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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 …

A peaceful song

E asks me to help her with some English homework. There will be a Christmas play, and she is singing Silent Night in it. I am working late, and am half-listening to her. She starts off fine, but then repeats part of the melody and veers off course.

All at once, I put the work aside for the day and find the chords to play. I pull out the orange Gretsch and we go at it. She is smiling now, eyes looking right into me.
"Do you want to sing it with me?" She asks.
I nod.
We go again, and she is laughing.
"What?" I ask.
"I was just thinking we should make a movie about us singing together and you could put it as your Monday story." She explains.
"That sounds like something." I answer.

We play it again, and N comes home.
She sits at the kitchen table, and we play it one more time for her to hear.
E skips around the kitchen afterwards, then into the hallway as she disappears.
"Is it very Serge and Charlotte Gainsbourg?" I ask her after a moment.
"Just enough.' She says, patting my knee. "Just enough."




Comments

liv said…
That was the BEST Christmas present EVER!!!!

What fun! Thank you so much and a very, very Merry Christmas to all of you!

bette wanderman said…
You are killing me gently of course with the amazingly beautiful performance. Looking forward to twinkle twinkle.
Suzette Sommer said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzette Sommer said…
You two put tears in my eyes.

So much love.

Hugs.

Suzette

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