12:45 p.m. Well, when I went to the interpertive celery museum it was not open. Even though the sign said that it was. I am irritated. What are they trying to tell me? That there isn't a huge draw to experience the majesty and history of celery?
So I sulk back to my truck and drive around for a while trying to figure out what else I can do to pass the time. I am heading toward a mall when I notice off to my right a sign for Mother Paula's, Spiritualist/Advisor/Reader. Now THERE'S something I've never done before! I smile. I park in the lot next to Mother Paula's and walk up to the front door. I ring the bell and wait. The house is white and old with a sagging front porch. A neon sign in the window indicates that they are open and a cardboard sign taped to the door says that walk-ins are welcome from 9am to 9pm. I look at my watch. It's 11am. I ring the bell again.
I am just about to turn around and leave when a young man, about 24 years old with a mustache, NASCAR ball cap, and jeans answers. "Hello?" He asks. I note the screaming baby in the background. "I'm here to get a reading." I say. The young man says, "Wull, she ain't in right now. She'll be back in an hour, though." Bummer. "That's okay," I say, "I'll come back."
I walk back down the rickety stairs and wonder to myself what kind of Mickey Mouse operation this is, anyway? I drive to the mall and buy an apple spice rum cake from Marshall Field's (which I am eating right now...yum.) I try on some clothes and almost buy a few things before heading back to Mama Paula's.
By the way, don't they cook out the rum in cakes like this? I'm starting to feel a little funny. I better stop eating this. I'm on duty.
I walk up to the front door again and ring the bell. A few minutes later, NASCAR guy comes back out and invites me to sit in one of a pair of creaky wicker chairs that are next to a card table. Before I obediently sit, I notice that the cushions are so threadbare that the obnoxious floral pattern has been almost completely worn off.
NASCAR leaves the porch and shuts the door behind him. I look around. There is a picture of Elvis leaning up against the wall on the other end of the porch along with several statues of saints. A broken old set of black wood and glass furniture reminiscent of the early 80's is stacked in the corner.
Doesn't look like the fortune telling trade is doing so well these days.
I turn my attention to the table next to me. It is covered with dark blue fabric with moons and stars peppered across the surface. Tarot cards are layed out in such a way that I imagine Mama Paula got bored one day and decided to play a little solitaire. Small statues of saints are also on the table, along with many candles.
There is a small crystal ball on a wooden stand. It looks like a snow globe to me. I wonder if it is? I get closer and peer into it just as the doorknob turns.
I sit back in my chair expecting to see a woman in purple robes, heavy make-up and a turbin. Instead, I am greeted by a Hispanic woman in her early 30's. Her hair is long and blond, but is sporting about 4 inches of black roots. It is pulled back from her face in a tasteful ponytail. She is a heavy lady and is wearing a yellow shirt and black skirt. She speaks with a thick Spanish accent.
She talks about the season change and the cooler weather as she sits down in the chair across from me. We chat for a bit and then she asks me what I'd like done. I have a choice between a full spiritual/psychic reading ($85), a tarot reading ($45), and a palm reading ($45). I tell her I only brought $20. She says that the charges are flat rates and that I should have been told how much it cost when I called the phone number. "I didn't call a phone number. I just dropped in." I am about to get up and leave when Mama has a change of heart. "Well, since it is your first time, I can give you a partial palm reading." I smile. How gracious of her.
The following is Polly's palm reading: (Note that I did not help her at all. I was mostly silent and gave her vague answers when she asked me questions.)
Mama takes my hands and turns them over. She says that I will live to a ripe old age. Phew! Then she says that in my work I help people. (That's right...I help them get off their insurance fraudulant asses and get back to work.) She says I am kind. I grunt and she looks up at me with a raised eyebrow. She says that I am honest in my dealings with others but that I sometimes don't receive the same honesty in return. She says that my life is not settled right now and that it will be a couple of years before I should expect a change in that.
She says that she sees two men in my heart one with dark hair and one with light hair. She tells me that the light-haired man cares for me deeply but that when I look at him I always see the dark-haired man in the back of my mind. She says that the dark-haired man is my soulmate. She says that we are both in pain because we are supposed to be together. My heart starts to race and my hands start to shake in hers. Stupid shaking hands. Stop. This was supposed to be funny. She tells me the dark-haired man made a choice but that he is not content. She offers that the time is not right for me and the dark-haired man and that many interferences will take place before that changes. She says it is all about timing.
I am getting angry and would just like to leave. This was supposed to be funny. Mama tells me that I will not have great riches in life, but that I will be content when it comes to material things. She takes my hand again and says that she sees three children but only senses two of them. She says that they will be of good health. She says that my health is good except as it relates to stress. She tells me that my stomach and my neck are often the manifestation of stress in my life. I glance down and my purse and think about the bottle of Mylanta I have stashed there.
I get out of there pretty quickly after my reading and go back to my truck. I sit in there for a while staring out the window. I know this is all crap. Let me reiterate...I KNOW this is all crap. But I am still angry and a little surprised. I never told her ANYTHING. About me. About my love life. About my family. I feel like she's been snooping around in my underwear drawer looking for something to exploit. And the worst part of it is that I invited her to do it.
Well, she can go to hell. I start the engine to my car and head back to my hotel. What does she know? Don't give me that soulmate crap. Life's a lot more complicated than that. I think to myself that I'd rather be with a light-haired man that earns my love than a dark-haired man that doesn't appreciate it.
I pull into the parking lot, grab a box of cookies out of the back of my truck and go inside the hotel.