Chronic prostatitis is one of the horrors of growing old. It’s been a nuisance but recently it keeps me awake. The burning sensation feels like a lit fuse. I am praying my urologist has an answer. In the waiting room, as I try to read my kindle, the man sitting next to me, whips out a deck of cards.
Is he a card shark? Practicing for Las Vegas? Is he learning how to count cards and win a fortune. Is that what this guy is up to?
“Gordon ” is heard from the nurse. I tentatively follow her to room eight. She wants a urine sample. The doctor goes through the usual routine. “Have you been taking Sitz baths? Alleve?” I tell him yes. “I can do a prostate massage.” He explains. You don’t want to know what that is. He prescribes a natural supplement. He tells me “You really should try Flomax. It should help.”
I reluctantly agree.
As I leave the man with the cards is still there.
“Hi, are you a card player?”
“No, I’m studying to be a magician.”
“I have to learn how to cut the cards and get familiar with the feel of the cards.”
“I’ve never seen someone brings cards to a doctor appointment.”
“I figure it’s a good time to practice. I am studying sleight of hand. Speed and naturalness.”
He’s in the forties so it seems unusual to become a magician at that age.
“I’m going to a comedy workshop this afternoon. Don’t you need to have comedy chops along with magician skills?”
“Yes. I’ve taking some acting. I’m impressed you are doing standup.”
He’s surprised an old guy like me is attempting standup comedy at 66.
“Do you go to a magician class?” I ask.
“No, it’s a one on one teacher.”
“Have you been to the Magic Castle?”
“I used to go twice a week. My name is Andy.”
“I’m Gordon. I haven’t been for twenty-five years. Is Irma still there?”
Irma is a piano without a piano player that plays whatever tune you suggest.
“Yes. I love that place. My wife thinks I’m crazy for pursuing this.”
“I went there for a séance in the Houdini room. It was very hokey. Like a Disneyland ride. It was fun being in a separate room. Our own private waiter. All the spooky bells and whistles that you might experience in a séance. But it was all mechanical and pre-ordained. There was a tape recording rather than a live séance leader. The table moved up and down. Some lighting effects.”
His passion for magic bursts from his blue eyes. As his hands continue to roam around the cards, there is an energetic aroma. The cards slide back and forth. I become mesmerized as he cuts the deck over and over again. I don’t want to leave the office. As he stares at me while he talks, I sense a kinship. A mystic captivation has enchanted me.
The nurse enters the waiting room.
He puts the cards in his pocket and walks towards the door.
“Nice to meet you Gordon.”
I love these unexpected magical encounters.
After taking Flomax that evening I incur a glorious sleep. Uninterrupted by the urge to urinate, my slumber equals blissful joy. Did my conversation with Andy create a magic spell potion? The wizardry of Flomax and Andy welcomes my morning. I had been smothered with kindness.