(Whenever something good happens...)
Debbie shuffled the cards. Work, she thought. Her boss. No, Mike. The whole situation. Her job. She handed the Tarot Cards back to her roommate, Mari Anne. They sat on the Oriental rug on the apartment floor. None of the guests had arrived yet, although the party officially started at nine. A wide array of chips, pretzels, hot dogs and the like waited on the dining room table. The red-orange Poisonous Punch looked enticing. Mari Anne spread out the cards.
"OK," she said. She pointed to the middle row. "You're artistic. You want to get out of your present job situation." "Yeah," Debbie said. She did not like having her fortune read, but it made a great pre-party warm-up. "Water indicates emotion. Water comes up a lot in my cards because I'm so emotional."
Debbie did not think that Mari Anne appeared to be very emotional.
"The cups. Water. You're very emotional. And you're artistic. Here's the Death Card."
"Huh?" Debbie gasped.
"No. The card does not usually mean death, but the end of something. An illusion."
The end? To her job? A new job in the same company? Or a different company altogether. She hoped not. An illusion. Her job? Men?
"Young man? That would be Mike. What does it say?"
"A purely intellectual young man. Ruthless. He will use any means to gain his own ends. Peaceful exterior masking intense passion. Secret violence and craft."
"Does he have a calm exterior?"
"No, not really." Debbie thought of Mike's fast movements and quick energy.
"Now, what's your relationship like?" Mari Anne asked at this point.
"Well..." Debbie hesitated.
"Does he...toy with you?"
"Yes," Debbie said.
"Because here, it has a picture of a web. You know, like how the spider plays with the fly? He doesn't know if he wants you or not, but it's there to play with," Mari Anne wriggled her fingers.
"But I like that," Debbie said naively.
"But beware of that," Mari Anne warned. She looked worried. "I think you're looking for love at work."
"What else does it say?"
"Champion, guardian, hero." Her boss? No, Mike. He had done alot for her.
"Let me see. Anything else? I don't mean to dwell and make you keep reading it over and over," Debbie apologized.
"No, that's OK," Mari Anne said. "A young man, with a contradictory mind, supporting many conflicting ideas and designs. Desires power. Ruthless. Elastic, elusive mind."
How wierd. The cards were spinning a kaleidoscope picture of Mike's complicated mind. Newly forming patterns, ever-changing. His young face. His crooning voice. His sudden meanness. A changling. What you see is not what you get. Being inside Mike's head, although she did not want to be. Seeing it as it really was. But she had to know.
"The pursuit of material things and dull business matters." Her boss? No, Mike once again.
"This card means the possibility of love. And this card means a disappointment in love."
"Huh? Which will it be?"
"We don't know. It could be either. But you will succeed, no matter what. Just cut through it! is what it's trying to say." Mari Anne cut through the air with an emphatic motion of her hand.
"Lasting success," she continued.
Debbie imagined a roomful of applause and a dinner party she was giving in her home. She imagined recognition through the years, best loved stories, continuing achievements, reknown.
"Now, this row represents things you cannot change." Mari Anne pointed to three cards. "Catholicism. The belief that you have to suffer for every reward. You can succeed and have love, too. But you will succeed, no matter what."
"I have always thought that. That I would be successful, but nothing else. You know when you just know you'll be really successful?" Debbie said. She imagined a banner with the word SUCCESS! Gee, she thought. This prediction really spells out Success in flying colors!
"Total feminitity. This is something you cannot change and you should always be proud of that," Mari Anne said.
Well, she was.
"Also, you're fortunate. You may not believe that, but you are."
"You know, I am fortunate. But I never think I am," Debbie realized.
"I'm that way, too," Mari Anne said. "Whenever something good happens, I try to find something negative. I say, 'Yeah, but..."
VOCAB: (Once a teacher, always a teacher!) (1) stranglehold: 2: a force or influence that chokes or suppresses freedom of movement or expression.
(2) familiar: 3: a spirit often embodied in an animal and held to attend and serve or guard. b: one who frequents a place. (3) familiar: adj. [ME familier, fr. OF, fr. L familiaris, fr. familia] 1: closely acquainted: INTIMATE (a ~ family friend)...FOOL'S GOLD...COMING SOON...on http://www.absolutewrite.com/