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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 …

panthers, crows and sparrows

The river is almost frozen over. Wind whips across the ice each morning as we tiptoe along the uneven sidewalk and make our way to school. E makes small desperate noises, sometimes just stopping until she feels like she can move again. My legs lock up when I am about to fall, hands jumping wildly for balance.
We feel the same.

The man with the accordion is out again playing that same song. I try to remember how many times I have written about his blank stare, the same chipper melody. He is unstoppable. My irritation has waned, and now I welcome the light rumble of his instrument as we make our way through the bright tunnel he plays in. 
His familiar face sits beneath a new hat. 
I wonder if he notices us after years of passing him.
My thoughts run to the day we will leave here, and if I will remember him. This accordion player is paralyzed, like one of Rilke's panthers. The world outside of this place may not exist to him. I know that when I am not here, it becomes an impossible place within a matter of days, a place that cannot be imagined. The snow and filth, these blank faces cannot remain. They become charcoal sketches in an old book. They are never real to me in some way. I am not here, I tell myself. I am not here.

"At mom's house there are crows." E says to me after a long silence. "But at our house there are sparrows."
I nod, showing I am listening.
"I like sparrows." She continues. "They are so sweet."
"Yes they are." I say.
"And crows eat garbage." E says, wrinkling her nose.









Comments

liv said…
And there they are - the sparrows.
She's a little sparrow, so sweet.

Someday it WILL all be like a dream. I hope she only remembers the good parts, then.
I hope you too only remember the good parts, Marco.

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