The Future Will Be Mechanized

Serendipitous encounters typically only happen in (John Cusack) movies. But sometimes, in real life, events align so congruently you can't help but think fate had a hand in it. For me, that fortuitous moment comes from stumbling upon 2 different Zoltar machines -- one East Coast, one West Coast -- in the span of four years. 

Yes, you read that right: Zoltar. Like from the movie Big. Twice now, I've been walking around with either friends or family, looked up, & spotted Zoltar right in front of me.

The first time was in 2014. While was in NYC, my roommates & I decided to spend the day at Coney Island. We joked about Big and the possibility of seeing the Zoltar machine, but I assured them it wasn't going to happen (hurricanes + storms had wrecked a lot of the classic amusement parks on the East Coast). But lo! we turn the corner for the Wonder Wheel and what do I spot? Zoltar himself, nestled back, ready to reveal the future for a mere dollar. 


I have never pulled money out of my wallet faster. I couldn't stop giggling as I awaited Zoltar's predictions for my future. He made some bold proclamations, & finished by providing me with a card detailing more of what awaited me. And yes, I still have this card. 

I figured that was the last of my Zoltar encounter. But fate had other plans. 


A post shared by Dayna Brownfield (@dayna_._b) on

This month, my parents, along with myself + my sister, went on our first family vacation (San Francisco) in well over a decade. While walking along with my parents in Chinatown on the first full day of the trip, what do I look up and see? Zoltar. 

I started scrambling for money. Looking for the lone dollar that would once again allow me to have Zoltar glance into my future. In between me exclaiming how I'd found him again, my dad lecturing me about wasting money (only to realize it was $1 ... so naturally both he & my mom partook in Zoltar's powers), & strangers on the street making Big references at me, I received another fortune from the great teller. 

And yes, I still have the card he provided detailing more of what awaits me. 


Photos & video by me + my NYC roommate