Just like most people in London I escape a few times a year to London-by-the-Sea, the coastal close-at-hand retreat that is Brighton. As I say this isn’t in anyway unusual it’s more so the norm – sometimes Highbury Fields just isn’t going to cut it for a day out and that’s when the sea, fish and chips and Pleasure Pier call your name and tempt you with a day return. That’s basically as complex for me the reason was to jump on the train that day in August about seven years ago. However this trip changed everything and ensured that I would be going back frequently and without fail. It was during that visit I formed an ongoing and at times (most of the time) irrational relationship with a man who for some reason has had the ability to make me do almost anything and is probably the one person in the world who I listen to without question and believe every single word he utters from his grey moustache covered mouth. He is my Brighton based psychic and I call him ‘The Professor’ and this is how he has advised, dabbled and more accurately screwed with my life and all for just £25 a pop – bargain.
It was August and I was taking part in a very average day trip with my then boyfriend. We’d been going out for a number of years and as happens had hit that stagnant period where the coma from boredom is so overwhelming that you can’t even summon the energy required to break it off even though you know you really should. Anyway, there we were walking along the seafront, in silence obviously when I spotted a little beaded doorway with a picture outside of an outward facing palm of a hand with the words above saying ‘Mystic of the East’. On closer inspection of the array of faded postcards, letters and thank you cards set out in a frame on the wall informed me that Joanna Lumley and Jimmy Greaves were amongst the thankful clients of the mystic powers that hid behind the worn out door beads and flaked paint work. I needed very little convincing, the sign said open and my hand was reaching for my purse as I told the then boyfriend to clear-off – I didn’t want to give him the hint that I was currently with someone, he was going to earn his money.
I was very much happier single and I thanked this little guy on Brighton seafront for it all
Forty-five minutes later I re-appeared and two days later I was single with the knowledge that I needed to change my job and go back and visit The Professor every three months ensure I was keeping everything on track as they should be. It turned out he was right, within months I had a new job, I was very much happier single and I thanked this little guy on Brighton seafront for it all. I was hooked.
Years passed with him being my very own little life advisor. If he sensed a man was about to enter my world he, if he didn’t feel it beneficial for me to get involved and he never did, would offer the wisdom of “coffee but no cake with this one” basically translated as – no sex. I wish I could say I listened to these paid for words – but I didn’t and when it always inevitably fucked up, I had no one but my mystically disrespecting-self to blame. He was obviously right! So when along came the next possible relationship within weeks of meeting this guy I went for the lowdown from my main man. For once it was positive “It looks good. I feel positive signs!” Few months later I found out he was married. When I reported this back it was explained away with “Ahh yes! But he feels terrible about it! It is possible for a man to love two women and I very much doubt he’s sharing cake with his wife...” I couldn’t help thinking that I had heard that somewhere before.
Around this time I’ll admit I was starting to have doubts, I was questioning our meetings but I liked him and he’s old. What’s worse is old with a kind face, his hands always feel soft and caring like they belong to a Granddad who’s about to give you a toffee and along with all that you get a nice warming feeling when around him (purposely ignoring the electric heater he keeps under his desk faced away from his fragile little body and directly at the person sitting opposite). So on with this dysfunctional dependency I continued.
For example I’m still waiting for the publishing deal to ‘find me’ for a series of children’s books based on a Chinese dog
About a year later he had a breakthrough during one of my visits. Within the next 6-12 months I was getting married. Now this really wasn’t part of my game plan at all and considering I was technically single seemed yet again like most things he said – unlikely. For example I’m still waiting for the publishing deal to ‘find me’ for a series of children’s books based on a Chinese dog who is basically the equivalent of a later in his career Michael Jackson music video who unites children of all races to be friends and love each other. To date that has never happened, but nor have I had the desire to write such a thing. But on this whole getting hitched thing he was insistent. Marriage was on the swiftly approaching horizon and the next time I see him, a ring would be on my finger.
Now I’ll just warn you the reader I that I am well aware this is where I went fucking nuts or even clinically insane. So at the same time as received that prediction I had in fact just met someone who I then suggested after lengthy period of two weeks of knowing that it would be an amazing idea to move into my place! Along with this I should also point out that I still really wanted to still believe in The Professor as he sometimes, well occasionally verging on rarely came up trumps so perhaps this was one of those times? Perhaps I was meant to get married to this man I had known for a mere few of weeks and was a respectable ten years my junior? Course I was – the palms of my hands could tell no lies. So taking into account my chosen profession in the art of persuasion it took me no time to orchestrate a proposal. One month later we were married and four months later we were getting divorced. Then not long after this was angrily boarding a train to the coast on a shitty rainy day minus a ring as that had been pawned days earlier for the exact value of two bottles of vodka and forty fags. The journey was spent looking at a couple sitting opposite me feeding each other brie on French bread as my angrier grew and grew as I prepared to have this out with the Mystic from the East. With the power of a wronged woman I stormed through the all too familiar shitty beads. Sitting waiting from response to the non-too-surprising news of the breakdown of my nuptials I waited, after a long ‘reflective’ pause came “Well now, I never actually said it would work out....but have you heard anything on the Chinese dog?” Speechless I just handed over the cash whilst telling myself that this would be the last time I get a warm from his electric heater.
And it was indeed the last time. However, this weekend I have yet another trip to the Pleasure Pier planned and there is twenty-five quid itching to go and get spent on the reassurance that I will live until I’m 93 years old, have three kids and that there is a man on the horizon who I shouldn’t share cake with. Margate actually sounds quite appealing...
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