The Boiling Point

COVID Belief, Astrology

I can’t recall the time… maybe it was three in the morning? I had stayed up applying for more freelance marketing roles (as always) and, upon sliding into bed at a cool midnight-o-one, opened Instagram.

The first of many protests was underway in New York. Police cars were set ablaze, humans flooded the once empty streets with baseball bats and lighters in their hands but masks over their mouths (safety first) breaking windows and shouting those simple, sensible words: Black. Lives. Matter.

I devoured the evening news, especially that of the woman who took to yelling at those who had decided that destruction was the answer. Now residing 30 miles north of the city, I had moved out of my Brooklyn apartment due to a lease-end and, unwilling to renew and pay high prices all for the gift of being confined to a tiny bedroom, packed my things and moved back home. I was home, home as in, my childhood home, my childhood bed, at the age of 28, reading the news in darkness for fear that my parents, both insomniacs who appeared as pale, ghostly apparitions in the hallway or peering into my bedroom, would, ironically, attempt to order me to sleep.

Once I’d read my fill of articles, pivoting from the police violence against black men and women, to the ensuing protests, to the appalling racial maternal mortality discrepancies in America, which then, from one article to another, lead me to period poverty, the NXIVM details, the Epstein documentary reviews, whether or not Doc Antle from Tiger King had been arrested for his mistreatment of animals and women, which then, naturally, lead me to Planet Earth’s footage of the walruses plunging to their deaths off of cliffs in Russia, and, in a deeper search, pleading for it not to be true (which incidentally lead me to a climate change conspiracy theory site for a brief moment), I then turned my spasmodic attention to an astrologer’s website that I had been following faithfully for my monthly horoscope over the last 3 years.

I’d met her in a Dunkin Donuts on the Upper East Side. My boyfriend at the time had struck up conversation with her as I leerily looked on, chugging my coffee in an attempt to become more tolerant to astrological ramblings. She looked from him to me and, after taking in our horoscopes and unabashedly showing how dumbfounded she was by our relationship, handed me her card. I kept it, thinking her just another eccentric. And, while that may be true, she was apparently a world famous eccentric, trusted by millions for her monthly horoscopes. Needless to say, my relationship with her website has long outlasted the one I had had with that man.

Over the years, as I faithfully checked at the start of each month for a foretelling of my future, I’ve noticed that the astrologer often delays her monthly publication by a day, sometimes two or even three. But this time, on this night in early June, there was no June horoscope five days in nor was there a banner, apologizing and promising an update shortly. I contemplated clicking her Twitter but it felt odd. Number one, I’m not a Twitter user. The platform always felt like a jumbled collage of information akin to something in line with the Checkpoint Charlie museum and I was too overwhelmed to ever give it a fighting chance.

No, I wasn’t concerned that she had Coronavirus but felt a need to check in on her anyway. I couldn’t sleep and needed some sort of positive distraction amongst the mounting chaos. I’d never crossed that boundary before, staying within what she told me about my own life on her website, never caring to enter or learn about her own on her social media platforms. But I clicked.

Her tweets consisted mainly of apologies spanning back months, even years. “So many exciting developments this month! I am currently working on Sagittarius. 50,000 words total. I am taking time to include as much detail as possible for all of the signs. Wonderful news in your work, Sagittarius! I will be publishing the June horoscopes to my website shortly. Thank you all for your patience.” Followed by a flower emoji.

Another: “Please, Pisces, do not buy any electronics between June 15th to July 20th! During this uncertain time, I know that, if you are out of work, you may be tempted to sign a new contract. Be sure to sign it before June 15th! More soon. As you all know, I had my eyes operated on back in February. I have had trouble writing but the June horoscopes will be up shortly!

I scrolled through the apologies then clicked back a couple of months on an update from my own sign. There were 350 comments and 2 hearts.


@ProudMomProudAmerican: “@CarlLarssenMD She’s always late. Always.” Another fan replied.

@moonbaby69: “There are plenty of other astrologers who DO get the horoscopes in on time. I’m taking my business elsewhere. Thank you. Goodbye.”

@yogagirlforever: “Like who @moonbaby69?” One fan replied to the other.

@HanaGoldstein: “@moonbaby69 this is a free service that she offers every month without fail. It is more detailed than any other astrologer out there. Worth the wait. She does an amazing job. If she didn’t, you wouldn’t be here complaining.”

@RickMcGuyMan: “Missing those first days is unprofessional. I NEED to know whether or not I should sell my business to my brother or wait until after the full moon. PLEASE you have people that RELY on you!”

The comment section was stunning. I skimmed the cacophony of pleading comments then decided to check in on the astrologer’s Instagram and search for her defenders but Instagram was no better.

@JeffyBoy4TheWin: “I’m here for two things: 1. To see how long it takes advertisers/Google to realized the site visitor numbers are BS cause they’re just generated by her lateness. 2. To see that she gets deserved shade for it.

@BourdainBro: “You said May will be tough, I got diagnosed with breast cancer. U said get insurance ready- I got it topped up. U said no surgery till 4th June, my chemo port surgery today wasn’t successful. What do u advise?”

All in response to an image of a shooting star with the caption: “Have hope, dear Leo, this will be your month.”

Places of worship opened momentarily in America, then shut once more due to outbreaks. Zoom calls were the new normal for bowed heads and sermons. Many of those sermons included lessons of how each life is precious and should be treated as such, a lesson to teach the believers that black lives matter.

Resources circulated the internet: what to read, how to understand, where we can help out. Protests continued. In Portland, a group of mothers led protesters through the streets of downtown singing in a melancholic, lullaby, hands up, don’t shoot to where the speeches would start, demanding justice as others off to the side, not listening to the men and women who spoke of peaceful protest, would kick the chain link gates of the federal building, shouting until the agents finally emerged. Some protesters, expectantly waiting, carried balloons to see where the wind would go. Some carried leaf blowers to send the tear gas back towards the police who violently slammed multiple protesters into the cement, knees over their necks, as other shouting protesters set to burning American flags in the back.

When the air was cleared of tear gas it was consumed with smoke. Wildfires charred the west coast, the late summer days an eternal orange hue. News broke of record heats in Siberia, permafrost melting, typhoons in the Philippines, a beheading for teaching civil liberties in France, and mounting COVID numbers in the fall, which brought floods of people into the streets across various continents fighting against a virus shutting them once more indoors. Into their tiny living quarters, shuttering their businesses as they default on mortgages and count their dwindling savings as the demand for luxury homes skyrocket, the wealthy waging a bidding war, paying double the home’s value.

And it is another month and here, once more, I find myself curiously peering into my astrologer’s Twitter as I did in June, drinking in the comments that are filled with angry desperation. They shout into the void, demanding she make her free service, delayed as always, available NOW. Everything is uncertain, lives are upended, people need justice, need answers, need retribution. Those pleading comments multiply in response to her tweet, they beg, “I need something, ANYTHING good to believe in.”