I was in a red brick plaza and wanted to see a psychic; the one I chose entered as part of a procession, carrying a cross. She was an elderly white woman in a cloak, and something about her was untrustworthy from the start. Her fellow psychics flanked her: one had a horned headdress, the other was a pathetically friendly young man.
This psychic held a power over me, like a boss or a parent, and I continued to take long, confusing bus rides to see her in her office at the edge of the red brick plaza. Her fellow psychics—all Scientologists, I discovered—were always somewhere nearby. I continued to give her money, hating her the entire time. Part of this relationship was based on fear, but there was something else unnamable between us.
At one point, my psychic required me to attend a wedding, which took place in the plaza. I stood at the very back of the crowd and had trouble telling what was going on. I took out a fine-point purple pen and began to doodle on the red brick. One of my psychic’s fellow psychics—the pathetically friendly young man—told me that drawing on the brick wasn’t allowed. It comes right off, I told him, and spit on what I’d drawn, and rubbed it clean with my finger. It’s still not allowed, he said, and I exchanged an eye roll with one of the other guests.