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  • Christina Fotinelli

Dear Mr. Douglass,

Stamatia "Stacey" Papadakis (22) came to the Big Apple to "make it". The excitement of escaping from her suffocating village, in the backwater of the Peloponnese, and the euphoria of her arrival to the big city are soon dulled by the steady stream of job rejections. No matter where she applies, it is always a curt no. The sheer effort of daily survival has left her no choice but to bus tables at her skinflint cousin's greasy diner 'Dionysus Palace' in Queens. Not willing to see her dreams fly the coop quite so soon, Stacey finds an ingenious way of making money.

Dear Mr. Douglass,

As a valued and loyal customer, I gave you my number in case of an emergency. I appreciate this week's coffee-cup reading session was a little unsettling for you, but 15 texts and 6 missed calls is going overboard. As an aside, I am not convinced you have come to grips with how emojis work.

You are absolutely correct to embrace them as part of your daily parlance - trust me, you'll get more traction with your #GenZ daughter and you #Millenial girlfriend but for God's sake, know your kissy faces 😘 from your see-no-evils 🙈 and your vegetables🍆 before you run amok on your keypad.

We have discussed this before and your advanced age is no excuse Mr. Douglass. It's called #toughlove and you'll thank me one day (preferably soon-ish and by way of a generous tip).

For the record: 💀is the new 😂. 🔥 means cool and is NOT a reason to call the fire department (!) and for heaven's sake, when I send you 💨 please stop enquiring about the state of my bowels. I'm urging you to hurry up and be on time!

But I digress. Back to our reading.

Trust Me, I Know What I'm Doing

I have a gift. The women in my family have been divining the messages of the coffee grounds for generations. Kafemanteia is in our blood. If you are in any doubt, I predicted the election of Epaminontas Grigorakis as Mayor of Lower Drosoneri when I saw a 🍴 in the dregs of his cup. I called Evlambia Karambinis' engagement when I saw a 💡 just near the mouth of her cup - 2 weeks later her boyfriend proposed. I even foresaw the great 🍅 shortage of 2014 in old Farmer Anesti's cup. Now, that he was the town drunk and spent the village's money for seed on 🍷is a detail. A shortage is a shortage. Even Kiria Soula, the master coffee diviner of Lower Drosoneri and Upper Drosoneri, and all the Drosoneria in between, agrees. I have a gift.

Which is not managing to stay focused on one thing for very long. But per the wise Plutarch, that's no tragedy - because a) I know myself 🙌 and b) I do a whole lot of a little of this and that. 😎

"There are two sentences inscribed upon the Delphic oracle, hugely accommodated to the usage of man's life: "Know thyself," and "Nothing too much"; and upon these all other precepts depend."

The Week Ahead

I won't lie, Mr. Douglass. It's looking bumpy. There are at least 3 rings encircling you. One could be your ex. She's either pawning her wedding ring or planning to strangle you with her bare hands. 50/50, it could go either way. 💍 The second ring symbolises your childhood desire to be like John Wayne and ride off into the sunset and leave all this behind for a peaceful life in the Wild West. 🐴 The third is probably a kidney stone, I would seek urgent medical attention. 😷

The point is you must break through these rings to free yourself. Look into your cup and see for yourself. The bottom is black sludge. Now, don't lose heart. There is a small trickle of light reaching to the rim. All this darkness is trying to escape but you have to put more effort into your catharsis. You must free yourself. No one is going to do the work for you.... but I can help. Might I suggest adding another weekly session, at the same friendly price?

No, There are No Refunds

Just because you find these divinations to be disagreeable you cannot have your money back. Do you think the Ancient Greeks begged Apollo to return their sacrificial rams and their bay laurels if they didn't like what the Oracle foretold?! I should think not.

You made a commitment to a weekly session, Mr. Douglass, cash only. From what I foresee in your coffee grounds, you're sticking to it otherwise I see storms brewing. #dontmesswithfate

I will expect you on Wednesday at 11.30am for our usual rendezvous.

Stacey ☕️😘

P.S. If you're not keen on a tip, can I have an advance? 💰My rent is past due and I'm in a jam.

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