A Palm Reader, Cayenne Pepper, and My Destiny

palm of fateI went to a palm reader.

And I interviewed a psychic.

I’m not skeptical, though I’m guarded.

The element of surprise. It’s better sometimes than knowing what’s ahead. When it’s accurate.

February 1996. My friend *Lynn and I were at Polo Park Shopping Centre in Winnipeg. On the lower level was a palm reader. We thought, why not?

As I gave the palm reader – let’s call her Lola – my hand, I noticed her nails were bare, except for the pinkies. They were painted red. Lola recommended my friend take notes during the reading. Then Lola stared into the depths of my palm.

Too often, people offer information when they hear minor similarities.

Palm reader: “I feel like you lost someone.”

Eager person: “Yes, I did.”

Palm reader: “Did his name begin with ‘A’ or a ‘T’…maybe an ‘M.’“

Eager person: “His middle name was Anton!”

Poker face, people. Poker face. Back to my reading…

Lola the palm reader concluded immediately I liked to spend money. Easy one, I’m in a mall with a ton of bags tucked around me.

“And you’re artistic,” said Lola. “I don’t know if it’s painting or an instrument, but you really want it.”

At the time, I was an amateur country singer.

psychicLola frowned. “Don’t push it,” she said. “That artistic talent. If it’s meant to be, it will. Whatever your destiny is, that’s what you’ll follow.”

Vague. I wanted to hear, “You will record a duet with Don Henley,” or “I see a sweep at the CCMAs.”

Then the reading took a turn.

“Your destiny. That’ll be your career,” said Lola. “But you’ll quit it abruptly. For no reason.”

What the…

“However, your career will be ongoing, but something drastic will happened.”

“Um, like I die?”

Lola traced my lifeline. “No. It’s strong,” she said. “I can see you were sick a lot as a kid, but you’re fine as an adult.” Then her finger stopped. “Something happened. You had a head injury.”

Two-time brain tumour survivor.

“And you still get headaches, and it affects your nerves.”

I have epilepsy.

I could’ve stood in awe of Lola, but there were some gaps.

“You have poor circulation.”


“High blood pressure.”

At the time, and now: 110/70

“You won’t adopt,” Lola told me. “You’ll have your own children.”

That was freaky. I was eight. I told my mom childbirth seemed painful, and I wanted to adopt. As for having my own children – there’s more than the clock against me.

“You’re a calm person,” said Lola. “You don’t have a temper.”
aries mad
I’m an Aries. When we’re angry, we transform into creatures who can scream like we sucked in a gale force wind for breakfast. And within 30 seconds, we’re baking cookies. And we’re passionate – which Lola commented on.

“But you’re not a romantic?”

How can there be passion without romance?

“You’ll marry once—” Lola said “—but you’ll marry later in life.”

In Lynn’s reading, she was told she’d marry soon. Lynn married at 23. I married at 25.

After Lola guaranteed me of a life of celibacy, she said, “You were in love already, weren’t you?”

I raised my eyebrows. “Yes?”

“But it wasn’t a big deal,” said Lola, her eyes burrowing in mine. “Or that’s how it seemed.”

Lynn smirked and asked, “Do you have an initial? Or name?”

“No,” snapped Lola. “Back to your poor circulation. Take some cayenne pepper, you know, the one from your cupboard and sprinkle it into a pair of wool socks.”

I nodded. Lynn’s palm was read – and we walked away.

“I don’t have cayenne pepper,” I told Lynn. “And the whole ‘you’ve been in love’ thing?”

“Meh,” said Lynn. “Take it for what it is.”

I found the reading discouraging. Did Lola indicate my singing was pointless? Or should I just chalk this up to a $20 experiment?

That night, I was rifling through the clothes I bought and talking on the phone with another friend. For whatever reason, I pushed open the sliding cupboard over the sink.

Staring me in the face.

Cayenne pepper.

*Lynn isn’t her real name, thought I’m sure she’ll remember this