Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Enterprise - 57

It took me hundreds of elevator trips to realize. I’d share a ride up with a dad and his twelve-year-old son, wide-eyed, beside himself with anticipation. The door would open on the third floor and the boy would race into what appeared to be a harshly lit, rundown showroom. I’d glimpse paunchy men in their fifties chatting up customers over display cases that ran along the perimeter. I perceived the scene as less than ordinary. I was on my way to the floor above.

Finally I heard the word. Don’t you know what that is down there? No. That place downstairs? It’s a magic shop.

Turns out people came from all over the world to see the place. It was one of those old-timey New York things that you can’t believe is still around, like the watch repair guys above Grand Central, the bric-a-brac dealers on Canal, the peking duck places with the white tablecloths. And yet there it was the whole time, unchanged since 1937 or 1951 or whenever the fuck. Same old magic guys shooting the shit with each other, blowing kids’ minds with the same old tricks.

We went down there one time to have a look around, me and Steve and a couple others. It was exactly what you’d expect it to be. A place where you could buy a pop-out snake or a top hat with a false bottom. It was utterly unmysterious.

I had a feeling it would be there long after we were gone.