David Blaine could barely make out his own face in the fogged up mirror of his marble bathroom. The air was scented with lavender and his slippers were soft. He set down the razor. It was foolish to think he could keep up the painstakingly manicured facial hair that required twice daily maintenance with a mirror so fogged up. He would have his soak and then he would trim his facial hair with the attentiveness usually reserved for lovers.
David Blaine eased himself into the clawfooted cauldron-shaped bathtub. His “thinking place.” It was a perfect spot to unwind and meditate. But today was not for unwinding and meditation, today was for the difficult work of creating his next illusion. The people demanded that David Blaine amaze and astonish them. Of course, there was no way to know whether the people actually demanded it. If only there were some kind of system by which the public’s opinions could be traded with freedom and ease. Some kind of network of web logs. But of course that was only a dream, so David Blaine was forced to go off of his gut feeling, and his gut told him that everyone was clamoring for more of his illusions. Whether they were or not. But David Blaine was pretty sure they did.
David Blaine stretched out his fingers, straining forward with perfectly kempt nails. “Accio Kiehl’s Milk, Honey, and Almond Scrub!” The jar of Kiehl’s Milk, Honey and Almond Scrub did not move. David Blaine loved that joke. Ok, he thought to himself, enough joking around, let’s get to work.
He knew that he wanted to do something incredible. His past few specials had been criticized as more feats of endurance than actual magic. Which meant that he simply needed to endure more to convince people they were wrong. He would endure something so ridiculous for such a long time that people would KNOW it was magic. When he was magically carted away by an ambulance at the end to be treated by doctors for what were the natural results of putting silly stresses on the human body, people would think he was some kind of warlock. People would think he was the highlander, probably.
“But what, David?” he said to no one in particular. “Use that magic brain of yours and think.”
David Blaine had already buried himself alive, endured being froze in ice, and spent a week submerged in water. Earth. Ice. Water. Maybe something elemental? He could set himself on fire. He could spend 72 hours on fire and then jump out of an airplane without a parachute and land in a puddle of water to put the fire out.
No, David Blaine, he told himself. A puddle? He was David Fucking Blaine. He would leave jumping out of planes into puddles to Criss Angel. Besides, he’d already done the elements. It was time for something new. Something…incredible.
He could sleep for 12 days. No one had ever slept that long. That’s too long. Your body naturally wakes up. David Blaine would train himself over the next six months to sleep long past the human threshold for sleep. Raise the stakes, David, he told himself. OK, he would sleep on a cardboard box in Union Square for 12 days straight, not waking for food nor to relieve himself. Truly magical! But he was tired of New York. He wanted to really bring magic to the people. To the people living across this great country who didn’t even own a Marc Jacobs suit or eat sushi for breakfast every day. He wanted to do magic for people who bought their facial cleansers at CVS.
That was when David Blaine realized what his next illusion would be. It would be the purest test of a man’s endurance, especially a man such as himself. He would leave New York and spend the next 40 years hiding in some small town without telling anyone who he was. The ABC special would be two hours a night, seven nights a week, for 40 years, everyone searching for David Blaine. He would fundamentally disappear. Mostly through disguises, and sometimes just lying to people. It would be the greatest trick anyone had ever known. Real magic at long last. The people would be so sad, but he would persevere. They would be like “Oh, no, where is David Blaine,” but David Blaine would be silent. And then, after 40 years, David Blaine would reappear and freak everyone out so bad.
He had some time to work on the finale. Perhaps he might still want to set himself on fire for the last 72 hours and jump out of an airplane without a parachute while producing a gallon of sweat into a jar in mid-air, more sweat than any human has produced in the shortest amount of time ever. But that was 40 years in the future. David Blaine had time.
For now, David Blaine wrapped himself in a $700 towel and stood in front of the mirror. The fog had cleared and it was time to tend to his magical beard.