It was an overcast afternoon a few years back. I was staying with my best friend in Nebraska, both working ten-hour days at the local Chuck E. Cheese. Everyday on the four-minute ride to work we passed a house that advertised “Psychic, Palm Readings” in giant neon letters in their front window. I found a few things about this strange. First of all palm readings right out of your house? I had never heard of such a thing. How much money were they actually making with this business? Was the sign supposed to be an inside joke of sorts? An attempt at irony? But everyday as we turned right on Cass St. and laid eyes on that lone house by the gas station with the neon sign I was intrigued.
We joked about going a few times but mostly it sort of freaked me out. One day after getting off work when it was still light outside, which was a miracle in itself, my best friend suggested we actually go check it out. Because she’s awesome like that and likes to do scary things (Hobbitsville story to come!). She’s the adventurous one, I’m down to do new things but I don’t like want to do new things, if you know what I mean. Nah you don’t, that doesn’t even make any sense.
It was literally a 2 second drive (nope that’s not literal) from the store to this house. She pulled into the empty driveway and we looked up at this little house with its always glowing neon sign. It was hard to even tell if anyone was home.
I’m not sure what I was expecting. A cloaked woman with a crystal ball, being lead up to an attic with its one draped window, some mood lighting, maybe a candle. But certainly wasn’t expecting what we walked into.
We knock on the door and a woman wearing what can only be described as non-whimsical or warlocky clothing (jeans and a baggy tee-shirt) opens the door, and looks at us like “Who are you and what are you doing here?”. I KNEW it! Those signs are just part of some elaborate joke to play on unsuspecting non-locals. Of course you’re not running a psychic business out of your house, my bad.
“Oh okay, just give me a minute. What did you want to get done?”
“We just wanna get our palms read, I guess.”
“Okay, I only do one at a time.”
WHAT? WAIT! WHAT?
“The other one will have to stay outside, one at a time.”
You know how when your little and your parents warn you about talking to strangers, or like going over to a probably axe-murder-rapist/psychics house? All the red flags and warning signs like them splitting you up from your friends? Yeah this could have totally been one of those times! (but don’t worry it totally wasn’t)
I was up first. My best friend went to go sit back in the car and the lady (who still needed a second) disappeared around the corner. I was standing in the foyer and noticed the little fold out table and two chairs set up right in the entrance to this home. Like RIGHT in the entrance. Where you might leave your shoes if you were meant to go any further.
She was back quickly and instructed me to have a seat. There may or may not have been a crystal ball on the table, I’d like to think it was there but I don’t actually have any recollection. She couldn’t have been older than 30. It was all so surreal. She told me to think of a question about my future to ask her at the end and waited for me to think of one. But I couldn’t, I couldn’t think of a single question so I just nodded my head and pretended I did.
I honestly don’t have any idea of the things she said as she read my palm (This is why I needed my best friend there! Someone to actually listen to this broad), I know a few minutes in a child from the other room started crying and she went to get him and did the rest of the reading with him bouncing on her lap.
Between the kid bouncing and giggling, this stranger telling me vague things about my future, and the absurdity of sitting in her doorway with my palm upturned, I couldn’t remember a single thing she said. Although I nodded fervently the whole time and pretended like it was all so revealing and insightful. For all I know it was.
When she was done and asked me what my question was (which I totally forgot I should have been coming up with), I have no idea what I even asked her. I was afraid I’d ask something she already covered without realizing it. I’m sure I asked something about love or a boyfriend, but who knows.
Before I knew it I was back outside, waiting in the car as my best friend took her turn. After sitting for a while I could recall a few of the things she had said. It was the first time I’d ever had my palm read (I’m a pro now, I can actually pay some attention) and I wish I could still recall even one premonition she made. Not because I need them to be true or feel my decisions would be validated if they were foreseen in my palm, but because I’d like to judge her ridiculous profession based on anything she said actually coming true.
Especially, especially because she read my palm in her doorway, wearing jeans, possibly in the vicinity of a crystal ball, but definitely while bouncing a baby on her lap.