GORDA - By Jane Genova
The vidente in the shop on Calle de San Francisco in Barcelona, Spain cried that out. His eyes rolled back in his head.
My American friends and I had swung by this hole in the wall for fun. A tarot card reading cost the equivalent of eight U.S. dollars, so we figured, why not. On a similar-looking back street in Salem, Massachusetts, that would have gone for three times the price.
When his eyes returned to their normal position the psychic went on to describe how a fat girl would attempt to do me great harm. Essentially she would envelop me in the folds of that corpulence and squeeze out all my joy. Maybe also my life.
“I guess if I pork up you should drop me,” Rebecca Blackstone said in the bar next door. She figured that we needed the joke to break through the darkness. But that didn’t happen, not for me. Back in America, I drove from New Haven, Connecticut to Salem.
“A lonely woman ensnares happy people. Her hospitality is the poison. She will find you.”
That’s what the clairvoyant at Angelica of the Angels told me. A WASP, she didn’t indulge in theatrics. Instead, she leveraged a no-nonsense look to indicate the danger.
Find me the Gorda did. It was in the desert. There in the Southwest I was trying to put together a fresh start. Through a colleague, I met her at a concert. As foretold, she extended her hospitality.
We dined at a too-big-for-the-room table. She at the head of the table. I at the other end. The wiseass in me wanted to cup my mouth and shout across the table. The impulse was extinguished because she hadn’t smiled since I had entered. Not even when I handed her flowers, which she didn’t put in water. A Mexican woman served the expensive cut of beef. I asked her to put the flowers in water. She and the Gorda exchanged glances. The flowers never had a chance in that desert heat.
A spell had been cast. I was no newbie at magic, black and white. The problem was that, after the trauma of the move from the East, I didn’t know if I had enough of a life force to push back. Maybe this was how it would all end. That’s why I went to one more dinner, one more concert and a visit to a state park.
Rebecca flew from New York City. A properly theatrical shaman in Sedona, Arizona did his thing. Odd, I thought, that he instructed me not to warn anyone about the Gorda.
“It is their destiny to fight for their life.”