Thursday, July 30, 2009

“In the Cards,” Lori Simeunovic

“Tarot 911,” I recited, “where dreams are told and wishes realized. This is Desiree, what is your question today?” I spoke slowly, the better to rack up precious minutes and fill my quota.

“Um, hi,” a young woman’s voice breathed in my ear. “I have a question? About a guy?”

I automatically flipped to the red tab (‘romance’) in my “consultant” binder and started shuffling a deck of playing cards near my mouth piece.

“Okay,” I said as I scanned the page before me. “The two of hearts has come up, indicating a new relationship.” I paused. “Or perhaps one that recently ended…”

My binder had been provided by the owners, a couple from New Jersey with sketchy morals and questionable credentials (as if one could even have credentials in such a venture).

The caller jumped in where I’d left off, just like she was supposed to. “Yes! I’ve just started seeing David…”

My heart clenched like it always did when I heard that name. Why couldn’t I have married a Denzel, or a Sigmund?

“I’m wondering if he’s ‘the one,’” She was still babbling, just like they all did, eager to provide all of the necessary information required to get the answers that they craved.

“We actually met when he was still married? So he doesn’t want to jump into something serious even though he’s been separated for, like, months.”

My headset suddenly felt too tight, my cubicle too constricting. “His, err, wife…”

“Ex-wife,” she interrupted.

“Right. Whatever. I’m, uh, sensing her name begins with an…S?”

“Yes!” she exclaimed. “It’s Sara! And she’s a total nut job, too. She’s, like, practically a stalker.”

“Really?” I asked, my tongue suddenly like sandpaper against my teeth. I took a quick sip of my Big Gulp. “The cards show him to be rather tall, with dark hair…” Okay, it was time to stop messing around, “… and he works with animals.”
“OMIGOD!” she bellowed into my ear. “That’s amazing! How did you see…?”

“It’s all in the cards,” I answered in a stronger voice. “He’s coming through very clearly.” So clearly I could punch him, I thought in disgust. If it wasn’t for that douche bag, I wouldn’t be here. I didn’t even get to keep the damn cat.

“So, um, what was your name again?” I inquired. “Sherene.”
Of course.

“Well, Sherene,” I said, as the perfect plan suddenly struck me. “I have good news and I have bad news.”

“Oh no,” she moaned. “I knew he was too good to be true.”

“You’re half right,” I assured her. “Only it’s you who’s too good for him.”

“I don’t understand,” she replied.

Oh, but you will, I thought, closing the binder and leaning back in my chair.

“Let me tell you a little bit about Dr. Dave…”


Lori Simeunovic is currently waking daily at 4:30 a.m. in an attempt to finish her first novel while simultaneously raising two young children and working full time. She is probably napping at her desk as you read this.

Photo: Lori with one of her children, Maia, aged 2 (going on 27).

Note: For information about Brian Henry’s upcoming writing workshops and courses see here.

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