Credit: Stephanie Rudig

Not to brag, but I have one hell of a life line. Three area psychics agree that I will live a long, healthy, and successful life. I’m likely to stick around well into my 80s, if not longer, they say. 

Of course, the accuracy of these predictions lives in the heart of the listener. Do you believe that humans can foretell the future? In these uncertain times, I’m open-minded to the possibility. But how to know if any given psychic is a quack or an oracle? First, I scoured online reviews to find top-rated fortune tellers. I picked three, and asked each of them to perform the same service—a basic palm reading—to see what overlap I might find in their predictions.

The Psychic Shop

1215 Connecticut Ave. NW, #3

The elevator takes me from a nondescript vestibule to the third floor, and opens on a sort of living room with shelves stocked with mystical knickknacks. My reader, who prefers that I not use her name, ushers me into a side room, and I place my hands on the table, palms up, while she studies them carefully.

She explains that my life line is very strong, and I’m very passionate. My head line directly intersects with my life line, which indicates strong logic and a science-driven edge—unusual qualities to find alongside the aforementioned passion. (I’d love to tell the high school chemistry teacher who gave me a C minus that I have a “science edge.”) The psychic also tells me I’m free-spirited, but not so much that I have commitment issues, and so I’ll have three intense romantic relationships in my life before settling into one long-term one. 

2018 will be a “grounding” year for me, after much upheaval in 2017. The psychic foresees I’ll face a major career crossroads around April, and at this time I’ll be forced to choose to move elsewhere or grow my roots in D.C. She muses that I’ll do better to pick the latter. 

Psychic Readings by Christine

1308 18th St NW

Christine welcomes me into her apartment and we head to her kitchen table to begin. She, too, tells me that my life line is long and strong, and that I’ll be fairly well off financially. She says I’ve had at least three past lives, and “old souls” like myself are extremely prone to boredom. Because of that, I have trouble choosing a focus in my career. Evidently I don’t get angry too often, but as Christine says, “I wouldn’t want to be the one you get mad at.” 

As for my future, I need to spend November and December focusing on myself since it’s been a hard year. However, things are looking up in 2018. I even have a job promotion to look forward to. Christine tells me that I need to put romantic relationships on the back burner for now, but not to worry, because I’ll end up happily partnered, and with a son and daughter to boot. 

For self-improvement, I’m to practice yoga or pilates and keep a daily journal. “Why don’t you write more?” Christine implores, which I must admit is an eerily fitting comment for the moment. When we’re finished, she remarks: “I’m surprised I got so much.” In her telling, palm readings usually only reveal larger arcs of a person’s life, but she got a lot of specifics from my palms. 

Maybe the future really is in my hands. 

Mrs. Natalie of Georgetown

1500 Wisconsin Ave. NW

When I arrive at Mrs. Natalie’s she’s finishing up another reading. She invites me to wait in her living room while she disappears into a curtained-off area with her client. It seems impolite to listen to someone else’s reading, so I focus on the television until it’s my turn.

Once again, my life line holds good news—a long, healthy, successful life unmarred by major tragedy. One of Mrs. Natalie’s first assertions is that I can do much better than my current job, a claim I wholeheartedly disagree with. She tells me that my confidence is lacking right now, but if I become more self-assured there’s a bright career in television for me. I’ll also write a book when I’m around 40 years old, as I’m an excellent writer. (I’ll allow you to judge that for yourself, dear reader.) 

Mrs. Natalie asks if I do yoga, and when I say yes, tells me I must do it more often. Swimming may also work for me. She declares that I’m too independent and I must not be afraid to find love and give myself to another person. She states that I’m single without asking whether I am, so either she’s really, really good, or it’s just really, really apparent. 


So, was there any truth to these palm readings? The analyses of my personality were pretty spot on. All suggested that I’m independent and a creative thinker, but honestly, my patch-encrusted denim jacket could have given that away. They all offered general guidance on quality of life, recommending journaling and exercise, which is always good advice, though not really prophetic. Only time will tell whether forecasts about my future career, romances, and length of life will pan out. I’ll check back in at City Paper in about 50 years.