These two events ? being laid off and the shocking terrorist attacks ? made me look at my life and examine if I was really living the life I wanted, because it seemed insane to put off your dreams until tomorrow when tomorrow may not come. I knew then that I had to change the things that I didn?t like about my life.
I was almost 30 years old and I had no family, only a relationship of convenience with no love in it ? two people who shared a house and fought viciously in the little time they had some time to spend together. For about a month I had started chatting online with a woman from another country ? her English was good enough for us to have intellectual conversations, and we shared pictures of each other. We liked each other?s pictures. We both really enjoyed each other?s conversation. Soon, we had video cameras so that we could have video chats and before long we felt like we had fallen in love with each other. Some more time would show that we had really fallen in love?and events would soon seem to move out of both of our control to push us together, half way across the world, in Romania.
One day, that fall in 2001, I was walking down a street in my neighborhood in Washington, DC and I say a woman sitting at a small table on the side walk with Taro cards. I didn?t really notice her consciously at first. Then it struck me that she seemed very out of place on a quiet residential street without many people passing by. I would more likely expect someone to set up a place to read taro cards on a street in the center of the city, where there are lots of tourists. She didn?t have a sign, and she didn?t say a word. She only smiled kindly when I walked past. Then, a feeling made me stop and I decided that I had to go back and talk to this woman.
I asked the dark skinned woman if she would read my cards (I assumed that she was Italian) and she said of course she would. I asked her how much it would cost and she said just five dollars, but only to pay her if I felt that it was worth it after she read my cards. She shuffled the cards and then asked me to put my hand on them with my eyes closed and to clear my mind. Then she turned over the first few cards. She told me that I was in a relationship for a long time that had now long outlived its purpose and was really draining me of my energy. I had met someone new, she said, and though it looked difficult for me to be with her that the way was very clear and that I would end up being with her. There was much more, much more she said and I would be going to live very far away. We would have money, but not a lot of money. We would have simple, but nice, clean and comfortable things. She said that she saw legal papers and documents all around me, that I would have many, many of these legal things to do, but that I would be successful in all of them. I would be in a place that had many gypsies, like her, and I would come to understand these people.
I was very astounded by this woman?s reading of my cards, she didn?t ask me any questions about myself and I didn?t tell her one word about me. I paid her and we talked a little more about what I did and who I was and I found out that she was Roma (gypsy) and that her daughter had just been arrested in a round up of some other gypsies in the area by the police and accused of robbing houses in the past few months. I had read about this case in the news paper just the night before, and it had fascinated me, because it seemed to me that these Roma were being discriminated against and seen as criminals without any proof at all that they had done something wrong.
I went to the pharmacy and ten minutes later I walked back on the same street and the woman had vanished without leaving any trace that she had ever been there. The street looked peaceful and very quiet, but to me it seemed very eerie that this woman had been in my path, read my future, and then disappeared.