Transgressive Moments

When we were courting more than 30 years ago Paulette and I went one evening to see Ricky Jay, magician extraordinaire, at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica California. Jay had just written a book, Cards as Weapons, and his act was a delightful combination of humor and sleight-of-hand. But I don't really remember it all that well. In contrast, a 1993 profile of Ricky Jay in the New Yorker magazine ("Secrets of Magus" by Mark Singer [1]) has lodged firmly in my mind for over 15 years. I recollect it for a less-than-noble reason: a grossly misogynistic anecdote that Jay tells of another great magician, Dai Vernon. The story is far too nasty to be described here.

I find many similar examples in my own memory banks. Possibly there's something about extreme boundary-crossing behavior that makes it memorable? Perhaps there's a "guilty pleasure" neuron that, when triggered, helps lodge certain incidents in long-term storage? Transgressive moments seem somehow central to consciousness, at least to mine.

And maybe that's another reason that I enjoy trail running so much: those occasional off-the-charts experiences that only another trail runner can understand!

^z - 2008-06-05

(correlates: Comments on ZimmermannSplinters, ValentineWish, What Do You Think of When You Run, ...)