So the last time I looked at my horoscope I was about 15 and praying to God it would say:
Today, Pisces, your moon is aligned with Venus. Today you will experience happiness and fulfillment. Also today, a beautiful woman will willingly surrender her body to you. Or at the very least, she'll give you an unedited video of her taking a bath. Enjoy your day.
Unfortunately, that horoscope never happened. And thus, I lost interest.
In the horoscope thing. Not the taking a bath video thing.
"Y'know, I read my horoscope every single day," said the woman on the stationary bike next to me at the gym.
"Did today's horoscope say, 'Talk to someone who doesn't really want to talk to you?'" I asked.
"My horoscope gives me things to look for in my day, and forces me to think about and explore new and unique aspects of my life," she said.
"Is it hard to ride a bike with your arms in a straightjacket?" I asked.
"I'm serious," she said. "You should look at yours. It's amazing how dead-on my horoscopes always seem to be. They point out things you would've never have even thought about, and they give you hope and inspiration that there's a higher source that perhaps does look over your life."
"I've often wondered if the higher source in my life would be found on the same page as Hagar the Horrible," I said.
"Give it a week," she said. "You'll see."
"A week shouldn't be bad," I said. "Considering the last five minutes with you has felt like a year."
Professional interests are definitely served today by your innate intuition and fertile imagination, dear Pisces. If your career involves communication in any form, expect to capture the interest of a lot of people at this time. For now, let your imagination guide you.
While my innate intuition told me at first I was wasting my time, I did, in fact, use my fertile imagination when the girl with the sprayed-on jeans brought some paperwork into my office.
Later, during a mid-morning meeting, I presented an idea for a new commercial to a group of people from one of our clients. Their response? "Can we have someone else work on this project?"
Apparently, capturing the interest of a lot of people isn't always a good thing.
Later, I once again let my imagination guide me as the girl with the spray-on jeans stopped by.
"Here are some more papers for that project," she said.
"So did you read your horoscope today?" I asked.
"No," she said.
"Stupid, aren't they?" I said.
"No," she replied. "I usually wait and read mine at night to see if it was accurate."
"Right, that's what I meant, too," I said. "I meant, 'isn't it stupid to read your horoscope in the morning?' That's what I meant."
You may be feeling a bit at odds with the rest of your world right now, dear Pisces, as you yearn for some quiet time to yourself. You might think about sequestering yourself in the library for a few hours of blissful solitude.
"Dad, can I have another Pop Tart?" asked my son.
"What in the hell do you mean by that?" I asked.
"I, um, just wanted another Pop Tart," he said. "I can't reach them on the top shelf."
"Jesus Christ, why can't you people leave me alone? I said.
Then I went to lock myself in the library for a few hours of blissful solitude, only to realize we don't have a library. So I sat in the garage for a couple of minutes.
It was too cold, though. So I went back inside.
If you're single and looking for love, dear Pisces, you may find it today -- in an ephemeral way. You may find yourself falling hard for the proverbial stranger across the crowded room. If the person appears to share your attraction, you'll probably manage to find each other. You have a lot to look forward to.
While I am married, I often wish I were single. So even tough I'm not single, it's close enough. Which is why I was excited to hear I may be finding love in an ephemeral way.
I was also excited to find a dictionary to look up "ephemeral." And when I saw it meant "fleeting" or "short-lived," I was even more excited to get on with my day.
"Honey, why are you dressed up?" asked my wife.
"Because according to my horoscope, there's an excellent possibility I'm having a one-night stand today," I said. "I even washed my testicles extra good, just in case."
"Okay," she said, "just don't be too late. The tax guy is coming over at 6:30."
"Yes, according to my horoscope, there's going to be some down and dirty, hot, ephemeral love," I said.
"That's nice. And could you bring home a gallon of 2% milk, too," she said.
"My hair is on fire," I said.
"Uh huh, I love you, too," she said.
Later that afternoon, sitting in a food court -- or should I say, sitting in "a crowded room"-- I saw her.
A beautiful long dark-haired stranger. Wearing a jean coat. And alone. All alone.
And even though her back was turned to me, it appeared she shared my attraction by the way her napkin was folded on her lap in an obvious "I'm looking in the other direction but I'm so all over you" kind of way.
Which, by the way, I get a lot.
I imagined myself walking up to her and caressing that magnificent flowing mane. I envisioned summoning up my courage and saying:
"Hi. My horoscope said I was going to fall hard for a stranger across the room. And think you might be it."
I imagined her turning her head, her hair twisting in slow motion as if she were in the middle of a feminine hygiene commercial, saying back to me:
"Thank God I've found you. You see, I too read my horoscope, and I've been waiting all day for this magical man -- you -- to enter my life. Come my dear. Take me. I'm yours."
Good thing it takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes for me to actually summon up my courage, because as I watched my darling from afar, she turned around.
Gosh, it's hard to say what struck me the most about her face. But I guess I'd have to go with the moustache and beard.
Yes, she was a he.
And while I had been anticipating ephemeral love all day, I had not been anticipating ephemeral love with someone named Carl.
This is a great time to take advantage of a little solitude to pursue some cherished goals that you've had on hold, dear Pisces. Your concentration and imagination are both operating at a very high level, and you may not stop working until you've completely finished. If you're starting a project, you'll probably do well on it, and, if business and money are involved, make a success of it. Go for the gold!
Hmmm…cherished goals, eh? Maybe someone's trying to tell me something.
And so, with a little lull at work today, I decided to spend some time writing that book I've had in my head for the last couple of years. So I locked my door and started typing what I think could be the next great American novel:
Donkeys and Cheese Sticks
A novel by Lane Strauss
Because so much of what had happened had already happened prior to what was happening, Jacob was as mixed up as a bowl of Duncan Hines brownie mix, combined with a 1/4 stick of butter and three eggs instead of two to ensure extra fluffiness.
As he stumbled into the next room, his left leg lunging in front of his right, then his right lunging in front of his left, then his left lunging in front of his right, and then well, then, he sort of fell, Jacob was horrified to see the sight before him was none other than the body of a man he had never met, but wished he had, because he noticed the dead man was wearing Kenneth Cole shoes. Jacob always believed the quality of man's shoes said something about the man who wore them. Especially the man who wore them on his feet.
As Jacob leaned in closely to the man, he smelled the stench of an undercooked fried bologna sandwich shoved inside a damp tube sock. This was a smell which always made Jacob sick.
Nauseous and fearful he would miss Wheel of Fortune, Jacob rushed from the house and ran as fast and as far as he could. Which, as it turned out, was 11 and a half feet. Panting and desperately gasping for air, Jacob didn't know where to turn. So he tried his left, figuring he had a 50-50 chance. There was nothing other than a small grouping of trees which resembled a cloud Jacob had seen when he was 12 years, four months and five days old.
So then, he turned to the right and there before him was the answer to his prayers. A styrofoam coffee cup with a hole on the side.
Even as a young child, Jacob had prayed for weird things like that.
Something wonderful could happen to you today while you're at home, dear Pisces. A lover could declare eternal devotion into your home for all concerned. Relax and enjoy it. You have it coming, and it's there to be savored.
"Honey, do you love me?" I asked.
"Is this a multiple choice question?" replied my wife.
"No, I'm serious," I said. "Do you love me? Will you, my lover, declare eternal devotion to me?"
"What the hell do you want?" she said.
"Nothing, other than your eternal devotion," I said.
"Are you planning on sacrificing me?" she asked.
"Just say it, please," I said.
"Get lost," she said. And she walked away.
I paused for a moment, saddened by her lack of commitment. Then I saw Paleontologist Barbie on the table next to me.
"Barbie," I said, gently lifting her by her beautiful plastic torso, "do you love me? Will you, my lover, declare eternal devotion to me?"
I shook her head "yes" only because I knew that's what she was thinking.
"Would you like to go away for the weekend?" I whispered.
I took her silent, blank, painted stare as a yes.
"I really like your pith helmet," I said.
The next morning, I found myself back at the gym, on a bike next to you-know-who.
"So, how'd it go?" she asked.
"Are you kidding?" I said. "The horoscope thing is amazing! I've never seen anything like it."
"I told you," she said.
"I mean, it was dead-on every single day this week," I said. "It made me realize there must be some sort of something watching over us to be that right all the time."
"I know, I know," she said. "Not only do I look at my horoscope to see if it matches my day, but I even use it to guide me both spiritually and functionally based upon what it says."
"I can see how you could do that," I said.
"So who's your friend?" she asked.
"Oh that's Barbie," I said. "Wave hi, honey."
I lifted her arm up and down a few times.
"She seems nice," she said. "And I like her helmet."
"Thanks," I said. "Y'know, you've been such a big help in my life. I can't thank you enough."
"Not a problem," she said.
"Say, before I forget," I said, "maybe you can help me with one more thing."
"What do you need?" she asked.
"Do you know where I could find videos of women taking baths?"