Tag Archives: Journal

The gift of foresight.

Do psychics read your future or do they just read you?

Sure, it’s an age-old question and one to which every logical response is “you” but I don’t want to believe that. I don’t know that I can. And what I want to believe is desperately what I want to believe.  (Regardless of the beliefs that are actually mine.) No more can my head command my heart.

Tiffany, the psychic on 6th and Spring (310.936.4671), started with, “do you want to ask me any questions?”

I didn’t. I just wanted to listen.

She started talking and touching on some points. She said writing will be a big part of my life. A big part of my future. “What do you do?”

“I’m a writer.”

“That makes sense,” she says.  Yes, it does. She didn’t say I should be one, only that I was. And that I was pretty all over the place with it. I wrote some of this and some of that. And that it was very unfocused. My head was gone all day and all over.

Yeah, that makes sense too.

Then she said I’ve got a health issue. Hm. “But…” she corrected herself, it’s under control. It’s serious. Though “wait” she said, it’s been in me 2 years and that I should make sure it’s checked out. I felt like I should get excited and tell her that I was diagnosed terminal two years ago. (Which I was.) Give her a high-five and let her know that it is checked out. It’s under control. But I didn’t.

I just waited and wondered. I stared at her. I probably scowled a little.

When she told me I’ll be making a move soon, I kept it to myself that that’s why I was downtown. That I had, one hour before, unloaded my bed and wanted to walk around my new neighborhood. I didn’t smile at her. I didn’t stop my brow from furling.

I just judged her. Like an asshole.

Until she asked me what happened. What happened? She stared through my mask and asked again what happened to me. “What do you mean?” She answered that I was on track. I was pretty straight and together. I was headed the right direction. Then 5 years ago: something happened.

I wasn’t judging her anymore.

“Or someone.”

And I cried a little bit.

So are you a psychic if all you can do is tell people what they already know? What I remember about Greek mythology was that the final chaos still trapped in Pandora’s box was the gift of foresight. Maybe that’s not true, but it’s what I remember. And it’s what I want to believe.

Now I don’t know if this is the part where she sensed I needed a carrot on that long swinging stick, but she mentioned I’d recently met a soulmate. Now soulmates are a hard thing to get behind. I stopped believing in them. (But I probably want to.) She said that soulmate doesn’t trust me. And that there’s a lot of distance between us. She stressed “a lot” but I don’t like italics and I’ve used them twice already, so know that she made sure I knew she was understating the truth. And so that’s what I’m doing with you now. She stressed “a lot.”

That space… what if it doesn’t change? What if her emphasis was just the soft crack of my home run pitch hitting the catcher’s mitt? And, here I am, knowing what I do believe, but utterly unsure of what I want to. Because what if there are no coincidences? I’m terrified. What if everything she said is true?

I took her business card.

But I had to ask her for it.

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America’s oldest teenager.

I just had to write another obituary. I won’t say they’re fun. They’re not. There’s truth in everything you write, right? That’s why you do it. And the truth of someone dying is awful. But it is easy.

And maybe satisfying?

It’s not hard to honor someone with a few short words. In Dick Clark’s case, he’d done it already. For decades he signed off with “For now, Dick Clark… so long.” And by tweeting, blogging, posting his own six words, every mourning music lover remembers the sad 60 minute mark of their favorite episode of American Bandstand. For me, it’s James Taylor performing Fire & Rain. Won’t you look down on me, Jesus.

It’s also direct. I know how to write an obituary. I know what needs to be said. I know what I’m feeling and I know what I want you to feel. Even at this moment, the truthful end of a man I’ve never met has left a slight swell right behind the wall of my eyes. And I guess that’s what words were designed for. Verbalizing clear thoughts.

It’s a lot harder when you don’t know what you’re thinking. When someone dies, I hear people speak things like “I’m at a loss for words,” but are you? Maybe there’s just not that much to say. Maybe 140 characters is all you need. It’s an awful thing and you’re very sad. Say that and you’ve said it all. 

But on a day-to-day basis I have much more to say. Why else would I have started a blog that no one reads? To be acknowledged? In the hopes that one day someone will pull six words they read on a viral posting board and mark my own truthful end? 

I don’t know. The cyclical structure of essays says that I started with that thought, and so I have to bring it back. You can’t introduce something without it eventually effecting the crux of the story. The end is in the beginning. Chekov’s gun.

But the last line of The Seagull is “Konstantin has shot himself.”

I’m told the Russian text is slightly more ambiguous. “Konstantin has fired a gun at himself.” Which in the play he’s already done without much success. There’s no clear implication that Konstantin has died. 

Either way, I’m not going to shoot myself. I’m just trying to use a keyboard to let out all that junk inside my head without the use of a bullet. 

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