22 July 2012

Confessions of a Psychic: Excerpt

(Written in June, 2008. Copyright Peri Lyons, all rights reserved.)

Last night was kind of the exception to every rule I have as an intuitive.

Started the day off right by doing a (thank heavens, spot-on) reading for a nice new client, an attractive and articulate British artist. It was a relief to get verifiable facts right, as lately the psychic stuff had been feeling stuck. Now, for whatever reason, my mental clouds cleared and I couldn’t talk fast enough to convey the torrent of information I was getting. Artists are often much easier for me to read. I suppose that’s for a few reasons: one being that artists lead less conventional lives and therefore have fewer things to”hide”; another being that visual artists think in very vivid images, and those images often show up for me “verbatim”, if you will. In this reading, when I was telling the artist about his immediate family, I was trying to get his niece’s name. Immediately, I saw a picture of an English Garden.”Her name is ‘Garden?’” I asked, incredulous. He grinned.

I looked closer, and started naming everything I saw in the image in my mind. “Garden. Stone wall. Bunny rabbit. Oh…FERN!! Her name is Fern!”

He was laughing so hard he couldn’t speak for a moment, but when his mirth subsided a bit, he gasped out, "No, actually her name is Stonewall Bunny Rabbit.  It's an English thing. Yeah, her name is Fern"

The rest of the reading went well, although we were both confused when I got an image of his late father, in which the lanky English gentleman was wearing a white sleeveless sweater and white shorts. "No" he said decisively. "He never wore that."

A bit crestfallen, I said " well, okay, I can be wrong,I guess, but ...",  and bid him Adieu at the door of my shoebox-sized flat.  A postscript to this: a few days later, he rang me up."Peri, remember my dad showed up wearing the white sweater and shorts?  Well I rang. my mum, and was telling her about the reading, and she said " you idiot, your father, played tennis religiously for the last 20 years of his life.  That was his tennis outfit."

There was a slight pause "I had left home by then, but I should've remembered that."

"No worries," I reassured him. I was in no position to rebuke anyone for forgetfulness. The day before I had temporarily puzzled a friend when I asked her to close the, um, the, um “rectangular shaped wall thing."

She stared at me, then a light went on, and she exclaimed, "Oh, the DOOR!  You mean the DOOR!"

"Uh, yeah. Door. I knew that." I said touchily.

She looked at me with narrowed eyes. "Why can you remember the word ‘rectangular’ and not the word ‘door’? I'm just curious."

“I was testing you," I lied briskly. “Come on, let's go."

As the British artist left, my phone rang. It was a party entertainment agency.  Somehow they'd heard of me, gotten my number, and asked if I would do a last-minute ”Tarot reading" gig. Since I had decided that day that there was a new pair of rather spendy Louboutins that I needed in order to keep breathing voluntarily,  I said "Abso-LUTELY”, with a fervor that took the nice woman from the agency a bit aback, because there was a pause before she recovered, saying brightly “Ooo-KAY then!"  She gave me an address, said " It's a party, thanks for doing this, bye!"  And hung up with a relief I could hear 20 blocks away - On reflection, I should probably have paid a little more attention to that.  However, pausing only to change into a cute dress, feed the prowling catbeasts and mentally spend the eye-popping sum she had promised, I headed to the Upper West Side.

The building's lobby was gleamingly ostentatious.  The doorman had obviously gotten high marks in the “eyeing visitors suspiciously” part of the doorman exam.  When he finally put down the tenant phone and announced grudgingly, “They'll see you now", I heard the unsaid warning "…and don't track anything on the carpet with your Payless MaryJanes there, peasant."

The building elevator was bigger and much better furnished in my apartment.  Which made sense, when I got to the party place and found that their co-op was measurably bigger than the actual town I grew up in. It also seemed oddly deserted, until suddenly a cacophony of high-pitched giggling broke out in a far distant room.  I set out to find the noise, reluctantly abandoning the idea of leaving a trail of the ChexParty Mix so I could find my way back to the living room, and came upon a party, all right…it was a 12 year old's birthday party. Yikes. The nice agency lady didn't mention this. I don't read for people under 18.

While I was undergoing a St. Augustine-size crisis of conscience--"Dear God, give me a way to keep my professional ethos intact and yet still be able to buy shoes", was my shallow yet heartfelt prayer-a professional kids party entertainment troupe was organizing a"Murder Mystery" for the young ‘uns. Wow. Those children managed to reach a decibel level that would make Def Leppard weep with envy.

Meanwhile, I  walked in and greeted the assembled parents. I was led to a kitchen table by an immensely patronizing mom, who made it clear that she thought I was a…well, a Tarot reader sent by a party agency. (Which is why I don't work with agencies, there's just too much stigma to overcome and it takes energy away from the reading.) She sat me down in front of her extremely nice friend and said, "Here. DO her."

[Note: She meant "do a psychic reading for this person", lest you think this story is going in another direction entirely.]

I thought “O-kay. Let's see if we can take that smirk off your puss, my dear." Sat down, took the younger woman's hand and said ,"Disc problems, neck, two discs, for operations in two years. Also lower back, L2 and L3 discs, especially affected."

They both gaped at me. Well, that was fun.

The older woman said, accusingly,"Who told you that?" She was a little angry.

I turned back to the younger woman."Your mother issues are entirely valid; she WAS enormously controlling and she WAS verbally abusive, but you have to remember that you were her only daughter, and she did love you tremendously but-due to the situation with her father, especially-she simply didn't have the emotional tools in her toolkit to show love. And she didn't love your three brothers better."


The other woman said."Look, someone must've told you she has three brothers."

I took HER hand and said,"You work in an agency of some kind; your specialty is coordinating various groups of people in some way; you work, with each group separately and then coordinate them. You work for the greater good. You went back to work recently after taking time off. You just got a promotion, you sit here [drew diagram on the tablecloth with my finger] and the man who is your boss and yet is not directly your boss, sits over here. He has a tree in his office. The woman you don't get along with sit here: she's bossy, but doesn't actually know what she's doing. Short black hair. Bad lipstick choices."


Then suddenly, I'm a bit ashamed of myself. Everyone has their buttons, and mine is being condescended to. I have way too much pride. And psychics are supposed to be accurate, but we are not really supposed to show off. -Or are we??

More silence.

Then suddenly the older woman begins to laugh. She's delighted, like a kid who's Justina really good magic trick. “That's TOTALLY RIGHT!! OH MY GOD!! That's AMAZING!! How do you DO that?"

I said truthfully, "I have NO idea."

I finished both their readings, and as always happens after I do a reading for someone, we felt sort of bonded and would smile warmly across the room. When we caught each other's eyes at the party. Meanwhile, you put a visible Tarot deck in a room with a bunch of 12-year-old girls and soon you will be surrounded by an imploring, lipglossed tribe of supplicants. No way I could say no, but man, is THAT a tricky thing… Many, many ethical considerations. I do not do readings for the under 18 crowd. Finally, I figured out a way in which I could do it with ethics and integrity. This involved reflecting back the most obvious positive aspects of the child in question, and telling them that if they take breaks during studying to say the magic phrase." I am now remembering and understanding this perfectly!" that they would do even better in school. I also made a point of telling them that there's no such thing as hard-and-fast "fortune-telling": that we each make our own luck and destiny, with hard work, honesty and respect for ourselves and the folks around us. [Re-reading this, I sound a bit like a sanctimonious pill, but it was the best I could do at the time.] -Just to satisfy ‘em a little, I would tell them how many brothers and sisters they had, or if they had a pet and what kind of pet they had and even sometimes with the pet's name was. They LOVED it. BUT--not a single girl, even the 13-year-olds, asked about boys. Is the latency period longer than it used to be? What's UP with that?

Then, just as I was leaving the older woman came up with her five-year-old boy. He was a "Leave It To Beaver" outtake with huge blue eyes, total sweetness radiating from his every pore, and a Mets hat on.

"Max says something to ask you" she said.

"Will you read my fortune?" he said.

[Oh, boy. Yikes. God? Help me out here.]

I knelt down."Hi Max! I'm Miss Peri!"

"Hi," he said in a suddenly wee voice.

"Max, I see with my magic powers that you LOVE baseball!"

His eyes got really big."Wow!" he breathed.

"Well, you ARE wearing a Mets hat, Max. So that's not magic, it's just paying attention, which is really all I do."

He thought for a minute. "Can you tell me what my favorite subject is?" he challenged.

" Math!" I shot back. "And you're good at baseball because you're really great batter and have great hand-eye coordination."

His mom laughed. "He just tested really high for that."

Max looked down and blushed. "I AM a great batter", he admitted in a whisper.

"And I bet you have so many friends, because you really care about other people's feelings and that's great."

"Yes." he whispered.

"Max, you're going to have the best year ever. That's my prediction." I shook his hand and prepared to rise but he caught my arm.

"Miss Peri?”

"Yes, Max?"

"Will I have children?" His eyes were big and his face was solemn. He really wanted to know. It was such an odd, unexpected question, that my eyes welled up.

"Maxie, you can have all the children you want, you can adopt some too. But promise me something?"

"What?" He looked relieved, but still anxious.

"Please don't get married until you're at least 11"

I kissed the top of his head and ran out the door.


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