michael's communiqué #16

A world as pure as the cold driven slush...

There was this stand up comic in the 80s who used to tell this joke...

"New York City is the only city that when it rains... it makes it's own gravy... "

True both physically and metaphysically... and in the winter, the gravy's cold.

So they shut the college down early Tuesday, and I drove home in the strange sideways driving sleet. Three hours and one near slide over an embankment later, I was making scrambled eggs and rice and black beans in my Queens kitchen whilst my socks warmed over the radiator. Sometimes when I come home early from work... it almost feels like the apartment is surprised... like it's been up to no good. I half expect to find the arm chair reading a Hustler or something.

I wanted to get something productive done... but instead I sat down and watched Will & Grace and fumbled through an LL Bean catalogue. One's perception of the universe is definitely a fluid and temporal thing. The first couple winter storms of the season brought me a strange sort of peace... like cool water on an autumn brush fire. I felt like all my fellow film-less film stars living in subdivided squares in the naked city... were suddenly together... shut in and covered by white... like a GOOD Christo piece...

But... on tuesday... I was over it. There was no soft snow like powdered sugar on the melancholy donut of life... there was just frozen dogshit.

It felt claustrophobic, and isolating... and I felt bad for giving my friend a hard time when she complains that the winter and the darkness alter her mood dramatically. It was getting to me too... and I was ready for something to start blooming.

I went to my old neighborhood in Astoria on Thursday for a little bar birthday party for my brother's girlfriend. The bar was called Rapture... which was kind of dramatic on a spiritual level... or just optimistic on a dating level... depending on their clientele's point of view. I didn't care for either just then and was simply hoping my brother baked a cake because I was hungry and a bit weary having come straight from my night drawing class. He didn't disappoint... in the place of a cake he had made some lovely cupcakes with icing sketches of the various curiosities of his mind.

Thursday just happened to be 'tarot' night at The Rapture... which nudged the connotation back towards the end of the world. A suitably worse for wear gypsy/barfly came to our table to drum up some business. But I had some issues. One was that my brother had already had a reading and been slightly bummed out by it. There was also the issue that a close family member is having surgery next week... and my brother was concerned that if anything in the reading implied trouble... I'd be even more stressed out and worried then I already was. The last Catholic guilt related issue for me was whether I would be working with the dark or light side of the force (or any side for that matter). I'll tell you right now... I'm not touching any damn ouija board (I mean it didn't exactly usher in the glory days for St. Stephen of Strangeways did it?) ... and a séance is out of the question... but tarot cards... hmmm...

But... in the detective novel I just wrote I make some reference to tarot cards... but have had only one reading done by a gutter punk in Rhode Island in 1999. So I felt that for editorial purposes I should reacquaint myself. However I would keep in mind that whatever messages came across might be coming from somewhere dubious... .whether that meant... the Death Star... or a crazy greek chick's imagination.

I had been to the guy from the 'Le Grand Magistry' label's mentalism show a few years back... and could sniff out the sneaky, 'cold reading' techniques used by geniuses, charlatans and car salesmen... so I was no easy mark.

Madame Yagermeister pulled me aside to an empty table and had me shuffle the cards while concentrating on my life. She then had me drop the cards into three piles with my left hand... which was the first thing this left handed person has ever been asked to do left handed... and of course it was suitably satanic. My 'main card' was the sorrow card... big news there... but I still let out a sigh... it had been a rough start to 05 for various non communiqué appropriate reasons... but did the great beyond really need to rub it in so?

Next card was the 'money' card... I would have no problems with money in the near future. At this point I almost got up and walked out... but I guess who knows... maybe that book deal is around the corner...

But from that card on... things were eerily right on... or I'm just a gullible dumbass. There was an image of a wiseman learning from the unfolding of days... another card symbolized the fear of growing beyond the greenhouse... another image followed of a bitter cup which has left a lingering distaste in my mouth... and a final card... an image of a banquet in my immediate future, a realm of possibilities mixed with illusion. Her advice... enjoy the banquet, but keep growing towards the wisdom that is just out of your grasp. Sounded like a workable plan for Spring.

Then I had a Dewars and Coke and talked about That 70s Show with my brother's girlfriend.

Until the next set of cards... Yours in possibility,
Mickey Grace