I had to stop at the bank yesterday with Conor in tow. I was holding him on one hip and balancing checks and cash from piano lessons in my free hand, trying to navigate the spiffy new Bank of America ATM's, when a lovely black woman (and I don't mean that she was simply African-American; she was the deepest, darkest, almost-black, with a brilliant white smile and sparkling eyes set against her dark complexion) exited the bank. She was tall and thin, with her hair shaved very close to her head and a long sundress on and heels. She had a beaded necklace and dangly earrings. Her peripheral vision must have caught sight of Conor, because she swung around and had to swoon about his bright blue eyes and blond curls. She asked me a question about him, and as I turned my head up (in between sliding checks into the ATM's slot, she caught her breath and immediately changed her questioning.
"Who are you?" she asked.
I giggled a bit self-consciously, aware of the line that was building up behind me. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, what do you do?"
"Well, I raise kids and teach piano, I guess."
"Oh, girl, there is something mighty powerful about you! Look!", at which she held out her bare arms (she was wearing a bright yellow sundress), and I could see that her skin had broken out in big, bold goosebumps. "This hardly ever happens to me anymore! What is it about you? Who are you? I gotta get some o' that!" and then she wrapped her arms around both Conor and me and gave us a little hug from behind. I wasn't sure exactly what was happening.
"Girl," she said. "There is some good energy about you. I don't know what it is, but you are powerful! God be with you. God bless you. Something good is coming for you." She again showed off the goosebumps that covered her arms and chest.
"Oh, good," I said, trying to face my stack of $1's so I could shove them into the blinking slot. "I could really use something good." I turned and smiled to the line waiting behind me, with a look of 'forgive me'.
She wished me well and began to walk away, but stopped ten feet away and called back, "Girl, get over here. There's something there!" Again with the goosebumps.
"Well, I have to finish my deposit," I said, wondering if this was a dangerous situation or not. There is an interesting collection of souls congregated in the Los Angeles area. But, then again, there were plenty of witnesses. And she didn't seem dangerous. Or even all that crazy. And I've met crazy. She seemed a little "off", but well-meaning and sincere. I finished up my deposit and walked down to where she was standing, directly in the sun. Sweat glistened on her black skin. She told me that she had to read me. That she didn't do this anymore, but she used to do readings, and there was just something there, like a lump in her throat or in her chest and she had to get it out. She told me she was 55. She asked if I had other children and whether they were all safe and healthy and if my grandmothers are alive. All yes.
Then she said, "Is your husband in a very low place right now?"
"Um. Yes, as a matter of fact."
"What's going on there?"
"Well, he's been looking for work and it's been very hard."
"Is he into computers? Something with computers?"
(at that very moment Adam was at home studying to take his Microsoft A+ certification test) "Yes," I replied.
"And balls, going back and forth. Something with balls, (and she was pantomiming hitting balls, as with a racket, back and forth). . ." the goosebumps burst forth again.
"Well, he plays ping-pong a lot."
"Yes, something big is coming for him! Tell him to act on it! There's lots of money in it for him. You go home, girl, and tell him to act on it."
She said many more oddly identifying things about Adam, and about his movie script, and she had this sense of frustration as she was 'reading' me because she sensed there was something that she just couldn't quite put her finger on. Something she felt but couldn't pull out in the right words. But eventually, she sent me off, a little befuddled, but with words of encouragement nonetheless, and I was tickled by the experience. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before.
When I got home, I ran up to him and said, "The weirdest thing just happened at the bank." This is usually not good news, but as I started the story, Adam, who gets a kick out any sign anywhere that hope is on the horizon, ate up every word. He talked about it all night. "What do you think it means?" he kept wondering. "You should have invited her over for dinner."
And so, we'll wait and see.