Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Multi-coloured Braces

A sixteen year-old beautiful Russian gypsy palm reader with multi-coloured braces on her teeth and big dark brown eyes which never stay still and they look crazy.

‘Do I look like a gypsy?’ She asks me.
I look her up and down. She’s wearing a tight black dress and black stockings. Her hair is straight and long and black and shiny.
‘You look too clean and smart,’ I say.
‘People don’t know. Gypsies are clean people.’
‘Is that right?’ I say. ‘Is it hard being a Russian gypsy in London?’
‘I hate London. I loathe it,’ she says with a passion.
I know what she means. She has dirty fingernails. All in black, and with her hair and eyes, I tell her she looks more like a witch than a gypsy.
‘I am also a witch,’ she says.
‘Oh yeah? A good or a bad one?’
‘I’m a bad witch.’
‘Why are you a bad witch?’
‘Because it’s more fun. I put curses on people.’

She reads my palms: she informs me I'm going to die before the age of thirty unless I change my way of life. I look at her palms after and they’re really lined, mad criss-cross patterns all over them. I ask her if she’s worked hard in her life; if they’re lines of work.
‘No, I’ve never worked. I’ve only read lots of books. Books about magic.’

She likes me because I’m nervous and a little scared of her. She doesn’t let me smoke and I say I need to because I’m scared of her.

Sometimes the only interesting person you meet at a Mexican-themed party in North London is a sixteen-year old Russian gypsy. We arranged to go on a date to see Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame but it never materialised.

(London, 1996)

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