The other day, I decided to cross “Visit a psychic” off my bucket list. I convinced my friend Liza Minnelli (not her real name) to go with me. Neither of us had a reputable psychic in our rolodex, and Angie’s List was lacking in the psychic department, so we turned to Google. Our search yielded dozens of psychics in the Chicago area, so we called the one closest to Liza’s apartment. The phone rang and rang before a generic voicemail message implored us to leave a message.
“Didn’t she know we’d be calling her? Isn’t she a psychic?” We got a voicemail message for the next one on the list too, and the next three after her. Every psychic we found on Google either didn’t answer their phone or charged $80 for “chakra balancing.”
Finally, a psychic answered her phone. “Astrology Place, this is Carol…” she said in a raspy voice.
“Uh, hi. How much do you charge for…chakra balancing…or whatever?” I said.
“I do a palm reading for $30, or an overview of your past, present, and future for $50. It depends on how much you want to know…” she said ominously.
“Oh, uh, okay. Thanks!”
“Did you want to make an appointment…?”
So we made an appointment for later that day, again wondering why she didn’t already have us on her agenda, being psychic and all, and we made the trek to her office. (Studio? Lair?)
We walked up the steps to her front door, and I turned the knob. It was locked. Liza Minnelli rang the bell, and a woman wearing a flowing nightgown opened the door with a confused look on her face that said, “why did you just try to break into my home?” I looked behind her and realized her office/studio/lair was, in fact, her living room. There was a little boy standing in the middle of the room in his underwear, clutching a bottle of milk that he was about four years too old for. An old man’s voice called for him from the back of the house, and he scurried away.
“Come in, girls…” she said to us.” You have an appointment…?” We nodded. “Okay, who wants to go first?” She gestured at a small room off the living room that was dark inside.
“Can we go together?” I asked.
She smiled slightly and shook her head. “No, no. You must go alone…” Every sentence she said sounded like it ended in an ellipsis, adding to her mystical appeal. It only enhanced my experience.
I volunteered to go first, and Carol led me into the cave and closed the door slowly behind us with a devilish grin. She’s really legit! I thought to myself as the door creaked spookily, as if on cue. In the corner of the room I noticed apothecary jars filled with different colored crystals and powders, a deck of tarot cards, and a crystal ball.
“Hold out your hands…” Her eyes closed and she meditated for a second before saying, “You’re a very positive person.”
“You like to be happy and you seek happiness. You also try to help others as much as you can.”
I nodded again. Holy shit, this is all true!
“I see that you are in a loving relationship. A very committed relationship. Is this true?”
“Yes!” I replied, in awe. “How did you know??” She stared at me and closed her eyes again. I will never know how she was able to guess that I’m married. There’s just no way for her to have known, except being psychic.
“You need to work hard in your career and go–what’s the phrase?–ah, ‘above and beyond,’ in order to get where you want to be.”
Jesus, she’s making a lot of sense.
“You enjoy giving others guidance, and though you haven’t received a lot of guidance in your life, you’ve made it anyway.”
Yes! It’s all true! I have made it, without help from anyone! I’m a successful, independent woman! It’s so nice for someone else to see that in me!
“I also see that you’re a creative, analytical person. You’re always thinking, always analyzing, always in your own head.”
It’s like she’s reading my thoughts! Hah, I suppose she is literally reading my thoughts, eh? Hi Carol!
“You need a career where you can give orders to others. You shouldn’t be taking orders because you like to be in control. You think you have better ways of doing things…”
Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say–
“…and you’re right.”
–can’t argue that.
“Wow,” I said. “You have me down to a T!”
She smirked. “Do you have any questions for me?”
I thought about it for a minute. I hadn’t come prepared with questions. “Do you know, like, where I’m going to be moving in the future?”
She closed her eyes again, squinted, and said, “I don’t see you moving any time soon.”
“What about my family? Can you tell me anything about them?”
“You have a nice family, and you enjoy positive communications with each other. Is this true?”
HOW COULD SHE HAVE KNOWN?
“Yes, actually,” I said.
She nodded, satisfied with herself. “Alright, we are done…” she said.
What? Done? Already?! It had been only ten minutes.
She led me out to the living room where Liza Minnelli sat waiting for us. She looked terrified as Carol beckoned her to the cave, a sea of mystical nightgown billowing in her wake.
As I waited for Liza to return, the little boy in the underwear ventured out again, creeping around the room like an animal, hiding behind the couch and peeping out at me. He got closer and closer, popping up and down from behind various pieces of furniture to peer at me. Suddenly, the old man from the other room called him again, and he darted out of the room like a chipmunk. I briefly wondered if he was a real person or a spirit animal, or some other psychic accoutrement.
Just then, Carol exited the cave with Liza Minnelli in tow. I stood up, and the three of us stood in the foyer looking at each other.
“Ah…payment…” Carol rasped.
“Oh, right, right,” we muttered, fumbling for our wallets.
Carol snatched the bills from my hands before I could even offer it to her and replaced it with a business card. “Make sure you tell your friends about me…and write a nice review on Yelp…” she said, pushing us out the door.
She must be one of those modern, internet-surfing psychics.
“How did yours go?” I asked Liza.
“It went well!” she said. “I think she really had The Gift, ya know? She told me I’m a very positive person and I need a job where I can have control because I have all these good ideas, which is so true.”
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