Brought to you by Mammoth’s Psychic and Chakra Center
One thing is certain: life is short. We have a finite amount of time on this planet and when you finally realize this, then you get out there and start getting it done. Because of this realization of my own impending doom, I’d say I’m open to most things, especially since seeing Whoopi Goldberg play a telepathic hustler in the 1990 film “Ghost.” After seeing her possessed by Patrick Swayze, one thing has always been on my lifelong bucket list; to visit a psychic.
Surrounded by scented candles, mysterious crystals and a beautiful crackling fire (on a nice looking flat screen), I found myself in the lobby of the newly opened Psychic and Chakra Center in Mammoth Lakes on Old Mammoth Road next to Nik ‘n Willies. The place smelled great, sort of a spicy cinnamon meets new carpet.
As previously mentioned, I’ve never been to a psychic and I had no clue what to expect. Would it be a Whoopi-esque over-the-top performance? Would the psychic be as calm and knowledgeable as Professor X? Will it be as entertaining as those Miss Cleo commercials from the late ‘90s? I was definitely nervous and I had a lot of questions, so I decided to bring my girlfriend Nicole and pay for a couples reading. Which, by the way, is the biggest, most expensive, most aura slammin’ reading there is. For $100 it includes tarot cards, visions of the future and most important, you get to ask questions … and I had a lot.
I called ahead to make the appointment and oddly enough when we arrived no one was there. Then mysteriously a door opened from the back, and a very professional-looking, short, black-haired woman appeared. She looked as if she expected us to be there. It was the owner, Chrissie, and she brought us into to a small, softly lit room outfitted with two comfy chairs, a table in the middle arranged with a crystal ball, two little scented candles and a folding chair on the opposite side.
She sat us down and asked us to give our full names and date of birth. I’m not sure why she did this. Maybe it was so she could know what our horoscope signs were, or maybe it was just for billing purposes. Either way, I decided not to tell her I was from The Sheet. I was hoping she would be able to figure that out.
She asked us to split the deck of tarot cards, shuffle them and while doing so think about what questions we wanted to ask her. This was tough, because beforehand I spent roughly 2 hours writing questions I wanted answered. Would LeBron James ever win a championship? Is Tupac really dead? Will tall-tees ever go away? Will Jennifer Aniston ever find true love? What will be the theme of the next Hyde party? Even though I truly wanted some answers, I was feeling a little uncomfortable surrounded by so much mystical ambiance. Suddenly, all my questions seemed kind of stupid.
The reading began with Chrissie lighting the two candles on the table, which she told us brightens our auras. She then removed the crystal ball from the table (while explaining to us that it doesn’t help see the future). Flipping some tarot cards, thinking for a second, Chrissie then looked us in the eye, read our auras and told us what kind of people we are.
She started with Nicole, and basically told her a bunch of uplifting stuff. Then she flipped a couple more cards. Staring into my soul, Chrissie told me, “You have a dark mystical spirit.” Thinking about this for a moment she went on to say that I am a skeptical person, people don’t always think I’m funny, I turn people off by trying to be the center of attention and that I need to be careful of stepping on people’s toes. I laughed a bit to myself then realized, “Damn it she can see right through me!” I then realized I probably shouldn’t host any game shows.
But then she said I have wandering eyes. What does that mean? “It means you are constantly looking at other women and other relationships and wondering what it would be like to experience that.” Visibly annoyed, I said, “Well, doesn’t everyone have wandering eyes? Isn’t that part of human nature?”
“No, not everyone does.”
“She does!” I exclaim, as I point to Nicole.
“No, she doesn’t.” I look over at Nicole as she looks back at me with an admission of guilt. Come on, she’s always telling me some dude is cute.
A little frustrated, I started to think she may be full of s%$# considering the cold, hard fact that any dude anywhere has at one point in his life looked at a celebrity, say Jennifer Aniston, and said to themselves, “Man, I wonder what it would be like to tap that?”
After reading our auras, Chrissie got to the good stuff: the future. Now, I’ve always been skeptical about knowing too much about the future ever since I saw the film “Back to The Future,” and Doc Brown says to Marty McFly, “If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles an hour you’re going to see some serious s%$#!” Wait, no, it wasn’t that quote. Well, anyway he said something about screwing with the space-time continuum. Since then I’ve always been wary of messing with that crap.
Starting out with the standard disclaimer that the future is not written in stone, and that we shouldn’t tell anyone what she is about to tell us, Chrissie then interpreted her visions of the future to us. Since I don’t want to ruin Nicole’s reading I’ll keep hers out of the story and spill the beans on my own reading.
Confidently, she proclaimed that I would have a major career change within the next year, and that I would continue to do what I do, but in another capacity. She said that if I let my creative forces out, then soon I would have vast sums of money and that money will never be an issue for me. Hell yeah! This came as a relief to me not only because the reading was $100, but also because I currently live in a dump. Then she went on to say that I may be involved in some legal trouble in the near future and that I shouldn’t put my signature to anything.
Visions of being sued by psychics then filled my head.
Chrissie then opened up the reading to questions. I started to think carefully about what inquiries were most important to me. I concentrated for a moment.
“Who will win the Super Bowl?”She flips a tarot card, revealing the Joker. “It is undetermined,” she answered. Damn.
“Okay, is Tupac really dead?” She flips a card. “His spirit is no longer here.”
“So he’s dead?”
“Yes, he’s dead.”
Feeling discouraged, I decided to ask a more serious question, “Will the world end in 2012?” Without flipping any cards, Chrissie definitively stated, “No, I’ve meditated on this for some time. The world will not end.”
Relieved, I started to feel more at ease, secure in the knowledge I didn’t need to invest in beef jerky and shotguns during the next year. So, I went back to my original questions. “How long will it take for the Town of Mammoth Lakes to get out of debt?” Chrissie flips another card, “8 years.”
“That’s it?! Will the Mammoth Times ever go out of business?”
“Hmmm, do you not like someone that works at the Times?” she asked.
“No, they’re alright.”
“So you must be a fan of The Sheet?” Oops. Does she know? “Yeah the Sheet’s cool.” She flipped a card. “The Mammoth Times will still be around within our lifetimes.”
I figured at that point that the cosmos probably doesn’t know (or care) about the newspaper business.
“How long will I live?” Chrissie pulls another card. “You will live until somewhere in your mid 60s.” Good. This made sense to me.
I thought about asking her exactly how I will die, but I’ve always figured it would probably be by way of crossbow, wrestling a bear or by a gang-related knife fight a la Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” You know, a warrior’s death. I really didn’t need to know. I started to think about how awesome Michael Jackson was, which led me to start thinking about Justin Timberlake. “When will ‘N Sync get back together?”
Chrissie pulls another card. “I see ‘N Sync getting back together within the next 6 years.”
After a few more questions the stack of tarot cards began to get pretty slim. Chrissie pointed out that you should always leave extra cards in the stack and not let them run out during a reading. The reason behind this, she claimed, was because the extra cards represent the rest of your life, the rest of the story.
Nicole and I were bummed because we had so many questions left to ask. But Chrissie insisted we ask only one more (maybe because she wanted me to get the hell out of there, I can’t really be sure). I thought long and hard about my final question.
“Why are we here?” Chrissie thought for a moment, “To better understand your lives and your relationships.”
“Actually I want to write a story about this psychic reading. I’m a writer for The Sheet.” Her expression went blank. Chrissie didn’t look thrilled. I explained that I’ve always wanted to do a reading and was worried that if I told her I was a writer from the beginning then maybe she wouldn’t agree to do it. After a little back and forth on waivers, Chrissie reluctantly agreed to the story.
After the reading Nicole and I talked for hours about what went down. I came to the conclusion that going to see Chrissie wasn’t a waste of money, even though my Astronomy (not Astrology) teacher in high school, Mr. Wheeler, once said, “The effects of the cosmos on your life and your future have less of an effect on you then a buffalo taking a crap in the plains of Africa.” I’ll never forget that.
To be completely honest, I mulled over the reading for almost a week. I thought about the death of Tupac, about all that future money, the looming career change and how I should give up my dream of being the next Pat Sajak.
Because of Chrissie, self-reflection and my future paths were weighing on my mind. And that’s when I figured it out; maybe the purpose of psychics isn’t to tell us what to do with our lives. Maybe we need them to light a fire under our collective asses. Maybe we need soothsayers to remind us that life is short. And I still have a lot of things on my bucket list.