A decade of unprecedentedly unprecedented times, whatever people are calling it, has put me out of business. If you asked me a decade ago where we’d be in 10 years? Not even the best fortune tellers could have seen Trump or COVID coming. If I had told my clients that Air Force veterans would testify under oath to the existence of aliens, they would have laughed in my face — and probably called me a slur, now that I think about it. What I could have told you then and I can still tell you now is that people are assholes! So I’m not surprised I’m out of work.
I’ve tried to make up for the business I’ve lost by getting my hustle on and being a girlboss about it. But staring into my crystal ball at two or three times speed is like trying to cram for a test. Which, by the way — you failed your calculus midterm because you crammed. You didn’t need me to tell you that, David. True divination, like true learning, takes time and effort. Which are two things no one wants to pay me for when they could pay cheap imitations far less.
I don’t think anyone values the tradition of what I do anymore. I was never in this for money — Wall Street says it’s a worker’s economy, but I can’t support myself. All anyone wants me to do these days is swirl some tea leaves around and tell them they’ll have three kids and a successful career once they invest in Apple stock. And that’s just not what I do or what I was raised to do.
My grandmothers and their mothers helped our people thrive through all kinds of crazy shit — and I mean crazy. My buna told me that her mother saw that another family’s prized goat was gonna die, and if they didn’t carry it up the mountain to drink from the stream, a curse would befall them. The goat died anyway, and they got into an argument. Our families are enemies to this day, but we are still alive. Curses kept us alive, and — ironically — brought us together. You might be wondering, Cassandra, blood feuds drive people apart, that’s literally what that means? And that’s true, I guess? But the only reason my family still talks is their shared spite over the Goat Incident. My buna still will not look Elya Yelnats in the face because she’s convinced she’s a vampire, and she tells me so every time I see her. I have to admire
My point is, fortune tellers see into the human condition. I provide clarity and healing in times of crisis. The cards tell us time and time again truths we already know, but maybe ones we don’t want to hear. Right now, the cards tell me that everyone is mega depressed and anxious about international geopolitical conflict, the rise of fascism, and living paycheck to paycheck. It’s almost like everyone would be mega depressed and anxious about the prospect of raising kids and having a sustainable career in that kind of world. See? I told you. I don’t know what you expect from me when the truth can only be so hard, and it has to be actionable, but the only truth I can offer is that they should learn to swim because the sea levels sure aren’t going down.
I’m over pretending that constant prophecies of doom, whether they’re from me, FiveThirtyEight, or Reuters, aren’t hard to hear. I’m taking a break. Come find me at the Royal Caribbean Sandals when you have good news.
Kaz Nuckowski is a Copy Editor for the Muir Quarterly. They are usually found in Half Dome laughing and encouraging students to share their wit or giving their own suggestions to make everyone else laugh. Never doubt Kaz and their skills because they will surprise you, especially when the spread has a comic open and they are feeling inspired!