Psychic Susan, and Why I Won’t Talk to Her Any More
May 1999 by Crad Kilodney
Davewon’t speak to Susan any more, and neither will I, although for a different reason. Dave is convinced Susan is a witch, and he blames her for breaking his favorite chair. It seems they were having a phone conversation, and it was getting unfriendly. Dave was sitting on a beautiful antique chair at the time, and it simply broke underneath him for no apparent reason! We both know that Susan is psychic, so it’s not too big a stretch to believe she broke that chair by psychokinesis. Of course, she would never do such a thing on purpose, but Dave loved that chair so much he won’t forgive her.
Many years ago Susan had a dream about a horse race at Woodbine. She saw the names of the first and second place finishers. When she got up that morning, she checked the racing page of the Sun, and, sure enough, there were two horses with those names listed for a race at Woodbine. She debated whether to go to the track and wager but eventually decided not to. As it turned out, those two horses finished first and second, and she would have cleaned up.
In addition to our literary roots, one interest Susan and I have in common is the stock market. Once in a great while, she makes a bet on call options. A call option locks in a price at which you can buy a stock for a certain period of time. Under the right circumstances, you can multiply your money many times — say, turn $100 into a couple of thousand. One time Susan had a hunch about Inco, so she bought some calls that were dirt-cheap because they were “out of the money” (i.e., not yet profitable for the holder to exercise) and getting close to their expiration date. Inco made a big move, putting the stock above the exercise price of the option. That meant that for every penny the stock rose, the option rose, too. Susan followed the stock closely, wondering, Should I sell my calls now, or should I hold on? She ended up selling right at the top and made a bundle.
She did the same thing with call options on Coca Cola. “How much did you make?” I asked her. She laughed and said, “I’m not telling!”
Around September of ’98, I was talking to her on the phone. “I’ve been thinking about ATI Technologies,” she said. “I like it a lot.” ATI is a very volatile stock. The company makes accelerators for computer graphics, but don’t ask me what that means. Anyway, at the time, the stock was around $15. I generally don’t buy calls; I sell them on my own stocks to pocket the premiums. So I didn’t make a bet on ATI. A couple of weeks later, the stock sank to $12. I thought, Ha! Susan finally got one wrong! But no, she was right. The stock moved back up in November. In late January it topped out at $27.90. If I’d bought, say, some January 20 calls (allowing the holder to buy ATI at $20 any time until January expiration) back in September, they would have been cheap because they were $5 out of the money. I’d have made a killing if I’d listened to Susan.
I used to like Susan a lot. She’s very smart, she has a great sense of humor, and she has a natural magnetism that men find sexy. The only problem is that she’s severely phobic. More specifically, she’s sort of agoraphobic and also phobic about having visitors. She lives five blocks away from me and has been to my place once in eleven years. (She can’t go east of Church St. or she gets a panic attack.) I’ve been to her place maybe four times but only when I happened to bump into her close to her building. I’ve tried numerous times to invite myself over there. “No, I just can’t,” she says. “I can’t handle it. But we can still talk on the phone.” This really pisses me off because I get lonely and want some company.
One time she said she was out on a boat on Lake Ontario. I said, “If you can go out on a boat, why can’t you visit me?”
“That’s different. I can be on a boat, but I can’t go into a strange building or I get a panic attack.” Go figure.
She used to work part-time in a bookstore near her place, and she was okay sitting in the basement shrink-wrapping magazines. But if the boss sent her to the bank to make a deposit, she’d have a panic attack on the way and have to turn back.
She’s been like this for seven or eight years now. I believe her sex life is limited to English cucumbers. However, the fact that she’s unsociable and unfuckable is not why I won’t speak to her any more.
On January 2nd, I had a back spasm. If you’ve ever had one, you know what they’re like. You’re in pain, and you can’t move. This was my sixth one. I knew exactly what medication I needed. I was able to get a doctor to come to my place and write me a prescription, no problem. I just needed someone to take it to the drug store. There was no one I could call who would be home in the middle of the day but Susan. “Susan, I can hardly move! Please get a prescription filled for me!”
“Oh, no, no, no, I can’t! You know my problem! I just can’t go to your place!”
I expected this, but I was still angry. “If my life depended on your getting this prescription for me, I’d be dead!”
She laughed. “Fortunately, it doesn’t. Why can’t they deliver it for you?”
“They can’t deliver on Saturdays.”
“Gee, if I could get someone to go with me, I might be able to, but there’s no one.”
“Thanks a lot. Never mind.” Click.
I ended up dragging myself in great pain to the drug store.
I’ll never forgive Susan for that. To this day, I keep thinking, I’d be dead if my life had depended on her!
She may call me again at some point. She calls about once every six months, always chirpy, as if we’re old chums. Well, next time she calls, I know exactly what I’m going to say to her:
“Listen, you bitch! I could be dead because of you, and if you don’t give me a stock tip right now, I’ll slam this phone down and never speak to you again!”
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