“Max, we don’t read people’s fortunes. We tell them what they want to hear.”
“So, you never wanted to do it?”
“That’s not the point. Psychics aren’t real and even if they were, people never pay for bad news, unless it’s the newspaper.”
“What if we could help them, with special knowledge?”
“It wouldn’t be taken seriously. The truth is too disturbing. Have you taken your meds?”
He knew he was unstable, but sometimes he didn’t want to fight it. “No, I guess I forgot.”
“Max, you can’t forget and I have a client in 5 minutes.”
Max went to the bathroom and looked himself in the mirror. He had gray circles around his eyes. His meds made him sluggish. He popped the last two pills and went to his room to read. He heard the door close and overheard the conversation his mother was having with a young man.”
“Oh, you have nice hands. You use them to teach, don’t you?” It was an open-ended question to gain information.
“Well, yes; yes, I do.”
“And your relationship isn’t going well and you want to know if you should be with her?”
“The wrinkles in your hand show me your lifeline is strong. You are going to have many children. A new woman will enter your life, soon.”
It was getting late, late into the afternoon. Max waited and then walked downstairs. His mother was resting, but her chest wasn’t moving. She was too still. And in that moment, he realized his anchor was gone. The sea of his unconscious would open to places he always wanted to go, and the storm would be violent and unrelenting. He made the call. “My mother passed away.” The coroner took her body and two days later he was given notice of eviction. Max went to the drugstore and asked for his pills.
“You aren’t covered anymore. You were on your mother’s insurance.” He walked back to his flat and lay in bed, waiting for the madness to happen, but his brain was oddly clear. There was a knock.
“Are you the psychic?”
He forgot his mother still had appointments. “Yes; I’m Maximillian. Take a seat.”
Max looked into the stranger’s eyes and tried to see what was behind them.
“Uh… I’m waiting. How long is this going to take?”
Max was in a trance. He had lost track of time and the older man turned to go.
“Wait! Don’t marry her.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Don’t marry her. She wants your money.”
“I didn’t come her about my fiancé. I came to talk about my construction partner.”
“I know… I can see that. Your partner is fine, but you can’t marry this girl.”
“My relationship is none of your business.”
“But you asked me, and if you could see what I see, you would walk.”
“The man’s face was menacing, but then it relaxed. “How much do I owe you?”
“Can I schedule another appointment?”
“Sure. I’ll mark you down for next week.”