It was a Saturday morning and I was hungover. But I had an appointment to keep. Fuck. Why would I agree to a meeting on a Saturday morning? I was freelancing at the time and I’d promised a friend that I’d meet with their friend about creating a flyer for her business. As the sharp entrepreneur I was at the time, I agreed to do the flyer in trade: I would create a flyer for this woman’s business and she would give me a reading. A psychic reading…the kind with the cards. My momma didn’t raise no fool.
Naturally I laid in bed until the very last minute. No time to shower and it was summer. So I doubled the dosage of Paco Rabanne and jumped in the Nissan.
When I got there I was a little surprised to see that my client, I’ve long since forgotten her name, shared a commercial space with another psychic, possibly two. It was a sliver store in a small strip mall. I was greeted warmly at the door by my psychic and introduced to two other ladies, both of which we smiling pleasantly. I remember being quite nervous: nervous of being 20 minutes late, nervous of meeting new people in unfamiliar surroundings, nervous of the project we were to discuss, nervous that my body odor would breach my Paco Rabanne defense, and nervous that this psychic would see right through my smiling facade and expose me as the life fraud that I am. I might’ve turned up the drama a little bit at the end there, but the way I figure it, you guys stopped reading this post right after you rolled your eyes at “The Psychic Smelled Popcorn.”
Business was first. We talked about what she wanted. All the usual stuff: psychic-themed graphics (whatever the hell that means), description of services, hours of operation, contact information and location map. I suggested we create it 2-up on a sheet so she could save money on printing. That meeting didn’t take long, probably ten minutes. I don’t like long meetings. Besides, my experience designing flyers was long and I was confident I could do hers while standing on my head, blindfolded with one arm tied behind my back.
The reading was next. I put my notebook and cell phone on the floor next to the leg of the chair. She laid a large square of fabric down on her table. It was nicely decorated in dark color designs. Then she started laying the cards out in arrangement.
To be honest, here’s where my memory fails me most. I can’t really remember what she was telling me as she laid the cards out in sequence. I just remember she would say something briefly after laying out three or four cards. I remember she asked me if I had any questions for her. I vaguely remember being too embarrassed to ask her anything. Either way, I can’t remember the results of our conversation at all. But there were a couple of interesting things she told me that I do remember very well.
The psychic said, “I smell popcorn.” To which I quickly responded, “I’m wearing a lot of cologne.” She said, “No, not like that. It’s like a carnival atmosphere. You have some very playful spirits that love to hang around you.” I really liked hearing that. I think they’re still with me to this day.
The only other thing — a disturbing thing — she said to me was that I was allowing something to hold me back. She said it strips my boldness and makes me timid. She said I was allowing someone to impose their will upon me. She said it felt like a woman, someone important to me. The only descriptor she could give was that the woman had a round face, at least that was the impression she felt. “Do you know what it could be?” she said. I was baffled because I felt that the only person it could describe was my mother. It still baffles me to this day as I feel I have a decent relationship with my mother. I don’t view her as a force that controls me. As I think I’ve mentioned before in past posts, I’m not that open with my family and my life as taken its course without much input from them.
As I gathered my notes and cell phone upon leaving, we said our pleasant goodbyes. She smiled and thanked me for agreeing to do the flyer for her. As I was walking toward the door she said, “You have a wonderfully purple aura!” And to her friends, “Just look at that!”
As I recount the story to you, I still can’t figure out the womanly force that I was allowing to hold me back. But I suppose it doesn’t matter. Because in the end, the only thing holding me back is me.