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I want to apologize to everyone for the fucking beating we have taken as a society this year. Yeah, it’s my fault. I finally figured it out.
In the fall of 2011, I went on my fraternity’s road trip to Baton Rouge for gameday. As is customary whenever one visits Louisiana, that road trip included an extended stop in New Orleans. Our stay went as well as can be imagined: somebody got robbed by a hooker, somebody got arrested by a cop on horseback, and somebody dropped a grand to sleep with a sub-par stripper. None of those somebodies were me, so I thought I did pretty well. It’s only now, five years later, that I realize I got more fucked than anyone, and I brought the whole world down with me.
You see, while other people were porking strippers and puking in holding cells, I was on my own mission; I wanted to experience the weird shit in New Orleans. When I say weird shit, I don’t mean purchasing weed from one of the nice gentlemen dressed in rags that lurks in the shadows of Bourbon Street. Nah, that is way too vanilla for me. The shit I was looking for was more supernatural; I wanted to mess with some Voodoo.
I know, I know — you don’t screw with that stuff. It’s just funny how slamming a couple Hurricanes at Pat O’s ends with people doing things that are regularly off limits. My attitude changed from “I shouldn’t muddle in magical crap” to a pretty aggressive “pagan shit doesn’t scare me.” So, I went looking for some trouble in one of the most dangerous cities in the country. Remarkably, I managed to avoid being kidnapped and held for ransom long enough to eventually run into a fortune teller’s shack somewhere in the French quarter.
Looking back, this shack is pretty tough to describe. Maybe it was the alcohol or maybe I entered another dimension, but I can’t really remember any specific descriptive markings. It was a two-room shack with a wooden sign that read “Fortune Teller” in the front and a single light showing through some of those campy ass curtains all psychic reading places have to create a bullshit sense of wonder. Myself, and the two other idiots I convinced to come with me, drunkenly stumbled through the curtains and into the first room of the shack to ask if they were open.
The first room was completely empty; no desk, chairs, or furniture of any type. The only thing in sight was a big wooden door separating the front room from the second room in the back. Since no one was around to ask if they were open, the three of us stood around and waited for someone to show up. About five minutes into our wait, the door to the second room opened and a very confused looking couple walked out, followed by a small man in a tuxedo with coattails that could have doubled as a bridal train. The couple left and the little man bounded up to us and asked us if we required a session with the psychic. Us being fucking morons and drunk off our ass, we answered yes. He informed us that the psychic would read for each of us individually and that it would be a $15 charge.
I volunteered to go first, so I paid the little bastard the money and walked through the door to the second room. First thing that struck me was the amount of smoke in the room. No human being could have smoked that many cigarettes and lived, so it had to be piped in for effect. There were two huge chairs surrounding a small table in the middle of the room. Someone in a long ass hippie skirt currently occupied one, so I took the other one. The room was dimly lit, so I could only see the bottom half of the person who was sitting across from me at the table. Without saying a word, she started shuffling a deck of tarot cards she had on hand.
Silently, she laid four cards down on the table, one in front and three in the back. She flipped the front one, revealing some chewed-up looking creature that appeared to be puffing on a Wiz Khalifa-sized blunt. She then flipped the three behind it. I couldn’t really see those, but I remember one looked like a heart with knives in it. She sat back in her chair and I assumed she stared me down; I don’t know, I couldn’t see her fucking face. Finally, she spoke.
“You need to stay the course in your relationship, or you and this world will suffer.”
That’s all I got. She motioned for me to get up and leave. Now, she managed to get lucky: I was in a relationship at the time, and I had been thinking about ending it for months. It wasn’t that we weren’t compatible; it was that I was in college and I wanted to have casual sex with girls I didn’t know. I walked into the front room, kind of pissed I threw away some money, and my buddy went inside to enjoy his $15 smoke bath. After all three of us had our “readings,” we successfully made the trek back to the hotel.
I forgot about the psychic’s warning within the next 24 hours. I was drunk, and it felt like the whole encounter never even happened. Its space in my memory was replaced with the horrendous 41-11 beatdown we received in Baton Rouge the following afternoon. Not three weeks later, I ended it with my girlfriend. It was the fall of 2011 and I couldn’t be bothered with anything that didn’t involve cocaine, so it was just time for it to end.
Now here we are, five years later and about three feet deeper in the societal shit, just like that bitch foretold. To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have even recalled this story if I hadn’t randomly seen a pack of tarot cards for sale last week at my local dollar store. But it all makes sense now. I didn’t stay the course, and now we are all suffering. God damn it.
For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. I even tried reaching out to my old girlfriend to see if I could rectify the situation, but she came back with some nasty messages. I guess this is the new normal. If I had only known, man. If I had only known..
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