I was thinking that the good ol’ days of my fortune telling was my infantile exploration of the internet at fourteen and fifteen years old: the widgets – did we even call them widgets then? – on personal Angelfire pages that would provide Tarot readings or random sentiments for luck; Ask Jeeves’ maternal aunt Madame Jekaterina beseeched in a chat box regarding whether this boy or that one was worthier of my ardent affections or if foregoing AP Biology would really cripple my chances at a scholarship; the notion that the disorderly primeval ooze out of which true randomness slunk could somehow offer me direction and heart, that these things gave me what conversation and real world experience could not. Some other energy that could be heralded or blamed for when things went terribly awry. Or just plain terrible.
But it didn’t start then. I’ve liked looking for signs my whole life, though not in any of the usual places. It wasn’t only that I enjoyed imagining patterns where there weren’t any, or reading into things that probably weren’t meant to be read in the first place, it was a comfort that of all the meaningless possibilities, this one was mine. That there were answers I could not find in a book, even if it meant I had to fathom them into existence. When K and I dared to ask Zandar or I rolled a pair of mismatched dice or looked up a dream interpretation in my secondhand almanac, what I think I always wanted was confirmation for the things I already knew anyway. Worst case scenario, the things I hoped were true or real or immediate.
Now I Google the truth. Over and over again until I’ve got enough right answers to shut up the part of my brain that wants shutting up, that’s forever fourteen and in need of daily affirmations. Usually accompanied by the appropriate Yahoo horoscope and a Lisa Frank sticker.