David “My Magic Isn’t Exactly Magic Per Se” Blaine held his breath for a record-breaking 17 minutes and 4 seconds today, an achievement that was broadcast live on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Immediately after completing the mind-boggling task, Blaine told Winfrey that the accomplishment had “always been a lifelong dream.”
It all kind of reminded me of my early years of dating, when every guy I brought home had just gotten off of a tour vehicle of some sort or spent much of their free time peddling records and buying vintage cowboy shirts. They would always look, unsteadily, with four eyes or a smidge of eyeliner, at my dad and talk about their hopes for the future.
It often sounded an awful lot like this:
“I definitely want to like, manage a record shop.”
“We’re gonna sell a bunch of albums. Maybe go to Japan!”
“I’ll probably take some classes sometime.”
My dad would always raise his eyebrows in bewilderment and nod us off. I knew that with our backs turned he would be shaking his head at me, imagining his youngest daughter barefoot and pregnant alongside a 40-year old record store clerk. “These guys,” he would say later, “they have no ambition, no goals. What kind of future do you think they will have?”
I assume that if he heard about Blaine’s long-held ambitions he would scowl something in the same vein: “Holding his breath is his lifelong dream? Tell him to breathe and go to college, get a job!”
Or maybe just “I hate magic!”
Or maybe both.
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