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David Sedaris looks into his crystal ball

David Sedaris looks into his crystal ball
David Sedaris looks into his crystal ball 02:26

I was with some houseguests not long ago, sitting around a table, when one of them mentioned a crystal ball she'd been thinking about buying. "Just to have," she said. "Then, I talked to a bunch of people and learned that it would suck all the energy out of whichever room it was in, which makes sense, I guess."

"No, it doesn't," I said.

Everyone looked at me, not just the woman who'd been talking - but our other two friends as well.    

"Crystal balls aren't real." I said. "I mean, they don't actually do anything."

"But they're crystal," one of the two men said. "So, of course they have special powers."

Woman Kneels Before Crystal Ball
Vintage Images/Getty Images

None of the three were what I'd call New Age-y, so their reverence for crystals surprised me. Just as it had surprised me a year earlier to hear them talking about ghosts, and of how they can come into your house by way of antiques, or second-hand clothing, like from the Goodwill or whatever, even if the coat or sweater in question has been dry-cleaned.

They were all on board for horoscopes as well, and spent small fortunes having their charts done.  

Psychics were revered, as were iridologists, who supposedly look deep into your eyes and can see your internal organs.

The medical stuff is especially troubling to me.

A friend, for instance, who is treating her cancer with mistletoe enemas. I said, "Excuse me? What?"

"The only problem is that it's not covered by my insurance," she said.

Is that honestly the only problem with it? I thought. How can this be anything but the mistletoe industry sitting around the day after Christmas and thinking, Huh, what else can we use this for?

All of these people are professionals. They make decent livings and pay taxes, and though they don't often come out and say it, I can sense them judging me for being so small-minded for not at least allowing the possibility that a crystal ball on a shelf in the living room might wear me out, or at least make it a bit harder to concentrate.

I try to see myself opening up, expanding my mind the way they want me to. But then it all goes foggy...

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Story produced by Amy Wall. Editor: Kevin McLaughlin. 

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