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.