A psychic has the bad news!
Every year, Henrietta Halvorson spends December thinking about January. It’s her job—Halvorson, better known as “Ri The Magnificent,” is a popular newspaper psychic whose column, “Ri-Run,” is syndicated in more than three hundred newspapers and digital outlets around the country.
This year, Halvorson did what she always does on December 1. She set up her “thought station,” a mahogany table with a lumbar support chair (“I stole it years ago when I worked in a regular office,” she says with her trademark giggle), drank four ounces of vodka, popped a pill she will only describe as “a future capsule,” and slipped into a light trance.
Generally, this allows her to see the next year in startling detail. In the past, Halvorson has predicted 11 plane crashes, five presidential elections (her only miss was her first, 2000, when she foresaw that the president would be “someone named Chad”), six abductions, eight Super Bowls, and more than four thousand infidelities.
But something strange happened at the thought station. Halvorson didn’t see next January. She saw this January again.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I called my girlfriend Jenny and told her. She told me to go back to sleep. Kind of meanly, actually. And while I didn’t mind her tone — she’s got a pretty high-pressure job in the State Department—I didn’t think that she understood what I was saying.”
TOOK ANOTHER PILL
Instead, Halvorson took another pill, washed it down with more vodka, and entered another trance—with the same result.
“That’s when it hit me,” she said. “Next year will be this year. And I don’t mean that vaguely, like we’ll be facing some of the same challenges, or some of the same figures will remain on the national stage. I mean we’re going to loop exactly. After December 31, 2020, we’re going to get January 1, 2020.”
Halvorson says that no one believes her, least of all Jenny. “It’s really causing some tension between us,” she said. “When we go to sleep on New Year’s Eve and wake up and we’re dealing with impeachment still, and there’s not yet a pandemic, I’m not sure whether she’s going to apologize to me or try to kill me. Though it’s not my fault. I’m just the messenger.”
Reached at work, Jenny hung up.