I am tired now. I sit at a table and write cursive. Tables are something taken for granted. They live such a long life, and as a rule, aren’t discarded for disease or wear, but for fashions sake. There is quite something about tables. A staying power.

I have a peculiar thought at the table, and it is that I hope I am not dying. Once a seer said to watch out years down the road, to keep an eye on that. Dying is a dramatic notion, but it not wholly unreal- not made up at all.

There is actually a respite that has announced itself, an assuagement from vexatious winter cold and wind. Mild. Like an Indian summer occurrence, but too late to really be labelled as such. Maybe they don’t have names for a spring day arrival in winter. What will be the new nomenclature? What will be the idiom and pitch, the rise and run, of a truly climate changed environs? In any event, it’s a backwards movement, no? For the day to go from cold to warm before its time. It makes me think backwards, to twenty years ago, on the Danforth.

Kara knew about things, a bit like the seers themselves, but that is not what I mean. What I mean is she knew about where to find them,- the good ones so called. It’s a whole ‘nother world, all of that. Kismet and Karma, natal charts and runes, astral wanderings and cards, conjunctures and inflections, spirit messages and protections, healings small and large. A thousand other things also. You’ll have to trust me a bit on that. There is no penultimate way or means or golden key.

Navigate slowly, and with discernment.

We are really just throwing chicken bones in a modern metropolis-searching for our lost souls.

It was a tea leaf place Kara brought me to. She and her friend. We were three, – a friendly appropriate trinity. Early twenties. A kitsch self help book of some sort, popular years before and showing up at garage sales I noticed, had called it ‘the trying twenties.’ Some clichés remain for their minute truisms. We were affluent enough,-not the rick kids thankfully, – but lost.

Thus the gravitation to such venues.

I sit with the seer and am first. Glancing back briefly at Kara and Nadine, they make a pleasant if not picaresque combination of black and brown hair, of ancestral eyes dark and modernized sure, but still rooted in southern continents.

There is nothing too flaxen or low-context about them then.

And is it that blood, I think quickly for an instant, that somehow brings them to these places? That blood that is, to me, enigmatic, a pumping river of labyrinthine secrets that draws them to a seer’s place, to find an odd sort of prescience, in the middle of an otherwise hyper-secularized city.

The seer. I liked her right away. Some kinship. She had fallen to the other side of middle age. White, though it would not matter to me her color. Blue collar. Worn. Knows how to be kind. Denim with a big sweater.  No costume jewellery. No obtuse props. Troubled, also I noticed, – by her life and by her gifts. Gifts of the spirit. Right off she motioned to Kara back at a table, a large table- comfortable and competent surely by anyone’s metric, for it could easily seat eight or ten people, and said, That one comes to these things too much. She has to calm down on it. I thought to myself, Its good, my seer is definitely not a con. What kind of person tries to turn away business? Only someone interested in truth.

Let’s see your cup, and she motioned to me and took the cup now empty of the tea, and looked inside. You have a hole in your pocket, on the inside, and this has nothing to do with the cup. I am just telling you because you can lose something like a key or some money, – especially change. I did have a hole. I was in the habit of wearing dress pants for some loose comfort they afforded. But there was a hole in the pocket of these ones,- and I had worried about the hole and losing change or a key right out of the compromised back pocket and into the larger world, its asphalt streets, its weathered curbs, its miasma of traffic, urban vessels with wheels that never ceased.

Let’s begin. This is, and she always wanted a word like auspicious or providence or other, but couldn’t grasp one out of the collective, so kept saying ‘good.’ But, when the seer said ‘good,’ one got the feeling she really meant it. Through her popping softly musical presentation of the word, like fresh white paint affixed to a kind trellis, the word was renewed. Nothing mediocre about it.


Good for you.

Good for me.

Good for the angels hiding coyly in the firmament.

Good for my troublesome past.

Good is good and well enough and more, for a lost soul.

I shall take good any calendar day.

Good. This is the tree of prosperity. There is nothing in the branches or roots so much- not a lot of detail. I won’t make it up for you if it is not there. It is saying that, one way or another, you are going to prosper. I will tell you one thing. You will have two or three children. But, if it seems to come before the time you thought, do not consider abortion. I am not saying this in a Christian sense. I am saying this because the universe has its own logic and time. It knows what it is doing, even if you do not understand. Adjust yourself, if this happens, but do not consider abortion. You would be doing the universe a (here she stops again, and looks for a word- I get the feeling she wants to say something akin to ‘disservice. She is bright, and articulate, – but her energy has gone into the readings, not to finding the exact words…), well, it’s like harm to a larger picture you don’t understand. Just don’t do it. Other than that, you are going to be okay. This one behind you is true (she motions to Kara), and you will be fine with her. Just tell her to ease up on the psychics and those types of things. You are meant to live life, not worry about it.


She shuffles the cards and puts the cup away. They are old, fractured, like worn boots where the cracks and crevices call out for something like daubing. She asked me to pick three cards. This is not a standard deck of playing cards. It is not a regular tarot deck full of the fool and empress, the hanged man and the hierophant, the this or the that.

I have never seen this deck before or anything like it. But I don’t ask. It looks to have some yellow-hued flowers on it, and perhaps dots designating some kind of berries.

You are different. You are not better or worse, but you are different than your group. You are not doing anything, but you will in time. Watch out for your health, later on- keep an eye on it. You are a Gemini, is that correct to say?


That can be a difficult sign. Try and stay grounded. You will have I think two girls and a boy, or two boys and a girl, but I think two girls and a boy. The girls first. There is something called a Roomey around, but I don’t know what it means. I just spell it out like I hear it. A blonde person will betray you. The rest is good. Just try your best and do your best. There is a native guide, and he is disappointed, but not at you, at me- because he has now stepped back and I could not grasp what he is saying. I am sorry. Be well.


She looks at me and decides I am on the level enough hear something she otherwise might not casually say. Do you feel it’s gone? The spirit has receded. The reading ends when it ends, on its own.

Yes, I remark, I noticed it. And I had. Some invisible and unproven apogee had occurred. I understood it somewhat then and would come to see it moreso in later years.

And so that was it. She said she had a question that was bothering her and wanted my opinion. This was peculiar but I said it was fine. It was just, I supposed and suppose, because I was a young person.

My son is in his twenties. I am with a boyfriend, and the boyfriend is good, a good man, – but the son is not used to this. The boyfriend is moving in and the son is not doing well with it…

I didn’t know what to say. The answer was in the question though. Written all over it. So I responded, like a caring but phoney psychic, making a bit of a cold reading. I mean, what could I say to a woman with so much more life experience, and who was a clairvoyant besides?

If the son is  no longer a teenager, then technically he is and adult, and though it’s uncomfortable, he will have deal I guess. He is just used to the way things have been. Change is hard for everyone.

Yes, I guess you are right.

And if you didn’t love him, I concluded my mini-impromptu reading, You wouldn’t care. You obviously care and he knows that on another level.


Then she packed up her cards and someone came past to pick up the dish, a cup and saucer. I looked around really properly for the first time. The place could have been mistaken for a simple eatery, more properly a dessert café, the patrons waiting for an order, the walls and tables white,- not classy or higher echelon but not downtrodden either.

Just tables.

Tables to divine the future on.

Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian writer (more of a poet) and has a book of short fictions published with Fowl Pox Press (2013)
called Chalk Lines. He has written over one thousand vignettes and some other works also, but work mostly with short forms. He recently took up landscape photography (as an amateur).

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