How was your spring break? It feels like a long time away from now, when we are embroiled in deadlines, and has taken on a rather mythic quality. Perhaps you visited your family; stayed holed up in your room, buried in a duvet, watching “Love Actually”; went on a holiday to far-flung lands (or states); or stayed at Vassar, bemoaning the snow. However your spring break unfolded, whether you returned to Poughkeepsie renewed or despondent, I can say with near certainty that you did not find out that you were cursed. Not every Vassar student was as lucky as you, so don’t show off. One Vassar student in particular was given some troubling news: that her grandmother, somewhere in the capital of Lithuania, was practicing black magic and had placed a curse on her family’s entire female line. For your amusement at her expense, I thought it only right to uncover the story. Jorune Linkeviciute, an exchange student from Sciences Po in Paris, spent her vacation traveling through Arizona and California with her friend, Imogen Wade [Disclaimer: that friend is me].
I interviewed her one evening at the rather gloomy hour of 2 a.m. Enquiring as to the origin of the visit to the psychic, Linkeviciute was happy to inform me: “The idea to see the psychic came from a mutual deliberation with my dear friend Imogen, which was influenced by both a sense of boredom and eagerness to try out new things.”
Keen to dispel any lingering illusions that she might be foolish, she assured me: “Yes, we did book beforehand. We called the number that was given to us on Google. We asked about the psychic’s availability as well as pricing. In fact, we specifically asked for the pricing of different services that she provided, and were told that a tarot card reading was 35 dollars. We also contacted other psychics, but the pricing of the original psychic was less expensive. Because of our cost-benefit analysis, we concluded that this psychic was the optimal choice for us in terms of finances and proximity to our Airbnb location.”
However, her path that day was not destined to run smooth. Linkeviciute, her eyes misty at the memory, plaintively began: “Immediately upon our arrival, there were many red flags present. There were no ostentatious signs at the location that would indicate the psychic’s whereabouts, so we had only the address that we found online to give us an idea of which house the psychic resided in. It was a residential street and none of the houses really challenged the psychic energy that I was hoping for, which really did not make it easy for us to find the house.
“We awkwardly wandered [into] what seemed to be someone’s private residence, and right before we were about to leave, afraid of being accused of trespassing, we were accosted by a soft-spoken man who calmly inquired whether we were here to see the psychic. He informed us that the psychic was with a client, and directed us to the waiting area, which was two folding chairs outside by the screen door. We perched nervously, spinning our matching straw sun hats in our hands, wondering whether the psychic would instantly guess that Imogen had a twin sister.”
The two friends entered the house after the previous clients, who inexplicably looked rather ashen-faced, emerged from its depths. They were greeted by the first psychic, a large lady with very few teeth left, who directed Wade to the table in the corner. Linkeviciute remained on the couch, at least until the room was greeted with a new arrival. She recounted: “The psychic who would be taking my session emerged from a hidden entrance. My attention was immediately drawn to her feet, which were ensconced in huge furry shoes. It looked like dead animals on her feet. She had put very dark black eyeshadow under her eyes.”
Huddled on the couch by the window, perhaps sitting too close for comfort, the psychic began her reading. Her harrowing gaze bore into Linkeviciute.
“The moment when I saw the psychic’s eyes when she glanced at my tarot card formation, I knew something was terribly wrong. She made a meaningful pause. Barely glancing at the cards, which looked as if they had been cut out from a magazine, she murmured under her breath ‘Oh no, oh no, oh no.’ I leaned in just to be taken aback immediately.”
“She told me: ‘It seems like you are in deep financial trouble at the moment and things are only going to get worse. Every decision you have made so far in your life has been terribly, terribly wrong. The place you are at in your life right now is not where you are supposed to be. All your future decisions will also be wrong. You’re very unlucky, if you ever get money it will slip right through your fingers. You will never have it.’”
The psychic continued: “Do you mind if I ask you if you have a boyfriend?” Linkeviciute added: “My eyes immediately lit up because, regardless of everything in my life that was supposedly going terribly wrong, at least I knew that the predictions about my boyfriend would be nothing to worry about. I replied, ‘Yes, we’ve been together for one-and-a-half years now.’ She immediately replied, almost casually, ‘Oh, he doesn’t love you. In fact, he is looking for another woman right this moment. I suggest you dump him before he dumps you, as it is only a matter of weeks before he secures another woman. He is very unhappy in the relationship and he is looking for a way out.’ I felt shattered. Could what she was saying really be true? But most importantly, could it get worse? The psychic continued: ‘You will never get married, all your future relationships will not last more than two weeks. You’ll have children from different Fathers.’”
The psychic then revealed: “Did you know that your grandmother practiced black magic? A few decades ago she made a deal of sorts, I can’t really tell what it is, but it put an inter-generational curse on you and your future children. Your mother actually saw a psychic to get the curse removed, but for you we’d have to do a substantial amount of work involving crystals and chanting, and just rituals in general, to remove the curse.”
Linkeviciute remarked: “She nicely asked about my career aspirations, which I happily
[disclosed] to her, just to be put down by her mean words: ‘This is not the right path for you. I don’t know how you managed to avoid any disastrous effects of the curse so far, but you can’t rely on luck anymore. It’s only going to get worse … I also see a history of severe depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. You are completely surrounded by negative energy and negative people all around you.’”
After 45 minutes of the psychic detailing to Linkeviciute the various ways in which she was cursed, the issue of payment arose. Linkeviciute described the situation with a look of pained remembrance: “After she had beaten me down with her cruel words, she took out her credit card reader and with a look of sympathy on her face, stated that the charge would be 95 dollars, plus five dollars of international fees or something. So 100 dollars in total. I had tears in my eyes and was visibly distressed and bewildered, passively handing over my credit card as a sign of final defeat in both the material and spiritual Sense.”
After escaping into the Uber, Linkeviciute reflected on her tale of woe. She bravely faced the harsh reality of being not only financially scammed but emotionally scarred. She was cursed! Unloved! Adrift! A quick call with her boyfriend in rapid Lithuanian was enough to reassure her that the psychic’s words were unfounded. He asked her why she had not punched “that witch b****.”
Cast adrift in America after time spent shielded in Europe, Linkeviciute discovered the cruelty, rather than the kindness, of strangers. She implored me to warn others of the dangers of psychics. One weekend, you may skip off with your friends to Manhattan and be given a similar spiel to the one that Linkeviciute was given in Phoenix. She entreats you not to trust anyone who tells you that you are cursed, much less give them your cash. As Linkeviciute discovered, she fell prey to a common scam employed by psychics, one in which many hapless individuals are entrapped weekly. As for whether the other psychic was able to glean that Wade had a twin sister, she began the session by asking her how her older brother was doing.