I find her reading palms by the light of a thousand paper candles. ‘Give me your past,’ she says, ‘and I will offer you a future.’ I take my place among the silk and linen trappings that furnish the floor. Her eyes absorb all that is about us yet hold no reflection nor judgement. I lay out my life in fitful spurts of recollection and scaled memory. She listens in patience and stillness while a warm autumn breeze licks at the canvas tenting. When I am done she smiles and says, ‘There now, you have years ahead for lightness.’
I listen to their conversations. It’s unclear but I strain, catching intellectual snippets cutting through the boards. ‘For every man,’ she says, ‘there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing.’ She is always right. He is never deterred. ‘Ever since Eve bit the apple, no snare has been laid that didn’t have the reek of honey pot hanging over.’ When it is peaceful I am their paper, taking their words indelibly upon myself. When it is rough I am punctuated, exclamations and unclaimed questions. I long to be the ink, the words themselves, thrown freely but never discarded.