I haven't written anything for a month or so, not because nothing has happened, but I've been busy at work, and had one or two extremely odd experiences.
Maybe, I've just needed time to assimilate them, or maybe I've just not felt in the mood to share.
But, I needed to get this particular saga my chest, and it concerns the more profitable side of the business which is psychics.
Vivienne has been keen, ever since I started to work for her, to increase the on-line psychic presence of the business.
Yesterday, she asked me, if I had one free question which I could ask a psychic, knowing that the answer would be correct, what would I ask?
And before I could answer, she told me I wasn't allowed to know when I would die, the numbers for the lottery or anything of that nature. She also told me not to ask whether Cassandra would ever talk to me again, as the answer was obviously not.
Working for Vivienne is anything but relaxing.
I wondered whether I would ever get a new job, and was told that the answer was no and to not squander such an opportunity on the mundane.
My questions didn't feel mundane to me, but to make life easy, and it was something I had sometimes wondered, I asked:
"Will I lead a normal life?"
V. looked at me thoughtfully, indicating that I'd managed to ask a question worth answering.
"I want you to go to this address", she said, handing me a sealed envelope, "knock on the door and ask that question. No more. No less"
"Consider this to be part of your training".
Vivienne at times considers herself my mentor, which is unfortunate as she is or believes herself to be a witch, and I being a programmer and general geek, don't believe in anything mystical.
My past has been bad enough, and based on that I don't want to know my future.
"I'd rather not". I said "grateful though I am for such an opportunity"
"Well, you told me that you don't believe, and I'm quoting from memory here, in psychics or any other fortune telling mumbo jumbo, so how could you possibly discover the future ..."
".. from one free psychic question".
And so it was that I reluctantly broke the silver seal, opened the envelope and headed towards Kentish town. If nothing else, I know a few decent pubs hidden back from the main streets, and maybe I'd get to practice my Polish with some of the barmaids.
The address of the supposed psychic, placed in a sealed envelope, and the air of mystery was typical of Vivienne. I wondered if she did this to make the whole event more mysterious and to make me (or possibly other clients) more susceptible to their psychic reading.
The address was typically nowhere near a tube station, so I had plenty of time to think about life. As so often these days, I spent the time dwelling on mistakes I have made, opportunities I have missed, my random lifestyle choices and plenty more angst ridden stuff.
Basically I was moping as Vivienne puts it.
Nothing particularly hard core, but enough to show me that there is a whole different world out there from the bits and bytes I'm used to dealing with.
Programming and content management would be more useful given my job description, but maybe I should be grateful for any personal development at all. I could be working for uber or deliveroo.
Most of the venues I've been sent to have been mundane in the extreme. I always imagined a voodoo witch would live in a creepy dark house, with flickering lights, black cats, skulls, candles and God knows what else, not a well kept semi with an immaculate garden. (I have seen a few temples which can be pretty impressive. Not scary. Impressive).
This time was different.
There were trees, hedges and other vegetation crowding and overhanging on both sides of the road as I approached the address. A feeling of claustrophobia as the houses were tall, narrow and learning slightly forwards. If I hadn't know better, I could have sworn I wasn't in London any longer. Even the sound of traffic was muffled as if at a distance, and instead of fumes, the air smelt fresh.
I walked along the road, checking number on the houses, each less cared for than the last until I reach number 32.
An unkempt path lead to a red door with paint flaking off and a no signs of habitation. I hestitated. There was something for want of a better word wrong about the place.
Wrong. Nasty. As if something might jump out and eat you.
I shuddered and walked up the path. Carefully.
Before I reached the door, it was opened abruptly.
"What do you want to know".
Well, you're short both literally and metaphorically I thought looking down at a small, balded headed, tubby, grumpy, unappealing individual.
Short, to the point and lacking social graces. Well, I could live with that, this wasn't a social call after all. All I needed was an answer to my question and I could be on my way.
"Are you a psychic ...". I started to ask, before being rudely interupted with:
"What do you want to know".
"Will I lead a normal life?"
"You have or will have a problem with mirrors"
This wasn't what I was expecting.
"Um." I Said to a closed door.
FFS. At times, I miss my days in the bank where there was at least a superficial veneer of respectability.
The whole experience was disconcerting, and later in the evening in the first bar I found closer to civilisation, I resolved once again to complete and send off my C.V.
I'm anonymous on this site, so I can be honest here. I'm going to lie on my C.V. or maybe change my name, make up fake references (fake e-mail addresses on fake websites) and get a new job.
You would be surprised how many people do this. Do you honestly think those e-mail reference are real? Get a life. It takes ten minutes to set up a fake company website for people in my line of work.
Vivienne will ask me about the answer given to me by the psychic, and strangely I want her input, as ever since seeing voodoo priestess I've been bothered my mirrors.
No-one knows this.
It isn't mirrors but rather what I *almost* see in them.
I'll try and update this blog/diary/website more often in future.