She was a new client, our first meeting.
I guided her into the reading room. "Tarot cards and crystal ball. You do have a crystal ball, don't you? I won't let anybody read for me who…"
"Not to worry, I have a crystal ball."
We sat at my table, and I lightly shuffled the cards.
Placing the deck on the table, I stated, "I'd like you to…"
"This isn't my first rodeo!" She cut the deck and slapped the top half on the table. A touch of anger in her manner.
I completed the cut and spread the cards into a ribbon. "I'd like you to draw nine cards out, leaving them face-down."
"You don't deal? Other readers deal. Why do I have to do all the work. Shit on a stick! What am I paying you for?" She scooped up the deck, squaring it into a brick, and dealt nine cards face up onto the table. "There. Now read."
"Well, normally I'd…"
"What kind of deck is this? The cards ain't got no titles or numbers or anything. How can I tell them apart? What's this card? I don't like it. Is this the death card? I can't tell with no titles or numbers." She was tapping the seven of disks from my trimmed Crowley Harris Thoth (It had gotten a boarderectomy years back).
"No, that's not the death card. That's the seven of disks."
"I don't like it - what's it mean?"
"Well normally, I read the cards singly, turning them over as I go, then I read as a whole."
"Well get with it boy, what's this card? I don't like it either. Is this death? It looks icky. How can you read with this if it ain't got no titles or numbers? Is this a Lennybruce deck?"
"You must mean Lenormand, no. It is a Tarot, and I don't need the titles or the numbers. It's all in the card image."
"You don't need the titles or numbers. That's just swell, mister fancy-pants psychic. Are you saying that the other readers are idiots because they have them?"
"No, I'm not saying that. Not at all. I'm sure they're perfectly…"
"So what's this card?" She was tapping the Tower.
My Spirit Guide, Two-Raw Sugars, floated out of the crystal ball and hovered over the sitter. I could tell she was still on her first cup of ambrosia.
"That's the Tower, and it's later in the spread - we'll get to it. After I…"
"Fine. Start at the beginning." She crossed her arms.
Two-Raw Sugars was still floating above her. "I can see down her blouse!"
"Stop what?" My sitter leaned forward a bit.
"Just talking to my spirit guide, never mind."
"Oh my…" She looked around at my ceiling. "Is he here? What's his name? Pottawatomie? Grandfather Willow?"
"Um… no. I cannot share my guide's name. That would be offensive. And no, she's not a he."
"Oh how sweet. She must be lovely. Is she an Indian Princess?"
"Effing racist pig." Two-Raw Sugars floated down and settled in a chair near the door. She was doing her goth thing today.
"So you'll read for me now? Now that your spirit guide is here? Stop wasting my time?"
I sat looking at the nine cards slapped down onto the table and kind of fiddled into making them into a semblance of a spread.
"Um…" I started and stopped.
Two-Raw Sugars stood up and said, “Ahh, boss? Looks like we’re blocked. Blame it on her. It’s always the client’s fault. That's how it’s done.”
I looked at the sitter. “You appear blocked.”
“What should I do?”
I paused, reaching out across the ether. “I'm unsure, wait…I'm getting vibrations…”
My Spirit Guide spoke again. “Take a drink and back down lady. Sheesh. Ya know, boss, you should really look at this. Someone’s been working here, and they didn’t bother cleaning up – or finishing the job.”
“You’ve been to another reader recently.” I tapped on the High Priestess reversed.
“How can you tell?” She glanced over at the candle display, nervousness apparent.
My Spirit Guide spoke frankly. “Other than the fact you told us? Well how about because it’s a freakin’ mess here lady. Looks like self-help without the help.”
My hand paused over the Five of Wands, “There seems to be some confusion over your issues.”
“Confusion? It’s an amateur wiring job! It’s a freakin’ firetrap in here. Self improvement my ass, This place is a wreck.” My Spirit Guide was standing behind her looking at the sitter's chakras and aura.
The Sitter said, “Have you cleaned and recharged your cards lately? My other psychic sez that sometimes you have to do that. Leave them under the light of the full moon.” Sarcasm was dripping from her voice.
Two-Raw Sugars floated over the table. “Oh Jaysus Effing Christ on a crutch, I left them plugged into the 220 Akashic-Charger all night. Yes, they’re clean and charged.”
“I can assure you the cards are fine.”
The sitter was still nervous and a bit snippy. “Have you used up the last reading? I heard that decks only have seven hundred and forty three readings in them, and then you have to destroy them.”
"Destroy them?" I asked, incredulous.
"Yes. Every card must be torn into seven pieces, and then burned on the seventh new moon of the year. My last psychic's spirit guide said that."
Two-Raw Sugars gagged on her spirits; a bit came out her nose, "That'd be Sela, down at that tchotchke store on Parrish. Off Church Street."
"Your last psychic was Sela, wasn't it?"
"Oh my gawd, how did you know?"
"Because she always gives that type of hogwash advice."
"Hogwash? How could you…I've gone to her for years…How dare you…"
I slid her money back across the table. "I cannot take your money."
Two-Raw Sugars spoke up, "Give her the darkness bit…she'll eat it up."
"I'll leave you with this. You are surrounded by darkness…."