The first thing I learn upon arriving at Fahrusha's dark, cavernous, downtown Manhattan walk-up apartment is that despite the exotic moniker, Fahrusha is more soothing earth mother than spooky sorceress.
She offers me a cup of hot tea, and when she talks about the nightmares and exhaustion that plunged her into a trancelike sleep during the 24 hours leading up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, she does so in such a straightforward, matter-of-fact, undramatic manner that she could just as easily be sharing a favorite recipe.
In addition to picking up the psychic clues coming off her clients, Fahrusha specializes in palmistry and tarot card reading. She thoroughly inspects my palms with her magnifying glass and after being quite dead-on about my basic personality, moves onto a tarot card reading, and finally, psychic predictions.
My palm seems to quite accurately reflect my personality, which is in synch with everything I've ever read about the characteristics associated with my birth signs under both the Zodiac and Chinese astrology systems.
Fahrusha also does a pretty good job describing my husband, calling him "salt of the earth," a term that other people frequently use to describe him. During the tarot card reading, I'm a little unnerved when I look down at the card representing my husband and see staring back at me a male image that (minus the Viking hat) bears an uncanny resemblance to him.
We cover a lot of ground, but the gist of what Fahrusha has to tell me is a prediction for more children, specifically a male child that she says will be conceived by the end of this year. She sees this in my palm and my cards and feels a "strong urging" for this child to be born.
"I don't know where the urging is coming from, but I feel a very strong push for this child to come," she says.
She then asks me if the name "Michael" means anything to me. This truly stuns me. My husband's name is Michael, many of the men in his family are named Michael and my daughter, had she been a boy, would likely have been named Michael (over my objections).
I tell Fahrusha that my desire to give my children their own names, and not names borne by 15 relatives, is a source of debate between my husband and me.
"This child will be Michael," she declares. "It's important that you carry this on," she says.
Fahrusha speaks in terms of "potential," explaining, for example, that just because she sees the "potential" for four children doesn't mean that I will have them all. When I ask Fahrusha about communicating with the "other side," she tells me that she is not a medium and actually advises me against it.
"If you feel that you're not connecting with those who have passed on, maybe you shouldn't be talking to them," she says diplomatically.
Fahrusha's final tricks: She knows my sister's last name, and she makes me write down a nonsense word associated with my daughter. Two weeks later, a baby girl is born in my family, and when my 3-year-old attempts to pronounce her new cousin's name, it sounds a lot like Fahrusha's nonsense word.
As she helps me with my coat, the prediction of a boy baby has become a firm urging to have this baby. Sooner rather than later. I am sent out into the night with instructions to procreate.