Reading-of

Sitting down for the reading-of challenged my sense of balance.  The wobbly table in front of me offered no support for my arthritic hands. And I feared that any movement of the table would knock over the seven wax candles that flickered atop.  The high-backed wicker chair where I was to rest seemed to be held together with strings and rags.  Still, I sat.  Slowly.  Carefully.

Marcia entered cat-like, brushed her flowing robes aside and sat in front of me on a stool that I had not seen.  Her long white hair covered her eyes, but with her back to the candles I couldn’t have seen them anyway.

Without saying a word she reached forward and took my cold hands in hers.  They were warm.  The room was warm.  The room lit up, transformed, no, I was in a big city, on a busy corner.  Was this New York? I looked down at my hands and they were young again.  The pain was gone. I looked up at the kiosk and newspapers held a date years into the future.  

I reached my right hand up to inspect a magazine from the kiosk.  A stab of agony.  I was cold.  As suddenly as I had left the room, I returned to the age and the pain and the darkness and the flickering candles.

And Marcia. 

Slowly she whispered, “I have read-of youYou have seen.”

As she rather floated out of the room the candles extinguished.  I slowly stood, in the dark, but I had seen a light.