This afternoon, when we were sitting on the veranda to pass the time, one of the guest faculty offered to give me “palmology.” I suppose this means that palm reading has now become an official science.
He took my hands and set them side by side, palms up.
“Oh, you will be in charge of something very important someday,” he said, in a bit of a mystic tone.
“Really?” I asked. “What? When?”
He deigned to answer, and instead smiled what seemed to be meant to be a mysterious palm-reader smile. Then he turned my hand over and his face changed.
“Is this new or old?” he asked, pointing to a small freckle just below my right pinky.
I had no idea, of course. I’m a white chick, so I freckle easily. We decided it was probably new, since it was very dark (and since I had been spending so much time lately under the Indian sun).
“This is bad news, you know,” he said.
“Why?” I asked, thinking of skin cancer.
He stared darkly at me. “It means that you will run out of money before your stay here is over.”I pulled my hand away and laughed. "I don’t need palmology to tell me that!"