These were the opening words from a world-renowned psychic during an ill-fated trip I took to seek her “counsel.”
We Catholics weren’t supposed to go to psychics because they practiced the “dark arts” waved chicken legs around and doomed your soul with their tainted information gleaned from peeking behind the curtain that only the big guy was supposed to have access to. Besides, the “unconfirmed” sources whispering ghostly tidbits in their ears were probably those satanic minions trying to trick us into admitting we knew someone who had “passed” whose first name began “with an M or an L?”
This woman was adamant about me going on a road trip that was destined to change my life and after I went home I couldn’t shake this unnerving feeling that she had been right.
But what trip? Where the hell was I going? Was this quest going to change my future in such an earth shattering way that I would be foolish to ignore all requests to take a drive in the car? Small? Big? What the fuck should I pack?
Now I wonder to myself how many life altering events started with a tiny seed planted by an unsuspecting fate farmer. A psychic looking to put on a good show drops some juicy nuggets about roadtrippin’ and the future pivots on its heel and upends all set plans.
My trip turned out to be a game changer. I hopped a train out of Penn Station with my overnight bag, twenty dollars and two boxes of Triscuits and took a huge risk by leaving my boyfriend and turning a good friend into something more while on the road. The fact that I ended up marrying the aforementioned “good friend” makes me take a moment to imagine my life in an alternate universe where I didn’t hop on the Silver Star Express out of New York.
Would I have settled into a routine and married the other guy, living close to where I was raised and wondering what could have been? If there had been problems what kind of solutions would I have found? Wallowing in depression or drinking heavily? After years of repressed anger would I have just turned around in the kitchen one day and brained him with the largest designer iron skillet we owned, landing me in prison to serve a lengthy sentence?
How many more potential futures were out there swirling around for YOU before the pieces locked into place and delivered your current situation? Think of all the tiny shards of well executed decision-making that led you right to this very second in your life. Did you decide to wait five minutes before stepping into your car never to find out that you missed dying by only seconds in a fiery accident? Did you wait those five minutes because you wanted to finish the last paragraph of a deliciously deviant gossip story in a tabloid rag?
Did you end up with the best or the worst of your case scenarios? Clearly you’ll never know but imagine yourself as a rock star, famous actress or athlete perhaps brought on by a chance encounter or career deviation. Now imagine yourself in those glorious professions, sad isolated and alone under enormous pressure, perhaps even drug addicted or hopelessly unhappy.
What if you’ve gotten the best possible set of cards that you could have been dealt. Maybe you avoided death, destruction and nightmarish circumstances and your simple yet tranquil life is a far cry from the cardboard box you might have resided in.
Tomorrow when you step outside think about the timing, yours and everyone elses, and how that plays a role in the days events. Billions of possible futures dancing together to weave the present drifting right by you. How easily it could never have happened if one grasshopper hadn’t caught the attention of two children skipping merrily to school ten thousand miles away.