The other feature of the weekend just gone was the two tarot jobs of Saturday - one birthday party down near Frankston, then a hen's party up in Boronia. The normal fare of people - the normal mix of female human conditions - the frumpy best friend, the unfullfilled aunt, the overacheiving career girl, the overweight cousin, the childhood mate who now works in a factory, and of course, Nonna - who needs the reading translated into Italian by her aging spinster daughter.
The big difference in this weekend is that I met seven women called Tiffany.
Five of the Tiffany's I can't really remember - run of the mill girls - dental assistants, stay at home Mum's - nice enough girls, nothing out of the ordinary cards. Quick, light readings are my stock in trade at these events.
Next came Tiphany with a "ph". A young, eurasian girl, dressed differently to the rest with their off-the-rack dresses - better turned out, more self assured, classy jewellery - no Beville's charm bracelets or empty Pandora necklaces on this one. An artist, somebody who does a bit of this and a bit of that. A creature after my own heart. I saw what I could have been twenty years ago given some self esteem and nurturing.
Tiffany number seven was a bit of a basket case. She walked into where I was reading and I had to stop myself from saying , "Shite - you're a bloody giraffe!" Standing before me,a bulimic six foot, sixteen going on thirty, resentful Tiffany, bemoaning all the hideous luck of her sixteen years. She'd been ill recently and it had stopped her from auditioning for "Australia's Next Top Model." According to Tiffany, her life was over.
Dear me. How do you read for such a person?
Sorry for being so condemning and judgemental. It comes with the territory. I remember reading, telling her that respite was in sight and that all would work out. Can't do much more than that.
Reindert asked me if when I read tarot if I read the people or read the cards. It's a bit of both on these occasions. At these parties when you have five minutes to give a quick reading, you have to go by the cards - and a bit of instinct. You soon obtain the ability to read people pretty well. Once you open the cards that's when you get to the bottom of things - find out what makes the person tick. It's actually a very honoured position. How often do you get to look into the lives of strangers - and have them hanging on your every word?
I will also say that at every one of these events I will inevitably end up holding somebody's hand for a bit. You touch the raw nerve, the sensitive spot. The part they didn't want seen. Most often the words that set them off, "When did you last give yourself a break? When did you last pat yourself on the back?" or the killer, "You look after everybody else. Who looks after you.?"
When I read one-on-one for an hour, that's when the real magic of the tarot comes through. You can sort through stuff then. These five minute readings are teasers. It's a bit unfair, really.
These hen's affairs can be comical. I've not had that much experience at hen's nights - I've tended to avoid attending them in the past, always stating why go to something you have very little chance of hosting yourself.
Sometimes, more often with an older bride, you will find a more subdued and classy evening - days of pampering, elegant drinks served by a rather buff, topless young man from Wonthaggi (being the hired help, you always get to talk to the aforesaid waiter, never wanting him to ask to put his shirt back on - too nice a view.)
It's the young ones, the kid brides, the young girls from the outer suburbs who tend to have the tacky celebrations, with the plastic penises and the strippers and the blue party games like "Stick the Dong on the Donkey."
The hen's do on Saturday had some alternative entertainment. One of the blokes from Puppetry of the Penis was there to do dick tricks for the baying masses.
Had nobody told these women that a man standing there in socks, runners and a cape fiddling with his tackle isn't that interesting or sexy?
This is the third time time I've been the support act to the Puppetry of the Penis fellow. We ran into each other in the hallway between stints.
"I know you?" he says.
"Yep." I answer, "Still doing dick tricks, Dave."
"Pays the bills, Pand."
"Don't you get sore, Dave?"
"Yep. Don't these women drive you nuts wanting to know everything."
"Yep. Used to it. Don't you get sick of women looking at your bits."
"Used to it."
"Sluts for a buck, aren't we?"
"And we wouldn't have it any other way."
He went out to the lounge to entertain the throng, aged from sixteen to eighty.
My gig is slightly easier.
I stayed in the kitchen, getting some much needed fluid and food in my system before returning to read for the last handful of hens. I've seen the show once, in a theatre, years ago, that was enough. I let Dave and his appendage have their professional space.
Returning home after seven hours of driving and reading, I fell quickly into a dream plagued sleep where I was stuck on a boat in the bottom of the ocean with an old gramaphone for company.
Didn't say that doing this didn't come without a price.
Of the challenge - 19 kms to go.... Yeeeehhhaaa - that, strangely, is doable.
Card of the Blog: The Devil - lies, deceit and trickery. Not seeing the truth. Unseen blessings. Not seeing the out. Coming from a place of intellect to the self. The first dark night of the soul. The first steps towards courage.
Kilometres walked since 29 January: 172 km
Kilometres run since 29 January: 109 km
Currently reading: Ice by Louis Nowra, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes
Weight lost since 29 Jan: 1.7 kg