Theo was a magician a long time ago, after he was a gymnast and after he was a perfumier, before he were a bartender at Ibiza and long before he finished college at the top of his class. He once was that teenager who looked around, saw that life wasn’t coming at his door anytime soon, so he went and throw himself into it. He took a backpack and run away with the circus.
He learned all kinds of tricks, the good, the bad, and the ones indispensable for survival. He learned to stand in a moving train, to brush his teeth balancing in one foot, to read your mind and guess your card. He learned to lie, to steal, and to make it look like he is in one place when he really is on the other side. He learned to make things disappear and appear again, out of nowhere, behind your ear, in the other side of the world, inside your heart.
He was a magician again when we were living together with a baby and we had no jobs, and no furniture, but still he would make full meals and wine appear every day, our kid would always had more milk and diapers and clothes that he could have needed in a year, and he would set out our everyday problems in fire with a movement of his hands. And the three of us would always, no matter what was happening outside, go to sleep safe and happy.
The bad thing about loving him, was that i learned all the secrets, how the tricks are made, where he hides the cards, how magic is not real and everything he pulls out of his pockets, costs him money, and sweat, and once gone can’t be replaced.
And now, now our love has been gone for a while, and i come home and find the house empty, the water cold, the crib filled with cobwebs, and i open the door to run away. But there he is, every single time, waiting for me with new love were there was nothing before, love out of nowhere, out of his sleeve. He pulls out his top hat and a thousand little red hearts jump out of there like bunnies. And i know magic is not real, it’s always a trick, and love is not buyable, not sellable, not recyclable and can’t be stolen, so it has to come from him.
I turn to see him smiling at the doorframe pulling an interminable handkerchief of love out of his sleeve, and i realize that this is not the magician, but the man performing, and i stare at him and wonder how hard he had to work to make it look like it was easy.
No, his magic is not real, but his love is, and that’s better…