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The Magician

Published: July 15, 2014

I have always dated 36-year-olds. When I was 18, I dated a 36-year-old. When I was 26, I dated a different one. When I was 36, I dated men my own age. That’s when I discovered I had created a market imbalance.

One night when Manhattan was lonely and I was old, I met the Magician. We were at a friend’s party.

Magician: I’m thinking of taking up smoking.
Me: All the kids are doing it. I quit smoking 15 years ago.
Magician: Fifteen years ago, I was 10.

We stepped out to the curb and he fired up. He was tall and thin, with a wide smile that occupied his entire face.

As we were talking, he took the lit cigarette from his lips and swallowed it. Whole.

Me: Wait, what did you just do?

He pulled the cigarette out of his left nostril.

Magician: I always burn myself with that one.
Me: Oooh! I love close-up magic. Do more?

After taking another drag, he pushed the filter end of the cigarette into his eye socket until it disappeared inside his skull.

Then he removed it from my right ear.

Me: Now I completely want to take up smoking again. May I please?

The Magician handed me his pack.

Me: Hello, old friends. I have missed you so much.

I probably started smoking the day the Magician was born. He refused to believe I could be my age. But I had a trick of my own: I pulled my driver’s license out of my wallet.

Magician: I had a 40-year-old girlfriend once. It was awesome.

He handed me his business card. It had his headshot — young, happy, beautiful — and information on how to contact him for birthday parties.

The Magician gave me a pen and told me to draw on his face, anything I wanted. I gave him a sinister mustache, pointy eyebrows, and devil’s horns. He took the card and ripped it to pieces, scattering them in the air. They fluttered to the street like so much confetti.

When I reached a hand into my pocket, I found his number there with my graffiti on his lovely grin.

Magician: It’s my birthday. I just moved to New York and don’t really know anyone.
Me: So you’re at someone else’s party? That’s heartbreaking.
Magician: Can I see you again?

He kissed me.

That’s right, this gorgeous kid wanted to kiss tired and defeated old me.

Trade imbalances might be market opportunities. I probably shouldn’t undervalue the assets of a 25-year-old. He could be magic.


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