It had become a ritual at this point. She felt too plugged in; too attached to her phone. “Wednesdays,” she said, “are for me.”
She packed her tote bag full of essentials – green tea, chapstick, sunglasses, a magazine, a book that she was only a chapter into but still carried everywhere, and a planner she hadn’t cracked since January – and headed to her favorite coffee shop to spend her morning.
In an effort to soak in the last days of summer, she decided to forego calling an Uber and would walk the mile-and-a-half to Roast, a coffee shop full of rustic wood tables, baristas well-versed in pour over, and soundtrack full of Sylvan Esso and Haim. Her sunglasses came in handy given how beautiful of a day it was, and because she left her phone at home, she was truly soaking it up.
“Just a tall iced Americano,” she told the barista whose apron was covered in pins from bands she’d never heard of. “And actually, can I do a scone as well?” She laughed before expressing to him, “I’m so bad.” He wrapped the scone in a piece of paper and set it on the plate before running her card.
“We’ll call your name,” he told her.
The coffee shop, for the most part, was empty. The morning rush had dissipated and the lunch-goers had yet to infiltrate the zen of the situation.
Reaching into her bag, she pulled out her book, “The Hopefuls” by Jennifer Close. It was the story of a newly married couple who had just moved to Washington D.C. from New York, but she only knew that from the back of the book. Four words into the second chapter, her mind began to wander.
She noticed the barista making shots of espresso and wondered who they were for. She looked to her left and noticed a couple fawning over each other in a booth, and to her right she saw a gentleman reading The Wall Street Journal with what appeared to be an empty mug.
“Must be mine,” she told herself.
With a large glass filled the brim with ice, the barista dumped the two shots in before adding a third and filling the rest with ice cold water. He squinted at the receipt trying to locate her name only for her to stand up out of her seat and tell him, “Oh, that’s me. Tall iced Americano?”
“Tall iced Americano,” he confirmed.
She returned to her seat and slid the book to the side of the table, replacing the blank space in front of her with a magazine. Page after page, it was the same thing she’d read the week before – celebrity breakup, street style, a recipe that involved matcha, and enough cheap perfume ads to make someone pass out.
But just before getting to the second third of the magazine, her index finger flipped a page and revealed something she’d never really entertained before.
“Horoscopes,” the header read.
That same index finger lingered from the top of the page down to her sign – Aquarius – based on her February 5th birth date.
“Hmmm,” she wondered. “I wonder what mine is.” She didn’t truly think anything of it, as one does the first time they read their horoscope, until she actually began to think about the words on the page.
“Sit tight,” it began, “This is the month you’ve been waiting for.”
It drew her in.
“With two life-changing eclipses on the map — one in YOUR sign — your relationships and personal goals are about to get reshuffled.”
Her interest was even more piqued, but with the same hesitation she’d always had regarding what seemed to be an arbitrary system for forecasting one’s future, she knew she’d have to dive further to really see where her life was headed. With a large initial gulp of her Americano, she settled in.
“These eclipses will impact your priorities,” it continued, “The people you hang around, your lifestyle and your closest ties.” She didn’t care about any ties – even her closest – if they weren’t named “Todd.”
“Everything’s up for a much-needed renegotiation,” the page of Elle told her, “and the flurry of activity could leave your life looking dramatically different come September.” It was no mystery what her brain was defaulting to.
Just what she wanted to read as she skipped to the next paragraph – “Relationships are the headline act this August, as the Sun makes its rounds through Leo and your partnership sector until August 22.”
“Screw this retrograde stuff,” she thought to herself, “finally the good stuff.” But it wasn’t for a few more paragraphs that she finally got past “friendships” and actually saw some insight into the one person she’d been thinking of the entire time.
As she took another sip of her Americano, she reached down to grab her phone and check her texts only to realize and remember that she had left it in her apartment. “Fuck,” she muttered.
“Is it time to finally stop biting your tongue?” the magazine asked her. “Ready or not, here it comes: On August 4, blunt Jupiter in your outspoken ninth house locks into a heated square with power monger Pluto in Capricorn and your twelfth house of hidden agendas.”
She pulled out her planner. “Shit,” she thought, “August 4th was, like, a week ago.” She wracked her brain thinking back to the week that was. A lightbulb went off. “That’s it.”
She thought back to last week when she watched The Bachelor with Caroline and Katie. That was the outspoken and heated power struggle Elle was pointing her toward.
Her eyes skipped to the next paragraph. “Near this date, a power struggle could have the makings of a tabloid-worthy scandal,” she continued, “so be mindful what you share—and with whom.”
“Fuck,” she reiterated. “What did I say to Caroline when she was being such a bitch comparing Todd to Peter?” She couldn’t really remember, as the Cabernet ended up getting the best of her, but she remembered a shell of the conversation.
“Need to clear the air?” the magazine asked. “Careful, Aquarius. You could be tempted to unleash a dose of brutal honesty, but if your truth serum is spiked with blame or passive-aggressive barbs, an ugly retaliation can ensue.” Not what she wanted to read. Her mind was absolutely racing knowing that she wasn’t just tempted to unleash on Caroline, but she did unleash on Caroline. She needed a resolution given that she feared she’d already messed everything up. After all, it was written in the stars, she was just a week late reading about it.
“Relationships reach a turning point at the August 21 total solar (new moon) eclipse in Leo, which will activate your committed partnership house,” her horoscope continued. “Todd,” she thought.
“Solar eclipses bring bold beginnings, and things could move rapidly toward official status,” the page read. She wasn’t just in a beginning with Todd, though. “But could this mean a new beginning?” she wondered.
“You could feel a spark with someone—whether it’s a meeting of the minds OR the hearts—and things could escalate rapidly,” she read. That’s it – a spark! She had spent months urging Todd to take their relationship more seriously, but now was the time that he’d actually start doing it. It wasn’t the gleaming of the stars that decided her future running through her head, but the gleaming of a diamond ring.
Unfortunately, this came to a halt with the next sentence – “But events will really come together around January 31, 2018, when a Leo total lunar eclipse—the corresponding full moon—brings all this to a head.”
“January 31st?!” she wondered. “That’s forever from now! Does that mean that’s when he’s proposing, or does that mean the date we’re getting married?” Her eyes rolled as she began to realize that some of her questions would remain unanswered as her horoscope was coming to an end.
“You’re laying the foundation for powerful alliances now,” she was told. “Well, duh, I’ve been doing that for, like, two years,” she thought while continuing.
“You’re the last one to demand round-the-clock attention, Aquarius,” it concluded, “but if someone can’t even come through in tough times, direct your precious time and energy elsewhere.”
“Yep,” she confirmed, “this is so right. I’m always putting other people first. It’s time I be a little selfish with my future.”
And with that, her horoscope came to an end. She sipped her Americano and stared into the distance thinking about what could be ahead of her, only to flip the page and see a photo of Sarah Jessica Parker.
“Ugh, she’s so perf.” .
[Horoscope via Elle]