There it was —my official divorce decree.
The modern-day certificate represents a failed marriage.
The byproduct was a man cloaked in numbness that hardened with each passing day.
Broken beyond self-repair.
I stumbled upon a powerful tool, the whisper of hope.
A hope for a better world. A better me.
In that process, I met a psychic with 13 dice.
She predicted a future I would have never imagined.
Here’s that story.
The air filled with excitement as I screamed, “Mike! The cars loaded, let’s hit the road!”.
We were heading to “The Big Easy”, AKA New Orleans.
Known for its lively atmosphere and tantalizing aromas of Gumbo and Po Boys.
My good friend Mike had never been and we wanted to partake in the city's rich live music and soulful melodies.
It wasn’t long before the interstate merged into narrow streets lined with elegant historic buildings.
We were surrounded by the melodies of live jazz and the scent of Cajun cuisine.
Mike made comments about how he had never quite witnessed so much energy and spirit from a city before.
We quickly checked into our hotel and over the next three days, we explored the World War II museum, quenched our thirst at the Sazerac House, and filled our bellies with soulful food.
It was on our final night that we started to notice signs advertising psychic readings.
“Unlock Your Third Eye”
“Get Answers, Guidance, Closure”
“Palm Reading, Tarot, and Crystal Ball”
Mike gestured at the last sign, “What do you think about a psychic reading?”
The thought had never crossed my mind.
Our trip was coming to an end and it was unlikely we would revisit the area.
“Let’s do it”, looking him in the eye with confidence.
“Hell yeah”, Mike responded.
Life can’t get any more interesting I thought.
That evening, as we eagerly awaited our dinner, we scoured for places to make a reservation.
The Earth Odyssey echoed the interwebs with resounding praise from endless opinions.
With excitement, we moved to seal our fate for tomorrow morning but soon realized most people book psychic readings weeks in advance.
Dang it — I thought.
Undeterred, the next morning we strolled the streets hoping to find a place with walk-in availability.
Mike and I stopped to look up at what was a big sign with a teacup.
“Bottom of The Cup Tea Room”
“Aha! This is it”, Mike exclaimed.
I pushed the front door open overwhelmed by all of the candles, cards, dice, and psychic items.
A pleasant girl approached us, her welcoming smile inviting us in.
“Hi! How can I help you?”, she inquired.
We explained our situation and requested a walk-in session.
“You are in luck — we had a reservation for two cancel this morning”, she said with joy.
Glancing over to Mike with a smile, “What are the odds of this?”.
“What do you have to offer?”, I asked inquisitively.
The girl proceeded to explain numerous offerings in vivid detail, attracting our interest.
“We will both do the Tarot Reading.”, handing her my credit card.
She gestured for us to the waiting area, engulfed in the tantalizing aroma of freshly brewed tea.
30 minutes later, we were each called back separately.
Standing up, I walked down a narrow hallway to find an opening on the right side.
Entering a small room barely 4 feet in size, I noticed a female seated at the back of a desk, large cards dispersed across the table, and a large candle to her right.
She warmly greeted me, gesturing for me to take a seat.
As I closed the curtain behind me, I made sure to wear my military bearing and retain a composed poker face.
I thought to myself, okay, Brandon — don’t offer any voluntary facts.
I need her to inform me.
Sitting down, I cautiously awaited her feedback.
Without postponing, she proclaimed, I sense you’ve suffered a substantial loss.
Intrigued but skeptical, I thought to myself, there is no way she’s suggesting my divorce.
But to my surprise, she expanded on her thought.
“You just went through a divorce from a long-term marriage”, she said not making eye contact.
Astonished, I pondered how she ought to figure this out from my look itself.
Can someone look divorced? No way.
She continued, “I also sense a major financial loss”.
Pausing for effect, she remarked, “Interesting, very interesting”.
Curiosity mingled with doubt as I puzzled if her deductions had been nothing greater than mere logical guesswork, given the commonality of divorces and financial losses.
Perhaps it was a secure bet to make.
However, my skepticism was momentarily silenced as she urged me to proceed with the Tarot reading.
Admittedly, I had no understanding of the importance behind these practices, nor did I care at that moment.
The surprise of her accurate deductions had seized my attention.
Maintaining my stoic facade, I responded, “Okay, I’m ready”.
She began shuffling the Tarot cards, handing me the deck to cut.
As the cards were divided into piles, she instructed me to cup my palms.
In them, she located several dice and located a glass bowl in front of me.
Uncertainty plagued my mind as I puzzled, what in the world am I doing, Brandon?
Contemplating the enigmatic glass bowl, I reluctantly rolled the dice, a few escaping beyond its borders at the same time as others remained inside.
The psychic’s intrigued expressions and lively frame language indicated this outcome changed into unusual.
Or possibly, she genuinely loved what she did.
With growing intrigue, she hastily flipped the Tarot cards, revealing snapshots ranging from a gravesite with a somber reaper to more positive and completely satisfied depictions.
Despite my lack of expertise, a burning desire to unravel the mystery consumed me.
The skeptical part of my thoughts attempted to disregard it as an act, questioning the relevance of all of it.
However, a surprising smash in the silence shattered my uncertainties.
“Okay, let me explain what all of this means. Are you ready?” she requested.
“Yes, ma’am, I am.”, I spoke back in anticipation.
She analyzed the Tarot cards, linking them to my past experiences, highlighting concerns about my financial recovery and prospects of finding a genuine partnership.
Pointing at one of the dice and piles of card, she reinforced her earlier point.
The Grim Reaper. Death of a marriage.
The second dice and stack of cards represented a new accomplice, one of deep romantic interest and growth.
The last one she pointed at with a smile, “This is infinity”.
“Infinity?”, I whispered to myself.
It appears you’ll meet a female this summer who turns into your lifelong associate.
Shaking my head, I stood up and thanked her for her time.
There was no way I was going to deal with another woman.
Summer is literally in two months.
As I was turning around, my hand grabbing the curtain, she stopped me.
You still have two minutes if there is anything else I might be able to help answer for you.
Don’t do it, Brandon.
A gentle whisper touched my ear.
I let go of the curtain.
Damn it. I have to know.