A few decades ago, when such things were fashionable, I studied astrology and read Tarot cards. The cards were a gift in 1970, in Chicago. The Aquarian deck, of course, since I am of that sign and we were barely out of the Sixties, the dawning of etc.
I got into astrology soon after. I moved to the Bay Area and took a class in it from a guy in Marin County, where I was living at the time. Back then, you had to work a chart out mathematically, with the help of an entire library of books. The whole thing seemed like a crock to me. I was doing it because I thought I could prove it was a silly fad. All this time, of course, I was consulting the Tarot cards about every life decision. Not that I had much of a life. Where did I ever find all that time to dabble?
Anyway, the teacher was honorable, a believer, and charged next to nothing, so I studied. Ridiculous, I thought. Then came the day when we looked at our own charts and interpreted them. I felt like I was reading my biography. It was creepy. But I was a lot less skeptical than I’d been.
I drifted away from the class. Drifting was one of the things I did best, then. Kept on reading the cards for reassurance when things got hairy and for reinforcement when things felt okay. Then sometime in the late Seventies, I met a woman who read palms. Well, why not?
She looked at my right hand, did a double take, looked at my left hand and then at my right again.
“You’re going to be famous,” she said. I was kind of hoping for that. I hadn’t written much of anything in the way of fiction at that point but I certainly planned to. Soon.
“When?” I said, remembering that my chart had also said something about that. Something depressing at the time: I would be famous, but not until I’d reached an advanced age.
The palm reader said she couldn’t tell when, but it would happen. Then she turned my hand over, looked at the side, and turned it back again.
“You will have one child,” she said. “And that child will bring sadness. Wrong! I never intended to do such a thing. I scowled at the poor woman. “That’s impossible,” I said. So maybe I wouldn’t be famous after all. She was a fake.
But I’d done my own astrology chart, and that hinted at fame. And I wasn’t a fake, was I?
So far, everything that the cards, and the chart, and the palm reader have said has come true, except for the fame. But that was supposed to be late in life, right?
I’m still waiting. How late can it get?
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