Nobody Puts Kenzie In The Corner: That’s So Kenzie

This just in: I will be alone probably for the rest of my life. In other breaking news, grass is green and the sun is sunny.


photo courtesy SPC portrait photography

by Mackenzie O'Guin, Design Editor

For someone who doesn’t at all buy into the supernatural, spiritual or otherworldly, I have a bizarre infatuation with the realm of clairvoyance. I don’t believe in ghosts, spirits or the mythical like, but if there’s a psychic within a 50-mile radius, will find them. Every last sketchy hole-in-the-wall with the words psychicpalmist or tarot reading scrawled on some makeshift sign warrants a significant lot of my attention. Yet, despite my persistent fascination with psychics, I still find myself unable to declare any committal state of belief or disbelief in their powers or predictions. That is, I try to maintain a healthy skepticism. I am the archetypical “see it to believe it” cynic caught in a vicious recurring cycle of belief pangs.

“But, Mack! If believing in psychics conflicts with your fundamental personal convictions, why do you keep going back?”

My fixation is twofold. The first is relatively predictable for anyone who has spoken with me for more than .135 seconds– I am permanently preoccupied with my future. I find “living in the moment” in impossible sentiment, at best. In no way do I pride myself on this, either; quite frankly, I desperately lament everything I miss out on due to over-planning the future. I suppose I cling to any chance to even slightly glimpse the future (no matter how fabricated) simply to find out if any of my excessive and incessant planning actually pays off. Even though, if we’re being honest, am I really looking to see if my hard work pays off? Or am I just looking for affirmation that everything I’m doing will one day be worth it? Knowing me, I’d probably nay-say the first psychic who dares insinuate that I should stop and relax for a while.

My second draw to psychics is because, believe it or not, too many psychics I’ve seen have actually been, for lack of better words, right. And, perhaps I keep seeing different psychics in hopes that one of them will finally tip the scales of skepticism in one definitive direction- either psychics are real, or they aren’t. Now, is this rational? Not really. I’m not sure how many correct readings it will take for me to pledge allegiance to the realm of the “sixth sense”, or how many incorrect readings it will take for me to denounce my obsession altogether.

Thus, when my mom asked what entertainment I wanted at my Sweet 16, the second phrase out of my mouth was “fortune-tellers” (the first phrase was “fire-breathers”, but insurance doesn’t cover pyromaniacal stunts in the ballroom).


The night of my Sweet 16, my first stop was a secreted corner housing the two psychics. STA junior Kelly Hulsey and I, alongside Raymore-Peculiar juniors Haleigh Fuller and Mercedes Lopez, approached the first psychic with a gingerly apprehension. From my [embarrassingly extensive] research, I had collected that each medium conducts their readings uniquely, and I wanted to be as respectful as possible to whatever parameters the woman (who introduced herself as Saphira) might establish. She initially offered me any of three options: palm reading, card reading or crystal ball reading. With trademark indecision, I asked her what she recommended.

“Look into the crystal ball,” Saphira instructed. “Just look into the center and be your natural self.”

Feigning some sureness of what it meant to be my “natural self,” I turned my eyes downward to the crystal. Saphira did the same.

“You’re a very spiritual person,” she said surely. A shadow of a doubt washed over me. I don’t consider myself incredibly spiritually in tune, but I mentally catalogued this immediate impression for closer analysis later. Saphira then went on to discuss her impression of me based on whatever she saw in the crystal.

After a moment, Saphira locked eyes with me, “What do you want to know?”

In my prior experience, I had never actually been asked what I wanted to know. Generally, the psychics would give their first impression of my “aura” and other psychic jargon, with little (if any) regard to personal questions.

“College.” I didn’t think twice.

“Hmm. I see you going southeast…”

I shot a confused look at Kelly, glanced at the Princeton University phone case protruding recognizably from my pocket, then refocused on Saphira. Princeton, a small northeastern Ivy League, was infinitely different from the impermanent southeastern college she saw me attending for “a year or so, tops”. The poorly suppressed shadow of doubt I initially felt grew. I let her finish her reading uninterupted, and she asked if I had any other requests.

“What about career? What do I end up doing?”

“You won’t find your career for a while. I see you traveling, experiencing life before you settle into a career, because once you get that career, you’ll never want to leave. You’ll rarely take any time off for vacation or personal, and the career will really be your main priority.”

This seemed more authentically Mack O’Guin than her observations before. With the same workaholism of my father, I found her vision of a middle-aged, career-addicted me all too familiar.

Saphira continued, “I see you  successful, with  a very prestigious career. I see you in New York.”

My head whipped up. I had vividly planned to move to New York for over a year. Then again, I told myself, wasn’t every other teenage girl planning to move to either LA or NYC? Still, I listened at peak interest as she attempted to articulate a peculiar vision of a the City’s impending grand metamorphisis. New York, she said, would change very drastically in coming years. Sadly, she moved on before I had the chance to ask what precisely she meant. She asked one final time if there was anything I wanted to know.

“Am I forgetting anything?” I asked my trio of bystanders.

“Do you wanna know about boys?” Haleigh giggled. I rolled my eyes, but gave Saphira a shrug.

She peered into the crystal with a disheartening grimace. Thanks, crystal ball.

“I don’t see you marrying until very, very late.”

“I don’t see me marrying, period.” I thought in response.

“You will not marry until you are absolutely sure it’s the right decision,” Saphira continued. “And, even then, you won’t be anchored by that relationship.”

That, at least, was reassuring. As someone whose interest in dating is comparable to my interest in eating an entire jar of mayonnaise raw, I was somewhat glad to see that I would maintain my hermit-esque personna into adulthood.

With that, my reading was presumably over. I opened my mouth to thank Saphira for her time, but before I could utter a word, she suddenly locked eyes with me.

“Do you have a pet?”

Yes, I told her confusedly, two dogs. I was thrown off that she would ask because, frankly, I don’t really care about pets. I love them dearly, but I view my pets more like distant housemates that stay in their lane than precious creatures sent from heaven to grace the earth with their cuteness.

“Do you have a favorite?”

I explained that one of the dogs was nineteen, horribly behaved, but a beloved constant in the family. The other was about eleven, perfectly behaved, and appreciated for his cat-like self-sufficiency. Thus, I liked them both for different reasons.

“I just feel something drawing me to one of them, something very strong. As if something important were about to happen,” she mumbled cryptically but seemed to catch herself before continuing. “I don’t know. It’s just something I sensed.”

On that strange note, my reading was over (for real this time). I thanked her but walked away unnerved, with the same fidgety discomfort that one feels when walking through a very dark room. I shook it and went about my night, without much thought to my scattered and bizarre reading.


The night after my Sweet 16, my oldest dog (Buddy) had a severe seizure in the middle of the night. My mother called the vet first thing in the morning. With heavy hearts, we learned that Buddy (who has survived everything from fires to terminal bone cancer) was finally dying.

When my mother told me this, I was stuck with an uneasiness. I immediately recalled Saphira’s last minute remark about my dog and her nagging hunch that something lurked around the bend for good ole’ Buddy. I don’t believe in such opportune coincidences.

But, this also begs the following question: how could the psychic predict my dog’s seizure, but overlook my gaudy, bright orange Princeton phone case? I have a theory.

I attribute clairvoyance less to “magic” than to extreme intuitiveness. To disgracefully dumb down the academic findings of many a neuroscientist, we send out “telepathic” signals to one another nonstop. I believe that psychics are perhaps just more receptive to these signals than others. Thus, they can’t be 100% certain all of the time. My general rule of thumb is that everything the psychics say is about 80% accurate, 20% inaccurate. Could I be wrong? Easily. But, honestly, are there many more logical theories?

Thank you so much for reading. I know this was a surreally long post, and if you made it this far, kudos to you. I HAVE A SPECIAL REQUEST! If you have any psychic encounters, comment below and tell me about them! Do you agree or disagree with my theory above? Do you think Saphira is gifted or guessing? Questions, questions.

So long and goodnight,

Mackenzie Nicole O’Guin

Thank you to Saphira for the most unnerving reading I’ve had in a while, my parents for the most wonderful party I could ever dream up, everyone involved in the aforementioned party and every psychic I’ve ever seen in my life.