A Clairvoyant, an Amateur Stand-up Comedian, and No Punchline

by Megan Cannella

The year I decided to be a clairvoyant, I also started dating an amatuer stand-up comedian. I couldn’t bring myself to quit grad school, so becoming a psychic—I mean: uncovering the psychic ability that lay within me—seemed like the next best thing.

On Tuesday nights, I started going to the pay-what-you-can energy cleansing clinics with a frenemy. Afterward, we’d go for dinner at the sushi restaurant across the street and talk about how good we felt, how our $5 donations were worth it even if we were just basking in the glow of a psychic placebo effect.

Feeling good is addictive, so I kept going back.

I took energy classes. I learned how to call back all the energy I lost to the world, how to send back all the energy I unintentionally siphoned from other people, energy got muddled and stuck in my aura. I took a women’s energy class. I learned how to ground my uterus and ovaries. I uncovered my ability to channel the energy of my ovaries, so I could be more successful–professionally and romantically, obviously. Then, after being told that they knew from the start I belonged in the old house turned crystal store and energy clinic, I signed up for the year-long clairvoyant course that I could mostly afford if I spent less money on booze and takeout, which more or less seemed like something I could do, if I was being optimistic, which I was.

Sometime before I graduated from being a beginner clairvoyant student to being an advanced student, I started dating an amateur stand-up comedian. My clairvoyant teacher told me he had a chaotic energy that I should be wary of. I brought sage to his apartment. My clairvoyant teacher told me he had addictive energy that I should be wary of. I used my newly uncovered healing powers to ground and cleanse the energy in his apartment, to ground and cleanse the energy in him. My clairvoyant teacher told me he and his ex had a toxic dynamic that I should be wary of. When I went to the amateur stand-up comedian’s apartment, I never parked in his spot, just in case his ex did a drive by and decided to slash my tires, which he told me wasn’t a completely unrealistic scenario.

The year I decided to quit being a clairvoyant, I also broke up with an amateur stand-up comedian.

Part of the clairvoyant program required me to go to an overnight retreat. This retreat had traditionally been held at a haunted hotel out past the California-Nevada border. However, due to a scheduling error, I didn’t get to stay at the haunted hotel. Instead, a handful of budding clairvoyants were to stay in the rooms above an old saloon down the road from the AirBnB where everyone else was staying.

I ended up as a room-above-the-saloon clairvoyant-in-training–which may or may not have impacted the energetic potential of what came next.

As we did part one of our group meditation that night, I was not safe. Everything in my body told me to run. I told my teacher I had to leave. I couldn’t stay. Someone else could have my saloon room. I hadn’t unpacked. I hadn’t even taken my overnight bag out of my car. Let me leave.

But this retreat was part of my spiritual journey. This retreat was a pivotal point in my growth as a clairvoyant. My teacher said this feeling was obviously the energy of others blocking my growth, energy that didn’t want me to be spiritually well and confident. She could have just said it was my mother’s energy.

My teacher yelled to the spirits clearly inhabiting my body to leave me alone, to set me free. This felt a lot like her yelling in my face and shaking my shoulders. I contemplated pushing this old woman over and running to my car.

But I don’t run, so I just grabbed my purse and left. The feeling that I would die in a room above a saloon in the middle of nowhere on a clairvoyant retreat was prompt enough to leave.

I drove the 45 minutes back to the amateur stand-up comedian and stopped at the last gas station before his apartment. I settled on tequila and pickle-flavored chips, because this was a bougie gas station, and these were the best comfort snacks to be found. None of it was even stale.

A few weeks later, when I still hadn’t gone back to clairvoyant class, I told my teacher I just needed more time for my body to catch up with the growth of my spirit. I was never going back.

I was still drinking tequila with the amatuer stand-up comedian though. Sometimes, he’d ask me to workshop his bits. It turns out his idea of workshopping is not an English grad student’s version of workshopping. So, we stuck to drinking tequila and watching bro comedies that were popular when I was in high school and he was in college. He was annoyed I didn’t think they were funny, so we just drank tequila and had sex.

And sometimes, I’d go to sleep, and he’d keep drinking.

One of those nights he woke me up to tell me that I was fat. When I responded by crying half-asleep rage tears, he said he didn’t think I was fat. He just said it so he wouldn’t accidentally tell me he loved me. I shouldn’t be mad at him. It’s not his fault he wants to tell me he loves me. Why was I being emotional. Why wasn’t I being logical. In the middle of night, I didn’t want to be either. I was tired. I was programmed to assume any issue remotely related to my weight was my fault. I went back to sleep. The power of my ovaries’ energy was not harnessed that night.

One of those nights, he woke me up to have sex. Mid-missionary, he said he loved me. When he waited for a response, I laughed. Laughing during sex is magic when it comes from a deeply intimate connection, when you are about to cum so damn richly because you are so damn happy and secure. You laugh because you can’t believe your good fucking luck. Laughing during sex because you realize you are in a situation too bizarre and too pathetic for your own good plays a little differently.

As I shoved my bra in my bag at 2 am on a Wednesday, he kept telling me to say I loved him. If I couldn’t say it, this would be done, so just say it and come back to bed.

I was not safe. Everything in my body told me to run. But I don’t run, and the amateur stand-up comedian was making some clumsy point about how I was being overly sensitive again, and it was the middle of the night, and I should just say I love him. I contemplated pushing through it and crawling back into bed.

I just grabbed my purse and left.



Megan Cannella (she/her) is a Midwestern transplant currently living in Nevada. Her debut chapbook, Confrontational Crotch and Other Real Housewives Musings, is out now: https://linktr.ee/mcannella. You can find Megan on Twitter at @megancannella