Published November 8, 2010

You go to a magic show

You've got a bad feeling about this strange magic
You've got a bad feeling about this strange magic

Depressed about the amount of blood you’ve been coughing up lately and your struggle to find gainful employment, you turn to Emily for consolation who recommends that the two of you go to a magic show in Charleston to lift your spirits—especially since your Internet connection is down, and Time Warner cannot or will not come to fix it for 48 hours.

“I don’t know,” you object, “a lot of times those guys try to be comedians between their tricks and then they always want you to talk to them like you’re a five-year-old who’s never seen some jerk guess a card before, you know?”

“No, I mean, let’s not go because it’s cool. Let’s just go for something to do. Not worry about it. Just enjoy ourselves.”

You and Emily gas up the car and head out of town. The drive is more than two hours long, but singing along to David Bowie passes the time nicely, and soon enough you find yourself seated with Emily in the front row. You both have to squint on account of the magician’s many sequins and the lapel mic he is wearing is way too loud.

You begin to enjoy yourselves. The magician doesn’t try to be funny, and he doesn’t rely too heavily on audience responses. After forty minutes of decent magic and appetizers, he asks for a volunteer from the audience to be put in a box and made to disappear.

“What the fuck!” you think. “I’m unemployed, penniless, at the mercy of graduate schools, and desperate for attention. I’ve got nothing to lose.” And with that, you raise your hand high, swatting it back and forth enthusiastically.

You decide to: