Recently, I read an article on Vice about how psychics survive in New York, and thought I’d throw in my two cents on the matter as I have stories that may seem too ridiculous to be true.
Whether it’s jokes about going to hell for engaging in pre-marital sex, or skimming the pages my father’s toilet reader book (off the toilet) titled, “Why God Sucks,” atheism has never been a subject I shied away from. The only, and I mean only religious experience I encountered (while not tripping on mushrooms) was when my parents forced me into a church to participate in my cousin’s baptism. I distinctly remember being a rude, disrespectful cunt the entire time. Prior to leaving the church, I thought it’d be fun to dip my hand in a bowl filled with holy water, get down on one knee, and do the Father, Son, Holy Ghost hand maneuver. That was the day I decided that I didn’t need some elderly man dressed in white, the pope, the bless me — I could bless myself, goddamnit! I drink enough wine (Jesus blood) as is! Then, a few years later, I watched the documentary Jesus Camp, and decided religion was simply not for me. While religion is a topic I’d rather not engage in, spirituality is a whole other matter.
Spirituality, like religion and good taste in music, is defined differently across the board. The first time I took a double take at spiritual matters was at a Barns & Noble in Miami. Like most troublesome children, I hated reading and found the quiet ambience of libraries annoying. Sadly, growing up with two law-degree parents meant countless trips to the bookstore. One day, in the check out line, I glanced over at the knick-knack, DIY, miscellaneous spinning rack and noticed titles such as “Tarot Cards, “Palm Readings” and “The Dark Side to Your Zodiac.” As the years progressed, I found myself collecting these types of books and researching similar topics such as psychic readings, astrology, horoscopes, and planetary motion in relation to how it affects human behavior. Mercury in retrograde? Yep, I read all about it. I will happily admit that perhaps I’m the weirdo here. Sure, lady, you don’t believe in Jesus and carpentry, but you believe that the stars and lines in your palm play a role in your life? OK *rolls eyes* However, there’s a big difference between you doing this little readings at home by yourself for fun, usually while smoking weed and eating pizza on a hungover Sunday, and actually paying someone, a complete stranger, who considers themselves a professional at predicting your future. After more experiences at “the psychic” than I can count on one hand, it scares me to realize that this is how they make a living! By ultimately scamming people! It gives what I consider spirituality and being connected with our surroundings a bad name.
Story time! My older sister was before me to fall victim to getting a psychic reading just for the hell of it. Why not, right? If only she predicted beforehand that she’d leave the psychic’s liar in hysterical tears. The secret behind psychic’s ability to survive in this pricey world is to offer cures or healing spells to make up for the shitty, depressing and sometimes scary future they’ve drawn for you, which is often accompanied by the cracking a rotten egg with a dark purple yolk inside. I’m certain psychics grocery shop at a specific supermarket that sells rotten eggs by the dozen in order for this trick to work time and time again. So, what did my sister hear exactly? Well, this bitch of a psychic envision that our mother would die of breast cancer — especially scary because she’s been a heavy smoker for decades now, and the only way to prevent this horrific future is to pay the psychic an extra $100 to lift this curse. My sister was in quiet a pickle: drop an additional $100 or live with the guilty conscience that she could have saved a life… That’s enough to make the heartless Tin Man cry! Caught in a crisis, my sister called our mom bawling! My mother, being a non-believer in everything other than “baking helps the soul,” simply responded my calling my sister an idiot, told her to leave immediately, and hung up the phone. Problem solved, but my sister was definitely scarred for a bit.
Up next on this train of tears and lies is my roommate, Lauren. We went in together. My reading was pretty standard, but false looking back years later, with vague talk of career, marriage and children. A part of what makes psychics psychic, apparently, is categorizing those who are in it for fun, and those who truly believe and seek help or answers. Whether it was the holes in my skinny jeans, or my unbrushed hair, the psychic sensed I wasn’t one of those in need — kept it short and sweet. Lauren was an opposite story. Before Lauren’s prediction, I was asked to leave the room. This psychic bitch definitely knew I was a dark cloud. I waited outside the shop in the freezing cold of New York’s October weather for so long that I debated knocking on the door to check in only to have Lauren pop a squat next to me in complete tears. What the fuck happened in there? Reluctant to talk about it at first, she slowly admitted that the psychic told Lauren that her parents would never approve of her new tattoo and artistic career choice and would remain a disappointment in her parents’ eyes. Who the fuck do you think you are? Well, I guess we asked for it by entering her web of lies to begin with.
While every experience of mine has been a negative one, I’m certainly not claiming that all psychics are the same, but like any occupation, the goal at the end of the day is to leave with enough money in your pocket to live a comfortable life. Unfortunately, most jobs these day involve lying in some form to convince other to fork out that cash, which leads me to question people’s moral compass. Imagine waking up every morning with the pre-notion that you will be giving somebody bad news. Any doctors out there reading this? How do you do it? I can’t even send food back if the server gets my order wrong; yet, for some reason I feel no hesitation in punching a liar square in the face. I guess that’s how you know your moral compass points North.