Saturday, November 17, 2007

We Took Bates To A Psychic!

Our puppy, Bates, is getting cuter. Really. Well, anything would be an improvement on when we first found him, but still, we believe he's approaching adorable. Only thing is, his body doesn't seem to be keeping pace with his head growth. Maybe it's just our imaginations.

Remember when my best friend Starr Ann and I found him? It didn't take long for us to forget all about his appearance, and his judgmental attitude, and his urinary habits, and to fall completely in love with little Norman Bates. The only other people in the world who see Bates for his true self are Jodie, of course, and Lane. Lane is the teenager Starr Ann and I met while chaperoning that trail ride for delinquent girls. Yep, Lane's the extra-belligerent, extra-sharp-witted one we had pegged as a baby dyke. And she fell in love with Bates right away.

The girls' home they placed her in allows a day or a weekend away in exchange for good behavior, and Lane comes over to our house on every free day she earns. Her social worker says Lane never showed much cooperation before meeting Starr Ann and me. Well, it's really Starr Ann who hit it off with Lane first, so I give her all the credit. Don't get me wrong, though, over the weeks since meeting her, I've grown to love Lane as much as Starr Ann does. And what a cool case worker she has in Jennifer! Jennifer Dobbs actually recognizes Lane's lesbianism and encourages her to look at us as role models. For Starr Ann and me, that's wonderful and scary at the same time.

Anyway, Lane came over yesterday on a two-day leave. She was lying on the floor in a patch of sunlight, flipping through the newpaper, with Bates right beside her. All of a sudden, she sat upright and said, "There's a Fall Festival in town, and there's going to be a pet psychic there." Lane scooped Bates up and kissed his knobby little head. "Could we take him there and find out what's going on in his brain?"

Contrary to what Lane's youthful preconceptions had set up, pet psychics do not use crystal balls. Matter of fact, the whole operation is pretty free of hocus pocus. We watched as Simone (that was the animal communicator's name) smiled affectionately at each animal she was about to read, and then began answering the owners' questions.

When it was our turn, Simone took little Bates into her arms and a look of alarm crossed her features. That passed fairly quickly and Simone turned to us. "What's its, I mean, what's his name?"

Lane proudly said, "Norman Bates. Bates for short."

Simone took a deep breath and looked right into Bates' eyes. "Do you have a specific question for him?"

Lane hesitated, so Starr Ann supplied, "Maybe just his general outlook. What he thinks of us. You know, is there any way we could make him happier. He's awful happy already, we think."

Simone explained that animals communicate chiefly through pictures. She said, "He's showing me a picture of a woman, you I think," she pointed to me, "sitting in front of a computer."

"That would be me, I'm Margo."

"Well, Margo, he's showing me a vision of peeing on your keyboard. I'm getting the sense he's jealous of the time you spend writing, and would appreciate more playtime with you."

Simone got quiet for a few seconds, then frowned in concentration. "Showing me something, can't quite, it might be two ripe, no wait, it's a plush, no," and Simone broke off. Finally, she opened her eyes back up, glanced at Starr Ann's breasts, and said, "He's showing me cleavage." She nodded at Starr Ann. "Yours."

"Makes sense, he used to sleep between my breasts when he was tiny."

Simone was still a tiny bit transfixed on the front of Starr Ann's shirt. "Well he'd still like to sleep there."

Starr Ann patted Bates' shoulder. "Tough luck, buddy. Make yourself another wish."

When Simone tuned back in to Bates' thoughts, she got to smiling so big, you'd have thought she was still reading one of the more normal pets. To Lane, she said, "He's showing me a picture of the two of you, lying in sweet green grass, your eyes full of blue sky." Simone laughed out loud and continued, "This is purely a dog thing, but he's very clear about the fact that you both have full bellies." Then Simone did something she hadn't done with Starr Ann and me. She just about stared a hole through Lane, almost like it was Lane she was reading. Simone had to snap a little to get her attention back to Bates. She said, "This creature loves you with his entire heart and soul, young lady."

Lane suddenly seemed to be caught between whether to run or cry or pass out. Her eyes filled up with tears, and she said to Simone, real cold, "Tell him that's not a smart move."

Simone was obviously shaken by something too. I was beginning to feel like Starr Ann and I were eavesdropping on a private conversation, and I guess we were, but there was no way to walk away discreetly at that point. Simone said, "It's already done. He already needs you." And she held Bates out for Lane to take.

There were a few tense moments, as Lane didn't reach for the puppy right away. Then, abruptly, the mood shifted, and Lane had Bates in her arms as usual. Just that quick, all the drama evaporated and we were once again three people and a puppy out on a lark, enjoying the Fall Fair.

Later on in the day, we passed by Simone's booth during a slow period and she called us over. She said to all of us, but somehow particularly to Lane, "I read people, too. Would be happy to do you for free."

Lane backed up three steps, scared to death. "Not me. Thanks, though."

Simone raised her eyebrows at Starr Ann and me. We said, sure, a reading sounded fun.

Guess what? I was a pirate captain in a former life! That's right. Cap'n Margo Moon, to be exact.

And cool as that is, guess what? Starr Ann descends directly from Maat, the Egyptian goddess.