Thursday, September 27, 2007


     So, Charlene’s Psychic Readings closed today. I pass this complete and utter rape-off of a storefront every day on the way to the bar and I always wondered how the hell it stayed in business.
     There’s a bunch of tree-huggery types helping Charlene move plants and crystals and dream-catchers and shit today. A life of spiritual living being crushed by the reality of what amounts to a failed business.
     I’m seeing all this from the safety of the sidewalk across the street as I smoke. I bide my time as the last of the stuff gets hauled out.
     Now, I’ve never frequented the place, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the dew-ragged, Indonesian fat-ass bringing out the pink boxes is Charlene. This is my hope at least.
     I bust ass across the street as she packs the last of her shit into her Hybrid.
     "Charlene?" I ask, nonchalantly.
     "Yes?" she replies.
     "So, what happened here? Not enough business? Death in the family? Lose it all at the track? What?"
     "Well, a little from each column, I’m afraid."
     "Huh," I say, seemingly concerned.
     At this point, I’m the most clever I have ever been in my life.
     "So, as a psychic," I begin, "couldn’t you have seen this coming? Predicted it, you know? I mean, that’s your bread and butter, right? How could you have let this happen to yourself?"
     "There’s a moment of silence from her that makes me feel like King Dick. And to think I honestly thought this was the one time in my life where I would have somebody by the balls, asking a question that everybody in the world, from the stand-up comics to the skeptics, would legitimately want to know.
     "Fate doesn’t work like that," she answers. "Just because we can predict the future doesn’t mean that we can change it. We’re just aware that it will soon happen."
     "Oh," I say, cleverly, "well, sorry, I guess. Hope everything works out for you."
     I begin to walk back to the bar and as I get across the street, I hear her shouting from her Hybrid, "How’s your mother doing these days?"
     "What?" I shout, knowing full well what she said, but almost shocked by the subject.
     "She shouldn’t have gone on that trip today," Charlene replies. "I’d call her if I were you."
     The Hybrid pulls away, the tires screeching.
     I immediately get on my cell phone and dial my mother’s cell number. I get nothing but her voicemail for the next seven hours.



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