The clinking of cups.
The crackling of milk frothing.
The animated chatter of young teenagers taking group photos on their phones.
A young woman with unbrushed hair piled into a bun sits sketching the scene from a sofa in the corner, taking a sip of her skinny cappuccino every now and then. That is, until a bird-like man in wire rimmed glasses and an oversized tracksuit perches on the arm. Looking up from her pad the artist lets out a short sigh. She considers that she really should be more welcoming of the opportunity to mix with strange people, but this guy is blocking her view of youth culture. It is important to study such things if you want to really make it.
“Good afternoon Ma’am. I am The Magician.” He extends his hand in greeting. She tucks her pad away in her rucksack, resigning to a loss of moment, and shakes with him.
“Yes.” He pushes his glasses further up his nose. “I have some words to impart.”
He is met with a raised eyebrow, but proceeds with his prepared monologue anyway. As he does so, the cafe falls silent.
“There is a part of every one of us that can interpret strange and abstract languages. A part that believes paradox to be the only thing that makes sense. A part that creates new impressions from old reliefs. It is the eternal, the ever turning star at our core; and it is clothed in our own personal myth.
Our myth is dependant upon our unique experiences, imprints and obsessions. We all have an idea we return to again and again, even if that idea is destruction or void. It is essentially the final filter that protects us from staring directly into the sun.
We need myth to be attached to something so that it can be explained: a person, a lost time, an image, a number. But then we mistake what it is attached to for the real deal, without seeing that myth is not a rational beast: it can only be viewed in the peripheries of our mind. Anything we focus upon directly is only a layer of illusion, it is a lens. If we become infatuated with the lens itself, what we are trying to look at through it withers away, and we are left with nothing but fistfuls of dust. It is the mental equivalent of picking a beautiful flower and putting it in a vase to die. Sometimes knowing a thing exists in its own way, even if you can’t possess it, is enough.
In its raw form, the centre of every myth is an urge. A bright will. Look at yours through whatever lens you need to, but remember it is the energy itself you need to capture. Bottle it, use it for something that won’t destroy you.”
The hum and chatter recommences.
“But you don’t look like a magician…”
“You said you were a magician.”
“You don’t look like one.”
“And just how should The Magician look, Ma’am?”
The artist begins to scribble on a napkin, and when she is done she lifts it to show a figure in a top hat and tails, holding a wand in one hand and a white rabbit in the other. It is a rough sketch but perfect in proportion.
The Magician furrows his brow.
“Ah. Then you, Ma’am, are what I call a point misser. Sorry to have disturbed you. Have a good day.” Had he been wearing a top hat, he’d have tipped it for sure.
The Magician makes a swift exit. The artist shrugs, and goes back to her coffee.