I am a skeptic. I doubt a lot of things. This bothers my wife, who is a proud and firm believer in things less-explained. From time to time I am asked to pray to the goddess Asphaltia with her in hopes of finding a parking place. When a spot opens up, all praise to the goddess and I tend not to bring up the potential of an algorithm that would explain the time between cars entering and exiting any particular block. But in those moments of quiet desperation when it seemed as though we might just drive around in circles endlessly, seeing reverse lights come on in front of us allowing us escape from our torment. Hail Asphaltia.
I am also somebody's younger brother, which meant that I was ever vigilant for the scam or prank brought on by my older brother. If things went missing, or defied explanation, I would assume that things had been altered or skewed in his favor, and it had nothing to do with altered reality. It had everything to do with my older brother maintaining the reality we shared. In his favor. I learned my lessons well, and went on to torment my younger brother in many of the same ways without ever doing any magic.
The kid down the street from us was the one doing magic. Or what he was buying and performing in the awed presence of the rest of the neighborhood. I knew that what he was doing wasn't really magic. It was misdirection. It was manipulation. It was a trick. It could be that my burgeoning sense of doubt was what he saw in me as his initial shill. He would sit me down as an audience of one, and demonstrate his new trick on me. He wanted to see if I could "pick" his trick. With a basic understanding of some of the flips and twists used in close-up magic, I watched for fake thumbs and distracting flourishes that hid the obvious. I wasn't fooled very often. I learned how things could collapse and fold and for just a moment they could disappear. Only to reappear again, moments later.
Just like a parking space.
It's not like those scenes from Inception where sidewalks and buildings fold in on themselves and geography changed. That's magic.