In recent weeks my mind reading had really gotten out of control. I know what you're thinking, "Graham, you're not a mind reader." Oh but I am, and I needed help. It had taken over my life; everyone I met, I had to read whether I wanted to or not. But I'm one of the lucky ones. I realized I had a problem before it spiralled out of control. Last Saturday I went down to an MA meeting at Grove Street Presbyterian to get my life back on the right path.
I arrived at 9pm, went to the basement and found an empty seat in the circle of chairs down there. Everyone was milling about drinking coffee and talking. Eventually the group leader, Cyrus, stood up and addressed the ten or so people in attendance.
"My name is Cyrus, and I'm a mind reader."
Everyone responded in a chorus, "We know."
He continued, "Is there anyone here for whom this is their first time?" I thought about raising my hand, but was too scared.
"Too scared?", Cyrus said disdainfully, "Son, the only mind you can't read is your own! You don't have to speak, but honestly it's sort of tempting to everyone else here if you've got something on your mind."
"Cyrus?", another member began, "Cyrus, Graham might be thirsty and maybe that's why he's not speaking."
"That's real good Steve," Cyrus responded kindly, "you just keep using your outside mind. Remember everyone, the outside mind is where you find the gladness; the inside mind is where you find hate, despair and sadness. You thirsty Graham?"
"No, I'm not thirsty." Steve sat back and smiled.
Well, I figured, if I was really serious about this, I needed to just get it all out.
"Get it all out, that's right.", whispered Cyrus.
I jumped right into it, "You know, many mornings I've woken up in strange beds with people I knew had just wanted to say they'd made it with a mind reader. Or maybe sometimes they got confused and thought you were a fortune teller and you didn't correct them. 'Sure baby, you'll be famous.'
But they always thought they could fool you. Yeah they said, 'I've got a flight to catch,' but they were thinking, 'You looked a lot fatter last night. Guess that skin suit will have wait.' I accepted this as part of my life."
Cyrus interjected, "The mind is like a parachute, it works better when it's open. And you shouldn't go around reading other peoples' parachutes."
I continued, "One time, when I became desperate for a mind to read, I don't even know if I should be telling this, once I...I...I guessed weight for money."
There was an audible gasp from the group.
"Now, I never guessed ages, I never went that low, but I swear sometimes I could taste it. There was this one 312 lb. 53 year-old...I'm sorry, I need a moment."
And that was it, I broke down in front of the group in less than a minute. Cyrus stood up and walked over to me. "Son, it's every day I wake up and wish I could read hearts instead of minds. But then I'd be a heart reader, and that sounds like some voodoo shit and that's not cool. You take a seat down over there."
I made my way to an empty chair and sat, wiping my eyes. Steve leaned over, "What are you thinking about?"
A woman turned to Steve and asked sarcastically, "What do you think?"
Steve shot back, "Oh you tell me Carla, just like yesterday afternoon!"
"Oh you bastard, that was a lucky guess!"
Cyrus raised his voice, "Settle down over there, nobody's gonna tell anyone what the other is thinking. I'm trying to wrap this thing up early tonight; I have a date with a deaf mute so I need to prepare myself and stay strong. So let's get on to handing out anniversary chips. Carla, today is your tenth year free of mind-reading, right?"
"That's right Cyrus," she said staring at Steve. She walked up to Cyrus and retrieved the chip.
"Well now who else has ten years?"
Carla answered, "Barbara does, but she's not here tonight. She said she was going to the movies with her husband but really she's meeting her secret lover, Manny Hampstead, over at the Sheraton."
Cyrus hung his head, "Oh Carla."
"I knew it!"
"Steve sit down!"