There are four things a woman should know: how to look like a girl, how to act like a lady, how to think like a man and how to bonk like a rabbit.
These aren’t deeply held personal convictions, this is just information conveyed to me by a sign above a toilet. It’s where I get most of my information from and though it’s not necessarily the quickest medium, I’d argue that it’s more reliable than most news sources.
In the interest of full transparency, I do agree that a woman – at least a woman that I’d like to be with – should look like a girl. I wouldn’t be attracted to a woman who looked like a boy, but then again, a woman who looks like a boy is far more attractive than a woman who thinks like a man because a man – at least this man – thinks a woman who looks like a boy is more attractive than a woman who thinks like him which makes that man – this man – a man clearly not worth thinking about.
But that’s not what worries me.
What worries me is that the owner of this sign is my psychic and for someone so heavily invested in the future, it’s quite a backwards stance when it comes to women. And interior decorating, for that matter.
I was uncomfortable seeing it. I still managed to pee though, so I obviously wasn’t as uncomfortable as I have been in toilets in the past. The right thing would’ve been taking the moral high ground and leaving, but that wasn’t really an option. Though my urine was clear, my future was not, and I had found myself jobless, almost penniless and with an opportunity to spend my last 80 dollars in a productive way: by investing in my future. It may not have been exactly what the Barefoot Investor had in mind, but I haven’t read that book, so maybe it was.
I was met at the house not by a clairvoyant named Krystal, but by a middle-aged man dressed in a Hawaiian shirt.
‘Mum’s just finishing off a reading,’ he told me, ‘but you can wait in the waiting room. The bathroom’s to your left.’
He was wrong.
Not about waiting in the waiting room – we agreed that that was appropriate – but while the toilet was indeed on my left, the bathroom was elsewhere, hidden somewhere in the psychic’s residential labyrinth. I weighed up my options. On the one hand, I didn’t want to meet the psychic without washing. On the other hand, if she really were a psychic, she should’ve foreseen the problem while reading either her crystal ball or floor plans, so there’d be no harm done.
I figured there had to be a tap somewhere in the corridor, but I couldn’t just go around opening doors. I resigned myself to knowing that my hands would be dirty regardless of my choice but at least, I hoped, I wouldn’t be caught red handed.
I was wrong.
‘Shit, clients aren’t supposed to wash their hands in there,’ said the son as I walked out of the bathroom I’d so successfully hunted down.
The sight of Krystal’s soft-medium red toothbrush would do more to ruin her aura, apparently, than the sign detailing what four things women should know. To Krystal’s credit, I later found out that not only did she know what women should know, she also knew what women shouldn’t know.
Like how to swim.
Not all women, and not because they shouldn’t be taught, just one woman in particular because that woman, who would one day be my woman, my wife, had drowned in a past life.
‘She’ll be terrified of water,’ Krystal told me, ‘and when you meet her parents, her mum will tell you that she never stopped crying when she was in the bath.’
I assumed Krystal was referring to my future wife, not my future mother-in-law, because a tendency to consistently cry in the bath is a somewhat worrying characteristic in a human female adult. In a human male adult, too.
Apparently we’ll have kids. I suppose I’ll have to teach them how to swim so it’s lucky that I love swimming. That being said, I only really enjoy swimming because I’m completely unreachable in the water and being completely unreachable, I imagine, is not a good quality to have in a swimming instructor. I’m sure we’ll make it work. The swimming and the marriage.
Krystal told me other things too, some outlandish and some unquestionably eerie, but all of them comforting in some way. I suppose what appeals about a psychic is that the words you agree with do give you comfort, and the words you deny give you something to fight, which is better than nothing.
There is, however, a dark side to knowing your future. I now spend my nights swiping left on every girl in a bikini, for example, and my days at the beach trying to talk to anyone not swimming.
‘How about a dip?’ I ask women on the sand. ‘No? How about a future together?’
I haven’t found her yet, though I am narrowing it down and I think I’ll know her when I see her. After all, if there are plenty of fish in the sea, she’ll be the one not moving and that, at the very least, means she’ll be easy to catch.