I’ve only ever had my fortune told once.
We were in a bar sometime past 2 o’clock in the morning, celebrating the success of our masters program’s first public reading. A friend had been lying down on a bench and using my chest for a pillow and suddenly she sat up.
“If somebody buys me a drink, I’ll tell their fortune.”
This is, perhaps, not what you expect when you think of getting your fortune told. Maybe you, like me, think of tarot cards or a dark room and a woman draped in velvet and peacock feathers. But this is what life presented me with. After all, I’d never had my fortune told, and I’d especially never had my fortune told by a drunk poet. And how many people can say that’s happened to them? (Sidenote: This is something you’ll run into frequently with me. If it’s absurd/rare, I am game.)
I asked about my writing and then, panicked, thought maybe I’d been too specific.
“Was that too much? Should I just ask about love? Fine. Will I ever fall in love again?”
My poet medium looked at me. After answering the question about writing, she addressed love. She was almost reluctant, almost amused, almost – well, almost I’m not quite sure what.
“Oh, God, that’s a no face. That’s a no, isn’t it? Okay, it’s cool.”
I was almost resigned. I’m 27, I’ve got two failed relationships under my belt (in the sense that, despite what we thought was going to happen, they did not end in marriage), I am working on being totally okay with being single again. Single life, when done right, is wonderful. The last time I was single, I got my life set up just exactly how I wanted it. I was seeing my friends all the time, I was playing Ultimate and learning to rock climb. I traveled when and where I wanted. I worked my butt off and never had anybody complain that I was late for the third time that week. These are wonderful things. They were wonderful at 25 and they’ll be wonderful again soon.
But they’re not wonderful yet. So when she looked at me, I was worried. No more love? That’s it?
“No! I mean, yes. Yes you’ll fall in love. And it’ll fucking ambush you.”
She laughed. This is a girl who knows some of my most ridiculous stories, who had just heard me read about a broken heart 6 hours before. She held my palm, her fingers baby soft, and looked into the air just past my head as if watching a movie play out.
“You’ve got one more love. And it’ll be delightful. Six months. And it’ll take you completely by surprise.”
“Wait, it’ll only last six months? Or it’ll happen in six months?”
“It’ll happen sometime in the next six months. And you’ll never expect it when it happens.”
I’d never had my fortune told before not because I didn’t want to know but because I never believed that it was possible. The future isn’t some pre-written script we’re following, and I don’t know that I think anybody can see what will happen. But I also know how it felt when she held my hand and looked just past me, and it felt honest and connected and real. So we’ll see how it goes. At any rate, no matter what happens in my love life, in six months I won’t be any worse off than I am right now. But apparently things could get a whole lot better.