After walking past the ocean washing up on the boardwalk's edge and flooding the beach, the only thing more exciting would have to be connecting with the unseen and mysterious workings of the spirit realm. Or a trip to the local psychic's office would be good too.
I should probably avoid saying who this psychic is, but I will say that according to her information card leaflet thing, she's been using her "God given gift to help people through meditation and spiritual guidance" for over 45 years, and offers to "help you or a loved one in matters of love, business, divorce, depression, finding your life path or reuniting with a soulmate." Sweet. Oh wait, that's bad. It's a really bad idea to get personal advice from anyone other than a certified expert or a close friend.
But maybe I presume too much. After all she's been doing this for 45 years, which means she's either an expert in tapping into the fabric of the universe or she's pulling off the longest con I've ever taken note of. The decor of her boardwalk-side office no longer includes the smoke fountain I mentioned in the last post, but it does have religious icons from Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and just tokens of astrology bullshit. I didn't find out anything about my horoscope, or my zodiac sign, which is a month off anyway.
I only got one palm reading, as this particular psychic's services are rather expensive. Palm readings are $10 each palm. Playing card readings are $25. Tarot card readings are $35 for a half deck and $45 for a full deck. Crystal readings are $75. And life charts are a whopping $125. Jesus fish! No wonder there are plaques adorning her walls commemorating her business achievements. She gets the big bucks single-handed for giving no real services whatsoever. I love how the "crystal reading" is such a big deal, even though you're essentially looking intently at a big piece of naturally occurring glass. Why are crystals hyped up to such a lofty position in the New Age movement? There's no significant properties in them. Now I could afford either a palm reading and a playing card reading, a half deck tarot card reading, or I could just get the palm reading and get something to eat. And since I don't support this establishment in any way whatsoever, it would be better to save as much money on this inanity as possible.
After waiting for a short while, I was at last able to see the psychic herself. This was the first time I'd actually laid eyes on her despite seeing her office for years, since she keeps herself hidden from passerby in a separate room. A clever marketing ploy, much like Cloverfield. She was a middle-aged Hispanic woman. Spoilers. She proceeded to do the palm reading. I have no idea how this is supposed to work. She's looking at the folds in my hand and somehow divines future meaning in them. Is there some genetic disposition that leads to certain aspects of my life that also leads to certain creases in my hands? Do events in the future bend the fabric of time to make these folds in my hands appear? What exactly is going on here? It can't just be a guessing game, can it? No, it's more like a guessing game and cold reading. John Edward would be proud.
And so, the reading. First, she pointed out my lifeline. Apparently I can ask the audience. Actually what she pointed out was that I will live to be 80 years old. I'd make a joke about testing that out by trying to do myself in right away, but it's more appropriate to point out that anyone taking this proclamation seriously would take it to mean they're invulnerable to life-threatening harm until they reach that age.
Interestingly she said I could read other people's palms. Really? Is this a secret ability? Do I have to go to a university or get some special training to understand it? Or am I only able to do it intuitively? How come I'm able to do it and not others? Did God decide I should be given this ability? Or do I have a high midichlorian count that lets me communicate with the Force? Hell, maybe I should do my own palm readings. Save myself ten bucks.
She said I have the ability to see spirits. Fuck, why don't I just become a paranormal investigator or some real life equivalent of Edward Carnby? Well, other than possibly my dead cat (which I'm pretty sure was actually just a step ladder I didn't get a good look at), I haven't seen any spirits. Maybe I just need to believe. I mean, the sign to the entrance did say that the psychic "has the right to not do readings for anyone she does not feel positive with." That's fine, it's her business, she can choose who she works with. But what exactly does it mean to be "positive"? Hell, I was a skeptic and an atheist going in and coming out of that place. Surely she could sense the negative energies.
She said I would be living in Pennsylvania, then asked where I come from. Why bother asking me? She should know, she's a goddamn psychic. I said New Jersey, and she confirmed her previous statement that I would be living in Pennsylvania, or Delaware. First of all, that's a really easy guess. I come from New Jersey, so sooner or later I'm going to spend some time in Pennsylvania. But why in the hell did her mind take a detour to Delaware for a second? That's another state away. Why would she second-guess where my future home would be?
She said I had marks of writing in my fingertips. Signs that I've been writing, with my hands? Noooo! Evidently I'm supposed to write inspirational stuff. Well that would be nice, but so far I just write random shit on my blog making fun of irrational belief systems and reviewing entertainment and just anything that comes into my head. At least I still occasionally get messages from people on YouTube saying they were inspired by comments I wrote on a George Carlin video. Comments I wrote a year or so back. Some people have way too much time on their hands.
She said I had "a positive loveline". ... What the hell is that supposed to mean? That I can fall in love? That it's within my human capacity? That's great, she informed me that I'm not a heartless sociopath. What are the odds? She continued that I "just need to open up a bit more". I can see why she has such a shining record as someone who gives relationship advice. I paid $10 for that little nugget. She couldn't have sensed that I'm, you know, ever so mildly autistic. I know you can't tell that right away from talking to me, but that's my point. If she had any special advice to offer, I wouldn't have to tell her that I'm an aspie. Otherwise she's little more than an unqualified counselor.
She even asked me if I was in a relationship, and when I said not as of yet, she said I could expect a love interest this August or September, if I "opened up" of course. I'm a single college student, and a virgin. Obviously I'm looking forward to going back, and hoping for the best when it comes to closer relationships. So naturally the response to such a visitor is wishing them luck in finding love soon, but this is supposed to be more than just well-wishing. It's supposed to be actual love advice. And it's so bland and predictable, and easily falsifiable. Watch, nothing's going to happen that quickly. It would have been something if she said I was actually going to have to wait until February or something to meet the right person. Or hell, maybe a year or two. But we wouldn't want to be realistic, would we? No, we need to feed people's desires as we drain their cash.
Continuing to draw out my path in life, she said I should look into engineering. I said I had never done anything related to it, and she predictably told me to open up to it. I'm sure my own ambitions or the advice of my academic counselors pale in comparison to the wisdom this woman has offered as a result of her 45-year experience of making shit up. That ended the palm reading. $10. Before leaving I asked if there was any way I could discern one's star sign from their palms. Nope. Damn. I could have made $125 a pop from the horoscopes I could write from the palms I apparently can read.
So, off I went to get good food with the rest of my money, and some ice cream from the Chinese peeps working at the candy shop. I could have spent that $10 on something more meaningful and worthwhile. Like candy.