I hate to describe myself as “psychic” because that immediately casts doubt in people’s minds. You won’t find me reading palms and telling fortunes. I’ve always thought of myself as being somewhat clairvoyant, though. For example, I can usually tell what song’s on the radio before I turn it on (then again, that may not be saying much given the amount of songs they play on the radio — one in six chance, right?). In broader terms, random words frequently pop into my head that I’ll hear someone say a few seconds later. When I’m watching TV, the answer to a game show question will just come to me. Many times it’s something I never learned in my life. Sometimes it’ll be a word I never heard of, and sometimes it’ll be the wrong answer — but the same wrong answer the contestant rings in with moments later. I predicted that Mayweather would win a split decision over De La Hoya, and I knew the Giants would beat the Patriots by a field goal. One time while taking a college class, I was focusing hard on my need to get on the mic as soon as I left campus when I heard the professor say: “I can’t find my… microphone. I mean keys. I can’t find my keys. Why’d I say microphone?” You could chalk these up as coincidences if they happened once in a while, but this is a regular occurrance for me. Last week, I took an online psychic test — just for kicks — where they tell you they’re going to show you a picture of one of five things, and you have to figure out what it’s going to be. I got 20 out of 24 of them right.
Truthfully, I don’t believe that I have any magical powers that other people don’t. I’m just an extremely focused and clear-headed person, and I do believe that enables me to use more of my brainpower than most people do. In school, I never had to study for a test. I have a near photographic memory, and can recite full songs back to you word for word after hearing them once. My mind is sharp, and my thoughts are very strong. Basically, if there was a such thing as the opposite of ADD, I’d have that. Whether or not that alone gives me any extrasensory perception is undeterminable, but my experience is that it does.
You might be asking what this has to do with anything.
Well, at about 2 in the morning on Thursday I got very stressed out. I’ve been mixing the Fam album for weeks. As some of you know, mixing an album is a quite the daunting task — especially when you’re a perfectionist. On top of that, we’re still in the middle of pushing the “Dreams Come True” single and I’m at the helm of that whole operation: dealing directly with DJs, writers, record pools, radio stations, etc. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and while most of these people are a pleasure to deal with, a select few actually make me long for a “normal” job. Since the weeks to come would only be more hectic, I decided it was best to step away from everything for a few days while I had the chance. So I jumped in the car and drove to northern Virginia, where I checked into my favorite Comfort Inn. I brought the Fam mixes on my MP3 player, which would allow me to leisurely go through them away from all the madness in New York.
Arriving at about 6 AM, I grabbed some breakfast at the hotel. When I looked outside through the window, I saw a yellow napkin hanging from my one of car’s headlights. I’m sure most people would think nothing of it, but it seemed pretty strange to me. It almost looked like a warning flag. When I went out to remove it, I noticed that it wasn’t jammed in — it was loosely dangling from my headlight, as if someone gently placed it there. For some reason, I thought my father was trying to tell me something. But if this was some kind of sign, what did it mean? I was getting anxious, and went up to the room where I found the Bible in the drawer. Suddenly, it hit me: the meaning of the sign was in the Bible. I said out loud, “The sign will be on this page” and turned to the page that felt right. Then I put my finger on a paragraph in the middle of the page and told myself this sentence would tell me the sign. When I actually read the sentence in question, I really freaked out.
It said (and I paraphrase): “The sign is that the king must not enter the city.”
I still didn’t know what that meant, but the fact that I was asking what “the sign” was and the first sentence I read began with “The sign is…” seriously messed with my head. My jaw literally dropped. I assumed that I was the king (I sure as hell hoped I wasn’t the city). At first I was thinking metaphorically, like maybe it meant I should have second thoughts about doing something I was planning to do. Then I jokingly said to myself, “Well, whatever this means, I better not go into DC this trip.” I even told some people that and they agreed.
Fast forward to last night.
One of my boys was hanging out with some friends in Maryland and invited me out. After the gathering, he asked if I wanted to hit up Adams Morgan, and I said I was down. That’s a section of DC. While in his car on the way there, I realized that I would indeed be “entering the city” and started thinking maybe I shouldn’t, before convincing myself not to let silly superstitions interfere with my life. After hitting up a few bars and clubs, we walked back to his car to find that his phone and GPS were missing. The glove box was also open. Someone had broken into his car while we we gone. He told me to call his phone, and I thought, “Yeah, right… Like whoever stole it’s really gonna pick up.” He picked up. My boy asked if he had his phone, and the guy calmly said, “Yes.” I couldn’t believe it. He asked if he also had his GPS, and he laughed and asked, “What else are you missing?” My boy asked him where he was, and he said, “I’m at the McDonalds in Adams Morgan.” He said for $50 he’d give the stuff back.
My friend wanted to confront the thief, and I advised him that it might be more trouble than it was worth. Apparently, his phone had his “whole life” in it, including social security numbers of family members, bank accounts, all his appointments, and business contacts, so he was determined to retrieve it. I had to have his back, so I said, “All right… let’s go get your stuff back.” When we got to McDonalds, the thief didn’t pick up the phone. My boy flagged down a police officer on the street, and he essentially told him there was nothing they could do. Eventually, he just reported it missing and will have to cancel the phone service now. The guy finally picked up when we tried calling again later, and he said he was already gone and that was that.
When it was all said and done, I was mad at myself for ignoring the prophecy. Realizing it was my boy who actually suffered the most misfortune by entering the city and remembering he came from Ghana, I said to him, “You don’t happen to be a king in Ghana, do you?”
“No,” he replied. I was thinking how stupid I must be for taking the passage that literally. Here I was so caught up in this supposed ESP nonsense that I was actually thinking my friend could have been royalty because of a random sentence I read in the Bible. He was carjacked; that’s all there is to it. Don’t get carried away, Pi.
Then he continued, without the slightest hint of sarcasm: “But I am a prince. Why?”