By R.E. Mahoney
It had been about a year since I went to Robert the Psychic to do an interview and have my first psychic reading. I must admit, he had had an unforeseen affect on my life. I now believed there was something to the psychic stuff. But now I had done some personal research on the subject, and more questions about Robert had arisen. I called him to set up another interview.
"Am I getting paid for this interview?" he asked.
"No," I answered.
"Are you getting paid for doing this interview?"
"If the editor likes it."
There was a sigh. "Tell you what. I'll agree to the interview if you get a reading. That way we both get paid for our time."
This was my fourth reading with Robert. The second was done at night. Robert's readings are fine anytime. But in the glow of candles it's magical.
Something I had noticed about Robert. He wasn't the best housekeeper. I asked him about this as he led me to his reading room.
"I know," the psychic said, pausing to survey the unkempt living room of his Plaza apartment. "But I do clean up when clients come over."
"This is clean?"
"Do not talk about my messy apartment in your story."
"You want the candles for the interview?" inquired Robert as we took our seats at his reading table.
"I need to take notes, wait until the reading."
"Suit yourself. Fire away."
"It's about money."
"What about it?"
"You are not rich, and you have a full time job."
"Guilty on both counts." Robert leaned back in his high-backed antique chair.
"I have gone to other psychics."
"I suggested you do so." Not a hint of annoyance in his voice.
"There are others who do the same thing you do and make a lot more money."
For the first time annoyance came to Robert's tone. "I don't like talking about other practitioners in private or public. It's like asking Walmart it's opinion about K-Mart."
"Why do you charge so little?"
"Little? I don't know about you, but thirty dollars to me is not a little. I have to give a lot of thought before I spend thirty bucks on something."
"There are people out there that will pay a lot of money."
"And there are psychics out there who are willing to take it. I'm simply not one of them. I do psychic counselling for money, not for the money. Can we change the subject?"
"How about religion?"
"Oh, yeah," Robert said sarcastically. "Now there's a subject that I can't get into any trouble talking about."
"Why do some religious people not like psychics?"
"They are spiritual bigots. They are told the Bible says Soothsayers are an abomination to God. But if they look in the same Bible every tribe had a Seer. But in the Bible they stopped calling them Seers and started calling them Prophets. Read your Bible. Don't let someone tell you what it says. You don't have to be religious to be spiritual."
"You should be a preacher."
"I sleep in on Sundays."
"Lets talk about how you treat your clients"
Robert laughed. "How did I know you were going to bring that up?"
"I felt I was mistreated by you."
"I got into a relationship and came to you for a reading about it."
Robert picked up a multicolored stone. "I remember you didn't appreciate my input."
"Input? You said it was a very bad mix, she was the High Priestess upside down which you described as something I can't put in my article."
"Psycho witch from heck you can print."
"Right! And you said she would break my heart big time."
"So that was not very nice."
"You're thinking yourself mistreated because I didn't tell you what you wanted to hear? Besides, you shuffled the cards, I just read them," explained Robert without an edge to his voice.
"Then I called you a week later for another reading."
"And I told you it was too soon."
"Okay. I waited a whole week. We did a phone reading. You told me the same thing as the last reading."
"That's when I went to other psychics."
Robert placed the crystal on the table. "And they said?"
"One agreed with you, one said she loved me, the last one said we were soulmates."
"And what happened?"
"Two weeks later this...woman..."
"Broke your heart big time."
"Yes! I needed to talk to you and you wouldn't even return my call," I accused.
"1. You didn't take my advice. 2. You were drunk when you left your message at two in the morning. 3. You hadn't paid me for the phone reading."
"That was mean!"
"You're right. It was mean of you not to send me my money."
"I even went to a psychic to see about getting her back."
"What did the psychic do to comfort your pain?"
"The psychic wanted a lot of money to cast a love spell on the woman."
"Did it work?"
"No," I said indignantly. "You said I shouldn't pay psychics to do magic. And I didn't have that kind of money. I sent yours, though."
"Are we done with this inquisition? I'd like to get on with your reading."
"I don't have any more questions."
"By the way," Robert said, lighting the candles. "Could you mention I'm available for parties, lectures and classes?"
"Maybe. If I can talk about your messy apartment."
"You know this wasn't as much fun as the first interview, " Robert said, setting the cards down in front of me. "Regarding your past readings. The cards had nothing but good things to say about the book you are working on. How is it coming?"
I picked up the cards and started shuffling without answering. This reading wasn't going to be as fun as the first one, either.
[Editor's note: The subject of the prior readings discussed was changed for this story at the Psychic's request. Robert was still right.]
Reprinted with permission from Parapsychology Quarterly.