the mark of X

Image of Juliet Berto, credit Jonathan Rosenbaum

Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the twenty-fourth 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 X’s and landed my fingertip randomly on a page. And when Juliet removed the blindfold, there was no doubt: my fingertip was squarely on “xylophone”, thankfully missing “xylophagus.”

And while Juliet was offstage conjuring the banner you see at the top of this post, I wildly jotted down the ditty below in the Moment Of Meant To Be.*** Now, the rest of this trick is up to you, Ladies and Gents!

If it pleases you, merely read the ditty below and record what predominant meaning the sum of those words strikes in your heart. And for every trick after this, from Y to Z, you may do the same. And when I have pulled from the hat the essence of the random word of Z, and you have pondered its significance, you may allow the accumulative magic of all tricks A-Z to reveal to you your fortune.


THE “X” PARAGRAPH: Xylophone

Raymond was possessed with the xylophone. He had no idea how to play one but he had such a strong feeling that he was meant to be a xylophonist that he saved up until he was able to buy one.
Raymond dragged the large box up the stairs to his apartment, ripped it apart and set up his beautiful xylophone, grabbed both mallets and was devastated to find out that being a percussionist was not as easy as making “Hawaiian noises,” not like “bangin’ on the bongos like a chimpanzee” as Mark Knopfler had portrayed it in his song*.
Raymond took it badly. He put the xylophone in a closet and allowed despondency to take him over completely.
After Raymond had failed to answer calls and return messages for three weeks, his mother went by his apartment and found him practically comatose in a bathrobe that was singed in spots where he’d attempted to set himself on fire with safety matches.
His mother slapped his cheeks until he woke up.
“Oh I know you,” he slurred. “Grace Slick, right?”
“No dear, it’s me, your mother.”
“It’s just as well,” Raymond said. “Because the xylophonists’ world is a man’s domain.”
“What are you talking about?” his mother asked.
“Are you here to deliver the psychedelic drugs I ordered?”
“No,” she said. “I most certainly am not.”
Long story short, Raymond’s mother dialed 911 and he wound up in a straitjacket at Green Oaks. And while on psychotropic drugs, he had a revelation in which it was made known to him that the xylophone was not so much an instrument as it was a decipherer, and all he needed to do was to fully embrace it as such and then he’d know what bars to hit and when and with which mallet.
Raymond recounted the revelation to his psychiatrist, Dr Malfeasor, and explained that with each bar he hit, he would unlock further secrets to living: to loving, to being, to failing, to succeeding, and finally to dying a graceful death when the time came.
Dr Malfeasor thought a moment and said, “Raymond, you’re miss-associating the maladjustments of the tragic misalignment of Psyche with the abductive shenanigans of Eros’ misappropriation as per Miss Aphrodite’s mal-instructions and the ill consequences leading to immortality and the preposterousness of a merry ending.”
“Would you put that in layman’s terms, please?” Raymond said.
“Certainly,” said Dr Malfeasor, “You should learn to play the guitar.”
What?” Raymond was incredulous.
“You have been deleteriously deceived that drummers, i.e. percussionists, are perceived by debauched damsels as dingling large dangles when in fact it’s guitarists and frontmen that delight said dames, not so much with their dingles as with their herculean huff and puff!”
“So I should do as Mr Knopfler does and not exactly as he says?”
“That is correct.”

*Dire Straits – Money for Nothing [Wembley -85 ~ HD]


Share your predominant thought with the audience or keep it a secret. As always, it’s entirely up to you.

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
Trick J – Jukebox – 11 April 2014
Trick K – Keyhole – 12 April 2014
Trick L – Liberal Arts – 14 April 2014
Trick M – Masking Tape – 15 April 2014
Trick N – Nonce – 16 April 2014
Trick O – Occult – 17 April 2014
Trick P – Poultice – 18 April 2014
Trick Q – Quotient – 19 April 2014
Trick R – Relegate – 21 April 2014
Trick S – Snag – 22 April 2014
Trick T – Thermos – 23 April 2014
Trick U – Upbringing – 24 April 2014
Trick V – Vernacular – 25 April 2014
Trick W – Wake – 26 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.

4 responses to “the mark of X

    • Well, I’ll be over later to see how you did! Me, I ended up using the old When-all-else-fails-go-to-lunacy trick!

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