Giving Up the Gun, Or What the Psychic Said

Once upon a time, I impulsively dropped $75 on tarot card readings.

That’s right, in an 18 hour period, 2 different psychics had their way with me and the entire contents of my wallet.  What, in God’s name, was I thinking?

At the time, I was broke, uninsured, verging on broken-hearted, and in serious need of a disinterested 3rd party’s reassurance that “Everything will be alright.”

I just didn’t plan to lose $75 for that reassurance. Luckily, neither psychic really told me what I wanted to hear.

The first reading happened at night, in the back of a French restaurant on red leather couches outside the restrooms. The psychic, (a man!), didn’t want to waste any time on assessing my career. After a flash reading, he determined there were no uncertainties there. I knew what I wanted, and it was only a matter of “when,” not if I ‘d get it. He looked at me sideways. “Tell me about the guy… he’s been around a while hasn’t he?”


I quickly related the story of the guy I met as a freshman in college, became best friends with, and accidentally and mistakenly fell madly in love with. After 7 years and dozens of close encounters, we were toying with the idea of becoming something more.

My psychic dealt the cards and though he slowly deciphered their placement and relation, he quickly painted an accurate portrait of the relationship between me and HIM. The slow build up. The intellectual underpinnings. The unbalanced emotions (“he’s the one that has all the feeling”). The punchline? Drop him. “You’ll have a long and stable romance, but you’ll lose something of yourself,” the psychic said. “If you leave him behind, as in drop him entirely from your life, you’ll get everything you really want.”

While I was less than satisfied the less than specific assurance about my career, I was devastated by the suggestion to drop the love of my life (up until then.) So of course, I sought a second opinion…

The next day I met my girl AB for lunch at Crema, a nouveau Mexican place on 17th street in the heart of Chelsea. In those days, Chelsea was still the original Hell’s Kitchen, home to the most beautiful beef-cake gay men and flamboyant drag queens. Crossing the street was the equivalent of perusing a visual candy store… but it was not the place to pick-up straight men making it the perfect neighborhood for a girls-only girl date.

It only took one bite of our flautas and 2 margaritas for me to convince her that we needed to have our palms read across the street, under the neon glow of a giant sign that screamed PHSYSIC. That day Madame was offering a deal: free palm reading with tarot.

I honestly can’t remember what she told me — she may have promised I’d meet my soul mate before the end of the summer or that I’d have a job offer tomorrow — but I do remember AB and I sitting in City Bakery an hour later, sharing  chocolate chip cookie and wondering if we’d just been had.

We pooled our remaining cash (#brokegradstudents) and bought another cookie — for when in doubt of life’s next step, chocolate usually solves the problem more certainly than a foggy crystal ball.

Chocolate has all the answers. (Image from the City Sage)


They Warned Me I’d Find Love

A few days before I left for my 2-week-plus roadtrip to and through Newfoundland, Canada, I stopped in on a psychic. It was one of those post-lunch-with-a-friend-margarita-splurges, so I have something of an excuse for dropping $25 on a tarot reading. I won’t go into the details of her assessment of my future — that’s a story for another blog — but I will say that she rightly tagged me a globe-trotter and proceeded to predict that my soulmate would come to me within the next 6 weeks.

An optimist.

Newfoundlanders have a definite rugged masculinity that has a certain sex appeal

Considering that nearly 3 of my next 6 weeks were to be spent in the rough n’ tumble, fishery-driven, foot-stomping Canadian province of Newfoundland, odds were  50-50 that my “soulmate” would be a Newfie — that is, if you invest any credibility in psychics.

I didn’t necessarily mind that possibility.

Have you ever been somewhere and been hit by an overwhelming feeling that love was waiting for you there? I don’t mean a holiday fling when you’re on vacation. I mean a sense that the real, meaty, lasting stuff is right around that next corner in that city. I was hit with that feeling once — when I was in Vancouver.

Truth is, New York (or perhaps just New Yorkers) has always felt like a romantic deadend for me, (this is not a jaded singleton speaking, it’s intuition). Yet, there’s something in the Canadian air that always makes me feel like  love is possible.  And I’ll confess, I’ve always had a thing for Canadians. Maybe it’s because the men I’ve met there know what I’m talking about when I say I daydream about a Necky Chatham. Maybe it’s because they don’t look like they’re trying too hard when they wear plaid. Maybe it’s the wholesome accent. Or maybe it’s because I’m in the process of applying for Canadian citizenship and I realize marrying one would save me a lot of paperwork.

Newfoundlanders are friendly...go to Living Planet for your own T-Shirt with this Lichtenstein-esque image.

Our psychic might have been on to something?

Newfoundlanders are notoriously hospitable, and everywhere I went in the province I made friends, starting with a retired fisherman/musician I met on the ferry from Nova Scotia. Before we disembarked he looked me in the eye and warned me:

“You’re going to meet someone here. Newfoundlanders love girls like you.”

I laughed, thanked him, and not entirely sure what he meant by “girls like you,” went on my way. I didn’t give him and his warning another thought until a few days later in St. John’s when a local, keen to give me restaurant and concert advice, suddenly stopped our lively chat to say: “You should be prepared. It’s happened before, you know. People come here and fall in love. You’re going to meet someone. Go with it. Newfoundlanders make great mates. They’re very loyal.” He then took his dog and walked away.

It seemed that with every day on the Rock, came another prediction that Newfoundland would present me with new found love. If you’ve seen or read “The Shipping News,” then you have some sense of the real mysticism that hovers over the island. The setting is romantic, the people magical, the tone otherworldly, so with all the forewarning that I would be swept off my feet by a local, I started to think… why not?

It turns out, at the end of the day, they were right. I did meet someone, fall in love with him, and discuss the possibility of taking him home with me…he just wasn’t exactly the Newfoundland stud they might have had in mind…

Newf and I had something special.