On the great Louis Armstrong plays W.C. Handy record Louis Armstrong tells a story about going to see a gypsy during a rendition of St. Louis Blues. Pops gets into it and says..
“And when I went to the Gypsy she had fortunes all over the place.
Yes, the Gypsy had, fortunes all over the place.
But when she looked in my hand, she slapped me right in the face!”
Been a minute since I danced with the dark, so when I walked by a Latina today on Broadway and 159th st in the Heights sitting outside inviting everyone that passed by to a palm reading, I found myself considering walking through a door to madness. I’m somewhat of a mystic myself and wondered how she would respond to my own power. I feel many trumpet players carry around an almost supernatural energy inside. I couldn’t not think about the tale Louis had woven about his exchange with the Gypsy.
I had never seen this palm reader before. She had a sign that said $5. This would most likely just be a quick attempt at a hustle on her end, but I figured I would open the door to possibly get a snapshot of what I believe to be my reality from a different perspective. I was eating an egg & cheese as I walked over to her and suggested we get into it.
She quickly agreed, and suggested I finish eating first. As I did I asked her how long she had been doing this and she explained over 12 years, but that she received the gift at 5 years old. She might have been in her 30’s. I mentioned that I was telephone psychic for a year. She asked what lines I worked on and was familiar with one of them, California Psychics. Once I was done eating I gave her the 5 dollars and we went upstairs. She asked me sit down in a lawn chair of some kind that was too low. The prerequisite family watching TV in the next room was present, along with one of the strangest looking hairless cats I have ever seen. The cat jumped over and starred at me briefly with her wide and oval onyx eyes. My reader, who never asked for my name, gave me back my $5 and explained this wasn’t about money.
“God has brought you to us today”, she explained as she took my right hand. She first noticed a very long life line. Dag, I’m not trying to stumble around here for a hundred years. I was then shocked as her entire energy changed, and she started speaking in a completely different voice, more like an Indian man than the Latina from the heights. She held my hand tighter and started drawing a pyramid on my palm over and over. She stopped looking at my hand and started looking right at me making eye contact. Her energy became urgent.
Now THIS I didn’t expect. She was channeling! I know when somebody has real access or when their fronting. Even if she was a great actress, this still had the energy of a spirit speaking through her. I’ve done channeling myself so I recognize the vibe. The whole thing reminded me of when I borrowed this book Ornette had on Santeria. I was sitting on a bench reading it with some shells on my wrist when I was explicitly informed that Santeria was not my path by someone that I could not see.
The spirit told me I was not happy with my line of work. True. Told me I had been involved with a woman that had 3 kids. True! Told me that a different woman had hurt me in some way. Possible. Told me the woman in my life right now truly loved me. True. The spirit then told me I was on the verge of a HUGE breakthrough and was about to receive an enormous blessing that would change my life forever. That’s true as well actually.
Then the urgency vibe really started boiling over. The spirit started telling me that I was supposed to have great success long ago but that I had been hijacked by 2 evil woman and a man that had stolen my power. In order to have this true success this evil must be purged from my being! “This is serious brother!” she exclaimed as her grip on my hand got tighter.
This is where it became fascinating to me, as the reader returned to power in her own body and told me to buy 2 white candles for $40. She would pray with these candles to release the evil that had invaded my body. Then the spirit returned and said that money must be given as a symbol of a positive energy exchange.
That’s when the needle went scraping on the record. Hold up. I was just doing a $5 check-up and now your running down a spiritual infection on me? That’s cold, but I knew the potential for hustle was high. Don’t get me started on my 3 card Monty experience near Penn station in 1990.
I wasn’t trying to buy the candles so my girl called in an older woman who was clearly the power point.
She came over and wasn’t channeling but instead came right out and said “Open your zipper so I can perform the blessing on your stomach.” She was mad close to just doing it herself.
“These 3 people are your enemies. We MUST get your power back! It’s only $100. Money doesn’t mean anything but this curse does!
“There are many people jealous of you. They are nice to your face but talk about you behind your back. This blessing will reveal their identity or cease this negative energy.”
This was deep. They had taken the whole thing from $5 to a battle of wills over my soul. It was me vs them at this point. Truth be told I was getting off on the confrontation. Bottom line I’m not dropping a Benjamin Franklin over this. I ain’t got it.
I told them they could get $30 bottom line, just in case somehow they were on to something. The older woman proclaimed she would not only take the $30 but that I would receive a blessing so large in the next 3 days that I would return and willingly pay the other $70. She would perform the blessing at a spiritualist church later that day.
I asked if I was now an enemy to them because I didn’t drop the 100 beans. She said God would not allow such activity. I told them as I left that my trumpet has the power I need but that if I did indeed receive a giant blessing that I would return in good faith.
Well, at least she didn’t slap me in the face. Course some people enjoy that kind of thing.
I wonder if Miles ever got his palm read.
Now about that blessing. Cue the music, I’m ready to receive.
To be continued tonight with orchestra DAVE, as I go straight Derby with the Dave the jewel Sewelson big band at the Clemente Solo Velez courtesy of Arts for Art. The stars align at 10pm.