Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Madame See-Ying came from a long line of fortune tellers. Her great grandmother, Empress Xiang-Wei, ran a house of cards in Sichuan province. Settling in the Yucatan city of Merida (with her Mexican husband, the visionary painter Ramón Futuro) just after the war, she set up her studio - A Thing Or Two - where she foresaw the futures of heat-hazed travellers and curious locals. The Mayan people, knowing a thing or two themselves about the future, would give her tips gleaned from their elders' stories. The topic of the Mayan calendar would often come up in conversation. Why, everyone wondered, did it end in the year 2012? One old man told her it was because the writers had caught flu - and were too ill to advance the dates. Another claimed, with great authority, that it had been misinterpreted - and actually continued to 2102. But the Madame - with her mental channel tune-locked to the divine - knew the answer: by the end of the year 2012, with limited space for the world's departed souls, there would be no more room in heaven.

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