book would do well, my kids would collaborate on a musical project, etc. Overall, I thought it was an okay reading.
During my time in New Orleans, I’d been worrying a bit about Bastard Husband. I hadn’t heard from him in about three weeks, which was very unusual. So I had one last question before our session was over.
“Is my ex-husband still alive?”
“No,” he said, matter-of-factly.
“What?” I nearly jumped out of my seat. “He’s dead?”
The guy seemed genuinely sorry. And surprised at my reaction. “I thought you knew,” he said.
Gulp. “Are you sure?” I asked.
“Oh, yeah. He’s dead. Dead, dead, dead." He shook his head as he spoke. "He had a heart attack.”
If you read my book, you know that BH’s father dropped dead of a heart attack at 52, and fretting over BH’s health was somewhat a morbid hobby for me. I started to freak.
“When did this happen?” I was hoping to trick him; if he said he’s been dead for two months, I knew it couldn’t be true, since I’d heard from him more recently than that.
“Just within the past six weeks,” was his reply. “I thought you knew.” He casually looked away and then back at me. “Yeah, he’s dead. Dead, dead, dead.” The certainty of his words spooked me.
OMG, he’s dead. I knew this day would come, but I didn’t expect it today. Goddammit. I spent my remaining time in New Orleans shuffling somberly around the French Quarter until it was time to catch a cab to the airport.
I was still on the verge of tears when this adorable young girl in her 20s sat next to me in the middle seat on the plane. Her name was Tobi, and before takeoff, she confided she had a nearly crippling fear of flying. Her husband sat in the aisle across from us; but as I recall, she didn’t want to sit next to him because she was afraid her anxiety would drive him nuts. I told her not to worry; flying is the safest form of transportation and the most dangerous part of a trip is the ride to the airport. We laughed about the irony of my having no problem sitting in a chair 30,000 feet in the sky, yet I become a mental patient at the sight of a pigeon.
Having broken the conversational dam, I told her all about the tarot guy in Jackson Square and my life with BH. “Isn’t it weird that years ago, a tarot card reader told me I would meet him, and now another reader tells me of his death?” I asked.
I told her about the time I thought I smelled smoke in my apartment, but couldn’t find the source. I sniffed all over the place, and even felt warmth on my right arm. A little while later, I received an email saying he'd been sending me “fire energy.” Got it! There were a lot of cosmic incidents with BH, and I was sure this tarot reading was another one.
I went on and on, and I’m sure that poor kid had the longest friggin’ flight of her life—she probably wished the plane would, in fact, go down just to escape my yakkity yakking about the demise of BH. God bless her, she was polite as hell, and before we deplaned, she gave me her email address so I could update her on the situation.
Well, I checked my email the second I got home from the airport, and sure enough, there was a short message from BH. Nothing important or coincidental, but he was definitely alive. That stupid tarot reader got me all freaked out for nothing!
I emailed Tobi and we had a good cyberlaugh together and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. Facebook has solidified our friendship. I’ve told her she has an open invitation to stay with me here in Vegas (provided she can get on the plane) and no doubt we’ll connect when I’m in New Orleans for a future JazzFest. I wouldn’t be surprised if we keep track of each other for a long, long time.
And through Facebook, I’m also in constant contact with Prudence, the tarot reader in Albany who I call on for insights when I need them. I love her readings! And mark your calendar—Prudence will be a guest on my Aging Nymphs show this coming Wednesday night at 10 p.m. Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. More details on that to come!