Santa Cruz can be REALLY odd, and yes, you can expect to run into some really eccentric personalities and demeanors. Nonetheless, it can be unpredictably beautiful and cleansing at times, like this one.
It was around the incoming of Autumn of 2013 that I had this amazing encounter with a father and son whom both made a deep imprint in my life, simply through his words and his son’s childlike but empowering gestures.
I just got done with my evening Chemistry study drill at a local coffee shop in downtown Santa Cruz. On my way to the bus stop, I saw the avenue strewn with small kiosks, some had awnings and some just basked in the fleeting summer air. These little kiosks were apparently occupied by students from a psychic academy (SOMEWHERE IN SANTA CRUZ). And these folks, mostly hippies, were essentially offering free services of palm-, tarot card-, and tattoo-readings.
I walked along their direction to the bus stop and merely dismissed every one bypassing my way until I heard a call-out from a small set-up around the bend. The man had his family with him and yes, he was a psychic. Somehow, I felt the need to stop and walk up to his area, and asked him what the matter was. In me, there surged the need to debunk his gigs but also the yearning to ask him the good/bad of my tattoo design ideas. I took a seat, therefore.
I said: “If it’s really free, I would like you to decipher the meanings of my tattoo ideas, and through your psychic’s perspective, comment whether they are good or bad.” He handed me paper and a pen, and asked me to scribble down the design. I wrote down two Chinese characters, one of my dad’s last name, and the other of my mom’s. “These are my parent’s last names”, said I. He asked: “where would you like them?” “On my back, right and left. The purpose is to pay them tribute and because of some family’s past affair, I would like this to be an obscure, humble tribute to both of them.” Upon knowing what those characters and their placements would be, the man advised against having them on.
Right before he said that, I had told him that the primary reason of my choosing was due to my changing from my dad’s last name to my mom’s. And up to this day, I have been legally carrying my mom’s last name without my dad’s knowledge, and with the assumption that my dad, whose son had run away from him to Western Hemisphere of the world, would be even much more disappointed if he knew. So, I wanted to hide this secret, but at the same time, honor him and ma.
The psychic read through me and explained to me that what I was thinking (and eventually doing) would be debilitating because I was trapping myself in the past, barring any entry of possible future joy. Instead, he suggested that I should let go of the idea and the guilt therein such that I would be able to live my life progressively. I digested his advice and thought that it was indeed very rational.
He might have just capitalized on my situation and manipulated for his good, however true or false, I am still much indebted to him for freeing me from my self-inflicted guilt with such a rational counseling. His words were able to catalyze my escape from the past and acceptance of joy in the upcoming days. This uniquely odd encounter allowed me to courageously lift my head and embark on a quest to seek happiness.
Now here comes the sweet, unexpected, seemingly pre-destined part. His son, a little boy of 5 to 8 of age, came up to me after his dad retired and handed me a crayoned paper sword. He then mumbled: “I want you to have this because you are a warrior.”
That made me smile and that smile marked my new beginning of hope, positivity, and discovery.