I'd hoped the psychic would be wearing a colorful flowing gown, headscarf, and jangly gold bangles like the woman pictured on a sign in front of the otherwise nondescript little white house in Sandusky, Ohio. But the psychic who answered the door looked more like a librarian than a gypsy.
Offering Mrs. Star as her nom de psychic, the diminutive dark-haired woman with glasses and a slight speech impediment welcomes me into her reading room. Rather than some kind of ethereal mood music, I hear the Bee Gees providing the soundtrack for my session.
Mrs. Star would rather talk about me than the economy, but after nearly six months on the road alone, I bore myself. She will say that the recession is "so, so, so bad for so many people." Her own business has stayed steady throughout, though her clients these days have lost interest in love, all wanting to know the future of their finances.
I ask if she sees the recession ending. "It may look like its getting better, but it's going to be like this for a long time," she replies, using her finger to illustrate ups and downs. "How long?" I ask. "Long time," she repeats.
By recounting Mrs. Star's predictions, I'm not suggesting that self-professed psychics should guide our thinking on the future. Considering the failure of most economists and experts to predict the economic downturn, however, I'm as likely to believe Mrs. Star as I am CNBC.
As for my personal reading, she does pick up on a couple of things with surprising accuracy. The first thing she says is that I've been moving at too fast a speed and am exhausted. "You don't need to be a psychic to see that," I think to myself.
But my inner chuckle stops when she continues on to say that because of the speed I'm moving and how much I've been working, I've recently started getting headaches. "I see real pain," she says, putting her hand to the right side of her head. "You're working through pain."
She could have just gotten lucky, but that is surprisingly accurate. Since getting rear-ended in Seattle last month, it has been like my whiplash flares up on occasion, giving me pain in the back right side of my head and jaw. Treatment has to wait until I get back to D.C. and the prescribed muscle relaxers make me too fuzzy-headed to write, so, yes, I have been "working through pain" because I can't slow down to address the problem.
She tells me that I'll be getting some kind of financial document in the mail that requires my signature, which reminds me that I do have something like that in my e-mail inbox that I need to print out, sign, and fax by Friday.
Mrs. Star also says that I focus too much on others, and that I inform too many people about everything that's going on in my life. I wait until the end to tell her that's kind of my job.
According to Mrs. Star, I'll be taking a "small trip" in the next few months. By comparison to the Recession Roadtrip, anywhere I go in the months afterward would be a small trip.
In the best news she has to offer, Mrs. Star tells me that she sees money coming to me after the first of the year. Hopefully, that will be in the form of a fat book advance.
To close my reading, Mrs. Star offers this advice: "You need to slow down, rest more, eat right, and exercise." I promise her I'll do all those things, starting the day I get back to D.C.
(Photo: David Sifry/Flickr)