I had a strange client yesterday. He started ringing me last week, and since then has rung me several times a day. I stopped taking his calls, although he said nothing worrying.
This morning, on an impulse, I took his fifth or sixth call for the day, pretending I didn't recognise the number and answering it as I would a call from an unidentified number.
He said we spoke last week about a reading, and did I remember. Did I what. I said yes, and let him book me. What the hell, I needed the money. I had a girlfriend's car for the week - but do you think I could find my trusty local street directory?
So I went to Google Earth - which took time - and downloaded the directions from my address to his. Then I looked at them incredulously: they made a long, winding route out of getting from my place to the local bridge which I already knew I'd have to cross. I went the ordinary way as far as the bridge, then followed Google, word for word. When I was far from home, I sensed my client was nearby: I've been navigated UP the back-streets, to have to come DOWN the major roads to find him. In the meantime, I conferred with veterinary surgeons and boatbuilders to confirm that I was, actually, pointed the right way.
Got there at last, three minutes late. Parked, grabbed my Tarot-stuffed bag, walked to the house - I make a policy of never parking *right* in front of a client if I don't have to - I may want to sit in the car and scream for a while before I'm fit to drive.
The house smelled of unostentatious money, and had a car that also smelled of unostentatious money parked in the drive - not a four wheel drive, which is a good sign in a client. Oh well, at least I'd get paid - why hadn't I quoted him ten dollars more, was my thinking.
Walked up the path. The screen door was shut, but the main door was open. Before I had a chance to knock, I saw my client.
Or rather, his buttocks.
In a nice foyer with what looked like white marble tiles on the floor, a hairy arse in a black g-string was pointed straight at me. His posture was exactly that of a Moslem on a prayer-mat - but without prayer-mat, clothes, or any hint of devotion.
Now, to me, black G-strings, especially on males, speak of BDSM, specifically subs. My first thought was: what kind of a service did he think Tarot readers offered? I didn't feel threatened - I was just amused and caught off-balance.
I knocked; he jumped up, covered himseslf with a towel, apologised profusely, let me in, and went to get clothes on. I came in, happy that he hadn't shown signs of locking the door, and making sure I had it in my line-of-sight the whole time.
I waited, and glanced at the floor he had been addressing. No household Altar. No stain he might have been scrubbing, or scrubbing-brush. No hint of why he might have been folded up, arse-uppermost, on a cold tiled floor.
When he came back he was dressed unostentatiously in neutral clothes, and seemed like a quite personable 50-something guy. He was polite and respectful, and still quite apologetic.
He had concerns about something happening in his neighbourhood that might at some stage concern his children, who were at a vulnerable age, and the reading centred around it. Of the decks I brought with me, he surprised me by choosing Luigi Scapini's Vetrate deck, cultured and beautiful. The cards were quite talkative, and addressed his concerns first superficially, then in some depth.
He was happy with the reading, which had some advice-cards in it, and paid up. As I packed up and rose to leave we were chit-chatting around the reading, and he was apologising once again for how I found him (really - he knew when I was due, and I was slightly late, does he own no clocks?). I repeated a precis of the advice cards, and added an extra word of advice with a smile on my face: next time you book a Tarot reader, be careful how you're dressed!
The reading was unremarkable, but the context it was wrapped up in was so unusual that I think I won't forget it for the rest of my days. What the -