Me, turning over a number of tarot cards in succession, in an attempt to impress you: I pull the Fool card.
“Ah, this one is interesting. It means that you’re stupid. A fool. Yes? A stupid idiot, who doesn’t know what Tarot is. You’re being stupid right now, you’re making stupid decisions, you’re wrong and you’re all backwards from mix-up, you’re about to fall over, your brain is as bad as a small dog.”
I pull the High Priestess.
“Ah, this one means you are – what is the word? You are too stupid for Tarot, you credulous, literal-minded blort of banana pudding. There are five mystic rivers in every human mind, connecting them all to flashes of abundance and sixth-dimensional math, except for you. This card is associated with singleness of purpose, drive, self-regard, physical passion, also it means that Pope Joan is real and wrote season 2 of The X-Files and everyone else gay knows her except for you.”
I pull the Lovers.
“Stevie Nicks hates you, your mind is insufficiently nimble to grasp metaphor, you endless attempt to recreate past successes on a smaller scale – you are a Fool, yes? The Lovers is when two of us get together and we fall in love because of how breakable and squat is your mind, like a bad old castle that is built on rotten wood, and we two Lovers throw old pennies at you, the Fool, as a reminder not ever to be like you in our bodies. Your blood is slow, like cold medicine, and brings wrong, old information to your brain, so you learn wrong all of the time, with your thick, dumb blood covered in the worst plans.”
I pull the Wheel of Fortune.
“The Wheel of Fortune? You enormous circle of stupidity. It means the Sphinx would never even give you the gift of riddles, and all the Druids who ever were would like to pelt you with their oldest rocks. It means there is luck but you don’t have any of it, and we’re all on a Ferris Wheel riding around in circles and thinking about patterns, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and esotericism, and crop rotation, and close reading, and you’re the worst midway game there is, you’re the made-for-TV Great Gatsby, and we all having rising suns, and alchemy is real, but not for you.”
I pull The Hanged Man.
“It means you are are so dumb for the cards, so bad at Tarot, that all the cards would like you to politely die, and you’ll never make understanding of this, not of elements nor magic, not of fixed points nor Egyptology, not quests or courts nor even goblets, and you’re a failed letter, a return-to-sender, we all request your death.”
I pull the Tower.
“This one is very straightforward. It only means one thing: You are Quintus Caecillius Iucundus, the teenage son of Lucius Caecilius Iucundus, a banker, and his wife Metella, real people who lived and worked in Pompeii in 78 A.D. Your dog just died, and Mount Vesuvius is about to explode.”