Today, we are thankful for New York Magazine telling the world about Susan Miller. An astrologer whose word is gospel in certain high society, fashion-y, circles, Miller is a disorienting mix of savvy businesswoman and wacky pundit, or in other words, a great subject for a profile.
In this one, two things happen: New York writer Molly Young paints a picture of a modern breed of soothsayer who therefore deserves our attention more than the rest, a reasonable person with a successful website (the "catastrophically ugly" traffic magnet, Astrology Zone), a tawny Upper East Side apartment, and a vocabulary that doesn't include the word "aura."
Then there's the character lurking in the background. Let's call her Kooky Sue. Kooky Sue wears an expensive brand of perfume named "Alien," and possesses a boatful of mysterious and awful-sounding ailments, the oldest of which is a bum leg strung with veins that turn “to tissue paper under any change in my excitement level." Kooky Sue also has plenty of terrifying prophesies to share. Some apply to whomever is standing in front of her (in this case, Young), some to Sue herself, and some to the entire universe.
It's a credit to Young's profile that it has the effect of making this character seem like the secondary figure in a story about a successful NYU graduate with a bachelors in business, on her way to establishing a one-woman empire in an unusual field of choice. But we know which Susan Miller we prefer, and these are her most ominous lines in the profile.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this piece referred to the New York Magazine profile's author as Molly Brown. The author's correct name is Molly Young.