Wednesday, September 29, 2004

palm reading

It was about 4 years ago. I was working as an e-commerce consultant at a company that was starting to recognize that, well, e-commerce didn't need much in the way of consulting. I was killing time at the job by helping the marketing department (ok, it was one person) edit articles written by strategists to make them readable by normal people. I had also just gotten my first article published in the Upper Kirby Progressive, nominally about wireless technology, but in reality, 2/3 about learning how to deal with baby poop.

In other words, I was in the middle of my career change.

So, in something akin to a last hurrah for the people they would lay off in a few months, the company put on a very decent Holiday party. We had exotic foods, lots of alcohol, and some mystical entertainment consisting of a palm reader with a rune-picking parrot.

Now, if you've read my cosmic aether posting, you realize that I have a non-scientific tendency to believe in some kind of universal connectivity between people, things, dogs, trees, whatever. But, in no way was I prepared to do anything but laugh at the parrot guy reading palms.

Until he got to me.

The first thing he said when he looked at my palm was, "you're psychic." I admit to losing my poker face to an eyeroll over that one, but he amended it to say, "well, however you want to put it, you have more than your share of intuition. You know what people are feeling..." Ok, if he puts it that way, I *do* exist in a world of intuition; I test nearly 100% iNtuitive on the Myers-Briggs (or Keirsey) test, but as far as I'm concerned, what other people call intuition, I call data collection at a microscopic level. I'm just observant about second and third order things.

"...And you're a performer. But you're shy, too. That's sort of strange, but there it is." Hm. If we're going by the Keirsey test again, depending on time of day, time of month, moment-to-moment anxiety, I can test either Introvert or Extrovert. I love being on stage, but I hide in corners at parties and talk only to people I know.

My face was still (as far as I know) emotion-free. I was not ready to be impressed. The last he could have gotten in a breezy anthropological study of my mingling patterns.

But then the guy says, "...and you're a writer. Creative. No... no, technical. You write about technical things."

Ok, that freaked me out. My writing career was barely out of the gate. One article published, and just making a start on the technology writing for my marketing friend. I looked across the guy's shoulder to my friend Diana who was not keeping a poker face, but I don't think Parrot Boy was paying attention. He was way too intent on my LOVE LINE.

That's when it got spooky.

He mumbled a lot when he got to my love line. It was clear he was uncomfortable with what he saw there on my palm (and I *did* wash first, thank you very much.) Finally, he looks up at me somewhat sheepishly, and looks back down at my palm. "One, two, three...." he says, shaking his head helplessly, "I don't know how many times you've been married, but... All I can think of when I see a hand like his is the quote from Katharine Hepburn. You know, 'Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then. '"

I looked at my palm. Sure enough, the love line ended in what looked like the Mississippi delta. With two marriages under my belt, I was doomed. Dooooomed.

(Unless, of course, it's true that you can alter your fate with some quicky palm plastic surgery, like on a recent episode of the fabulously dramatic and gory Nip/Tuck.)

So, I don't know how it all fits in with my cosmic aether theory, or my other tentative beliefs in the non-physical, but so far the guy's been dead on. I'm now a creative writer working in a technical writing job, I'm a performer who's still shy, and my love life is forever varied and murky. But even if I could change my fate with a little love line lift, I think I'd leave it as is. My murky life gives me so much to write about...

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