Do You Believe in Magic
A Psychic was considering to rent the store front next to the bar I owned. She asked my opinion as a business owner about foot traffic and specifically if I thought it was a good idea and if she would be successful. She wasn’t sure if it would be a wise investment. I was bewildered by her line of questioning finding it quite confusing. With a surprised tone in my voice I answered. ” I’m somewhat puzzled by your question. Being a Psychic isn’t that something you would know having the ability to see the future?
She looked at me with a loathing expression, threw her hands in the air and with a disgusted tone called me a smart ass turned and walked away.
The space remained vacant for three months and was eventually rented by an extremely pleasant guy named Marvin from Boston. He opened a magic shop and claimed to be related to Harry Houdini. He became a regular at the bar and drank Sam Adams with a shot of Old Grandad. He was a gifted story teller entertaining customers with humorous tales of his career as a magician in his younger days.
Occasionally he’d do magic tricks for patrons although almost exclusively for good looking women.
I realized an opportunity to book his act in the bar. I asked “Mystic Marvin Master of Illusion.” if by chance he’d be interested in performing once a week with payment to be negotiated.
The bar had a small stage and I let a local musician host an Open Mic on Wednesday and Sunday nights. On Friday and Saturday nights Comedians performed hosted by a local Radio Personality and City Councilman. He didn’t possess much charisma and lacked audience appeal. Neither he or the Comedians he booked were very funny and didn’t draw much of a crowd as promised.
Mystic Marvin was excited at the opportunity to perform his magic. We arranged for his first performance the upcoming Friday night at nine o’clock as an opening act before the so-called Comedians.
The word spread quickly around the pueblo and I did a small bit of advertising, putting posters outside the bar and passing out flyers to everyone that entered.
My novia (girlfriend) at the time was a gorgeous woman who I was fortunate to be able to afford. She was a vixen in bed with a voracious sexual appetite. I found it necessary to increase my testosterone dosage to keep up with her. She was also a thief and pathological liar which I considered minor character flaws I chose to overlook in light of her other qualities. Marvin and Veronica seemed to get on well together despite the language barrier. She spoke little to no English and Mystic Marvin was one of those” I know enough Spanish to get by” type of people. Which I’ve discovered actually translates into “they don’t know shit.”
He asked if it would be possible to have Veronica act as his assistant for the magic performance. There wasn’t any reason that I could imagine not to grant his request. Veronica appeared thrilled at the prospect to be on stage without having to take her clothes off. Besides our relationship had been waning and I’d been trying to come up with a way to terminate our arrangement. I was pleased she would be occupied and not hanging around, getting in my way. She was suppose to be working as a waitress but never caught on to exactly what the job entailed.
They took their gig very seriously practicing twice a day and sometimes into the early morning hours at the magic shop. After five days Veronica came to me and asked me to purchase a costume for her to wear for the performance. The sequined costume she wanted cost one hundred twenty- five dollars.
“Are you serious? I’m not laying out that kind of cash for a costume. That should be Marvin’s expense. You tell him what I said.”
” You are so mean to me. You never want me to look nice because you’re jealous other men look at me.”
” First of all I am not the jealous type. If it were so I would’ve kicked your ass out of here long ago. I’m well aware of your flirtatious nature.
Secondly, this was Magic Marvin’s idea to have you perform as his assistant. This falls under the responsibility of the talent. Don’t make it my problem.”
Marvin walks in at the height of the heated discussion standing behind Veronica with an apologetic look on is face. I’d finished my oration, turned to walk back behind the bar when Marvin decided to add his commentary.
” I know you think there’s something going on between Veronica and me. You have a right to feel that way. I know I’ve been monopolizing a lot of her time.”
” Marvin that’s not at all what the conversation was about. If there’s something going on between you two, well that’s something I haven’t considered and honestly don’t give a shit.”
I knew he was banging her and it honestly didn’t upset me. I was getting more sleep at night. “The disagreement was over her wanting me to pay for a costume for the performance. And I believe it is an expense you should be responsible for not me. I find it interesting however you assumed the disagreement was about me being suspicious of the two of you having sex.”
” She mentioned that you were jealous she was spending so much time with me. That’s what I thought you were arguing about. I bought the costume for the show yesterday. She tried it on and modeled it for the customers. You were gone, went to pay the electric and water bills I was told. Strange that she would ask you for money when she knew it was paid for.”
I look around the bar, check the kitchen, office and bathroom, Veronica is nowhere around. I call out for her but she still doesn’t appear. Then I’m told by one of the customers she’d left after I started the conversation with Marvin.
” It’s not strange at all Marvin. As a matter of fact it’s her modus operandi. She’s a con and pathological liar. Don’t try to make sense of it, that’s just the way she is. Are you ready for tomorrow night? There should be a good sized crowd from what I’ve heard.”
” Yes I’m good to go. My act will last about forty five minutes to an hour is that ok?”
” Just fine. I’ll see you tomorrow night then. You go on at nine so be sure to get here around eight thirty or so to get set up.”
” You bet Santiago. I’m going to try to find Veronica she may be upset. See ya tomorrow.”
” She’s most likely at the bar in the Casino. Catch you later.”
Can you believe that insensitive snake trying to shake me down for money knowing it was already paid for. She thinks I’m a dipshit gringo and it’s my first experience dealing with women and their underhanded ways. After all I’ve done and tolerated from that stripper prostitute. Her dishonesty goes with the territory.
The night of the performance the bar was jam packed with standing room only. I was a bit upset with myself that I hadn’t thought to charge a cover of a couple of bucks a head. I did up the price on the drinks however.
Mystic Marvin and the Lovely Veronica put on an entertaining and professional show. He included an audience participation segment which received thundering applause as well as laughs for it’s humorous content.
After a few weeks the crowd dissipated and his act became less amazing. Although he performed one of the most mystifying magic tricks I’d ever witnessed. It was a disappearing act that ended with both him and Veronica vanishing. The next morning I noticed the Magic Shop empty and Veronica’s clothes had disappeared from my apartment along with some cash. There was no note no goodbye they just disappeared.
I was actually quite elated there wasn’t a long drawn out break up. Melissa a young, beautiful and personable woman I hired as a replacement that afternoon.
That night at the bar I bought a couple of rounds for all as a tribute to my single status. The comedians even seemed to be funny although I’d heard the same jokes for months.
I bumped into Marvin about eight months later when I took a short vacation with Melissa to the beach in Guanacasta. He was sitting alone at a bar looking somewhat unhappy, overweight and desheveled. When he recognized me his expression revealed both fear and surprise. I waited for him to initiate conversation which he did with questioned confidence.
” Hello Santiago it’s Marvin how ya doing? It’s been a while.”
” Doing just dandy Marv. Man you look like you’ve been tortured by Jehovah’s Witnesses that beat you with Bibles. Are you still with Veronica? You two left together so I was told.”
” Ya well that’s right. I should apologize for how I acted after you giving me an opportunity to perform at your bar.”
” Okay go ahead.”
” Go ahead what?
” Go ahead and apologize for being a back stabbing prick.”
” I’m truly sorry.” He whimpered.
” I really don’t fucking care.”
“She blindsided me Santiago. I got all caught up in her web of deception and couldn’t get out.”
He continued his voice cracking as he spoke.
” I thought she loved me. I did everything for her and she pulled the rug out from under my feet. Took off with some surfer bum but not before cleaning out my bank accounts and stealing anything of value I had. Took my little dog Abracadabra too.”
I wanted to say how sorry I was but I wasn’t.
” Well ya know what they say.”
” No what do they say?”
” Love is great until the magic wears off. See ya around maybe.”
Never saw the guy again. Soon afterwards I began learning card tricks and graduated to some elementary sleight of hand tricks as well. I never developed a quality trick always screwed it up somehow.
” Do you believe in magic. In a young girls heart…”