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Future Perfect

By Jessica Lussenhop

PSYCHIC consultant Monique McDonnell—a former Cal Poly English professor—steps forward and shakes my hand amid the bustle of last-minute shopping at Gateways. She explains what's about to happen. "I send my left brain out to lunch and then I connect with an intelligence that is greater than my own," she says.

I'm nervous. I'm a realist at best and a cynic at my worst. But a year into living here in Santa Cruz, a tangible feeling that I am truly the author of my own destiny has been creeping over me. And I'm really not up for it. So I'd like someone else to handle my destiny for a few minutes.

McDonnell, a motherly type who's been doing this for 19 years, asks me what I'd like to know. I could inquire about the troop surge in Afghanistan, but instead I ask, "What's going to happen with my long-distance boyfriend?" McDonnell closes her eyes. "Concentrate on him—the person, not the problem—and draw three cards," she says. All I can conjure up are images of the disastrous haircut he just gave himself. She flips over the Tarot cards.

"This guy does miss you," she says, and asks me to draw four more. The card edges are slightly fuzzy and gray with use. She turns up "The Hermit" and says, "This has been a good year for you. It's caused each of you to grow." She turns over a final card covered in stars. "You're going to be fine, sweetie!" she cries. "This is a beautiful, beautiful card. Everything you want is coming."

I ask her if I'll be moving in 2010 ("Yes, but it looks like it would be around this area") and whether my younger brother will get a job. She closes her eyes. "There's a very, very high probability he will get a job."

"Well, this is going to be a pretty good year," I say summarily. And she closes her eyes again. "My guidance's take on it is that for those that are growing, it's going to be a great year. For those who resist growth, it could be rather nightmarish." I realize she's talking about the whole world now, not me. "More Bernie Madoffs are going to come to light in all areas," she says, and rocks back in her seat. "Those that are more truthful with themselves, more truthful with the world, those people are going to find things will be possible in 2010 that they might not have thought were possible."

So there you go, world. You're welcome.

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