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running away with the circus (looking for dolphins)

There are three of them, a brazen woman with bright eyes and a big voice, a man going grey with a hop in his step and a younger woman who might be their daughter or their niece that twists her short hair into little tufts. They roam the hotel, sometimes in elaborate costumes, letting us know that there will be a secret dance party near the ballroom in an hour.

The older woman strolls in during dinner in a costume of blinking Christmas lights and exotic face paint. V stares up at her, convinced she is a princess or a fairy or maybe both. The next night, she is all in black, great horns wobbling on her head. She always has a pair of black Converse high tops on, as if they go with every costume or maybe they are the only shoes she owns.

The man is typically dressed as a pirate, in a striped shirt, maybe an eye patch. He is perfectly relaxed, like his limbs are made of silly straws. The younger woman is always smiling, her mouth a wall of metal braces and lip gloss. I imagine they sleep …

two steps back, one step forward

The rooms are dark. Some of the luggage still sits in cockeyed piles. Mounds of clothes to wash and iron and fold stare up at me. Coughing, sneezing and bellyaching I wrap a t-shirt across my eyes and go back to sleep after I bring E to school. The wind knocks a door around on the balcony. I smell stale cigarettes from the hallway seeping under the front door.
Yes, I am back.


E is getting perfect fives. 
She tells me she has been saving her lunch money to buy a doll until I explain to her that lunch money is only for lunch. We agree to start giving her an allowance. 
She cries quietly, feeling terrible. I tell her it is my fault, for not explaining things well. 
"Yeah, you screwed up Pop." She says, joking past her wet cheeks.


Things have been breaking. My desk chair's wheels popped off one afternoon, split right down to the bone. The espresso machine sputters then dribbles and now it just sits with lights flashing. They were old. I am not upset. I have been buying things that E's mother forced me to get rid of so many years ago. A black leather peacoat. That orange guitar. A certain camera. A handful of books about angels and the Holy Grail. I wondered if this impulse to replace what had been lost and sold off was a good idea. It seems so hokey, such a soap opera urge. Will I really feel younger, seeing my reflection with this coat on my shoulders? No, that is not the reason. Is this all a going-back? A return, a second chance? No. I just missed these things. I want to pick up from where things left off, to continue with that certain inertia I had ten years ago.





Comments

Things break, M. Chairs, espresso machines, hearts... But your heart seems remarkably intact. So go ahead...Slip into that leather coat. And just so you know...You are the light of my Mondays!

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