Once when I was quite young I happened upon a fortune teller who operated out of a small shop front in downtown Providence, RI. I unknowingly passed by her window frequently on my way to martial arts classes where I studied karate. One particular afternoon I noticed her sign and decided to venture in and pay her the five dollar fee that she advertised in her window which read, “Fortunes told, $5.00.” As you might imagine, once inside, I found a few pieces of threadbare upholstered furniture in a dark, outer room with a multi-colored, beaded curtain separating it from another small room. There was no one there. I thought the door may have made enough noise to alert someone when it creaked loudly upon my entry, but not so. I shuffled my feet, cleared my throat and in short order an elderly woman bustled from behind the beaded curtain. She was quite short, stooped over in that arthritic way, with long, thinning, gray hair. She was nicely rounded in shape, with knotted, wrinkled fingers. Her attire was just what I would have expected; long, loose fitting drapes of layered, faded, gauzy material that seemed to conceal centuries worth of fortunes.
In her way, with broken English and never making eye contact, she asked me if I wanted my fortune told. “Fortune?” She asked. “Yes, please.” I replied. “Five dollar.” She politely requested. “Okay.” Said I. And I handed over a five dollar bill. She took it from my hand and swiftly hid it somewhere amongst those layers of fortunes and five dollar bills in her attire. With hand gestures she invited me into the cramped, stuffy room beyond the beaded curtain and asked me to sit on a tiny, torn, upholstered chair across from a makeshift desk covered with an oriental embroidered tablecloth. “Sit.” She said. I sat. She made her way around to the other side of the desk and sat down across from me. With her knobby hands, she motioned for me to extend my right hand toward her and said, “Palm.” I complied, giving her full liberty with the life of my entire future. She took my upturned right hand in both of hers, held it and studied it for a long moment in which I anxiously held my breath. Finally, she took the index finger of her hand and traced what I eventually came to know as my lifeline, looked me hard in the eyes and said, “Long life.” She let go of my hand and put her own two onto her lap. “What else?” I asked of her. “Five dollar.” She said.
Again, as you might imagine, I left her little shop of fortunes with all of the rest of my five dollar bills intact, in my own purse without an inkling of guilt. I also left with my sense of “Listen to your gut.” intact. I’d never quite believed in fortune telling of any sort and this experience certainly sealed that deal. Now if you want to talk about luck… Luck is all together is a different story. After all, I am half Irish.🍀