I know when I'm going to die
Cast from the Sun, two words echoed across the burning sky like the whisper of Eternity…
It’s five years from now. 2026. It certainly sounds like the future. I’m back in the hospital in San Francisco - rheumatology wing at UCSF. As I drift in and out of consciousness on a permanent ventilator from my Sarcoidosis, I can almost notice the drab weather outside my small window - 54 degrees and overcast. In San Francisco, that could be December or July. On my tray is an uneaten sandwich and a deck of Tarot cards.
Nurses come in and laugh at my self-deprecating humor in between naps and occasionally ask me to tell them their future. My death isn’t dramatic, where a team of doctors run in and yell “CLEAR!” It’s a slow burn as each breath becomes shorter and shorter over the course of a month, where my lungs no longer respond to corticosteriods, immunosuppressants, and monoclonal antibodies. When my Spirit has finally had enough, my eyes close for the last time and I retreat into the Big Sleep…
This is not a fixed outcome however. As T.E. Lawrence of Arabia said, “Nothing is Written.” Right now, I’m on a Spiritual Mission to stop this future from taking place. But the stakes are high and the Angel of Death wants me.
So, if this is where my legacy ends, where did it begin?
This current chapter of my life began two years ago when a cosmic shill came into my world and changed it forever. His name was Ken Scott.
It was March of 2019 when my mom, Pamela Eakins, received a cold call from Ken, a mid-sixties Las Vegas gaming developer. He was in the process of building an interactive, holographic gambling machine for Casinos and Cruise Ships based on the Tarot. His research led him straight to my mom, a lifetime scholar and published author of numerous books on Tarot, Kabbalah, Cosmology and Mysticism.
Ken wanted my mom to be the head writer of what he called the “Tarot of Fortune,” a high-stakes gaming machine, where players would enter a booth, encounter three virtual mystics, and could win up to a million dollars. Whoa…
Obviously my mom had extreme reservations about whoring out the Tarot for gambling purposes, but Ken was a pretty intelligent, conscientious and passionate guy, and it was a very intriguing opportunity. Added to which, she could hire her own team of writers, including myself and my sister. I’d been doing my own private readings since college.
Not only that, but my mom was fully aware of how much I needed the money after spending the past nine months in and out of the hospital and in the midst of a divorce. This felt like a real opportunity to be involved in a huge family enterprise that could expand the Tarot to a whole new worldwide audience.
As if that weren’t enough, Ken had seen my acting headshots and he wanted me to play one of the three mystics - the role of the Prince. He even offered to fly me to Vegas to shoot my scenes in a digital film studio. I didn’t know what to tell him about new medically-bloated face that made me look like Fat Elvis, but we never facetimed and Zoom was still another year away for us commoners.
To me this was a dream come true. Even down to the name Tarot of Fortune, which was oddly similar to my former stage name from my college days - Leo Fortune. Guess my sign…
As the rest of my life was burning to the ground, this felt like the one thing that could save it all. Maybe this could even heal me…
But as time went on, my mom became increasingly more frustrated with Ken, as the phone calls would go on for hours, but the guy never seemed to deliver anything he promised. Days turned to weeks, as we waited for thousands of dollars to be transferred to us in exchange for over 2,000 custom made fortunes through seven different spreads and countless permutations. We totaled it out to be 10 months of work.
Not only did the money not come, but Ken Scott’s stories started to not add up and he and his gaming company had zero internet presence. Even his company’s name was suspiciously close to another huge Gaming company, creating confusion that I think he welcomed, like someone calling their film company Warners Films, hoping it’s mistaken for Warner Brothers.
After two month, my mom dropped out. She’d spent hundreds of hours on the phone with this guy for absolutely nothing. But she did tell him that I was still interested in the position of head writer. And I was! I not only needed the money, but I needed to believe the opportunity was real - that I was going to be rich and famous, that I wasn’t going to die some failed actor. I had a long way to go, spiritually and emotionally at that point.
With Ken’s promise to me of $5,000 a month fresh in my mind, I abandoned my infusion treatments in San Francisco, packed my gallon-size ziplock bag of prescription medications and rode my Harley down to LA to find a new place to live. I was in a state of complete medically-induced mania, and my doctors and family were extremely worried. I wasn’t sleeping at all, and with the pressure mounting to fulfill the role of a Tarot Master for a multimillion dollar project, I’d spend countless hours daily pouring through even more books on Tarot, Kabbalah and the Occult. I already thought I was a decent card reader, but I knew I’d have to step up my game to play on this kind of world stage.
Everyday I’d have nightmares and strange hallucinations. I’d ride my motorcycle around LA and not know where I was. And I don’t mean like what neighborhood I was in, I mean like what planet I was on. I was literally going insane, like something out of Jacob’s Ladder and I was scared.
After a few months, Ken’s money still hadn’t been transferred, and I had only pennies left from living on food stamps and medical disability. Not only that, but his calls were becoming much less frequent. Doctors were urging me to return to San Francisco and continue my treatment. My family was afraid I was going to die in some shithole room on the Pico-Robertson border and in no time at all, Ken Scott had vanished like a ghost.
So I packed my motorcycle, left my private hell and rode back up north on I-5. “I failed you, LA, I’m sorry”
Along the scorched furnace of that godforsaken highway (The Five of Fire), I had a vision, like Moses on Mount Sinai. Cast from the Sun, two words echoed across the burning sky like the whisper of Eternity:
It was the culmination of my real name (Taylor), my former stage name (Leo Fortune), and the “Tarot of Fortune” project. This wasn’t just some moniker. This was Destiny.
I was going to start my own business without Ken Scott. He could never take away all the research I’d invested into this project. The knowledge and the wisdom was mine alone and I was ready to begin a new journey.
Step one was to heal in San Francisco. For step two, I’d return to LA as a Life Coach, Fitness Trainer and Tarot Master. Mind, Body and Spirit. I’d use my story as a beacon of light to help those in need. I’d meet and work with like-minded philosophers, spiritual practitioners, artists and cultural influencers. I’d create a life worth living if only for a short amount of time and build an end of life legacy…
It was only a few months after I returned to Northern California and resumed my medical treatment that I found out why I’d never heard from Ken Scott again.
Ken Scott was dead. It’s unclear how. Possibly a heart-attack or a stroke, but he could have been murdered for all I know. The email was vague and most likely written by a disgruntled associate that he’d probably ripped-off. Who knows what health issues Ken had or what demons he was fighting. Maybe he too was trying to build an end of life legacy to redeem himself. I’ll never know. But Ken’s journey on Earth had come to end, and mine was just beginning.
His Spirit is still with me to this day. Somehow the hands of fate brought us together and I owe my business to him. Maybe it was his voice in the sky that spoke those two words that forever changed the course of my life.
Seldom do we get answers to the Great Mysteries of the Universe. That’s what makes life so exciting and worth living. As far as Ken Scott goes, he did create an end of life legacy - me. And for I am forever indebted to him.
And now I welcome each and every one of you to be part of mine.