“Some days it felt like she had to work hard not to be cynical. It could be that she was tired to the bone. It could be that she never felt surprised by people any more. She’d had many years to see the best and worst of them, but it was their predictability, finally, that had worn her down.
Still, every night around dusk, she took the tools of her profession to the same spot outside the fenced park where the vendors gathered to wait for the tourists. She set up her table and covered it with the beautiful cloth a friend had brought from her travels in India decades before. The colors had dimmed, but in the light cast by the period street lamps and her candles, that didn’t matter. The fabric was just exotic enough to lend authenticity to the service she offered.
She placed her crystals and wands strategically on the table and took her cards from their scrap of silk. A stick of nag champa and a cleansing ritual, and she was ready for business. Until the first clients came, she could observe at leisure. She noticed the skateboarder, whose name she didn’t know, and his dog Milly. Some of the others didn’t like the skateboarders, but she’d long ago stopped being quite so precious about the marketplace. Skateboarders, musicians, beggars, shamans, or charlatans–there was room for all of them. Besides, Milly was a beautifully behaved dog and her young man was always polite. His eyes were intelligent and had a bit of mischief. As far as she was concerned, the world needed a little less meanness and a little more mischief.
Behind her, on the other side of the little park, she heard the cellist and the violinist begin. She closed her eyes for just a moment, breathing in whatever good energy there was, and then heard a sound she’d never thought to hear again, certainly not in the middle of the city. She tried to process the clamor of people’s reactions to what they’d heard, then opened her eyes just as the skateboarder and Milly hurried by. He tossed her a pouch and said, ‘Hold on to that until I find you again.’
She felt a moment of confusion and then, magnificently, wonder. The night was suddenly full of surprise.”
I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.