Last night, I performed walkaround magic at a New Year’s Eve party in Corona del Mar, CA. I was dressed in a new Kenneth Cole suit and a purple satin shirt and tie. The event cost $1,000 per ticket. There were eight go-go dancers shimmying on platforms while rock music blared very very loudly. At the party were doctors, lawyers, Donald Trump types, and at least one billionaire. I wish I had pictures: Their astonished faces, their killer threads, their fabulous food, their coterie of waiters, waitresses, bartenders, personal assistants, et al.
Strangely, there was a conservative Orange County congressman roaming amongst the go-go dancers. The rich are different from you and I. At one point, the manager came up and whispered in my ear.
“I want you to perform some great magic for the host,” she said. “He’s in the other room on that side of the party. He’s wearing a red bowtie. Make sure he sees people having a good time.”
So I walked into that room and looked around. There were four men wearing red bowties. Okay. Well, I just started working, which is to say, making people say, “Wow” and “That is so sick” and “That is some weird shit.” All the bowtie guys saw the ripples I was making in the pond. Twenty minutes later, a guy comes up and says, “Do some magic for him.” I turn around and there’s another guy wearing a red bowtie. I was in the middle of a trick for another guy, but this guy looked more important, so I read his mind and blew him out of the water. Turned out that was the host, who Wikipedia describes as a hedge fund manager and philanthropist.
They didn’t let my girlfriend into the party with me, so she nestled into the cottage of a friend, Barbara. They popped popcorn and watched a Diane Lane movie while their eyes became sleepy. Barbara is actually a famous radio talk-show host who is a dear. My girlfriend Claire teaches English in college. It was their first extended time together, and they get along quite nicely, it seems.
At 11 pm, the fabulous party was getting pretty serious. The music was pulsating at 110% of maximum volume and getting louder. The crew was busy cleaning up the mess from the masses and offering more food and drink and smiles. I had to get out of there, so I collected my check and then walked the three blocks back to Barbara’s. Pacific Coast Highway was deader than Whitney Houston. We watched Anderson Cooper (Claire used to call him Cooper Anderson) and Kathy Griffin on TV while waiting for the countdown.
“Would you like some Champagne?” Barbara asked.
“No thanks,” I said. “There are going to be a lot of checkpoints out there tonight. How about some Fiji water?”
At 11:59, we all stepped outside and waited in the dark for the first bang of fireworks that would tell us it was 2014. It was chilly and quiet, and Barbara still had her lovely blue and green Christmas lights on the house, the cast of which made the front yard seem like an eerie hobbit light show. It was a long, quiet moment. Suddenly in the distance, we heard three quick firework bangs. That was it. We joined in, banging big spoons on big pans and whooping it up.
I kissed Claire. It had been a good year. I finished producing my marketing package. I got a bad client out of my life. I made a breakthrough in my sales techniques. I finally published the novel I had been working on for six years. I started this blog and published nearly every day. Good things behind, good things ahead.