A circus performer

by Brendan Strong

#LibLit Number 1 (for me) A circus performer; Babylonian

More about #LibLit here, on Shannon Wendt’s blog (one of the best named blogs I’ve come across)

His father had great plans for him. He would learn about light and eyes. But his heart was light – and did not respond to the heavy eyes of his father. He ran away with a beautiful boy who became an acrobatic clown for a circus that travelled all over Europe. He saw none of Europe, sleeping through the day and working with the others to raise marquees and take cash at the entrance.  It was hard work. There was no luxury.

They let him try the trapeze. The beautiful boy in his clown makeup and oversized shoes made him laugh as he called out orders – Hold here. Swing. Harder! Use your legs; use your shoulders; use your back. His body was worked in more ways than he could imagine.

One day, the beautiful boy showed him how to let go of the trapeze; and how to catch and be caught by another. For a moment, there was no rope. He was suspicious of the net. He wondered whether he should have learned more about light and the eyes. But then his hands found purchase on the arms of the boy – whose hands also found purchase on arms.

Everyday, he was asked what the fee was and he would look into peoples’ eyes as he told them. And he saw that they came to the circus to feel some kind of magic. They had those heavy eyes, weighed down by their lives. The circus was their Babylon, a little luxury in a large car park on the outskirts of medium-to-large towns. And he wanted to tell them to try the trapeze. Until there is no rope, and you are suspicious of the net, you can never be free.

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