Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pole-Dancing with the Dead

So I already know that my sweet, mild-mannered son, Twelve, is smart, yet unfocused, and a class clown, yet in a reserved kind of way. Luckily, he's also CEO material. Whew....

Psychic: "You know your dad is here telling me these things. He's here with about 30 other people."

I looked around this woman's very normal, very child-friendly living space, picturing all these transparent-like Casper-ish figures standing around as if at a party. I made a peace sign with both hands and said, "heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyy!" I mean, really, what does one say to a room full of dead strangers?

This was the same psychic that Sixty-Seven spoke to a week earlier. She was kind enough to alleviate my worries about the son I am constantly telling to open a book and study; the kid I always think of as me, Thirty-Nine, in boy form. She said he needs to find focus. I sat there thinking that I had told him the same damn thing as the school year ended: that he better start focusing when he hits seventh grade in September, and just because he does well without even trying, he better start actually trying. All in all, she described my beautiful Twelve perfectly.

But then, she hits me with:

Psychic: "You're daughter is a force to be reckoned with."

Here it comes....

Psychic: "When this one enters a room, you know she's in the room."

No shit... really?

Psychic: "You know, your father's here holding up his pinkie. He's telling you she's got him wrapped around hers. He's enamored with her."

This, I already knew from Sixty-Seven's reading.

Psychic: "But this character and a half, she outshines her brother. Not that he doesn't have a personality, because he certainly does, but your girl outshines him."

Poor Twelve. In the shadow of this tiny force. And she said it would always be like that. Always.


Psychic: "This is the wild child."

Thirty-nine: "I knoooow!"

Psychic: "She'll take care of him."

Thirty-Nine: "I knoooow!"

Psychic: "You know, you won't see your son from ages 14-18 or 19. He'll be in and out all the time."

I nodded. It didn't surprise me since he's already been pulling away from me as it is. At twelve.

Psychic: "You know, you weren't a bad kid yourself. But you have a wild side nobody knows about."

Well, until that moment, anyway. And it was a secret between only me, her, my dad and the 30 or so other dead people chillaxin' with us. And now, you guys. All six of ya.

Psychic: "Your girl... now that's your pole-dancer."

Thirty-Nine: "I knooooooooooooooow!!"

It was the longest one-syllable word ever uttered.

Psychic: "She's the one you'll be giving the Breathalyzer tests to at 2:30 in the morning."

I laughed out of fear, but also acknowledgment. I knew this shit deep down anyway. After all, she is my mini-me in looks, so she might as well be it in personality, as well. God help everyone.

I know that this woman wasn't told one thing about me. She was actually going to cancel my appointment because she didn't feel well, but she told the person who made the appointment on my behalf, "that woman Sixty-Seven's husband is hangin' around still. Why? Am I seeing her daughter tonight?" When her agent confirmed this, Psychic said, "No, I can't cancel. I have to speak to her."

And speak to me she did. She told me what she told my mother the week before, (about dear old Dead Dad), but she also touched on three specific things in my life with dead-on (pun anyone?) accuracy. I'm going to keep her visions regarding that personal part of my world to myself, but while my life story unravels, I'm going to pull out the six pieces of paper I scribbled on while she spoke to re-read them every once in a while to see if any of it applies. Who knows? Maybe it will, maybe it won't. I can't help believing in her though since this is the only psychic I've been to where I came away feeling....reassured and comforted.

I'm sure there are at least 4 out of the 6 of you reading that think it's all bullshit. Forty-Four certainly does. But if I ever find Seven wrapped around a pole one day in the future, beer on her breath, I'll be blogging about it and you'll be begging for this psychic's phone number.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Like White on Rice

I'm always awake; the noise in my head is so fucking loud. New problems, old problems, solved problems: they're all game for some re-thinking. I'm still trying to figure out why I dated a boy/man who was five years older than me when I was in 9th grade. Five years of my life were completely devoted to him, and the next 25 had been sprinkled with thoughts of regret over why the hell I was so devoted to him.

My mind doesn't shut off. Little things, like how bad I'm going to feel in the morning when I have to leave my dog alone, to the larger things, like how I'm going to pay for school, consume me. These things sit in my head, heating up as the day progresses like kernels of corn sizzling in a pot of hot oil waiting to pop. And when my head hits the pillow at one or two in the morning, the popping is what keeps me awake until three.

There's so much discontent in my life, but even on the days when life is sitting well enough with me to a certain degree that I can actually start a task and carry it through to completion, I still don't feel any peace of mind. I often wonder why it is I can't put anything to rest. No matter how hard I try, nothing's ever dealt with and then forgotten; nothing ever has closure.

One particular relationship in my life barely had time to blossom before it was cut off; the person moved away, leaving a huge question mark what-iffing me to death for a long time, just like many other things before that and after. Friendships that I had thought sat on solid ground always seemed to end without warning or explanation, leaving me, again, faltering and wondering. But of course the biggest lack of closure, and the most significant one, was regarding who killed my father and why.

It's been almost 20 years since he's died and now that I, Thirty-Nine, am approaching Forty, I've come to accept he's not here, and have tried to reconcile his absence from mine and my children's lives. It's a difficult thing to attempt, but I never give up trying. After all, I have no choice. But even so, there will always be that desperate melancholy that permeates my soul when I see grandpas and grandchildren together.

Sixty-Seven called me up the other most shittiful day with Forty-Seven on the line. The two of them together meant something was a-brewin'. Apparently, they had just gotten off the phone with a psychic and needed to inform me of what had happened. Over the past 20 years, we have talked to psychics: some on the phone while they searched through old coffee grinds to "read" our fates, and others in person. Some seemed to say a few remarkably accurate things, while most just generalized. We've been to George Anderson, one of the first famous mediums to blast into the public eye claiming to communicate with the dead. My family read his books voraciously; they explained how he learned of his "gift" of communicating with dead people and how he couldn't be disproved. We suddenly had a tiny spark of hope: maybe there were people in this world who really might be able to help us communicate with our dad so that we could finally get some answers. Then we found John Edward. He, too, communicated with the dead. We read his books and watched his television show and even saw him in person. We still hoped for answers even when we weren't able to get them from either medium. But that day, two days ago, that awfully shitty day-in-the-life-of-Thirty-Nine, was somehow different.

Sixty-Seven: "This psychic told me I had a daughter with one child, and another daughter, my youngest, with two. She said the oldest grandchild has an attitude and a half and is a crack-up. He's also sometimes a prick."

We all laughed. Accurate enough.

Sixty-seven: "She then said my youngest daughter has a son who's sweet and mild-mannered."

Awwwws all around. My boy, Twelve.

Sixty-seven: "And listen to this."

I sensed something good, but never this good:

Sixty-seven: "She described Seven to a T. She's a princess and a yenta and a half. (laughter) She said Daddy can't get enough of her and he's with her all the time, protecting her. In her exact words, he's with her 'like white on rice.' He gets such a kick out of her because she reminds him of you as a little girl. He's always with her."

I cried the moment the words fell out of Sixty-seven's mouth. Just the thought that my dad was with my baby girl -protecting her, hovering around her- made me weak with relief. And belief. I never believed anything so much in my entire life and nobody will ever convince me otherwise.

Sixty-seven was flabbergasted as well. She said she was sure the first boy in the family, Fourteen, would be the focus of his dead grandfather's attention; never once did it cross her mind, or our's, for that matter, that Sassy Seven would have been the one Grandpa liked to hang around.

I wiped my eyes and fetched the now-burned chicken nuggets out of the toaster oven.

Thirty-Nine: "Here, Seven. Sorry they're burned."

I handed her the plate, phone still cradled on my shoulder. I couldn't help myself:

Thirty-Nine: "Hi dad."

Sixty-seven and Forty-seven laughed.

It was funny in a way, but serious in another. Funny that I addressed my dead father as I handed my daughter her lunch, yet serious in the way that now when I look at her, at her heavy-lidded eyes that we always joked were like her Grandpa's, I see my dad. Almost literally.

We were told by this psychic woman that my father is always with us, watching and protecting. We were told he loves my mother now more than he ever did. We were told that my father's father saw the gun and immediately came down and brought my father's soul quickly to heaven. We were told that his biggest regret is how he left us alone and in such a mess.

Sure, we might be gullible. But if someone told you after 20 years of whys, what ifs, and I wishes, that your daughter was being protected everyday by her grandpa, wouldn't you, too, believe?

It's the kind of closure I always dreamed of...