I went into a store this afternoon, which sells all different kinds of ethnic and bead jewelry, and also has a separate room for fortunetelling. I pass the place at least once every day, and was mystified at the “palm reading” sign, wondering what the palm reader would say when she looked at my palm. I never had the time or the nerve to go in.
But something about the weather or how I was feeling today strongly made me want to see a fortune teller. I also had to buy a pair of earrings and I thought if I went in and chickened out, I would at least have the excuse of looking at the jewelry. So I opened the door (which seemed tremendously heavy) and found myself looking at a middle-aged woman with wavy hair a very unique shade of mahogany and huge eyes.
-Do you do palm readings?
-Yes, but the person is not in today, the woman said with slight accent, but come here, and I will read you.
I hesitantly walked towards her, not quite sure what she meant.
-You are a very lucky person, she said. You are doing very well in school and your parents are very proud of you.
At this, I thought she was making this up, saying general things one would say to any student at Harvard (I was wearing a Harvard sweatshirt), so I said,
-Really? I don’t think they’re very proud of me.
-Shush. I speak. You listen.
I felt embarassed and peered into the showcases, looking at the jewelry to avoid looking at her.
-Love is very near. The man you are interested in is interested in you, but he is very… shy. He needs a push.
I was about to open my mouth and tell her that there was no such man involved in my life, but shut up at the last moment, anxious to hear some of her other “predictions.” By this time, I had turned my back on her, pretending to look at the other jewelry, but she kept on talking. I wondered what she was basing her interpretation on, especially since she had never even taken a peek at my palm.
-You will marry, but not now, in two or three years.
-Two or three years!
-Yes, yes, and you will have… let’s see… three children. The first will be a boy, and then twins.
There are no twins in my family history but I have always been partial to twins, and the prospect of having twins made me very happy, though I tried to conceal it.
After she had made some other comments on how wonderful my life was going to be (with me feeling dubious but happy), I asked her
-So how do you see all this? Do you read faces?
I was facing her and she drew circles around my head with her hands.
-There is this aura surrounding your head, she said, looking and sounding very weird.
She may have been a fraud, but at least got me feeling good enough to actually find and buy a pair of earrings, smart woman. But coming home, I wondered if there would be any truth in her predictions (if she were the psychic one, why was another person doing the palm readings?) and thinking that after all that I’ve been through, I could use some good fortune.