Spending a portion of a Saturday afternoon in sweltering heat in a velvet draped cubicle hardly sounds inviting. And yet I recently presented myself to a tarot card reader in a similar circumstance. Having listened to the whisperings of friends discussing their predicted futures, I decided to put their reader to the test. Could he convince a non believer? The answer is no. Indeed, the card reader’s capacity to roll his eyes and rock in his chair to profound exclamations that “next year is going to be fantastic”, simply generated an uneasy cynicism, questions about performance and this man’s apparent failure to make a much needed trip to Specsavers.
His obvious short sightedness was bothering him. Each distribution of the cards saw him lean so near to the table I worried he could fall into a vortex opening up through his close dealings with time. This, in my book, is a credible possibility for a person who forecasts futures through arbitrary meanings suggested by icons of the tarot. Swooping towards the table in examination of the cards is, it turns out, all part of the performance, and while it is disorienting, it is no where nearly as disturbing as his eye rolling.
With every temperature rise in the hot little cubicle came increased eye rolling. Each reading saw my prophet turn his head to the right leaving only the whites of his eyes visible through half closed lids. Flash backs of Francis Bacon paintings came to mind. Despite the reader’s claims that next year was going to a great one, a creeping suspicion set in that, in fact, next year would be dark and shuttered grey. Only escape from the cubicle could free me from the impending sense of doom my vortex falling telegrapher of messages from the future was generating.
Fumbling, mumbling and sweating I proffered €40 euro across the table, mindful of the possible vortex, and crashed out of the cubicle. Short sighted he may be but he certainly saw me coming. Left gasping for air on George’s Street I wondered how to reach the nearest Specsavers. Call me a conspiracy theorist but they have set one up very close by!