I have a wonderful part-time job in downtown Anoka at a shop called Party Papers. I have worked there on and off for the last five years and absolutely love it. I work with a woman who has been working at Party Papers since the dawn of time (well, the last twenty years) and funnily enough lives just across the highway from me. I have always heard the stories about her and how she is a psychic and reads people and does all theses sorts of things. She doesn't advertise this fact nor does she really strike you as someone who would posses these abilities. The owner even once told me, "If she grabs you by the arm and looks you in the eye and tells you something, you better listen." In all the times I have worked with this woman and given her rides home and seen her outside of work she has never once read me. Which is just fine with me. I am cool with listening to her stories about her grandkids and dogs.
Ever since I started this blog I have been looking to expand my world with the unknown and paranormal a little bit to have experiences to blog about. I have been kicking around the idea of hosting kind of a wine and cheese and psychic reading Girls Night In type of things for my friends and family. Anything "wine and cheese and..." is a good Girls Night In....Anyways, I did some research on group readings with a psychic online and holy hannah these ladies get paid a lot for their services. Like, 300 dollars for two hours type of a lot. Well, eff that. I kind of let the idea go until tonight and walked in to work and saw my lovely co-worker behind the counter. I haven't worked with this woman in nearly three months, so it was kind of a surprise. We worked for a few hours and she went to take her break and I got to thinking, "I should just ask her...." I have never spoken to her about her abilities but it was worth a shot. Also, an embarrassing side story to all this: It is well documented that Party Papers is haunted. It is on the Ghosts of Anoka tour, mediums have been brought in to confirm the presence of our resident ghost whom we've named Morris (turns out our shop is now occupying the space where his shop used to be) Well, I was in the store alone tonight while my co-worker was taking her break and I suddenly felt very cold. Was I having an encounter with Morris? I moved around a bit and the chill seemed to have followed me around. I then walked to the back of the store, where it was warmer, where it is always warmer...turns out the air conditioner had been turned on and was just kicking in. However! That motivated me to talk to my co-worker even more!
When she returned from her break I sort of ambushed her, "So, is it true you do readings for people?" She took a beat and a smile came across her face, "....Yes and no..." she said. "Oh?" I said, the "yes" part was said first, after all. Keep in mind, my co-worker is a 65 year old Grandmother of seven. "I used to do it for a full time job years and years ago, I even read palms at a shop in Minneapolis." I encouraged her to go on, "I don't do it so much anymore because I just got sick of seeing people who were going to die." Whoa! I was not really expecting that. She said the first time she was ever doing a reading for someone and saw their death was when she was 15 years old. "These boys laughed at me when I told them they weren't going to live past this summer." She said, sure enough the boys died in a car accident not too long afterwards. She also told me the story of when she went with a friend of hers to visit the friend's sick father in the hospital who was going to be released in the morning since he was on the mend. "I just knew he was going to die, and my friend got so angry at me when I told her that. I tried to tell the doctors and nurses and tell my friend but I knew he wasn't going to leave the hospital alive." Sure enough, he died on a brain aneurysm that night in the hospital. She predicted the same thing about her brother who was in the military. He was home on leave visiting his family, and when the door shut behind him she knew it was the last time she was ever going to see him alive. He died in the Vietnam war a few months later.
She told me how she can see it. "I see it in their eyes. They start to go before they are gone, if that makes sense. There is something missing in their eyes. Like a light has been turned off, a part of their energy is gone." "But, that's not all you see, right?" I asked her. How much of a bummer would my Wine and Cheese and Psychic party be if all she did was tell us when we were all going to die? "Oh, no, no, no!" She said, "That's just the part I hate most about it, it's knowing these things. I feel like I shouldn't know them but I do and I don't know why I do." We then chatted about some of the experiences she had during her time reading in Minneapolis on Lake Street. "We got some strange ones in there. I had one guy in there who I knew was going to kill someone. He had so much anger and I just knew he was going to kill someone so I did all I could to try to re-direct his anger." Yikes-o-rama. "It's reasons like that that I don't like to do it anymore. It's hard. I take on all these peoples energy and sorrow and grief and whatever else they are feeling and it's hard. But, I would do it for you!" Oh, hooray! I asked her if she has read for groups before, she said she had many times but wanted to know how many people I was planning on inviting. I was cut off at ten. I then asked her how much she charges. "That's another reason I quit doing it. I feel funny about taking money for it. It's like a gift and I shouldn't charge people money to tell them things they need to hear." She then told me about several of her friends who she had sent to the doctor even though they felt just fine and turns out, they had a sickness that needed to be tended to ASAP. I guess I would feel kind of funny about taking money for that kind of skill too. "I used to charge a lot though!" She said. I told her I wasn't going to have her do it for nothing so we settled on the paltry fee of 25 dollars for the night of ten people. Well worth it, I think.
"You know what's funny, though?" She said, "When Halloween rolls around I have people coming out of the woodwork asking me to do readings for them or for their friends or for their parties and most of them I say no. I know, I just know some of these readings, I wouldn't do for not matter what amount of money they offered me." That really got me thinking. Why? Is this a part of her psychic ability too? She knows if she does a reading for a particular group of people it would go badly, or the information they gain would be used in the wrong way?
I was lucky enough to kind of see her gift in action tonight. We had a customer come in asking about some ruby slippers he wanted to buy for his daughter. My co-worker is the type of person who can carry on a conversation with just about anyone, and does, even when the other person doesn't really want to. Her and this costumer got to chatting and he seemed a bit down-trodden and down on his luck. Well, sort of the opposite. He had just moved in to an apartment from a homeless shelter and wanted to get his daughter a gift since he had a home now. He had lost his job because he was an alcoholic and also had the bad luck of getting pneumonia several times, which required many trips in and out of hospitals. He got sober, got sick, went to the hospital and contracted MRSA. In all this time he lost his job and home and daughter and ended up in the homeless shelter. Since we was back to to hospital so frequently to get antibiotic dosages to treat his MRSA he had something like a port, an open area on his arm where the medical staff can easily administer the medication via needle without having to poke him each and every time. Well, since he was the new guy at the homeless shelter, he had bathroom duty, where he picked up a nasty infection through his port that went to his heart and nearly killed him. Again. He is now on the road to recovery, out of the homeless shelter and sober a year on April 1st he proudly told us ("When's the last time you went to an AA meeting?" my co-worker asked him in the pushy, grandmotherly way she can, "Last week!" He said.) "God is giving you all these chances for a reason!" She told him. He nodded and smiled sheepishly, and as he left she yelled after him "Enjoy your life!" It was kind of cool to see, first of all her get all that information out of him, and secondly hear her be so strong in the conviction that this man has truly been granted a new lease on life for a reason.
I am planning for my Wine and Cheese and Psychic night on May 12th and I am so excited! I hope she finds the group I put together worthy of the 25 bucks I'm going to pay her. And all the wine and cheese she could want!