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Friday, April 8, 2016

the Hanged Man

Despite spring being still raw, she opened all the windows, letting the cold air sweep through the apartment. Barefooted, she stood swaddled in a ragged quilt in front of the stove watching the coffee trickle down inside the glass percolator. The cold didn't matter. It was the fresh air that she needed to clear her head. The nightly sleeping pills were starting to linger until lunch and she knew she'd have to quit cold turkey soon. There was no tapering off.

She filled a mug and breathed in the smell, doctored it with half and half and honey and swilled half the cup as hot as she could stand it. She had a suspicion that this was how alcoholics felt about their first sip of the day. 

From a basket on the table she took a worn tarot deck, snapped off the rubber band and drew just one card, putting it face down on the table by her cup. Another deep sip and she flipped the card over. The Hanged Man.

"Hmmff. Tell me something I didn't already know," she said, her tone more wistful than sarcastic. This card and others with a similar message had been coming out all too often for her to ignore them. "Wait," it said. "Give up trying to control everything." 

What everything? Her life?  "Thanks for nothing today," she said, as she tucked the card back into the deck and finished her coffee. Other people paid for her advice through the cards, but she rarely took any for herself. She shook off the introspection - she was due in court by nine and being late was not smart when you were trying to keep a low profile.

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