What is it like to read someone’s palm, to take their hand in yours and to trace the lines oh, so gently — of, as Dylan said, “my restless palms?” Some are restless, others not. I’ve read palms and played with Tarot for a long time – probably since I was about fifteen. But palm reading is another matter entirely; it’s more of an intimate experience than the Tarot. It means holding the other person's hand in yours; it means holding on for longer than you normally would to someone you don't know. Or perhaps you hold someone you wish know to better.
I had a friend advise me about palm reading once, and her advice was, “Tell him what he wants to hear.” It wasn’t bad advice per se, but it just wasn’t the kind of advice that I could take. I had to take his hand in mine and read it as it was.
It was a palm unlike any other, with crisses and crosses – of mathematics and high mounds of Venus, of sensuality and intelligence, of caring and nurturing, and all of the qualities that I would have expected anyway, except for the two faint lines running alongside the marriage line, which I could not sort out, but perhaps I read them wrong. In any case, the reading was 90% accurate, he said. Not bad for a quick read in a café.
I’ve been thinking about Bob Dylan a lot lately, perhaps because my husband, my cousin, and I are off to see him in August. That and that fact that I listen to his ‘63 tour nonstop and pretty much never listen to anything else. It borders upon selfish in a way, because I want Dylan all to myself; I don’t want to share him with anyone. Not fans, not Dylanologists. I tell myself, of course, how absurd this is. But still, part of me wants to believe that had I been of age, a meeting of the minds would have been possible. But the yearning is always for the Dylan of ’66. The thorny issue, you see, is that I was just being born while he was onstage and had already recorded some of my favorite albums.
To see him now is a shock – he looks so different than he ever has, although that said, I’d still be tangled in his web or he in mine. Like any good poet, Dylan knows how to cut through the shit or to spin just the right bullshit at exactly the right time. He is, as he once called himself, a “song and dance man,” and I take that in every literal way – he may not dance, but the show is what counts. One wonders if we ever see the face of the real Dylan; has anyone, or does he hide behind that “Bob Dylan” mask he joked about at the Philharmonic tour on Halloween?