When I was 18 I went to see a psychic, and she looked at my palm and said
“Spoiler Alert. Are you sure you want to know?”
I said yes. I had a maths exam coming up and I needed to pass.
“I must be honest with you. I am one of those very good psychics; so you’re fortune might not be all you expected it to be.
There may be no tall dark men in your future, hard lessons learnt after years of internal struggle and magical journeys across Asia with nothing but a knapsack on your back. There may just be inevitability, monotony and a lot of sitting down.”
Again I said yes, because you can never be too prepared, and I crossed her palm with a twenty-pound note.
She took my right hand, spat in it and began to tell me the story of my life.
“When you are 22, you will really get into gardening, and you will plant courgettes, carrots and tomatoes, but the tomatoes will taste really weird and you will be too embarrassed to serve them in a salad.”
“When you are 26 you will get on a bus late at night and the only other passenger on-board will be elderly drunk man. He will show you his genitals before falling asleep in his own drool, and although the experience will seem both sad and terrifying, it will soon turn into a hilarious anecdote. “
“When you are 31 you will have an abortion, but you will tell no one, not even your boyfriend, because you will remember the courgettes, carrots and the tomatoes and how you let them die.”
“When you are 33 you will kiss your sisters husband after your cousins funeral and he will taste like port and cucumber sandwiches. Afterwards your sister will thank you for being such a kind hearted person, apologise for her recent mood swings and you will want to hit yourself in the head with the nearest saucepan.”
“When you are 35 you will fall in love with a semi well known male actor 10 years your senior, and the flattery you feel at his attention will lull you into a false sense of security, and he will be the only person you tell about the abortion. He will thank you for your honesty and ask you to take out his recycling as you leave. ”
“When you are 40 you will learn how to play the guitar and you will perform mash ups of songs from musicals at open mic nights. You will invite all your friends, and afterwards they will ask you when you plan on going back to work.”
“When you are 42 you will be having brunch alone, and will realise you never did like the taste of coffee. You will vow never to drink it again. Afterwards your sister husband will call and ask if you ever thought about him.”
“When you are 48 you will move to the countryside and start to write the plotted history of a famous female poet, and you will spend evenings alone drinking Italian red wine, reading her collected works and doing crossword puzzles. It will be the happiest month of your life.”
“When you are 52 you will drink coffee again, and begin an affair with your sister’s husband.”
“When you are 60 you will take up meditation, and suddenly one morning, right in the middle of a chant, you will remember me. You haven’t thought about me in years, so why are you thinking about me now?”
“When you are 68 you will get on a plane to India to attend a meditation retreat. You will bring your sisters husband. When he laughs at something the airhostess says, you realise he will never leave his wife, and as the plane takes off you tell him it is over and you are tired of searching your soul for the missing piece. The plane never makes it to India.”
“When you are 67 and 9 months you will spend months trying to track me down, but my name will not yield any Internet results and you will wonder if you are spelling it right. You will tell your sister’s husband about me, and he will laugh it off and tell you there is nothing further from the truth and you shouldn’t let it affect your trip. He will tell you he loves you, but his fingers will be crossed.”