the wisdom of J

Image of Juliet Berto, credit Jonathan Rosenbaum

Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the tenth of twenty-six interactive magic tricks that will lead you to your fortune as you determine it.

a-to-z_directionsAs per the 21 March intro to this magic act, my assistant, Juliet Berto, handed me the Collins Concise* and blindfold me, whereupon I randomly riffled through the J’s and landed my fingertip randomly on a page. And when Juliet removed the blindfold, there was no doubt: my fingertip was squarely on “Jukebox.”

And while Juliet was offstage conjuring the banner you see at the top of this post, I wildly jotted down what came to me in the Moment Of Meant To Be,** a.k.a. the ether, from whence jewels of genius and inspiration come.

Trouble is, the ether is what it is and does what it does, and we humans, who would harness it and drive it into the ruts of our schedules, have no control over it (fortunately).  All that to say a tidy paragraph of thoughts did not come to me, but the voice of some old Texan cowboy did.  You can still use it in the manner proposed in the sidebar entitled “26 Magic Days of A to Z Directions.”



‘Voice of an Old Texan Cowboy’

The jukebox down at Jim’s Juke Joint had a life of its own. You’d put your money in and make your selection, but you might as well have been tappin’ out a Morse code message on the floor with your toe. It never played what you selected. It played whatever it wanted. Me and the boys, we used to try and make sense of it, see if there was some kinda code. For example, if we put in C9 for Johnny Cash’s I Walk the Line and got A7 for Jean Shepard’s Beautiful Lies, then if we put in A7, would we get Johnny Cash? Well, it didn’t work like that, but we kept tryin’.

We used to get a kick out of watchin’ stranger folk come in for a beer or a game of pool and go to that jukebox, select a tune and some other tune entirely would come out, and the look on their faces, oh Lord, it was somethin’ else! Over time I got to knowin’ there was generally one of three reactions: anger (I cain’t tell you how many times that old jukebox was kicked and pounded on); ambivalence (tryin’ to decide whether to raise Cain or just live with it); or acceptance with a bemused smile.

Well now hold on a minute… Goin’ back to what I said about it never playin’ what a person selected… To be fair, I should say it rarely played what was selected. ‘Cause it did, on occasion play what you wanted and I think that was part of the draw to it, by the regulars, that is, like a slot machine, pullin’ the handle, will you “win” or “lose”? Just the fun of that.

I always used to think it played what a person needed to hear. And I think ol’ Jim though that, too. Which is why he finally gave up tryin’ to fix it. Back then, you know, most jukeboxes were built to take abuse, but whenever something did go wrong, there was a manual come with it, tellin’ the owner exactly how to fix it.

Ended up, I used to go to that jukebox whenever I had a problem. I’d feed that thing my dimes, close my eyes, push any buttons, I didn’t care, and then I’d sit back and listen to what it had to play to me. And I tell you what, that old thing, I’d say ninety percent of the time it taught me somethin’ I needed to know. Or maybe I just wanted it to so bad that it did…



Until next time, look for the magic and you will find it!



The Grand Reveal – 21 March 2014
Trick A – Albanian – 1 April 2014
Trick B – Black Forest – 2 April 2014
Trick C – Claw – 3 April 2014
Trick D – Docket – 4 April 2014
Trick E – Endanger – 5 April 2014
Trick F – Finicky – 7 April 2014
Trick G – Grave – 8 April 2014
Trick H – Harvester – 9 April 2014
Trick I – Inevitable – 10 April 2014


* The Collins Concise Dictionary Of The English Language, Second Edition 1988, Collins – London and Glasgow

**the Moment Of Meant To Be is the instant of lucidness that arises from the contemplation of any given thing and subsequently reveals the essence of it. These Moments will be dashed off in paragraphs of 200 words or less and may be dark or shining, delirious or rational, but each paragraph will stir thoughts and feelings that lead to a meaning unique to you.

8 responses to “the wisdom of J

    • Whew, TGISat! At last I get to play!
      Thanks Jules, especially for swinging by to check out all my stuff as dark as it’s been over here : )

  1. The answer lays in the small metal plate on the bottom right hand side back of the jukebox… Manufactured by Sandalphon Enterprises Inc.

    • That’s another possibility, EllaDee, and if it’s right on, I bet ol’ Jim knew it and just let it be : D

  2. Thank you, I loved this one. It seems that you’re gravitating toward your own form of flash fiction rather than “a tidy paragraph of thoughts,” and I for one like it that way.

    • Thank you, Josna, I’m gravitating toward something anyway, and that you like it is reassuring. Haven’t been able to properly keep up with A to Z on top of work and all, but I’m finding the fundamental expectation of producing daily content a strict yet respected teacher! Mañana…

    • Probably, Yolanda…well maybe, according to what the old cowboy says…but more likely not, and therefore more like life happening!

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