A car is sitting at the bottom of a cliff upside down. It was reported to state troopers as going off the cliff at over ninety miles an hour. It has caught fire and is burning to ashes. Police arrive on the scene, coming down the side of the cliff in helicopters. The body in the vehicle cannot be recognized for it has burned to a crisp. The only thing that can assist identifying a body in any crime scene is the teeth, but retrieving dental records will take months if there are no leads. Once the fire ceases, the state troopers and police officers scramble through the remains of the car, but everything is dust and ash. The car doesn’t even have a license plate on it.
They take a closer look at the skeletal body and can’t believe their eyes. The skeleton’s left hand is holding a cell phone and for some reason it hasn’t completely burned. They pull it out of the gripping hand and the screen is black. They press a few buttons and the screen turns white. But it doesn’t go to the menu or the home screen. It’s frozen, but the frozen screen sends shivers down their spines.
The sender’s name reads Minnie Adams.
“You’re burning the French toast!” Minnie shouted from the bathroom of the upper level apartment. She was running around the place like a chicken with her head cut off. She was late for something. Not work or school; she was a college drop-out and self-employed, but she was in a hurry for one reason or another.
“Correction, I’m burning the eggs,” her girlfriend Terry said as she stood over the stovetop with spatula in hand. “Babe, you know I can’t cook.”
Minnie scurried into the kitchen, kissed Terry, and opened the fridge to pour a glass of orange juice.
“Neither can I, but someone has to learn. We can’t eat hot pockets and ramen noodles the rest of our lives. I don’t want to be one of those overweight lesbian couples that look like lumberjacks. I want us to be sexy always and forever. We need to start eating salads and… well, whatever skinny straight bitches eat.”
“Alright, the eggs are burnt, but tell me what you think of the French toast,” Terry stabbed a piece on a fork and held it up for Minnie to take a bite.
“Oh, wow babe, this is… this is good,” Minnie reluctantly swallowed.
Terry walked over to the freezer, opened the door, and pulled out a hot pocket to stick in the microwave.
“I love you,” Minnie said with a reassuring smile.
“Love you too,” Terry replied as she dumped all the French toast and eggs into the trash can.
The microwave beeped, Minnie grabbed the hot pocket, kissed Terry again, and headed out the door.
Minnie was an artistic soul who could never quite get down the whole college thing, nonetheless the whole working from nine to five thing. Unfortunately, her art wasn’t making enough profit to cover material expenses and support her lifestyle. Therefore, she did what any lazy American would do: she came up with an idea, created a webpage, posted a few advertisements in the newspaper, and called it a home business.
“Psychic art pieces.” At first Terry thought she was kidding. There’s no way anyone would be stupid enough to fall for this. But after receiving a few phone calls, Terry’s faith in humanity had vanished enough to believe it.
The process was simple: a person calls and Minnie listens to them talk about their problems. She then closes her eyes, dips her paintbrushes into colors she can’t see, and begins to form an abstract painting that comes from ‘divine inspiration.’ She has already created sheets that analyze the meaning of the different colors and the different shapes that are formed. She completes the painting with her eyes closed, gets the credit card number, and mails the painting and the analytical sheet inside a letter sized envelope.
To be honest, Minnie didn’t think it would work either. In fact, the whole idea was originally thought up as a joke. She was at a dinner party one evening with Terry, and a number of people at one of the tables thought it would be a riot to come up with the worst business startup ideas.
“Pet massager! Your pet needs a massage just like you do! Discount for cats! Extra for dogs!”
“Solicitor fighter! I’ll fight any solicitor who comes to your door!”
“Fridge organizer! Can’t find the butter? No problem, I’ll organize your fridge for you!”
People were shouting ideas from one end of the table to the other. By the end of it, everyone was laughing so hard they were in tears.
Minnie never said her idea out loud, because something told her that people might actually pay money for it. And if such was the case, she didn’t want anyone stealing it. Art may be a want, a desire, something to purchase with extra case – but no matter how bad the economy is, psychic schemes have always worked on some small scale. She didn’t fully understand why until she actually started taking phone calls. The people that called her feared the future. If they were in a relationship, they feared their husbands or boyfriends might leave them. If they were single, they feared they might be alone forever. If they had a job, they feared being fired. If they were unemployed, they feared never finding the right career. Everyone fears the unknown, the uncertain, the unexpected – which is why psychic readings appeal to all sorts of people from all different walks of life.
Even Minnie found herself on horoscope websites typing in Terry’s birthday and her own to see how compatible their signs were, and from time to time she would read her daily horoscope. It’s not even that she believed in horoscopes or that zodiac signs can determine the success of a relationship. She was just curious. If there was one thing every person that ever called for a psychic art piece had, it was that: curiosity.
The business wasn’t a huge success, but it miraculously paid half the rent, so Minnie was content. Terry, on the other hand, had a desk job, like so many working Americans today. Her main line of work was acting as a customer service representative for various companies. She found the work to be quite dull and quite boring, but it paid well over half the rent and then some.
Terry also had a different view than Minnie when it came to holding a job. Terry had grown up with her single mother who worked day in and day out at a job she hated to support Terry and her brother. Terry saw a job not as a career to enjoy and thrive in, but as a means to survive. Minnie, however, was raised in a fairly wealthy home. Truth be told, if Minnie ever couldn’t make half the rent, one call to mommy and daddy would take care of it. So she saw no reason to do whatever she wanted to. If the psychic art pieces ever failed, she would just come up with another idea and let the parents support her in the meantime.
Terry loved Minnie with all her heart, but there were some things Minnie just didn’t understand. Every time Terry had a bad day at work and came home to vent about it, Minnie would tell her to just quit, like it was that easy and that simple. Terry never wanted to have to depend on Minnie, or her parents for that matter. She eventually learned to go to work every day and when she got home she just didn’t talk about it. No complaining, no venting, no dialogue. Work stayed at work. But sometimes she wanted to talk about it. Sometimes she wanted to have Minnie wrap her arms around her and say, “I know, you had a rough day, do you want a back massage?”
Terry would never say this out loud, but she was the breadwinner and she knew it. She couldn’t help but think how that wasn’t fair. Minnie grew up with all the money, Minnie had both her parents, Minnie got to talk on the phone and paint blindly all day. Terry wondered why she had to do all the work. And this morning, why was she the one cooking breakfast? Why is she the one who has to learn how to cook?
If Terry communicated to Minnie the way she was feeling, it would be a major problem in their relationship. But Terry never said anything about it, partly because Minnie wouldn’t get it, and partly because she loved Minnie more than any person she had ever met in this world. She was everything to her, and the thought of losing her was too great a risk.