A 24 Hour Brooklyn Snapshot

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It has been a Brooklyn week end. I kept being carried away from my original plans and found myself bouncing through improvisation and plans B like a flipper ball. For the best. This is certainly a New York thing, and more broadly a metropolis thing. It is incredible what one can fit within 24 hours in a huge city with so many life paths crossing each other every instant.

Yesterday at that time, I was writing a blog post at the Civil Service Café. All of a sudden I got overwhelmed by a wave of sorrow. I knew the reason. I didn’t want to cry in a public place although I usually “like” doing so, because the variety of people’s reactions in different countries has always interested me. I started crying outside at the closest intersection and a man asked me if I was fine, I said yes and continued my way. He raised his voice as I was moving away: “It is a beautiful day!” Yes, it was. Thank you, Noble Stranger.

It took me a moment to find back some peace of mind and gather enough strength to kick my ass and take the conscious decision to enjoy the last rays of sun. As I was leaving to the park, α² invited me to join him and β for a drink at one of their cult local bars. I poured some Chardonnay down my throat and laughed with my temp guardian angels, and my joy revived. We then moved on to dinner in a place with the most awful paintings ever made on the walls (I’m tempted to go back just to get evidence of this), like paintings of Jay-Z with a crown made by a 6 year-old.  From there we went to β’s roof terrace with Manhattan view. NYC from above!  As it was windy and dark up there we hanged out in his brick-wall living room and cuddled the VERY large cat he lives with. We then went into a gay bar crawl until late, first to the Metropolitan and later to the Dynaco, which has a really cosy Brooklyn vibe.

As I was waiting at the Dynaco counter to order my second amaretto sour, I overheard the word “green card” on my left so I raised an obsessed ear. I understood that the man sitting close to me had recently got married to a Japanese man who just got his green card last Thursday. I don’t know how I engaged the conversation with the guy, named τ, and after we chatted for a little bit he told me his very inspirational love story.

τ randomly met his husband-to-be 3 times in different spots of the world before they said YES! to each other, surrendering to fate. They met in Japan 19 years ago and had a few week fling which they didn’t pursue. 1 or 2 years later, τ, who had in the meantime moved from Oklahoma to NYC, went to a party organized by friends… and Japanese guy (I didn’t ask his name) was there. Second encounter. They both had no clue that they had simultaneously moved to the Big Apple. But τ was taken at the time, so it was another “rendez-vous manqué“. Some time later – I am uncertain of the time frame – τ moved to the West Village. After a few days in the neighborhood, he randomly bumped into Japanese guy on the street, who happened to have himself just recently moved to the area and was living 2 blocks down.

They’ve now been together for 16 years and got married after gay marriage was legalized in New York last year. And Japanese guy got his green card this week! I remember α telling me “New York takes care of you if you trust it”. That’s a sumptuous illustration. It gave me a great lift so I exchanged details with τ for when I live here. If only I got as many gay girls’ numbers as I get gay guys’ numbers, I would be Shane F***ing McCutcheon. (τ said that he has a powerful bad ass gorgeous lesbian filmmaker friend I’d really like. Sounds like I would.)

Back home after a hectic night out, I put in a frying pan whatever was comestible in the house for a middle of the night snack with α². We debriefed our respective break-ups and laughed a lot, but we tackled the deep stuff at the same time. We are doing well and are cute little people. I don’t need any other type of love than this one right now. It is moisturizing like a heart balm.

I slept 4 hours, my NYC week end average. α woke me up at 6am as her friend κ from yoga training was on her way to pick us up and go watch the sunrise on the beach. We drove to Coney Island and watched the actual sunrise from the car in BedStuy with Dunkin Donuts take away coffee. We stayed on the sea side for 3 hours doing yoga assignments and funny photo shoots. We passed Manhattan sublime island skyline with the bright morning sun reflecting on the skyscrapers and stinging my European eyes. We passed Lady Liberty whom I still find tiny compared to what I imagined all my life. (But I love her symbol dearly.)

We landed at the Civil Service café for breakfast and α² met his wives (he calls α & I like that). I soon took off for the Sunday morning 5 Rhythms dance class, the “Church” one. But NYC played a trick on me and trains were so heavily disrupted that I never made it to Manhattan. Too bad. I love dancing to chaos with no sleep and a huge shot of sunshine in my system.

As a consolation, I went to lie down in Washington Park with α². We watched people playing tennis and tried to figure out who in our group would be the most disastrous player, and what if we all played together.

Tonight, α will practice her yoga teaching skills on me.

It feels so unnatural that I legally don’t belong here.

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Interviewing Flatmates

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My days in the Big Apple are now counted so α² is actively looking for a flatmate to fill in my (Vivienne Westwood) shoes. I assist him with the interviews, he says that I ask good questions. It is true that I am good at breaking the ice and making funny punch lines, but I tend to encourage him to live with crazy entertaining people who will give him headaches very quickly.

He got a reply from a middle-aged lady who moved from Las Vegas because her girlfriend got hired for a show with Cirque du Soleil so she put her stuff in the trunk of her car and came back to New York. I was so enthusiastic about her, I was like “She’s the one!” I really wanted to at least meet her for an interview, but α² didn’t take my advice. He doesn’t like drama.

Yesterday evening, the longest flatmate interview ever made in history took place. J³ is a 23 years old feminist gay guy. He works as the personal assistant of a famous feminist performance artist who was a big hit in the 70s. She’s called Martha Rosler and her success piece was “Semiotics of the Kitchen” (which a lot of people kinda heard of but can’t quite picture what it is). J³ has an intense life story for his young age. His family are Jesus freaks from New Orleans who speak in tongues and moved away after Katrina. He is currently living in a haunted house. I connected with him very much so I spontaneously offered him to have dinner with us. He stayed till almost midnight because I started baking crêpes at 11pm. I am going to proof read the radio play he is writing about the friendships between a lesbian couple and a bunch of guys who share a house. I am the one who should live with him. α² wasn’t so sure.

Today we had another couple of interviews – whiny Canadian architect and dull Mexican filmmaker. Huh & huh. It is so hard to pick the perfect house bitch after me, I mean, who else cooks mind-blowing crêpes whilst simultaneously shaking her booty like Shakira?

The day started in a dramatic way though. A fire broke out in the building across the back yard and we saw the family escaping through the windows with the kids and tons of black smoke. We watched the firemen do an excellent job. α² wanted to open the window and whistle at them, but we didn’t.

On Wednesday very early, I am taking the train to Boston.

Tomorrow morning, α wants to go watch a New York sunrise near the ocean.

Sinking in the New York Routine

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It is Sunday and I am at my Brooklyn HQ, The Civil Service café. Two obnoxious French guys apparently working in the movies talk very loud about their job drama. Oh well. I don’t like French people abroad (because I am one.)

I’ve been in the Big Apple for 4 weeks now and I finally found my pace, my places, my people. I start mapping the city with the regular patterns of my little glittery feet.

The girls at my office officially took a sudden dislike for me. There was a leaving drink on Thursday and 4 of the girls left at the same time, talking about the bar where they were heading to in front of me ; making sure to avoid any eye contact not to have to invite me. That was brutal. Then the wave of dudes left too and they all proposed me to join, hugged me and said they’d miss me if I didn’t show up. Thank God for the boys! I went to yoga and let it all out. I cried all class and it was hard to do the breath of fire with my nose full. I ended up making disgusting noises and bubbles but it was deeply relieving.

Anything else has been extraordinary. I went to a bar called the “One Last Shag” on Friday night after α² and β cooked home-made curry. I know the name of the place is improbable – but I saw the sign with my own eyes. I arrived late and breathed the crowd with curiosity. Anywhere else in the world, I’d find pathetic to end up alone at a bar counter in the middle of the night, but it makes me feel good here. Is it the context or the NY folks?

In a moment I started talking with a very pretty young boy called η. The usual. “I love your coat, you are gorgeous, we should hang out together.” He gave me his number. This is what my life is about. He was wearing the same bracelet as the one I bought on the Route 66 in New Mexico last October, with tiny camp Virgin Mary. He was a design student with his left arm covered with tattoos which he all imagined. I asked him to design my Earth Pulse symbol tattoo for the curve of my waist on the right side of my body. η told me that he is in love with a man ten years older then him who is in rehab for an undetermined amount of time. He visits him every week and can’t get him out of his head although the guy wants him to live his life and not wait for him. Poor kid. My mother heart to all my gay sons shivered. I love them all so much for no reason. That’s probably why they send me back an irrational amount of love without even knowing me either sometimes.

Saturday was doughnut day with my marvelous and generous friend ε – she’s one of the Whores of the Whore House. She flew from Chicago with her sister and her sister’s guide dog Sunshine just to kiss my cheeks. How wonderful is it to have friends jumping on a plane just to see a little bit of you? We had a lazy rainy New York afternoon and we stuffed our mouth with the orgasmic doughnuts from Dough between all the updates we had to tell each other. Good times.

Saturday night had to be dedicated to the Stonewall Inn cause I hadn’t been in a while and I need my vibe intake. I met my French London friend μ² who is in town for a week with her boyfriend. I became friend with μ² in unusual circumstances. I interviewed her for a job at my previous company 2 years ago and we’ve been friends since, although we both quit shortly after. I drank 4 Amaretto sour and we got our palm read by a very beautiful black drag queen with the shiniest lips I’ve ever seen. She checked my palm with a torch lamp and I picked up only half of what she said but I remember her saying “I want you to go out and flirt, I want you to let your friends have the final word in your love life, I see potential for marriage and a stable relationship.” Whatever. Me and my weird palm readers.

I came back home at midnight and α² prepared home-made salty pop corn. I loved it. Midnight pop corn with my Kansas City born hubby. When he went to bed, I put my sparkly Vivienne Westwood stilettos back on and faced the rain in the middle of the night for one last drink at the One Last Shag.

Nothing significant happened but it could as well have been the case.

I just wanted to live a little bit more before bedtime.

Mantra for Miracles

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On Thursday I received multiple gifts from the universe.

First I found out that my tax penalty of £100 for delayed filing was cancelled. The British Inland Revenue and Customs had sent me a “love letter” only a few days before I took off to NYC. I disputed the £100 fine with a very far fetched excuse (“Didn’t you receive my letter saying I am no longer self employed?“) They bought my lie (hope they won’t read this post) and cancelled the fine. Hurray! I immediately decided to make a gift to someone to forward the happiness.

In the afternoon I tried to order online funky wedges Converse with golden studs but they didn’t like my debit card with a billing address in the UK so I couldn’t process the payment. A few hours later I tried to purchase them again with α’s card and in the meantime they had gone down by 25$! Every time my online payments have failed there was an excellent reason behind it.

After work I went to kundalini yoga and there was a ridiculously red and shiny iPhone case on the reception table, with a note saying “For iPhone 4. Free. Please take!” I’ve been going with a naked iPhone since January because I refuse to put money in buying one. I knew I would eventually be given one or find one. Et voilà! Just my style, barrocco and showy. The other day they were giving away a bunch of plants “who needed love and shelter” at the yoga center. I took a pot of pansies for α².

The yoga class was about angels and we sang the mantra for miracles, focusing on a specific challenge in our life that needs a good lift from the cosmos. I thought about all the people who helped me on my way to make the NYC adventure possible. I visualized this human chain of people being kind and supportive, one after the other.

I am grateful for the gifts and the people.

(Lesbian) Sex (Mafia) & The City

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First Play Party in New York on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

It was called ‘Submit’, was organized by the Lesbian Sex Mafia group for women & trans and took place in a basement in Brooklyn.

It is always exciting to arrive at a Play Party, because it is entering an underworld, a secret society. It is not advertised publicly and the venues are kept hidden. There was no way anyone would guess what kind of crazy stuff was going on inside this building unless they were part of the Mafia.

The venue was just dodgy enough, dark and organized as a maze. All the private booths had holes for voyeurism, which was more than half the fun. The usual BDSM rooms with crazy equipment (which I tend to keep away from) were hosting a wide spectrum of creatures.

Girls girls girls everywhere, of every style shape size age color femininity masculinity. There is so much diversity in this world that it becomes overwhelming when you are gender-fascinated. When you see such a clear sample of the rainbow range of the sexual identities concentrated in the same space, it gets so obvious that there are way more than 2 sexes.

I was one of the first to get some action going. Why not? It was strange. She was a little Asian girl playing dominant but who was awkward and kept apologizing, which made me way more dom than her because I always stay cool and in control even though I often inadvertently end up as the sub. There are many ways to be dominant beyond bottom/top, and mine is to trust and let go. How can one pretend to be dominant if they are themselves afraid of losing control? She was into strangling. I said OK why not, strangle me. There is nothing I frankly say no to, so then I end up laughing a lot. I can’t say I liked or didn’t like it, it was “interesting” and released my nerves until next time.

Then I wandered and watched the creatures for the rest of the night. A very tall girl whom I thought was a trans caught my eye, because she looked like a drag-queen (my ultimate fantasy). But I think she wasn’t. It is fascinating to read people’s story from the history of their body or the way they dress and present themselves.

I got my usual down after a few hours. It always happens when I am alone in a crowd, especially a type of crowd which can be disturbing when you feel lonely. But altogether there is support and good spirit in those events, like a human fishnet that prevents you from falling. People are kind. More caring than in the outside world because they live up their life and have therefore less animosity inside them.

I had a moment of sorrow because I still miss her and I fight that back with everything I have, but sometimes I run out of strategies or will. The DJ chose that moment to play Björk’s “All is Full of Love” and it was a strange contrast to wander those dark corridors with that tune in the background covered up with the sound of spanking, screaming, whipping.

I believed in it more than in any other context. Yes, all is full of love and all our regular or strange practices are on the path to our giant search for love. Most of us are fighting this secret battle.

Then, I met J². I had been looking at her all night and I dived my eyes into hers a few times, but she didn’t seem responsive. Towards the end of the party, she finally talked to me. I thought she was the sexiest prettiest girl of the night, one of those boyish girls with beautiful face whose blurry gender stings my imagination.

I don’t know how one of the first questions she asked me was: “Are you heart-broken?” which took me by surprise because 1/ I didn’t bring the subject 2/ you rarely hear that in a sex party 3/I am uncertain of the answer.

I had to think. I said “No… but it’s been hard”. It stunned me that she saw beyond. She said not to worry “because you are beautiful”. I replied thanks but if beauty was solving anything or cure pain we would know. We talked for a while. The venue was closing. I wrote my Fuckbook contact on her hand as she doesn’t have a phone (I like this.) She hugged me to say bye – our lips touched but it would have ruined everything to kiss her now although she’s the only girl I’ve been drawn to kissing in a long time.

I told her not to wash her hands.

Pulsing With The Earth

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Yesterday I walked from Brooklyn to Manhattan via the Williamsburg Bridge and crossed several worlds.

All the Jewish community of Marcy Avenue was out on the street, dressed in traditional outfits for Shabbat. I arrived in Chinatown just in time for yoga class at Nutcase Land. (I went back and actually start really liking it.)

The class was focusing on the Earth’s pulse, theorized by physician Schumann in the 50s. Schumann resonances verify the following formula (I don’t get it but I find it pretty):

f_{n} =\frac{c}{2 \pi a}\sqrt{n(n+1)}                    “In an ideal cavity, the resonant frequency of the n-th mode f_{n} is determined by the Earth radius a and the speed of light c

Earth has her own frequency of 7.83 Hz, which happens to be the same frequency as the human brain. If we synchronize with it by strengthening our electromagnetic field, synchronicity happens and things fall into places. That is very broadly summarized but I’ve always believed in that instinctively, so it resonated to hear it put into words and science.

I believe in synchronicity. How could I not? Those who know me know my propensity for coincidences and randomness. I bump into people in the streets all the time, where I live and where I visit. My presence in New York right now is due to synchronicity. I was hanging out in a pub in east London before Christmas when I felt a finger sinking into my back. It was C, one of my favorite co-workers. I exposed her all my life drama and she encouraged me to arrange working from the NYC office for some time. She gave me the guts to ask and it happened.

I got inspired by the idea of the Earth’s pulse as I feel the pulse of New York so synchronized with my own heartbeat. I bet if Earth has a pulse, her heart is right underneath Manhattan. I feel the vibrations in the soles of my shoes.

I walked out of the yoga studio and the air was smelling of spring, warm and charged with hope as if I had been here for months and a whole season had passed. As I was walking Soho streets, I crossed the path of this girl I know. She was with me and the Whores at the cabin in Illinois last fall for α³’s birthday. We played a heated croquet tournament all together. First time I was bumping into someone I know in NYC. Synchronicity stroke me again and because of the context I felt like the “queen of petrol” (doesn’t translate but I’ll keep it.)

I went back to Brooklyn and decided to walk a couple of stops to enjoy the warmth of the air. I bumped into blue-hair guy (µ) on the street for the third time in two weeks. He told me that we are obviously meant to hang out together and that I should move here. I agree.

New York has been trying to tell me something.

Karaoke & Unicorns

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I sing karaoke only in America (almost).

My last US karaoke night was in Roswell (Aliens Town) with H. Everybody in the room hated us. We sang our heart out and there was a deadly silence at the end of our songs. Only one lady clapped her hands and H pointed her out and said: “This lady liked it!”, which she probably got excommunicated from Alien town for. It is punishable there to show support to two blonde girls in a California Jeep. We left town after our masterful flop and we screamed in the car for hours in the middle on the night.

I went singing again in Queens on Thursday with α, α² and α4.

I Total Eclipse of the Heart-ed it with α (our eternal hit), Depeche Mode-d it with α² – it was fun singing to him “You treat me like a dog, get me down on my knees”. I was going to Lady Gaga it with α4 but we left.

My only issue is that ALL Americans have singing voices, so even the average bar on a week day has competition standards. Therefore I have 2 rules: 1/ Never sing alone 2/Shake your hair a lot, they will forget about the rest.

There was a very weird girl who turned up alone in a duffle coat, winter hat and sunglasses, which she didn’t take off all night. We all thought she was a celebrity trying to live the life of the simple people, so we expected a masterpiece performance. She wasn’t a famous singer for sure, unless she was purposely disastrous not to be recognized. Her gestures were also very unusual. Who moves like that? She was quite something. We all instantly became very big fans so we were disappointed to miss her last number.  But we had to leave.

After strange karaoke night, I had one of the best dreams of my life. I was in a magical ranch with α and we were cuddling white horses. Suddenly a white horse passed by very fast outside the window. I had time to see its horn. It was very small, so not everyone could see it unless they had magical eyes. I was overexcitingly telling α: ‘Oh my God! I’ve just seen a unicorn!’ Unicorns is our favourite discussion topic, we aim to discover where they live some day. Then, I saw a second unicorn with tiny horn too, so I understood we were in the Land of Unicorns. And finally I saw a pink horse.

New York makes me sweat glitter in my sleep.

Those Beautiful New York People Dancing

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I love the 5 Rhythms because it makes people beautiful. Before we enter the studio and everyone hangs out motionless in the corridor, we all look ugly or average and it can even look like the waiting room of a doctor for people with special needs. But as soon as people start moving, they get illuminated, happy, or at least true to themselves. Even the 50 year old guy with the hunchback and the 80s wig looks beautiful. I talked to him at the end and he studies to become a 5 Rhythms teacher. Incredible. (I am trying to imagine the same situation in France. Hunchback old guy saying he wants to teach dance. No wait, I tried and I can’t.)

Two years ago when I danced in this studio for the first time and received my first bliss, there was a guy with one arm and a stump. He shined higher energy than anyone else. He looked so good in his own skin, I’ve never forgotten this image.

I made another magic encounter on the dance floor. A cheesy saxophone music started playing and I engaged in an improvised love duet – somewhere between contact improv’, tango, ice skating and dance theatre – with a tall handsome man with gorgeous ass. (I love beautiful.) We split when the music changed and he put his hands together on his heart as if he had been touched by grace. I found it so charming ; it did something to me.  After that, I felt that he was seeking for my energy all night and I KNEW he was going to talk to me after class. (He did. His name is Ω)

Fabulous times. All those beautiful New York people dancing fulfil me. I want to make them dance too.

I am going to do the 5 Rhythms teacher training.

Freaked out by the Yoga Teacher

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After crazy psychic, crazy yoga instructor.

I had two hours to kill yesterday before the Ru Paul show at the Stonewall Inn – TV contest for America’s best drag queen – so I rushed into a yoga center around the corner to attend a Kundalini yoga and meditation class. I’ve been discussing chakras with α as she is studying this chapter at yoga school right now and I thought mine would need a little dusting.

I had a strange feeling from the first moment. All the teachers were dressed in white. The studio was messy, no yoga mats but only blankets on the floor which made every move slippery. A lady even fell backwards on someone else. I heard a big noise so I opened my eyes and I saw this woman going completely off-balance. It was hard not to laugh.

Yoga Teacher was visibly illuminated. To illustrate synchronicity, she told us for five good minutes in lotus position how she met her “fiancé”: “We were at the airport. My friend was like, ‘Go talk to him’. Then I was on the plane.”  I didn’t understand one bit of her endless anecdote and what it was supposed to prove on the wisdom of the universe and how we are all connected. She made me want to stop believing in that.

Towards the end of class, she gave us as an assignment to resist any negative thoughts over the next 24 hours and to repeat a mantra if our mind shifted. She said it was our duty to keep ourselves in good mental shape when we have the awareness to do so, and she added that three of her friends committed suicide since the beginning of the year but it wasn’t their fault. As if we needed further evidence, she mentioned this man in Virginia who recently killed his wife and kids, “but it didn’t mean he didn’t love them, his mind just flipped.” All that in a very cool I-love-you- all tone. Ah, OK. I will stick to my mantra then.

After weird class I wanted to hang out in the lobby to get on drag mood, but the only sofa was occupied by two women dressed in white. One looked mentally disturbed and was crying in the arms of the other one. She seemed in panic and couldn’t speak, as if she had strong nerve issues. A third woman in white was on the phone to make an urgent appointment with a doctor.

I didn’t feel like hanging out there for too long. I wonder why. I have booked a two-week trial so I am tempted to go back just to take notes on nutcase land.

I love picking the wrong places.

Threatened by the Psychic

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The other evening I was happily walking the streets of Manhattan when my eye was caught by a psychic sign. The lady was sitting in the window, on the phone, and waved at me. Why not? I am open to everything these days. I only consulted a psychic once before, 2 years ago in New York, only a few streets away from where I was standing then.

My first psychic experience was nice and funny, because I was with α and C and we put all our small change together to gather the $5 which we had negotiated for a “face reading”. This psychic had a real kindness in her expression, I still remember her gentle eyes. She told me that I was going to live a very long life. I always think of that now when I am in plane turbulence and I am afraid of crashing. So I decided to give psychism another chance.

This time, the lady read my palm for $15. Again, first thing that came up was that I had a very long life ahead of me and that I was an old soul (I hear that all the time).

Then she asked me direct questions about my job and what I was doing in New York. She jumped right away to my love situation, which I didn’t even bring myself because I have no questions at that level. I know where I stand.

But Psychic became all intense about it and said that I really needed spiritual work because that’s it: I am blessed in my professional life but I have bad luck in love. She wanted to charge me $300 to remove the bad eye and “unblock my sex chakra”, otherwise I am going to wander in love limbo for the rest of my life. No kidding.

It is impressive when someone stabs her eyes in yours and says word for word: “You have bad luck in love.”

I was shaken for an instant as years of being persuaded that I am indeed cursed in love came back to the surface.  I immediately figured out that Psychic was obviously all about my cash and that her previous questions about my job situation, promotion and business trips were just there to evaluate my income. When I declined her offer, she became all hyper and aggressive and said she had to meditate for me all night with candles and asked how much money I could put in my chakra cleaning. I said: “None. I am broke.” She almost shouted at me in a threatening manner: “Don’t lie to me. I SEE, you know. You work in corporate and you are getting a promotion soon.” Ouch. How the f*** are you supposed to lie to a psychic, even a bad one?

She desperately tried to flog me some crystals and other charms for $20. I said that I didn’t have $20. She replied: ‘It is not true, I saw a $20 bill in your wallet.’ From that point I understood the hilariousness of the situation. As I elegantly turned down all her offers she finally gave up on me and was like: “OK. Good luck” in a disdainful tone that meant “you have a shit life ahead of you”.

I walked out and questioned everything for a minute.  I suddenly took the conscious decision not to let anyone ruin my New York style faith in life. It is the easiest thing in the world to get into the love crack and exploit people’s fear of being alone. Fear of loneliness must the the biggest potential human market out there. Bad news for Psychic, I am not afraid of being alone and I don’t believe for a second that I have any kind of bad luck.

I burst into laugh on the street and headed off to 5 Rhythms dance to sweat my prayers as if nothing happened.

I don’t care. I will flirt, fuck and dance until someone has the guts to see beyond my skin again.