misty tells all

Misty squints at me over the Tarot cards and says, “You should try to meet Cee Lo Green while he’s in town”, as the answer to my question, “Will I financially survive if I stick to theatre?” She also suggests, “Write a horror like Stephen what his name” and “Book a gallery space and do a 24 hour open house”.images

I sit on her walker, her out door tarot card reading studio, and watch Nora swing from the monkey bars. “Question number two, dear?” She asks.

I am not really here to know my future. I am a big fan of the present. But I can’t help myself this time. I have to give a twenty to Misty. So I make up another question.

“There’s a fellow I’m sweet on…do you think it will turn into anything?” She squints at me again. She leans forward and whispers, “Is he in the army?” I try not to laugh. “Um…no.” I give her a few more details. “Ah.” She says. “You need to write out a list, a grocery list of all your needs, sit him down or go for a walk and tell him exactly that the list says.” I hesitate. “What?” I smile, “I – we’ve only gone on one date.” She sighs, “But you’re waiting for him! Why?! Go out. Tell him what you need. But watch for crop sprayers. And the chemicals they put in the air to make it rain. Why do they do that? We have rainmakers, spiritual rain makers. Once I got a drop of rain in my eye and it burned, burned for days! Joni Mitchell got sprayed on and she was in her house incapacitated for a long time, very ill. Until she had mercury. Mercury cured her. I want to read more about THAT. Next question.”

I wave my hand over the cards again.

You may wonder why I’m doing tarot cards out in the park this afternoon. Well, I have seen Misty around. She’s a senior citizen with a long yellow braid and a wide sun hat and a crystal around her neck swinging on a leather strap. She gathers her earnings from the tarot cards and heads over to the Santa Barbara market and buys a bunch of meat and cheese and buns and make sandwiches for the poor people who hang out in the park. She doesn’t trust other aid. She thinks soup kitchens give people food poisoning. I have seen her hand out sandwiches, and I needed a story today. So I sat down with my writer’s ears on.

I pick a card. “What is your question?” “Should I write my novel?” “What is it called?” “Anita and Lucia go to Italy.” She grunts and reads the card. “Do NOT let ambition undo you!” And she goes on. I must stick to what I already know and relearn it with humility. Okay. I guess I’m not branching out into fiction, sorry Anita. There goes our dream of me being a travel writer and you being my muse as a way to live out our golden years! Misty says so.

Finally, I wave my hand over the cards again with my last question. “What more can I do for Nora?”

She smiles at me tenderly. This is the first real moment between us that feels…connected. She says, “You are a good person. I can tell. You haven’t crossed your arms or legs once.”

Then she reads my card. “Practice gentleness. Gentleness in all you do.”

That good advice and the sandwiches I know are going to the poor, are worth giving her the twenty I worked so hard to earn.

Thank you Misty for reminding me that I already know the answers to most of my own questions and I don’t really want to know what the future will bring. I want to be in the present. Thank you for your sandwiches you give out to drunk guys taking shade under the trees and to young mothers having a smoke while their baby plays in the gravel and to the crack head so skinny, he uses his left arm to pick the lock on my bicycle. Thank you for your straw hat and your crazy stories. I wish you a Cee Lo Green siting and clean clean acid free rain.


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