Quondam

December 2012
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A bit of sleighted hand

I stand beside Mark and stare into the mirror. I sigh, “I just want some magic.”

He finishes brushing his teeth and spits into the sink, “What are you talking about?”

Leaning forward to examine the tiredness in my eyes, I whisper, “I just want something to happen. I just want magic. I have no magic.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

I sigh again and pout my lip, “I want magic to arrive. Why can’t magic come looking for me?”

“That’s not the way the world works, and besides . . . you have magic.”

If I can’t have magic, the next best things are compliments and perhaps some sex, so I turn to him hopefully, “Tell me about my magic.”

His eyes dart ceiling-ward, as though the answers might be scrawled above his head, “Ummm . . . you have . . . ummm . . . two . . . beautiful and insanely intelligent daughters.”

I wave a dismissive hand, “Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . what about me? I want to hear about something that’s mine.”

“The girls are yours. Their magic is your magic.”

“Maybe that’s the problem – I used to have magic, but then they took it.”

He thinks for a minute, sensing perhaps that more is at stake in this conversation than he first imagined, and then he tries a different tack. He straightens his shoulders and looks down at me, speaking in his most world-weary voice, “I am not going to condescend to you by listing for you the magic in your life. If you can’t see the magic you have, no amount of recitation is going to locate it for you.”

I stare at him, feeling chastened for a moment, but then I see relief flicker in his eyes, and I glare at him, “Wait just a damn minute. You’re not all superior and mature at all!”

He giggles, suddenly a small boy, “I might be mature. You don’t know.”

I point an accusing finger, “You’re just looking to get off the spot.”

He nods, still laughing, “I’m not a big fan of being put on the spot. Find your own damn magic, woman. I’m too tired to convince you of your magic. Besides, bedtime is not the time for quizzes I might fail.”

“You are such a pain in the ass. I was feeling all guilty for a minute.” I mock his grown-up tone, “I’m not going to condescend to you by listing for you the magic in your life.” I shake my head, “I almost fell for that! I was feeling guilty!”

“You should feel guilty.”

“What?”

He strips off his clothes and stands naked before me, waving hands of presentation around his body, “Putting all of this on the spot? That’s just wrong. I am not a man to be put on the spot. I much prefer a pedestal.”

I snort and reach to pat at his midsection, “You are made for pedestals?”

He sucks in his stomach, “Singular . . . if it’s a big enough pedestal, I can’t see why I would need more than one.”

I move into his arms, snuggle up against his chest, “I apologize. I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately. Didn’t mean to put you on the spot – not your job to make me less of an idiot.”

He pulls me close, kisses the top of my head, “You have magic, crazy woman. You bring magic to my life every day.”

My eyes sting with gratitude, “Thank you for that, babe.”

He kisses my head again, “You have magic.”

“Thank you.”

He clears his throat, “So now that we’re clear on your magic, could you do that trick you do?”

I smile, “A bit of sleighted hand, perhaps?”

He sighs happily, “That’s a very good trick.”

Hee hee.

Who needs magic?

Legerdemain will do.

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