We blindly pointed to Norwalk, Connecticut on a map and went there. Our hotel was a run down heap, but at reception old New York dames with Gold Amex cards haggled with the girl at the desk over prices and conditions. A mother who had just taken her little daughter to compete in a beauty pageant was yelling at the receptionist, upset that the hotel didn’t have an indoor pool even though the website said it did (it didn’t).
The main street had a weird mix of things – a burlesque-style tequila bar, a sports bar, a cigar factory, a few homewares shops and a “psychic tea room”. J-man and I decided it would be fun to visit the tea room in the morning. It was closed when we got there so we had breakfast at a cafe, where young wait staff were employed to come to your table and tell you your coffee was ready but not bring it to you.
When we walked into the tea room (no tea in sight) a man was loudly asking for advice about his broken relationship. We tried to distract ourselves by pretending to be interested in crystals and dreamcatchers scatted around the room. A well-thumbed book about living life like Oprah was on display on a table.
J-man asked if he and I could have palm readings, while our friend Bron decided to sit it out. J-man was taken into a velvety tent by a warm and friendly woman. I was so willing to drop my cynicism and play along but the illusion was ruined when I was led to a wonky mosaic-covered table by a young woman who seemed to be a fortune-telling intern. She was obviously nervous and was peering at me like she was trying to see the backs of my eyeballs.
This is what she told me while stroking my sweaty hand:
“You are married. He is your soul mate.”
“You are very spiritual.”
“You will have three children.”
“Someone in your family will get sick, but they won’t die.”
“You have built up walls. You need to let people back into your life.”
[At this moment Bron dropped something hard on the wooden floor.]
“Do you like your job? You should continue with the same career you have now.”
If she could read my mind, this is what she would have heard:
“You are looking at my left hand, the one with my wedding ring on it. And do you mean sole mate? Because yes.”
“No, no I am not.”
“Well, yeah. They have not found a cure for the common cold.”
“They do not deserve to be let back into my fortress of awesome.”
“Thanks dude. That’s pretty sound advice.”
And obviously J-man is going to find some other wife because he was told he would father twins. Ouch.