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I think I'm cursed.

My dorm in Boston was located at 270 Commonwealth Avenue. For those of you familiar with the geography of the Back Bay, you already know that this is one street over from Newbury, which is the Rodeo Drive of the NorthEast.

Living in Boston is very expensive, and like so many other college students I found myself in need of cash. It was two weeks after spring break and I had spent everything I had to fly home for a week. For my birthday, my father had bought me a deck of tarot cards, and I taught myself how to read them over the course of the vacation.

Being resourceful and taking advantage of the first sunny, warm day of the year, I walked over to Newbury about ten in the morning, sat down on the corner of Gloucester and Newbury in front of the CVS, and just started doing readings for myself.

Not too long after this, a young couple came by and asked how much it would be for a reading.

I said, "I don't really have a set fee. If I'm good, you can pay; if I'm not, you don't owe me anything."

They thought this was a great deal and about 20 minutes later they went to get their friends and I was 30 dollars richer.

I'm not sure how the events filling the rest of the day came to be, but soon I was drawing crowds; people were waiting in line and forking over twenties and fifties like I knew what I was doing. I must have been doing something right, because my newly formed client base was never not totally amazed by what I knew about them.

After about 4 hours I had made several hundred dollars and was about to pack it in when (and I don't exaggerate when I say this) a gang of gypsies came walking up, yelling at me, pointing at me, forking the sign of the Evil Eye at me.

The one in the lead, an especially visceral young lady, kept yelling "You don't have any power! You shoudln't be here! This is our turf, our area! You are powerless!"

Then, the eldest woman of the group came over to me and told me not to worry about her, that everything would be fine. Then she crouched in front of me, took me by the hands, and said "There is power in these hands, but you don't need it anymore." It was really non-threatening but it creeped me out none-the-less.

I took this as my cue to beat an especially hasty retreat and went back to the dorm.

My friends were there, getting ready to head to Cambridge for a late lunch and some recreation, and as I told them this story they laughed and blew it off and so did I. I jumped in the shower, washed up, changed clothes, and headed across the river with them on the T.

About a month later, I couldn't sleep because my hands hurt so much. I couldn't drum anymore. I explained this to the administration at Berklee and they unceremoniously showed me the door.

If anyone knows how to lift a gypsy curse, let me know.

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