When he answered the phone I asked him if he knew that I would be calling, but he humorlessly explained that he wasn’t a psychic, but an astrologer and that there was a difference.
Apparently his House of Funny was in Mercury retrograde.
This was the first in a series of red flags that I refused to acknowledge. Instead, I continued the conversation, providing him with some basic, personal information so he would be able to construct my astrological chart; and we agreed to meet later that week at his home in the charming neighborhood of South Miami.
The date of the appointment arrived and prior to our meeting, I went to happy hour, as one does. Liquid courage they call it, but I soon found out I didn’t even need it.
I pulled up to the astrologer’s house expecting to find a large telescope in front of a teepee, and, for sure, the faint smell of pot mixed with sage. Instead I got a rather large ranch-style home surrounded by a really well-kept garden. To add insult to injury, when he opened the door, he wasn’t wearing excessive jewelry or a fancy broach or even a cape. He was in Dockers and a collared shirt and immediately regretted it all. The happy hour. The appointment. Giving this guy my date of birth. Everything.
How can I take this guy seriously? I grew up watching Walter, Las Estrellas y Usted. Everyone knows a respectable astrologer has to have a broach collection to rival that of Secretary Madeleine Albright.
Nonetheless, I went inside and sat across from his desk, where he painstakingly explained my natal chart. I rested my face on my fist and listened to the gloom and doom that awaited me over the next few years.
“Bummer,” I said.
He tried to cheer me up by saying that my planets would finally get their shit together in four years. This was 2016, though. What my astrologer was suggesting was that I basically had to send my planets away for college and watch idly as they changed their major every semester, experimented with drugs and hair color, and live four years in questionable hygiene.
I left his house and, a few days later, forgot all about my cape-less star-guru. Until today, when I was going through some old files in search of a receipt, when I came across a green folder with the word, “Astrology,” written across the top.
Inside one of the pockets was a cassette labeled with the name of the astrologer and the date, September 13, 2016. I held it in my hands and thought this was what those archaeologists must’ve felt like when they uncovered King Tut’s tomb or Machu Picchu or that weird Miami Circle in the middle of Brickell.
I popped in the tape with giddy anticipation. Hopeful that it would say some illuminating tid-bit that didn’t apply then, but somehow applies now. And then, there it was, in the middle of his monotone blathering about a cusp, a trine and my Uranus becoming activated, which sound like things that go on in the backroom of Ramrod, he said that I would finally have my shit together in 2020.
I looked at the folder, so neatly labeled and I remembered the rest of the folders in the filing cabinet, also labeled in clear pink ink. I ran my fingers across my records, neatly stacked under the stereo and glanced across the room at the neatly stacked book shelf. He was right, my wife finally got my shit together in.