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Tour de Life: Journée chanceuse!
Section One
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Tour de Life: Journée chanceuse!

by Beau Burriola - SGN European Correspondent

Aquarius, November 25:
'Vous pourriez être à l'honneur dans tous vos domains de prédeliction, profitez-en!'

'You could have the honor of deciding your future,' my typically vague horoscope began. 'Make good of it!'

I sat on the bench waiting for the train to come with my coffee in one hand and my copy of the daily free paper in the other. Julien always reminds me how American it is for me carry my coffee with me when I head out in the morning. You can usually tell the Americans in town by this quirk, something the locals would never do. It's far more acceptable and European to buy your little two-ounce thimble of sour coffee, shoot it like tequila, and go about your day with your hands free. To me, this lacks the meditation that goes with morning coffee, and anyway, old habits die hard. So today, just like in all the days before, I kept right along with my morning ritual.

I never read my horoscope before I got to Europe. I've always been one of those people who believe that you can't really put the billions of people in this world into 12 categories and predict their future with any real degree of accuracy. To me, horoscopes always seemed to be nothing more than a hopeful bit of divine advice people grab at when they can't muster up any energy to make a decision of their own. I'd rather fail on my own advice than on someone else's, especially random advice from a star chart reader, so I've always skipped it. Like everything else in my life lately, this has changed, too.

"D'autant que si d'autres se creusent le méninges pour trouver des idées, vous n'en manquerrez pas!"
"While others rack their brains to find ideas, you cannot miss!"

On my first week in Europe, I started reading the little daily horoscope in the subway on my way to French class as a way to better learn French. It was short enough to digest on the subway every day and easy enough to pull out the meaning of the words through context. Then, gradually, like the steadily growing vines of a blackberry bush, it became as much a part of my day as breakfast. I didn't put much stock into it when it was negative, but when it was positive, I'd walk with a bit more confidence through my day, maybe buy a lottery ticket or apply for an impossible-to-get job. I haven't won the lotto yet (although there is a drawing this evening), and I don't have any messages waiting from anyone for any CEO or secret agent positions, but for the first time, I'm starting to buy into a little bit of the hopeful optimism.

"A vous les petits chemins de traverse!"
"You have all the shortcuts!"

And that's what I get from it now, that little bit of optimism that makes me think that all the cosmic motions of the universe occasionally and predictably align in ways that would warrant the confident extravagances that my otherwise cynical nature would not allow to happen. It's nice to think that all of this really does have something to do with me, that I could actually have a better chance of some great event happening just because I took the extra step on a day when two astrological nouns lined up in a way that means that whatever noun I am meant to verb will turn out a little more adjective. It's nice to think the universe really does all that just for little old me.

"Vous serez populaire, advantage pour vos competences que pour vos beaux yeux."
"You will be popular on account of your brains and your pretty eyes."

Maybe what horoscopes offer isn't so much desperate cosmic advice as it is just a little divine hug, affirmation and permission for us to do something a little extraordinary to remind us that we can, or a little more caution when we are being blindly confident. It's just a little daily reminder that our path through the universe is a series of decisions we make based on the best perspective we can muster, give or take a few little scary words.

When my train arrived, I folded up the paper and took a few steps in the direction of the train, already planning to buy my lottery ticket. I smiled at the people around me, letting them all see my pretty eyes and pondering the bits of my brain that anyone might want to see, too.

Hey, if the cosmos say today is a lucky day, who am I to argue?

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