Sand, Stones & Soothsaying
By now you might be wondering how I know so much about Veré's inner sanctum when it was my mother who went in for fortune telling. Well, she was so enamored of his "readings" that she finally insisted I have one,too.
She knew I didn't go in for this sort of thing, but her faith in his prognostications was so strong that I guess she thought he'd make a believer of me, too. So, just to keep peace in the family, I went one afternoon. Of course another reason I wasn't too anxious to go was I didn't want to get cornered by his mother into taking voice lessons again.
Anyway, I was treated to the full platter of Veré's extraordinary ethereal expertise. Well, I couldn't get too excited about the palmistry, the numerology or the tarot cards, but I'd always had a mild curiosity regarding astrology—and he told me just enough about it to satisfy this curiosity—but failed to convince me of anything.
The best part was Veré's Egyptian sand and rock show.
Here's what happens: Veré tells you to use all ten fingers to break up the smooth surface of the sand in the tray. He gives you about twenty seconds worth of this "dry finger-painting"—then says to stop.
Next you're told to take the stones out of the box and place them in random order anywhere on the sand. Up until now the light under the glass has been off—but suddenly it comes on to reveal the "valleys" I had made in the sand, displaying in stark contrast the freeform patterns my fingers had created.
The light coming from below in the semi-darkened room also illuminated Veré's face in much the same way they used in old horror movies to make someone look sinister and menacing. The resulting effect was kind of mysterious and surrealistic, and I found myself actually becoming a little bit curious about what would happen next.
Finally comes the piece de resistance—the little lamp clamped to the tray's edge gets turned on. Casting its light across the tray, it causes the rocks to throw long shadows across the miniature sand dunes. What does all this light and shadow stuff ultimately mean? I had no idea, but Veré had plenty of answers.
He assured me that each line in the sand had a significant meaning, and that the placement of each stone was equally meaningful.
For instance, he explained that the shadow of one particular rock being cast across a certain valley meant that I was in danger of suffering an injury of some kind in the not too distant
future—and, sure enough, I broke my collar bone a few weeks later.