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Last night I ended up on one of those walks that don’t end at the corner bodega, but go on block after block into the fancy north end of the neighborhood. It was Thursday night, when the people who don’t like weekend crowds generally go out. I was alone one minute and surrounded by a sea of women the next. They scattered off in as many different directions as you can on Brooklyn’s 5th Avenue, but they all walked a lot slower than me. Normally I would’ve woven through without a second glance, but these women had my attention. They all looked like they were hiding something.

One wore black leather boots and walked with a shuffle. Another intercepted my path with her walker. Others lingered beneath the fluorescent lights of the narrow Bingo Hall entryway in no apparent hurry to get home. None of them seemed to notice the glowing sign across the street for a $5 psychic reading.

The psychic’s sign is always there and always on at night, but her door isn’t always open. It’s not a storefront so much as an apartment entryway with a small round table for two covered in a plush purple velvet with orange swirls. It glows red inside. The woman must cover the bright white hallway bulb with a thin red kerchief probably to make her place of business more inviting. I want to tell her red is a bad choice, but I can’t think of a better one. In any case, talking to her is exactly what don’t want to do and exactly why I always cross to the Bingo side of the street.

In Park Slope, where artisanal mayo and baby yoga studios abound, $5 is a great deal for anything let alone a glimpse into the future. Unless of course you’re a coward and or suddenly remembered you have to go home and finish the mess you’ve worked on for the last year. So I did go home but just as I picked up my pen I suddenly remembered that it’s my b-day month and the Susan’s are up. If you don’t know who Susan Miller is, she’s a freakishly awesome astrologer who writes extensive horoscopes every month.

For now I’ll take astrology over tea leaves and tarot cards because astrology focuses on the possibilities. It’s like saying to a gardener ‘that’s a great place to grow tomatoes’ whereas a psychic reading seems more like a doom sentence ‘you will plant tomatoes and they will rot before your eyes, troll’.

And then today I learned that my new favorite bar now has a resident psychic. What gives? How do you resist a reading after a $3 margarita?

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