I’d never visited a psychic, but I’d always secretly wanted to.
Despite the outlandish claims and even more ridiculous prices I’d seen when browsing late-night advertising on TV during bouts of insomnia or boredom — and the entire mess that was Miss Cleo — were there genuine people among us who did have a connection to a world we knew little about, but always wondered about?
My curiosity got the best of me this weekend and I made an appointment for an indulgent glimpse into my future. Given the gracious opportunity I get to share my thoughts with you every week, I thought, “Dear Glendale, I'm doing this just for you.”
And that was true. But there was a part of me, a quite selfish part, that was ready to leave expectations and judgment at the door, hoping to arrive at some higher truth.
Doreen Lee is the “Glendale Psychic.” At her offices on a busy stretch of Brand Boulevard, she helps her clients “see into the past, understand the present and predict the future.” And judging by how quickly her schedule fills up every day, sometimes leaving her without a spare minute to grab lunch, people seem to like her — or at least, find some truth to the services she's providing.
She's first discovered hers when she was 8 years old — a talent passed down from her grandmother.
I sat in the waiting room, where a Katy Perry song blared from a radio, while Doreen finished up a reading for a client. Cars whizzed by outside, and as the minutes ticked by, I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into. I wasn't entirely convinced that there was any validity to this kind of service, and if there was, did I really want to know all the details of a life I hadn't lived yet?
Before my anxiety spiraled any further, I noticed the blue “evil eye” hanging from the front door. I had the same one hanging near the front door of my house. And not just my front door, but the kitchen, my car and in the house of practically everyone in my immediate and extended family. A cultural symbol spread throughout the Middle East, the evil eye denotes envy and the presence of those that wish you ill. Hanging the blue and white disk is a way of repelling them, and their evil gaze.
I believed in the evil eye, so what was so different about this other belief system? I could trust a blue disk to ward off evil looks from strangers, but I was having second thoughts about having a person tell me inklings about my future?
Doreen had a calming and genuine presence. She asked me for something I had in my possession that I had carried with me for a year. My house and car keys would suffice.
She cupped the keys in her hands and the thoughts — which she warned would come to her rather fast — spewed out. We talked about longevity and life cycle changes, about what lay in store for me for the rest of the year, about opportunity and negativity — some of it eerily specific, some of it vague.
It all made sense. What she told me was a confirmation of the energy I was already feeling, though what I possessed was a much, much weaker form of intuition than her gift. I asked her questions about the process, she graciously provided answers. All I can do is reveal the path ahead, she told me, but you're the one who has the power to change it.
I left with much to contemplate and bumped into another client in the waiting room. I then caught the evil eye on the door on my way out, a reminder that when it came to harmful looks or clairvoyance, believing was surely half the battle.
LIANA AGHAJANIAN is a Los Angeles-based journalist whose work has appeared in L.A. Weekly, Paste magazine, New America Media, Eurasianet and The Atlantic. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.