Does anyone really believe...
I ask because after reading Gorilla Bananas post yesterday I was reminded of when a dear friend of mine rang me recently and went on a ten minute burst of joyous chatter telling me all about this woman she had gone to see who was able ' to tell me everything!'
'Everything about what honey?'I asked gamely, reaching for the wine.
'Just about...you know, how this year was so tough for me and that I would get through it and that I would be...oh you know, she just knew everything, so weird.' she paused for a second and my heart lurched a little.
'She knew about my brother.'
'Really?' I was surprised and beginning to grow angry.' Why, what did she say?'
'That I had suffered a great loss. That I was searching for answers and I am!'
I poured my wine. Of course she would say that, why else would my friend be there in the first place if not for answers and most people our age have suffered a loss of some kind.
'Did she say your brother?'
'NO, well, not at first, but she held my hands really close and said oh it's a man, and then she said someone close to you....your father...no your brother?"
The my friend said she started to cry, so game over.
My friend has had a very tough year, she lost her brother and was wracked with guilt over their final conversation. She has a fiery relationship with her boyfriend and really wanted to know was everything going to get better. Hence the fortune teller.
Now, as any good card player can tell you, humans give off lots of subtle signs and tells. Pupils and nostrils dilate, hand fidget, eyes roll and search. In short a person can give an awful lot away without ever opening their mouth. And my friend has the most expressive open face, which makes her a ripe picking.
I listened as she told me more and more grasping feeble evidence that this woman was a true seer and for once in my life I actually managed not to open my cynical trap.I did not rubbish this woman. Even though I was furious that someone could be such a charlatan and prey on the vulnerable, I could hear it in my friend's voice that she desperately wanted to believe her brother was happy and at peace and was 'with his grandfather' (what a leap, the woman worked out that my 30 something year old friend might have a dead grandfather and after guessing a few letters and giving a description of a grey haired man in a cardigan!! finally stumbled onto him)
Maybe sometimes people need to believe in the other worldiness of others. Certainly in my friends's life something had cracked and she-normally a paragon of common sense- needed someone to tell her everything would be all right, the spirits had forseen it. And maybe, just maybe, that is not such a bad thing to hear.