Saturday, August 16, 2008

What I Told Kit Dobson About The Time That I Accidentally Broke Margaret Atwood's Crystal Ball: "Great, Now She'll Never Read My Palm"

Kit Dobson emailed me a couple days ago. He was nice; he didn't say anything about the tone or content of my Dobson-related posts. He was just a little curious about my motives. But, more than that, he wanted to offer some advice: People will read this stuff, people will see your name attached to this stuff, and people will (if necessary) hate you for it. Try getting a job when a quick Google search of "David Adler" returns a 400-word essay on whether Scott Symons would've been a top or a bottom had Karl Ulrichs just asked nicely.

"Don't worry," I told Kit, "it won't be a problem."

Let me just reiterate that KD seemed like a very decent guy with a fine sense of humour. So I imagine that he laughed just before he warned me one more time.

"Nope," I said, "it's not an issue. I'll be fine. Atwood told me that everything would work out."

That confused him, so I had to do a little storytelling. Fine with me.

Not many people know this, but Margaret Atwood--the Canadian writer--is passionate about New Age Spirituality. She loves it. RBC is actually offering a Visa with her face etched onto a laminated wedge of healing crystal. And her tarot card collection is among the largest in Rosedale. A couple months ago I went to her house for a palm reading, stopping along the way at Bagel World to buy a Chocolate Ring.

"That, Kit," I said, "was when the trouble started. 'Too much chocolate!' she screamed when she saw the ring. 'Who's going to eat all that?'" She was apoplectic, and in trying to wrench the pastry box from her hand, I accidentally knocked over her crystal ball. Well, one of her crystal balls.

She shrieked so loud that Graeme heard her in his bedroom two streets down.

"Give me your hand!" she said, lunging at me. I showed her my palm. She looked, studying intently. "Fuck," she said.

"Bad news?" I asked.

"No, no. I just realized that I forgot to cut my nails."

"What about my palm?"

"You'll live a long life. You'll be very happy. One day you'll meet Robert Harlow."

"You can tell all that by looking at my palm?"

"No. I got that from the crystal ball. But since that's now broken..." she trailed off. The ball was indeed useless, cracked into four large wedges of clear glass on Atwood's walnut floor.

"So how do you know?"

"Because if I had to meet him, there's no way you're getting out of it."

"And that happiness stuff? Look, I'm writing for a website now, and some people have mentioned that some of the more, well, some of the cruder things could anger the wrong crowd."

"No, I don't see that being a problem."

"Not at all?"

"Not at all. Go ahead. Keep writing."

"Look, I feel terrible about the crystal ball. Let me pay for it. Please, it'll be my pleasure."

"Not necessary. I'll just bring up one from the basement."

"You have two?"

"Ha! Just two! I've got six packed away in the fallout shelter."

"You have a fallout shelter? Why?"

"I'm keeping it for Barbara Gowdy. It's the only vault I know that locks from the outside."

So, Kit, thanks for your concern. But as long as Babs Atwood's predictions are coming true, I'll be okay.

And tonight I'm invited to her house for dinner. Can you believe that? What kind of wine do you bring to a seance?

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