You’re a Libra, Aren’t Ya, Darlin?

As an Aries, I know that the common characteristics of my astrological sign are some of the boldest and most extroverted of any of the other signs. My horoscopes are always black or white. At my last internship, we would sit and read them to each other, and Aries would always have something like, Today is the day you will meet the love of your life. Everyone will love you, and you will somehow win an Emmy. Go, Aries. or Today you will butt heads with people–you will tell them how worthless they are and alienate everyone in the process. Apparently, when it comes to an Aries, things are pretty cut and dry. But that’s assuming that you believe in the powers of astrology. My roommate went on a date with a girl who believed in earth signs and astrology more than any religion in the world, so it obviously means something to at least a few people, and even if you don’t believe per se, it always leaves a little bit of something in the back of your head: the astrology, the Tarot cards, the palm readings… the results can be pretty tempting.

And though I don’t particularly believe in astrology, I also can’t help but to agree with the characteristics that are associated with my sign: eager, impulsive, enthusiastic, optimistic, and “doesn’t like to be bored.” So that’s why when I started feeling lonely and bored at a party last night, I knew that I had to use my Aries-ness to turn the situation around in my favor. Better yet, I knew that I had to you astrology to bring the attention back to where it belonged: with Aries. But before we talk about last night…

I’m no stranger in the mysticism circuit. My parents told me to stay away from Ouija boards, and the like. My dad told me to never deal with Tarot cards or palm reading or any of it, and their cautious fear of fortune-telling only made me think of it as a bit of a hoax. My brother Casey and I would go around the house mimicking Miss Cleo, announcing You’re a Libra, aren’t ya, darlin?! at every chance we got, and when she was brought up on charges of fraud and deceptive advertising, Casey and I were a little sad. Later on, I got my “relationship Tarot card reading” with a friend, so it was only a matter of time before I had to take the cards into my own hands.

While sitting in my freshman dorm, I was waiting on all my friends to come back from their Friday night plans. My night had ended especially early, so all I had was my scarf and a bunch of leftover paper from someone’s abandoned art project in the lobby. So with nothing else to do, I borrowed a marker and scissors from a resident and I took the stars into my own hands. In a matter of minutes, I had transformed: I was Swami Justin. I wrapped my scarf around my head and arranged the cards on a small table in the lobby. As people began to walk in, I’d startle them with my forced Mediterranean accent, Oh darlin, you want your cards read, don’t ya? It may have been in boredom or possibly just that inkling of curiosity we talked about earlier, but very few people could resist getting their cards read by the Swami. For my first attempt at channeling the future, I kept it pretty basic, with most cards being more of a humor piece than an actual Tarot card symbol. People loved it, and after three hours of disparaging cards referencing people that lived in our building, I hung up my turban and Mediterranean accent and called it a day. Even with my faux cards and ridiculous readings, I knew that my power with the unknown… well, it was too strong.
The swami within had been hibernating for almost five years, and then last night, he reared his ugly, mystical head. My roommates and I decided to go to our friend’s house for a birthday party. I had trepidations about going before the weekend even came. I can usually tell when I will be annoyed with a situation before it even happens–we’ll just include it in my psychic powers. And it wasn’t long into the party that exactly that happened. After a couple rounds of shots and two different renditions of Rick Springfield’s Jessie’s Girl, everyone started to couple off. Being the self-indulgent person I am, by the time I realized that most everyone was missing, my pickings were slim. I eventually settled on someone who had adamantly protested, and failed, for everyone to go to “da club.” After talking for a bit, mostly about her, I said I’d love to hang out with her sometime, and then she got really nervous and apologized a lot. Then as we walked downstairs, we had passed everyone who had been missing, and she told them about how awkward it felt for me to ask her out: a common obstacle that I imagine must be incredibly taxing for her.

I had lost control. The party was quickly spinning out of my social hands. Both of my roommates had disappeared into the night with their lady-friends, and that just left me, a pack of cigarettes, the girl who had become blatantly forlorn at the concept of us hanging out in the daylight, and a feeling… a feeling to change, or rather predict, the future.  I just had to wait. I knew that if I could bide my time, someone would come back downstairs, parched from all the necking and alcohol intake; they would need water, and I would pounce. So when someone walked onto the back porch with his lady friend, I knew I had found my target. Somehow, the conversation had turned to reading palms, and lady friend said, I’ve always wanted to get my palm read. I felt the Swami begin to take over, but I couldn’t stop him. He announced, I can read palms.

After a couple minutes of reasoning as to why I read palms, including a story about how my dad’s untimely death was predicted by a palm reader (for the record, I’m pretty sure my dad was sitting at home last night having a beer. I called him today, you know, to keep karma in check), I had finally convinced her that my powers were as real as any other psychic in the world. She asked me to read her palm, so I snatched her hand and held it in my own, softly caressing her palm while I tried to read her “energy.” She watched attentively as I traced the wrinkles in her hand, only able to remember that the line from the base of the thumb to the pointer finger is called the “life line.” I began to tell her about her life, coming up with the greatest generalizations that I could. I told her that she would have two marriages, one short, the other long, which was a line directly pulled from the book Eat, Pray, Love. Thanks, Ketut. Then, it happened. I traced her life line up and told her that it begins to fade toward the end, and the end of her life would be gradual, not sudden. Death obviously made Lady Friend nervous, and she said, Will I get sick? I responded, I don’t know. And she followed with, Am I going to get Alzheimer’s? And by this time, I was dizzy from all the power… I couldn’t comprehend how this girl was hanging on my every word, so I simply responded, Yes. She jerked her hand away and started to become visibly upset… not with me, but with the damning future that her palm had given her. She looked at her hand as if it had just slapped her in the face. Damn the future! Damn that hand.

As she became more upset, I worried that the jig was up. Someone was going to do me in, I just knew it. Enough people had shown up at this point that someone was going to do me in, so I just got quiet and waited for my inevitable fall. When people asked her what was wrong, she said, He figured it out! He read my palm, and now I’m going to have Alzheimers! I closed my eyes, waiting on someone to put me in my place when a girl walked up and said, I can’t believe you can do it! Read my palm! And then I began going to from hand to hand, tracing lines and making up names like, “The Relationship Line,” and “The Future Line.” I had done it–goal achieved. I may have not gotten my mouth on anyone else’s last night, but before the night was over, almost everyone was waiting for the next reading from my lips. The light was mine. My roommate walked up and said, If you can read palms, read mine. I could see the look in his eye, twinkling with a maliciousness that the other party guests didn’t have. So I jerked his hand into mine, quickly ran my finger across his palm and said, Looks like you’re going to die. Probably at 60. Sorry. Nothing could bring me down–I was simply a psychic, floating among the constellations at that point.

To finish off my astrological high, I texted as many friends from home as I could remember to let them know that the Swami had been resurrected with greater force than ever before… but just as fast as he appeared, he went into hiding again. I don’t know when he will appear again, or where… maybe in the tea leaves, or through some kind of new medium, hopefully having to do with food. I can’t say exactly where the power comes from, but I know that it’s strong, and most of all, it brings the room’s attention back to me. But honestly, it didn’t take a psychic to see that that’s what the future held.

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