Cosmic Correspondent Kim Rogers-Gallagher has been invited to the planets'
secret hangout. She's the first astrologer to enter this starry domain,
and reports regularly on her findings there.
Frightening Experience with Pluto
of the fact that I was in the company of the Lord of Darkness, I was more
than a little nervous. The circle of men we'd come upon in this alley
were very serious—and I knew something bad was about to happen.
man with a long, deep scar across his cheek handed a paper bag to another
in the group. He took it, looked inside, and threw it on the ground. "Where's
the rest?" he shouted. Suddenly, the entire group attacked the man with
the scarred face. In seconds, he was on the ground, helpless, being punched
and kicked. I tried to pull away from Pluto and run, but he held on to
my arm and turned my face roughly toward the ugly scene, just a few feet
away. “Look,” he said. “Watch him.”
was horrified. The man on the ground was unconscious, but they continued
to beat him. “Make them stop,” I said. “Please.”
a chance,” Pluto answered. “He knew what he was getting into. This was
inevitable.” I tried to hide my face against him, but he wouldn’t let
me. “This is life,” he said, “The underbelly of it.”
attackers turned calmly and walked off together. Their victim lay on the
ground, bleeding, as they turned out of the alley, laughing. “Is he dead?”
ignored the question. “Do you think he’s never done anything like this
himself?” he asked me. “Haven’t you ever heard that what goes around comes
around? Who do you think coined that expression?”
was far worse than I had imagined. “I don’t want to see any more,” I said.
pulled my arm. “Do you want to go back to the light, to the streets? Do
you think that’s any better? Any safer? ” I didn’t answer. “Let’s go,”
he said impatiently. We turned away from the man on the ground and retraced
our steps. When we reached the street, we were back in the light. The
smiling faces of the diners in the elegant restaurants around us calmed
me a bit. “Listen,” he said.
I was able to hear—through the glass windows, it seemed—the conversations
of the people inside. Two men in expensive suits were talking quietly
in what seemed like code words. After a moment, it became obvious that
they, too, were talking about drugs. “They’re the same as the men we just
saw in that alley, aren't they?" I said.
not," Pluto said. "In fact, you’re in much more danger from
those two than from the entire pack of pathetic creatures we saw back
there. These men aren’t beating the hell out of each other for a few thousand
dollars—they’re well past that. They're planning a strategy to make hundreds
of thousands of dollars by keeping the weaker ones among you supplied
with drugs. And they don’t care if you die in the process—as long as they
get their money.”
was shocked. Who were these men? Just then, I noticed that the ashtray
on their table was untouched. How ironic. I turned to Pluto. "Let
me guess. Neither of them smoke, right?"
not. That's the first rule," he answered.
was puzzled. "First rule of what?"
drugs. You don't use what you sell. Of course," he said, gesturing
in the direction of the ‘respectable businessmen,’ "their reasons
are a bit more complicated than those of your average street-corner dealer.
Any idea what I'm talking about?"
Week: Pluto’s Lesson
Read the entire Cosmic Café