Seductive Magic–Presto! [Single White Nerd] Apr09

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Seductive Magic–Presto! [Single White Nerd]

I’m sitting across from a girl on a couch. I whip out a deck of cards. “Want to see a magic trick,” I say. She smiles broadly. ”Yes.”  Awesome.

For the past couple weeks, I have been taking magic classes at the (world renowned) Magic Castle. The class is mostly dudes.  I’m guessing that most of these dudes joined the class hoping they could use magic as a mysterious tool of seduction.  And here I am, on the couch, showing magic to a girl.  Livin’ the dream!

The class itself has been pretty great.  The teacher is a spry ‘n sprightly 84 year old who has been with the Castle since its founding.  ”Magic,” he told us  at the top of the first class, “has kept me young.  And I hope that it will do the same for you.”  Then he pulled a bean bag out of thin air with a wave of his magic wand.  He actually had a magic wand.  I could easily see a woman falling for a man with such power.  And a wand.

We newbies don’t get wands.  We get decks of cards, a quick lesson in shuffling, and repeated exhortations to practice our shuffling.  We spend 20 minutes or so of each class shuffling.  No trick shuffle; just a normal shuffle. The teacher walks among us, correcting hand positions.  ”Keep shuffling,” he says with a twinkle.  ”Always keep shuffling.”  Some of the others keep dropping their cards.  Not me.  I shuffle smoothly, the cards falling into place, rising and falling with relative precision.  The teacher looks at me and nods.  ”Nice shuffle,” he says. My pride rises out of all proportion to the actual accomplishment.

Along with the class itself, the fee grants you access to the Magic Castle anytime for no charge.  I’ve been several times and have learned that the Castle’s members are mostly grown up Dungeons and Dragons dorks who have traded in their 20 sided dies for fans of cards and mystically multiplying coins.  The Castle is a place where the kids who got their asses kicked in elementary school can rule the roost.  Elegantly dressed ladies wander about and can be easily engaged with an simple question:  Would you like to see some magic?  No social skills required, just a deck of cards and a modicum of skill.  That, as much as the actual magic, makes the place magical.  A nerdy wizard’s paradise.

Anyway, the key to magic is misdirection.  What’s happening on the surface is just a distraction, drawing your attention away from a secret move, a sleight of hand.  Take that nifty magic wand drink that my teacher did.  The large movement of the wand distracted from the fact that all he did to make the ball appear out of thin air was drop it from his wand hand where he had it palmed into the other hand.  He did it quickly and with skill.  But mostly we just didn’t notice because the wand kept us distracted.

So let’s go back to the couch for a moment.  I’ve asked a girl if she wants to see a magic trick, she has smiled and said yes.  An apparent scene of dorky seduction.  But that’s all a big movement, a wave of the wand.

What you don’t see, what you can’t know, is that I’ve asked her if she wants to see a magic trick because we have run out of words.  Or rather, with a spinning feeling in my stomach and tight throat, I don’t trust my ability to make words.  We have been seeing each other, it has just ended over dinner, and, though I should go, I am not quite ready to leave.

And so magic provides some misdirection for both of us.

I shuffle the cards and do a couple of tricks.  She is legitimately impressed.  We hug goodbye.  I leave, drive home to my apartment that, illogically, feels emptier than it has in a couple of months.  I sit on the couch, take out my cards, and start shuffling.  Some of the cards escape, spraying onto the floor.  I pick them up and keep shuffling, knowing that they’ll eventually fall back into place with relative precision as long as I keep shuffling.


featured image credit: fishbulb1022