Lady Marie, the second chance


gypsyLady Marie was named after a racehorse that suffered an injury said to end any career.  She was really into second chances, she said.  This is what caused her belief in reincarnation and mysticism.  What started as a whimsical fantasy eventually led to her vocation.  It was a mixture between hope and belief that resulted in her gig as a soothsayer.

“So, why Lady Marie?” I asked.

She told me of the horse that broke its leg and the trainer who couldn’t let the vets put her down.  It’s common practice to shoot a horse that can’t run fast, she explained.  “We’re often measured by that which is measurable—batting averages, height, weight, speed.  This is a terrible mistake.  Nothing lies more than statistics.

“Anyway,” she continued, “Lady Marie’s trainer nursed her back to health.  Against all odds, the horse came back and won the Kentucky Derby.  You can look it up. There’s a rehab clinic in West Baltimore named after the horse.”

I didn’t mention that I’d spent a few months in the clinic myself.  I just asked her to give me a reading.  She laid out tea leaves and lit some incense, then took hold of my palms.  The next thing I remember I was being shot across the cosmos on the tail of a comet, plummeting through worm holes, witnessing things past, present and yet to come.

All of it led me to one girl.  Well, not a girl exactly. More like a soul.  She and I kept crossing paths throughout the ages, from one lifetime to the next.  Once, I was her cat in ancient Egypt.  Another time, she was my seamstress in Athens.  Then she saved my life when the Khmere Rouge came to put me down for playing the violin.  At some point or other, she was a slave girl I’d fallen in love with and smuggled from Singapore to San Francisco via an infamous pirate ship. In each lifetime she  was there, small, yet significant.

My whole life I’ve refused to settle for any woman less than my soulmate, which has led to many years of despair and disappointment. Many times I thought I’d found her, only to realize I was mistaken. More then that, I’d tried to force myself to stay in relationships which, in my heart, I knew I didn’t belong in, only to see them crumble at the hands of my own failings. And for many years, I’ve been resigned to repeat this cycle, convinced I’d never find her.

“It’ll take time, Knox,” Lady Marie said.  “Maybe more than this lifetime. . . but I’ve always believed in second chances.”

After I paid her the 50 bucks, I stood up and said something my father had told me many times throughout his faildrunk life. “The only second chance anyone gets is the chance to make the same mistake twice.”

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