Picture my Matthew Stone
When I was younger my Jesus-loving mother forbade me from ever going to a psychic, because, quite plainly, “psychics are servants of the devil.” And the censorship didn’t end there. There was an entire list of things she banned because of their supposed connection with Satan. Ouija boards, magic tricks, that crazy system of ideas commonly referred to as ‘science.’ Even Buffy the Vampire Slayer was off limits. It was a deprived childhood, to say the least.
This is why, last week, when I passed the home of a psychic reader with a sign on the front door that read Special offer! Psychic readings for only ten pounds! I just had to go in. Even if it was just for the cheap thrill of rebellion.
At first I was skeptical. I mean, how talented a clairvoyant can you be if you’re willing to conjure up your magical powers for a measly ten quid? And if I’m being honest, I wasn’t even too sure I believed in any of this voodoo nonsense to begin with. I mean, I’ve tried on multiple occasions to channel the spirit of Anna Nicole Smith, and failed miserably every time. I even downloaded all the proper spirit-channeling instructions off the Internet and everything, so it’s not like I was doing it wrong. But anyway, never one to judge, I figured I’d give it a try.
Upon walking into her lair (I think that’s what they call it?) I was slightly disappointed to find that the “psychic” was just a normal middle-aged woman in a turtleneck and a floor-length jean skirt. Aren’t these people supposed to be wearing, like, feather headdresses and belts made of snakes, I thought? And really- a floor-length jean skirt? Is she serious? Despair. It wasn’t looking promising.
“What can I do for you today?” she asked, he eyes wild and evil.
“Whatever I can get for ten pounds,” I said, suddenly realizing her uncanny resemblance to Pat Butcher.
“Splendid. That would be a tarot card reading. Have a seat and I’ll be with you shortly.” As she spun round, her sweater cape flapped in the cool breeze of the air conditioner. Feelings of regret were beginning to set in.
I sat down in the blue velvet armchair, suddenly feeling extremely nervous about what was to come. All around me were statues of goats and weird, scary candles. The foreignness of the situation made me extremely tense.
Also, I’d been feeling slightly dizzy lately. What if she tells me I have a brain tumor, I thought? Or worse, what if I’m pregnant?
“The first thing I need you to do is hold this crystal,” said the psychic, taking a seat across from me. “This will help me to channel your energies.” I held the amethyst in my hand as she began to lie out the first set of tarot cards on the wooden table. When she was finished she stared at the cards intently. “I can see that you have a very long life to live,” she said. Useful bit of info there. Now I can drive drunk, shoot heroin, and play with guns without that nagging fear of death getting in the way.
Over the next fifteen minutes the witch told me a variety of different things. The one that stands out the most in my mind is that apparently in April I’m going to be getting a big load of cash. It was at this moment that my cynicism towards the paranormal started to turn around. She also informed me that I have an orb of negativity surrounding me that’s keeping me from reaching the level of success I am capable of. Naturally.
“Do you know what this could be?” she asked (meaning the orb).
“Well, I’m pretty generally disgusted with my life and myself.” I said. “Although I’m not necessarily unhappy about that. Some of my favorite humans are absolutely repulsive beings.” She looked me deep in the eyes, as if she was trying to see in inner workings of my brain through my pupils.
“I think you should be my client,” she said confidently, after an extremely prolonged silence that seemed to be awkward only for me. “We could work together to rid you of this negativity using crystal therapy.” I didn’t know what crystal therapy was, or what she was even talking about really, but whatever it was, I felt like I needed it. Something about her warm, loving voice and open heart drew me to her, and I felt like she could help me. With what exactly, I wasn’t completely sure. But I figured I would work it out somewhere later on down the line.
I left the psychic with a plan to visit her again the following week. My skepticism seemed to have vanished, and I had grown a new appreciation for the dark arts. But somewhere deep down I couldn’t help but wonder if my newfound faith was due to a genuine otherworldly experience, or the fact that I’d happily believe anyone that told me I was going to be loaded in a few months. Or maybe I just have a thing for people who wear sweater capes. Did you know they are one of Oprah’s favorite things?
This was originally for the new magazine, War