I’ve previously alluded to the fact that I once attended a “psychic party” in 1995 Chicago, where a group of us girls paid to have our past, present, and futures read by a reverend who had ESP abilities, right? I say “alluded” because for some reason, I don’t like to talk about it much even these 15 years later. In fact, I haven’t visited a psychic since and I never will again. The experience shook me to my core and I don’t want to invite that kind of “supernatural knowing” into my life even one more time.
I’ve always been attracted to things paranormal. I love ghosty shows and spooky books and the whole nine supernatural yards. So it’s still a surprise to me that I reacted so strongly to my reading in 1995. I’m sure it had to do with the fact that I came so close to this “power” I couldn’t explain. I didn’t know what to make of it, but it scared me that so much was known about me and how my life was going to turn out. I suppose I’d just rather have my life unfold without knowing what’s coming next. Everything feels so final when it’s put before you.
My friend Katie threw a party where a psychic, Reverend Patty, read each guest’s fortunes in an intense one-on-one session. The reverend set up shop in a bedroom and invited one person at a time to come inside the room, shut the door, and listen to her future life. I was one of the last to go. Even though I loved the paranormal, I didn’t really believe in psychics. Truthfully, I thought the whole party thing was cheesy. What kind of psychic worth her salt tells fortunes at a party? But throughout the evening, I watched my friends emerge from the bedroom silent and white. My curiosity grew, and so when it was my turn, I eagerly awaited to be told about myself.
I walked inside the room. Reverend Patty sat at an old card table in the center of the bedroom. She smiled at me and asked me to sit on a folding chair. She was about 35 with dark hair, kind eyes, and a zen spirit. As I sat down, she explained to me that she needed one of my personal items through which she’d channel one of my dearly departed ones who would speak to me through Patty. She had a yellow legal pad in front of her and a pencil. On that pad, she planned to “automatically write” what came through her. I was dubious, but I gave her my watch. She cupped it in her palm, closed her eyes, and told me my grandmother had made contact.
Patty picked up the pencil and began to write, eyes closed the whole time. At certain points, she’d cock an ear and act surprised. “Oh,” she said once. “You want to be a children’s book writer.” As if someone had just told her. She also told me how much money I made, what I did for a living, and that I was in the wrong relationship. “You have fun together,” she said. “But he’s not for you.”
Halfway through my reading, she drew a path of rocks. Big ones. “This is you,” she told me. “Always looking under rocks. Lifting this one and that one. Searching for yourself.” I gasped. I’d never heard my life explained so perfectly. Right about then, I knew my grandma was there. And it was a comforting feeling and an uncomfortable one all at once. I’m still not sure I liked it much. I couldn’t — and still can’t — process that moment.
At the end of my session, I held 10 pieces of yellow legal-sized paper with my life all over it. Like a blueprint. Reverend Patty told me that my car was going to breakdown soon, that I would move to the coast (she drew waves and the state of California), that I’d end up in court because someone was hassling me (I was stalked a year later), and many, many other things. I don’t remember them all because I threw the papers away.
Yes I did.
Me, lover of the unexplained, couldn’t stand to have things explained in an unexplainable way.
The intensity of that experience was too much for me. I’ll just admit it. It’s as if you catch a glimpse of something so large, so vast, so beyond yourself, that your brain — your soul – can’t comprehend it.
I can’t go there again.
I compare it to being among stars so bright that it hurts your eyes to see.
And maybe that’s because I’m not meant to see what’s in the stars yet. In the end, it felt wrong to me; a boundary I shouldn’t cross.
So I’ll leave it at that.