Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Poker Face and the Psychic

So it was my best friend's birthday and I wanted to treat her to something unique and entertaining. Pam always turns my birthdays into fabulous, memorable and decadent affairs and I wanted to do the same for her.

And since she's always been curious about psychics, I thought a reading might be just the ticket. A little Googling, a little research and voila! I found a psychic that had been featured on TV and boasted over 30 rave reviews on Yelp. Cool!

But maybe this gal was TOO good, seeing how she was booked through June. When she referred me to someone that she sees when she wants a reading for herself, I figured, hey, a psychic's psychic! Maybe this would be even better.

So I booked an appointment for Pam. And what the heck, I reserved a reading for myself , too. Afterwards, I thought we could share a laugh while comparing notes over lunch.

Oh, and indeedy we shared. But we weren't laughing. It was more like we were lifting our gaping jaws off the floor and wondering how the hell this woman knew what she did. After all, we had each worn our best poker face during our private sessions; saying nothing, revealing nothing, acknowledging nothing.

How did this psychic know what she knew?

She told me lots of things, like the recent date I'd had replete with mixed signals. She said I was perplexed about his behavior, but reassured me that "it's not you, it's him. Not you, HIM." She described an exact date I'd recently had, but I said nothing.

She told me that my spiritual guide was a deer and that I relate to them. Now friends know me as a dog lover, but I've never shared the kinship I feel with deer. Every morning I look for them throughout the hills when I drive to work , considering it a good sign if I spot one. I've got 911 on my speed dial in case I see a deer strolling on the shoulder, afraid it might get hit by a car. I've got photos of deer on my bulletin board at work and find peace looking at their gentle faces. My poker face remained intact.

"You are spiritual," she observed, "but no longer religious." Until recently, I had attended church faithfully for over ten years; that is, until I realized that my pastor was more interested in trolling the Internet for jokes to use in his sermon than tending to people in need. I haven't stepped foot in a church since. Gulp. Still, I remained silent.

Then she read my Tarot cards and gasped, clasping her hands to her chest. "Oh, you've been struck in the heart!" she exclaimed in her clipped British accent. "You are grieving, mourning over the death of a loved one."

I said nothing.

"You've lost a lot of weight because I see a stripped soul."

Nothing. Poker face, poker face.

"She's with you all the time, watching and protecting you."

How did she know my loss was a she?

"She never leaves your side. And she wants you to know that she's glad it happened this way. She's glad she went suddenly because she didn't want to whither away for six months."

Mom died quickly from a pulmonary embolism, but had been scheduled for six months of a grueling experimental chemotherapy.
The tears started welling.

And the minor detail that clinched it: "She was concerned about her hair and had made an appointment."

Mom had scheduled a date with her hair stylist to go shopping for wigs. The appointment card is still posted on her refrigerator door. With that, my poker face collapsed and the tears flowed.

Real deal or talented scam artist? We'll never know for sure. All I can say is that this was supposed to be a present for Pam. But at the end of the day I walked away feeling like I'd received the gift.
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