Apparently I have two lifelines.
I had my palm read Friday night, and that's what the woman told me. She was under the impression that I was in my late 20s, and when I whispered to her my actual age, she looked disappointed. "It's not too late," she said, letting go of my hand. "You could still choose the other life," but she didn't look like she meant it. Then again I'm not sure how skilled a professional she was; it was my left hand, and I kept waiting for her to mention the fact that my ring finger basically forms a triangle with the rest of my hand, which is unusual, but she never did. So I'm not too worried about the rest of her forecast. And besides, it was free. You get what you pay for.
She was the middle sister of three long-black-haired dames lined up at this bar called the Garage. I ended up there because I'd been out for beers with some kids from school, at a funny German bar called Lederhosen, which has an enormous mural of Alps-ish scenery filling the walls of the entire back room and serves beer in 1-litre steins. "Oh, I'll just stop in for one" goes from self-delusion to honest goal at a place like that. It was fun. Afterwards, several of us were standing around outside the bar pretending to smoke cigarettes when it started to rain. It was like 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but it rained anyway, really ferociously, and all but two people in the crowd had umbrellas with them. Amazing! How had they known it would rain? There'd been no indications. Or had I missed them? I'd been studying. Anyway, it poured, and as we walked toward the subway a couple of us were trying to decide if we should continue to bar-hop despite not knowing a single thing about a single bar in the vicinity. It kept raining as we stood there deciding, so finally someone said "How about that place there" and we scurried in.
It was the Garage, and while getting beers I was pulled into conversation with a guy who later ended up dancing very closely with one of the three dark-haired ladies at the bar. Then the band started up. My two colleagues, a girl and a boy, and I retired to a table with our drinks. (One girl had deserted pre-beer, citing an understandable preference for a steaming rather than a frosty beverage.) Eventually the fellow, a DC newsboy who wears a sportcoat like a good old-school reporter should, suggested dancing. There was already some going on. We joined in. One of the three dark-haired ladies at the bar demanded that the band play "Stormy Weather," and the band obliged. The drummer was hot. They all are, I guess. I crept to the ladies' room. When I came back, my colleagues were embroiled in conversation with the leader and oldest of the three. She was a trip. They were all triplets, in fact, no no, just sisters, no, it turned out they weren't probably related at all by blood, but the three of them together made for an odd and very New York style of night. The oldest one ordered the middle one to read my palm, and that's how I found out about my complicated future. Although it's just as likely, I guess, that they were studying my hand to create opportunities for groping around in search of a wallet or something. You never know; it could go either way.
Eventually they left, and later, so did we.