Every year, there’s  street performance festival in our neighborhood.  The organizers put together a good selection of comedians, acrobats, jugglers, interpretive artists and such. Some of it is great, some not so much. Maybe it’s not Cirque du Soleil, but it doesn’t cost $200 either.

Unfortunately, this act was rather disturbing.

Backed up by an exceptional jazz combo, this was one of the worst magicians I have ever seen. She did some rather ordinary tricks really badly, dropping both cards and coins, and when she poured wine out of a newspaper, you could see the plastic bag inside it. Then an acrobat took over and when the magician returned she was wearing nothing but a black teddy. She stuck a skewer through her tongue and used a spoon to drive some nails up her nose. Then she pulled out a razor blade. I hate to walk out in the middle of a performance, but…ewww. We decided it was time to move on.

Then there was Kera.

 A relic of a Tokyo that is nearly extinct, our neighborhood has a section of extremely narrow alleys lined with tiny bars and restaurants. Some parts of it are barely negotiable by bicycle. I love wandering around in there.

The powers that be had assigned Kera to an intersection of two of those tiny alleys. There was about a meter between him and the audience and barely any space for passers-by to do their thing, but he made the best of it, and was mesmerizing. The restricted space didn’t stop him from dancing, and he also did some pretty cool stuff with a crystal ball and somehow unsquashed an empty cola can and refilled it. It was like watching time pass in reverse. (Tongue kabob lady could use a few lessons from him.) The last part of the act was a pantomime and at the end of it, he conjured a rosebud out of nowhere and offered it to me.

The little girl sitting in front of me tried to take it but I wouldn’t let her have it.

Hey, don’t judge me. When was the last time a handsome stranger in a sharp suit offered YOU a flower?


8 thoughts on “Matsuri”

  1. It sounds delightful. I love bad magicians. Somehow it is akin, for me at least, to fingernails on a chalkboard. I hate the thought but secretly await the screech. A push into discomfort. I am glad you kept the rose.

    1. Indeed. I was once at a convenience store about to check out when a little girl jumped in front of me. The clerk and I were both surprised, but he reached over her head and took my stuff. Hah! Take that, you spoiled little rugrat.

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