“Do you act? Do you write?”
Those were her words. I’d spotted her some fifty minutes earlier that Saturday morning in early May as I’d strolled alone down the bustling Venice Beach Boardwalk in Los Angeles. She’d struck me as different from the endless chain of ‘psychics’ assembled side by side along the route, their crystal balls set before them on ramshackle tables glinting in the hot Californian sun as they watched me pass.
Her smooth golden hair unruffled by the Pacific breeze, poised and serene, she sat beneath the rippling white canvas of her oversized umbrella as she conversed with the long-haired young hippy male at the neighbouring table.
Don’t be a sucker! the voice of reason announced in my head as I continued on my way, resisting the temptation to stop at her table – although, in the deepest recess of my logic as I headed onwards, merging with the crowd, I could not force from my mind what I instinctively knew. She was special.
Can’t she see me standing here?
Hesitant, I edged nearer the wooden table, unwilling to intrude in her conversation with the young bohemian at her side. Perplexed at her indifference to my presence, brushing my windswept tresses from my face in an attempt to attract her attention, I moved closer still. The moments passing, I felt the warmth build in my already flushed cheeks until, smiling, she at once turned from her hippy friend, her lovely eyes meeting mine as her lips parted.
“Do you act? Do you write?” she announced, her pretty face animated with wonderment.
“I’m sorry?” I replied, dumbstruck at the unexpectedness of her curiosity.
“Do you write?” she repeated.
“No,” I stammered, dazed.
“Then you should!” she replied. “You have a wonderful look about you!” she added with emphatic grace, as, with a sweep of her arm she invited me to sit at her table – which I did, flattered and somewhat giddy at receiving such a compliment from a beautiful, West Coast American.
Much of what that enchanting lady told me in the summer of 2000 has long slipped from my memory – not because it never came to pass, but because it was so accurate at the time that her words merged with reality. But her initial words remain with me, words that I now look back on with gratitude having, after seven years of research and dedication, come to realise that I can now emphatically answer her question. Yes, I do write.