Psychic on the Corner

This time it wasn’t a scam. Even for a natural skeptice


By Billy Eye

You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings. — Elizabeth Gilbert

For as long as I can remember (turns out it’s been 20 years) there has been a psychic on the corner of Cornwallis and Lawndale, operating out of the brick house there or the one right behind it. You may recall that the house on the corner was to be replaced by a big-box pharmacy about a decade ago but, thankfully, zoning laws kept that from happening.

When it comes to the paranormal, I once considered myself skeptical but open-minded. That was before a certain “psychic” reading in Los Angeles caused me to define myself as more of a side-glance skeptic. More on that later.

On impulse, I made an appointment for a reading conducted by the Irving Park psychic, Dorine. First off, it’s a no-contact experience. You enter into an anteroom built in front of one of the living room windows. Communication happens via intercom. Quite clever actually. I opted for a combination of crystal and Tarot card readings, conducted simultaneously for $60. I gave her no information other than my formal first name and remained moderately unresponsive as she made her preternatural prognostications.

I’ve always believed that it wouldn’t be that difficult to appear to be a psychic by merely making general assumptions based on someone’s looks and demeanor, coupled with wildly positive imaginings about what’s to come, but Dorine was very precise with not a lot of wiggle room in her projections.

Because much of the reading was deeply personal I won’t go into great detail but there was an impressive number of very specific things that she got right with few misses. Even when I thought she was wrong, upon reflection I realized she had been correct all along. 

For instance, Dorine remarked that I have trouble with my breathing. No, my breathing is fine. When she insisted that she sees me gasping for breath regularly, it then occurred to me that, yes, I walk at least 5 miles a day so naturally I am winded often. She told me that I have a second cat. I don’t nor do I want one. She was insistent, there is a second cat. Come to think of it, the black-and-white kitty living across the street wanders daily over to sit atop my car and poke around my place.

She mentioned that it was difficult for me to fall asleep. I said it wasn’t, forgetting that sleep is quite troublesome without some degree of self-medication; i.e., a nightcap or five. Asking if I was selling something, I answered no, but in hindsight the bulk of my income derives from selling ads on my website. I’d sold one that day. Her eerily accurate description of a close friend of mine was most stunning.

Calling out past or current conditions is one thing, if nothing else it serves to validate, but we all know our past and present already. What does the future hold? Apparently I’ll be ghosting some of you bums out there in favor of a whole new, cooler set of friends next year. About time! And if you’re a medical professional in his 50s driving a Porsche with a condo in Florida . . . “Calling Dr. Bombay!”

Dorine asked what my questions were. It actually hadn’t occurred to me to have any specific queries. I was more interested in the process itself. The advice she had for me going forward was positively rock-solid. Again, I went in a skeptic but with a willingness to believe.

This was a much more substantive experience than the one and only other time I’ve had a psychic reading. Living in L.A., roaming around the Burbank mall (don’t judge, they had an Orange Julius), I was approached by a diminutive woman in her 50s, preschooler in tow. She asked if I would like to donate to needy Native Americans. I said sure, handed her a ten spot. Then I asked exactly which charity I would be supporting. As it turned out, my contribution went directly into her personal account. She and her child were, in fact, Native Americans. Okaaaay.

Yet, despite having been deceived (kinda sorta), she informed me that she lived right around the corner and asked if I would like a psychic reading for $200. “What can I get for 20 bucks?” I asked. I don’t remember anything about the reading itself, but for some unknown reason I gave her my business card.

A few days later, the cunning clairvoyant called with distressing news: The reason I was so unfulfilled was because I had been cursed by someone close to me. I didn’t believe anyone I knew at the time cared that much about me one way or another to go to the trouble of conjuring up a curse, but I listened. The psy-charlatan was adamant in her prophesy, instructing me to take $5,000 in large bills, place them in a new white handkerchief, tie it off, then bring it to her to burn. The curse would then be lifted.

Of course I did exactly as I was told and lived happily ever after. Nawwwww, even my naive younger self had heard about that one, the old switcheroo, a scam as old as humanity itself. She reached out once again with some scam or another before I asked the receptionist not to put her through again.

Eye would recommend visiting Dorine’s inner sanctum at Lawndale and Cornwallis if you’re psy-curious. The entire experience was an enriching one. A second-generation psychic taught by her grandmother, Dorine obviously possesses uncanny empathic insight. She’s been at that location for two decades, which counts for something. Even if you believe there is no such thing as genuine clairvoyance, it’s still fascinating to have someone unfamiliar “read” you. At the very least, it provides a clue as to what sort of first impression you’re giving off.

As for the future, I apparently need to align my core and heart chakras. Dorine gifted me with two stones to do just that. Soon as I Google what chakra means, I’ll get right on it.

* * *

Hope everyone has a great holiday season even though it will be a bit different this year. But look on the bright side: No buying presents for that relative you don’t like but traditionally spend a portion of Christmas Day with anyway.  OH

Billy Eye is done with 2020. Begone bad spirits!

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