The plane is noisy, crowded. The flight is full. They’ve done the beverage service and they’ll be coming down the aisle soon with the food cart. In front of you a businessman has flipped open his laptop, is typing away furiously, probably on his email. Across the aisle a kid is watching a movie on the digiplayer, headphones plugged in, slouching.
You were hoping for a seat with no one next to you, you only want to relax and forget what has happened in the past 48 hours, but instead you are seated next to a modern-day gypsy. She pulled down the tray table and laid out tarot cards as soon as the plane leveled off. As much as you tried not to look, you couldn’t help but notice the exotic illustrations on the cards.
She turns to you. Her hair is bright red, she has piercings on her nose and eyebrows, and a long snake tattoo winds around her neck.
The Tower. Death. The Ten of Swords.
You wonder what they mean.
“Bad cards,” she says. Her voice is light, lyrical. She sweeps them up, shuffles again. Suddenly she pockets them, flips up the tray table.
“Read your palm?” she asks.
You nod. She takes your hand, runs her fingers over the lines on your palm.
She says, “This is better. Long life line, no worries there.” She frowns. “Heart line broken, that’s a shame.” She brightens. “But love is on the horizon again.”
The director shouts, “Cut!” and that’s a wrap.
You relax, try to remember your lines for the next scene. The star, sitting next to you, is immediately surrounded by her people.
That’s show business.