Alleys & Ruins no. 50, Deliverance (1999, Toronto, ON, 10pm)

Alleys & Ruins no. 50, Deliverance (1999, Toronto, ON, 10pm)

Alleys & Ruins no. 50, Deliverance (1999, Toronto, ON, 10pm)

 

Clinton walks up to me, asking for a cigarette. “I don’t smoke,” I say to him, but he wants to tell me something.

“Do you know the secret to life? The secret to life is balance… if you got no balance, you can’t do nothin. Let me show you somethin.”

I’m fascinated – this man is preaching some truth! He then proceeds to toss a 2-foot long stick in the air and tries to catch it by chopping away at the air in fast Bruce Lee-like motions. The stick bounces off his arm and falls to the ground.

“Balance is the key, watch this,” he says earnestly, apparently unaware of his first missed attempt. He quickly picks up the stick and once again flicks it high up in the air and chops away at the warm humid night, the stick bouncing off his rapidly moving arms, and again falling to the ground.

Believing he’s done something right, he looks at me, his eyes narrow. “See what I’m saying?” He throws the stick up several more times, always ignoring his failed attempts, and even giving me pointers. “Notice how quickly my hands move – you have to feel the stick in the air – you can’t just catch it if you don’t feel it. Watch closely.”

He throws the stick up again and finally catches it, displaying the clenched stick with great seriousness and severity. He then decides to toss the stick onto a row of chained dumpsters next to him, but he hits the side and it falls to the ground. He repeats this again, with the same results, until he decides to place the stick on one of the dumpsters, but it falls behind where he cannot retrieve it."

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