I guess I should not have been surprised, really. I had seen the results of Madame Fate before. It was Jimmy, now referred to as James Allen Berks, Esq. Jimmy was one of our classmates at PS41 and no one–parent, teacher, or principal, thought any of us would amount to anything, meaning of course, neither did we.
I’m not complaining, it was just the times, and we got by until we left high school and real life began. Some of us followed our dads into the factory, some lazed out on the street corner for the day, and only a few tried to get into higher education. But as I said, no one expected much. Jimmy was a bit different, as he had dreams. He wanted that other life, a fancy car, a gorgeous movie star girlfriend and of course, money.
On a summer afternoon a group of us entered Madame Fate’s tent at the fairgrounds and Jimmy was the brave one who had saved his pennies to have a fortune told. We all sat around fascinated as she doled out cards with funny pictures, but Jimmy was mesmerized. In the sun’s dust ball atmosphere shown by a rip in the tent, the cards revealed Jimmy’s future. He was going to discover a new product that would delight the public and bring him fame and fortune. Our eyes widened at the thought, the possibility of such an accomplishment, but in our hearts, we all doubted it.
A few years later, as adults in our daily activities that resembled our parents lives, we would get together and someone would bring up that adventure. Jimmy had not been in the neighborhood for some time and we lost track of him. The usual Saturday night gathering was interrupted as Jimmy strode in, dressed to the nines with a beautiful woman by his side. He was smoking a cigar and a large diamond ring flashed from his right hand. He came over and sat down with us, as we stared enthralled by his story. After it was only the three of us, he leaned over to me and whispered, “I was amazed the fortune teller got it right”.