Reading Tea Leaves



My fiancé and I gleefully walked the boardwalk, eating our ice cream and laughing at the distorted image our bodies made, in the funny mirrors.  We were just about at the end when we stopped to lick the last drips off our ice cream cones, when we noticed a sign that advertised a fortune teller. 

“Let’s go and hear some beautiful lies about what a wonderful life we’ll have together.” 

“She’ll think she’s clever because she’ll foretell that we will marry.”

“It’s only $5.00.”

We opened the door and walked up the narrow stairs.  The stairs turned at the landing and narrowed.  We walked up and up.

“If I knew this would be up so many stairs, I wouldn’t have agreed to go.”

“Well, we’re here.”

“No, there’s more stairs around this turn.”

Finally we came to a red door.  There was a sign on the door that read, “Knock and enter.”
We hesitated.  We looked at each other.

“If it weren’t so much trouble, I’d say ‘let’s go back down.’”

“I know, but we’re here.”

At first the door knob wouldn’t turn, but the door opened anyway.  A voice from another room called out, “I knew you were coming.  Sit down.  I’ll be right there; I’m making us tea. 

We were surprised to see a man, because the voice was a woman’s, and he was carrying three tea cups.  He did know we were coming!

He wore an embroidered vest over a bare chest.  He was covered in tattoos.  A crystal pendant hung from his neck.  His pants were satin lounge wear and he was barefoot.  He introduced himself as Sadoc and we told him our names.

He explained that he would read our fortunes for $ 5 each or $ 5 for our future together.

We opted for just the $ 5 together and sat back and finished our tea. 
When we finished, Sadoc took our cups and swiped both our tea leaves onto a saucer.
Immediately,  Sadoc’s eyes bulged out.  He gasped.  He stood up.  He breathed in and out and finally announced, “I’m sorry; I’m so-so sorry but I cannot tell you what I saw.  Here’s your money now please leave.”  And he spun around and walked out of the room.

We were stunned and just looked at the empty space he left.  Eventually, we did leave.  We didn’t speak until we were outside on the street.

There we were standing outside looking at the door that advertised “Fortunes $ 5.00.”  We looked up at Sadoc’s windows. 

“Well what do you think of that?”

“I dunno.”

We never did know.  We speculated that Sadoc expected us to plead with him to tell us what he saw, which he would do, but not for just $ 5.00. Maybe if we had given him $ 5.00 each, plus the $ 5.00 for our fortune together, the outcome would have been different.

Think again.  If Sadoc was such a hot-shot fortune teller how come he didn’t know this would happen?


Does it matter?  That was a long time ago.  We’ve been married for forty-three years!

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