For those insecurities that can’t be fixed with Freud, I head to Frannie, a spunky, 5′ foot, Brit tarot card reader tucked in a rent controlled building over by the UN.
A single mom friend introduced me to her years back, and though I’ve never considered myself the Nancy Reagan type, I’ve became madly addicted to her helter skelter readings, which combine sage old advice with social commentary.
“If I had a son, I’d never allow him to be with THAT girl?” she blurted during a recent reading.”
“Who?” I said, shuffling not traditional Tarot cards, but a deck she picked up on Amtrak.
“Suri Cruise! She’s a mess!”
Recently, because of construction, I had to take the elevator to the roof, cross over, and walk down hidden back stairs burglar-style to reach her dark, opium den vibe apartment. Behind a door plastered with old faded Socialist stickers declaring “No War for Oil” and “Save The Artic” are rooms crammed with an eclectic mix of heavy, ornate furniture and exotic Moroccan artifacts.
“I know Marrakesh like the back of my hand,” she announced at one of her soirees, spilling details of her days retained by the Moroccan royal family and Yoko. The Yoko.
No wonder. A reading with her is like afternoon tea with a beloved, eccentric aunt. Pushing 90, she likes to dish about old suitors. “Oh, Lordy, I once had the wealthiest man fall in love with me and I could care less,” she once giggled. I immediately envisioned a young Frannie being whisked off to Paris and later in the backdrop of the Eifel Tower telling Daddy Warbucks to “go to hell.”
A life of champagne-fueled lunches, I suspect, made her once snap after looking at my cards: “Let’s see how cheap this SOB you’re dating is.” After lots of twitching, she looked up. “Here’s what I’m going to tell you to do, darling. There’s a shop on East 57th Street were all the high class call girls buy their dresses….”
I should have listened. Still single, I been barely get out of my ‘hood, much less the state.