I was 8 or 9 when my mom took me to see my first magic show. David Copperfield. Be still my heart. Hundreds of people. Ducks and chickens on stage. A large scale, hundred thousand dollar production. It was awesome. I had practiced and perfected all of the tricks in my Blackstone magic kit; and was convinced I was destined to be, if not a magician, at least a sleek, Vanna White type magician’s assistant. My stepdad taught me some cool, simple card tricks to impress people at parties and my friend S and I tried to use chalk, stones and ancient rituals to get the world to work in our favor. Then I got older fast and my beloved magic fell by the wayside.
Until I moved to New Orleans and had a professional magician as a next door neighbor. Living next to Mike I learned all of the insider tips, the ones you eventually realize you’d really rather not know. How people actually seem to be levitating. They way a real psychic circle truly works. How the card with your signature ends up in the middle of a melon in the fruit bowl clear across the room. This was some serious David Blaine/Chris Angel shit way before they were household names. Guess what? Some things are better left in theory.
Magic is way more fun when you don’t see the intricacies inside. When you don’t know all the specific ins and outs. It’s a lot like love vs. living together. When you see something from a slight distance, you can hang onto the allure, hang onto the rush; the sweet, beautiful illusions. When every single move, even the slightest slight of hand is known and rote, when you can predict it before it even happens, you’ve become so close all of the enchantment is lost. You’re left feeling disappointed and disillusioned, even when you were the one begging to know how the trick was done in the first place. Pro tip: don’t ask. And don’t ever live with someone you love.