The man with the spats rolled up his sleeves and proceeded to pluck a polished red billiard ball out of thin air. Presto! It vanished. Abracadabra! It reappeared. It turned white. it blushed red again. VoiI‡! Suddenly there were four billiard balls between this amazing man's fingers.
I was stunned. All of this was happening right under my nose. And there was more. He flipped the deck into falling waterfalls of cards, spun them into fans, and thrust a sword through a shower of cards to impale the seven of diamonds -- selected a moment before.
I was dazzled. The moment he finished his act and ushered us gawkers back onto the sidewalk, I knew what I wanted to be. Someone else could be president of the United States.
I wanted to be a magician.