Friday, January 22, 2016
Many years ago, during the War in Iraq, I was doing the legal work on a multi-million dollar real estate transaction for some foreign clients in New York. I was told by our real estate broker that the buyer's broker, a Russian lady representing some high profile Russian clients, was eccentric to the point of driving them all crazy with aggravating phone calls and deal-breaking arguments. In fact, I found her, yes, pushy and aggressive, in a New York kind of way. Yet, she was entertaining.
We ended up becoming friendly over the course of the real estate transaction. She eventually invited me to a cocktail party and art exhibit at the Luxembourg Consulate. She had apparently invited several people besides me to this event and was late showing up. I was left to wander aimlessly among the various attendees. I didn't know anybody there. I happened to bump into a couple of her other guests, quite by accident. We started chatting - typical cocktail conversation: what-do-you-do-for-a-living? type stuff. One fellow was a securities broker so we talked about securities laws.
We were joined by his friend, I don't recall his name. He spoke with a thick accent - what seemed to me to be, in all likelihood, a Russian accent. We all chatted. He asked what I did and I told him I was an author. He recommended I get in touch with a famous Russian poet and gave me her name. He said he was a supplier of goods to the U.S. military and partnered with high ranking officers in our army.
After five or ten minutes, I'm not sure what got into me, but suddenly, against my better judgment, I blurted out of nowhere, "I think you are a spy. I'm just not sure for whom."
Now, I have never said such a thing to anybody in my life. I am normally not a rude person. Nor is it particularly my style to blurt things out. Furthermore, I had no rational basis for making such a statement - to the contrary, it didn't make much sense at all given what little I knew about him at that point.
The man's eyes widened like big saucers. He became momentarily speechless and his face blanched several shades of white. I was more surprised by this reaction than he was by my statement.
"Yes," he said, with a forced sound of confidence despite the wavering in his voice. "Yes, I am."
This, of course, surprised me even more. That a spy would, caught off balance, admit to being a spy.
"Where are you from?" I asked.
"Oh! I see," I said. "I wasn't able to distinguish your Ukrainian accent from a Russian accent."
I asked him to say a few words in Ukrainian, which he did.
I wasn't sure if he was a spy for Ukraine, Russia or the United States. And frankly, I didn't want to know. As I learned much later, he had very high level contacts at the top of the Ukrainian government and also the Kremlin.
But then I proceeded to blurt even further - against my better judgment.
"You're very psychic, aren't you?" I asked.
He shook his head emphatically and said , "No! Not at all! Definitely not!"
"Yes, you are," I insisted.
To this day, I don't know why I believed he was psychic. He gave no overt appearance of being psychic and our conversation had nothing to do with anything on that level.
He kept insisting he wasn't psychic at all. But I was persistent. Finally, after three times, he gave up his act. He conceded he was indeed psychic. As I learned later, he was a trained psychic and also seemed to be extremely well versed in psychology. Fantastic!
For the rest of the evening, he and I stood together in a far corner of the elegant ballroom in the Luxembourg Consulate. One by one, we analyzed the auras - of all the people in the room. Auras are the semi-visible electromagnetic displays of color surrounding every living human being and most often seen by people with psychic sensibilities. We shared our observations, commenting and adding to the other's perceptions. Imagine what you can learn and understand about people in a consulate simply by looking at them!
Now that's a fun cocktail party!