Meeting Dave the Mime/Magician – New Wave Coffee
On my way home after work, I stopped in to New Wave Coffee. As I was waiting for my drink, I happened to glance over into the area near the Milwaukee entrance. The seating in the coffee shop is a mixture – mostly small tables with two chairs, a few larger desks and two couches. There also happens to be exactly one wooden rocking chair.
I looked over, and happened to see a guy sitting in the rocking chair. A guy wearing some kind of face paint makup, a hat, with a cane resting across his lap.
I glanced over a few times… trying not to stare, trying not to be rude. But my curiosity got the better of me. A few times, the guy caught my eye and seemed to smile. The way he was sitting was pretty unusual – out in the open, with no table in front of him. He looked almost regal, as though he were holding court in the coffee shop. Killing time, as it were, until his subjects arrived to pay their respects.
After I got my coffee, I walked over and began asking him questions. Was that a magic cane? Was he a magician? The whole time, he smiled at me very patiently… and nodded either yes or no.
From our limited communication back and forth, I gathered that he’s both a magician and a mime (I think). He also recently performed… somewhere. I asked him for a card or for some info, and he had nothing to share. I asked if I could see him perform anywhere nearby, and he kind of motioned to the coffeeshop itself.
I did make sure to ask his permission to take a photo, which he agreed to (by nodding).
As I left, I told him my name was Felix and went to shake his hand. I almost made him spill his coffee, but he shook mine and kept on smiling. After a very brief pause, he reached into his pocket for a pen and drew his name into his coffee cup: Dave.
I really wish I could tell you more about him, about why he was there, or where he was going. I tried to find out more about him. But after a few yes/no questions that didn’t lead anywhere, I decided to move on and stop bothering the man… and left him to enjoy his coffee.
Looking back I feel like it was one of those moments in a fairy tale, where the main character comes across a stranger during their travels – a stranger who has the power to help or hinder, depending on the conversation. I feel like, had I asked him the right questions… a path or a quest might have been revealed to me.
Instead, I was presented with a riddle and failed to solve it. I would have been willing to pepper him with a dozen more yes/no questions, but I felt like I was putting him out… so I backed off. So many questions left.
I still don’t know if he was a mime, in “character,” or actually was unable to speak. I’m now thinking that perhaps he was part of a scavenger hunt, and was waiting for various teams to arrive. If anyone knows him, or has some more insight into what might have been going on at New Wave… I’m all ears.
Regardless, I’m happy to have run into Dave the mime/magician – kicking back in a rocking chair with his makeup and cane, chillaxing with a cup of joe.