On Saturday, I was walking back to my car after a trip to the local health food store when a woman stopped me in the parking lot. She looked penetratingly into my eyes, as if we had met somewhere before (we hadn’t).
“You have a great energy,” she said.
(Only in LA, right?)
I said thanks and turned to walk away, but she kept talking.
“Have you ever had a psychic do a reading for you?” she asked.
I shook my head. I hadn’t.
“I’ll do one for you,” she said.
Ah, here’s the scam, I thought.
“Five dollars. I’ll do it for you cheap because your energy is so great. I want to do your reading.”
She kept staring at me intently. I took her card and walked away. Part of me wanted to drop the card in the nearest trash can, but part of me was intrigued. Five bucks? What was the harm? I was curious. I was curious not only for what she would say, but how she would say it. How would this whole thing go down, anyway?
So on Sunday, I went to see her. I got my first psychic reading, which was really just a tarot card reading. The whole thing went down on a small table outside her bungalow-style house, in the blinding and hot LA sun, which made the experience even more surreal — her incense burning as I squinted, the weather unseasonably warm.
Among other things, she told me I’d given up on love.
Which really made me think. Have I? Have I given up on love? I know I’ve given up on looking, but have I given up on finding?
Some days, I feel like I have. Sunday, I felt like I had. Some days, I feel like I’m purely pragmatic, purely cerebral, purely functional. It’s been so long since I’ve held someone’s hands that I’ve kind of forgotten what that feels like. What it feels like to make out. That giddy feeling of new love and butterflies. The desperate desire to see someone as soon as feasibly possible, if not sooner. To smell them and hold them and hear them and stare at them.
I’ve got a pretty good imagination, and sometimes a decent memory, and I can remember what those things are like on a superficial level, but deeper than that? I strike emptiness. I draw blanks.
So yeah, I’d given up. The psychic was right.
And then yesterday, poking around on Facebook, looking to see if an old friend had posted recent photos of her young daughter, I stumbled onto a photo of her with a colleague of hers, someone whose eyes were so kind that, somehow, they reminded me of what love could feel like. Of what it felt like to look into eyes that warm and kind.
And then tonight, I watched Ruby Sparks, a movie I can’t even remember putting on my Netflix queue, and it reminded me that even quirky loner writer types manage to find love.
And I realized I haven’t given up on love. Not yet. Somewhere under all that cold pragmatic cynicism still lurks the heart of a romantic. And somewhere out in the world are those eyes.