It was 3am (or thereabouts) and I’m walking down 42nd Street with my pal Rick, aka Listerine. We’d just finished a night of partying at the House of Yes where we’d done way too much Adderall, not enough Benzos, and just the right amount of Rum. We were the Goldilocks of mind altering substances that night.
As we stumbled down the sidewalk, we hear the lulling voice of a man telling someone to – “Pick a card. Don’t tell me out loud. Just picture it in your mind.” I glanced to the side expecting to see a homeless man who’d come upon some new way to hustle tourists and observed , to my surprise, that it was renowned magician David Blaine.
There were no cameras, no behind the scenes antics – just David, standing there practicing his magic with those trance-inducing eyes. I grabbed Listerine’s arm and pulled him toward the magician. Listerine had no idea where he was currently, so I was herding him everywhere he went.
The girl that David was talking to was all giggly and drunk so I wasn’t sure if we weren’t cock-blocking the poor guy. Maybe this was David’s way of picking up star struck girls in his spare time.
A deck of playing cards rest in his hands while he stared deeply into the giggly girl’s eyes, moving his body from right to left as if he was trying to read her mind if only she’d let him.
“Queen of hearts,” he muttered with his low blood pressure.
“Yes! How’d you know?” cooed the slightly plump twenty-something.
He smiled his best, ‘I’m not telling you’ smile and looked over at me and Listerine.
“Do you have a quarter?”
I fished in my pocket to pull one out. Who carries change on them these days? Me apparently. I hadn’t seen a quarter in ages. How did he know I’d have one in my pocket? As you can see – I’m easily impressed.
David Blaine proceeded to take my quarter, bite a portion off in his mouth, and then spit that portion back onto the quarter making it whole again. I was awed but I didn’t ask him how he did it. I was too strung out for minutiae.
“David – you wanna come with me and Rick to the Lavo?”
He smiled that evasive smile that you make right before you turn someone’s invitation down. Of course he wasn’t coming. He was David Blaine – the most famous street magician this side of Aleppo.
“Sure. Why not?” he said so leisurely it came out like an old Bob Dylan tune. The giggly girl had disappeared to somewhere.
Listerine woke from his coma and yelled something unintelligible into space. David laughed. We both laughed. It was going to be a fantastic night.
On our long walk to the Lavo, we asked David what Leonardo DiCaprio was like and how crazy Fiona Apple was (whom David had dated for awhile). He answered our questions with unexpectedly lengthy replies. I couldn’t believe that we were actually hanging with David Blaine! Listerine was so out of it he didn’t seem to notice – he just walked along with us looking perplexed and muttering to himself. I’d have to run through the whole night with him tomorrow.
When we got to the Lavo and showed our ID’s I was surprised that the door-keep didn’t notice our celebrity friend. I figured he’d be all -‘What’s up DB?’ but he just waved us in like he would anyone else. Even when we entered the main room people didn’t seem to notice that they were in the midst of an icon.
David led us to a booth where we sat and ordered a bottle of champagne. Like the beautiful magician I knew he was, David pulled a small crimson baggie of the good stuff from his Marc Jacobs sewn sleeve. Man, did I love me some David Blaine!
He took out a playing card and cut up the snow right there on the table. He waved his hand above the neatly formatted lines, beckoning us to go first. He didn’t have to ask me twice. I snorted two lines fast and sat back so quick that my head hit a gold handrail behind me. Listerine didn’t even look at the coke, so David shrugged and snorted the last three lines like a champ.
That’s when things got bizarre. Some Jamaican security guard who resembled a muscled up Ziggy Marley approached us and told us that we’d have to leave or he’d “call da cops.” Didn’t he know that we were sitting, right here in this booth, with none-other-than David Blaine himself? I was about to school Ziggy when David put his hand on my knee and nodded toward the door. I guess he didn’t want his name in the papers for some foolishness.
We followed David to the exit and Listerine yelled back something about Fiona Apple. David looked a little self-conscious. He’d lost that sparkle in his eye – was looking a little down.
It had started sprinkling while we were inside the club so David pulled his hoodie up over his dark hair. He was leading us down a side alley. Hopefully it was a shortcut to a superior club. I noticed the coke wasn’t effecting me like it normally does. Maybe David carries coke so pure that it’s also some kind of magic.
“David – what’s so magical about hanging over the Thames in a box or holding your breath under water?” Listerine asked with the mirth of a school bully. I was shocked to hear him ask a reasoned question, even more shocked that he was being such a smart ass!
I told Listerine to shut up and show some fucking respect, but I could tell that his clowning had already done its work on David. It’s like telling Jay-Z that 99 problems is lame. You just don’t do that to a big star.
David laughed, but it wasn’t a real laugh. It was more maniacal than that. Almost creepy.
He turned toward Listerine – “You’re an idiot aren’t you Rick? Little rich Rick with his fake ass Yeezy’s.” He was up in Listerine’s mug, nose to nose.
I was shocked. I didn’t know that David Blaine had any other emotion than serene and now he sounded like a pissed off gangsta.
“David, man, he doesn’t know what he’s saying. His brain is fried right now,” I said in my best aw-shucks voice.
“Nah, this bitch has it coming,” David replied.
“Yeah David Blaine, I don’t know what I’m saying,” said Listerine – making sure to put emphasis on David’s full name like he had a motive.
I didn’t know what was going on. I wasn’t sure whose side to take in this little scuffle, so I kept trying to play the buffer. We were just getting cool with David. Why did Listerine have to wreck everything?
Before I knew it, David had put Listerine in a head lock. He looked up at me biting his lip so hard that small droplets of blood started to run down his chin. Was David Blaine a vampire? Is that how he does all that supernatural crap? The magic is fucking real?
“Give me your wallet or I will snap your friends neck!”
My wallet? What is going on? Listerine was moaning. Almost certainly trying to tell me to give the wallet up already.
“David, calm down, it’s the coke talking. Rick didn’t mean nothing. He was just joking.”
David flexed and then…
David Blaine had just broken my friend Listerine’s neck. I’d never heard a bone make that noise before. I started to feel sick. Listerine just lay there on the ground. Was he dead? Yeah, he was dead. What in the world…David was taking Listerine’s wallet and watch.
David stood and did a twirl like a ballerina – up on one foot and all. He grabbed me by the throat and produced a butterfly knife all in one fluid motion. I had to give him points for style even if the whole thing looked a little West Side Story and gay.
He put the tip of the blade to my abdomen – I could feel it like a pin prick. I was afraid to inhale. My adrenaline was on overdrive – fight or flight?
I don’t think Usain Bolt could’ve caught me as I ran back down the alley and up 58th Street. I could hear David’s steps behind me as I dodged in and out of people who had no idea that David Blaine had just killed my friend.
“Stop David Blaine! He’s trying to kill me!” I yelled as I ran – hoping that some hero would tackle him to the ground.
I took a quick look back and there he was – still chasing me. He seemed to freeze in mid-air. Something was unusual. He appeared more ethnic, more feminine. Unfreeze – I had no time to study the splendor of David Blaine at the moment. He was gaining fast. Like a cheetah gradually gaining on its quarry.
I couldn’t breathe anymore. I’d completely run out of air and my legs were jelly. That’s when I decided to give up and collapsed to the pavement. A small horde of onlookers strolled around me, puzzled and nosy. David stopped abruptly over my panting body and tear soaked cheeks.
“No David Blaine! Don’t kill me man! I’m sorry! Whatever I did I’m sorry!”
David saw that we’d attracted a small crowd so he knelt down alongside me and whispered in my ear – “I ain’t David Blaine. Even your dead, dumb ass buddy Rick knew that.”
I felt the swift release of my wallet departing my taut jeans. It was like magic, but I was so over magic now. I could go the rest of my life without seeing another speck of the unexplained. Fuck Harry Houdini, fuck David Copperfield, and most of all – fuck you David Blaine.
As he got up to saunter away I looked into those dreamy eyes one final time and it hit me that this guy was a poor excuse for a doppelganger. The run must have brought some levity back. How high was I? Was Listerine the sane one after all? I couldn’t help but to lay there sobbing, trying to figure it all out.
“How did he know so much about Fiona Apple?” I cried out.
A very thin party girl, who was limping up the sidewalk towards me, burst out laughing. I hope some chick who looks like Olivia Munn snaps her friend’s neck.