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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 …

the dark

There is a smell in the dark wet street, of onions and cabbage and spoiled meat. It has a hot, steamy feel to it like school lunch. I shove my hands deeper into my pockets, walking faster towards home.
A shadow runs along the sidewalk next to me, dancing around the puddles. I look back once, and see that no one is there. 

Just me and the streetlights.

The neighbor is in the hallway in his socks. He wears a shirt with a rainbow across the middle, the kind a seven year old boy would have. He is polishing his boots on the windowsill, looking out into the darkness.

Inside, I pull my wet shoes off. The christmas lights are dancing on our little tree, and there is that messy angel on top made by an orphan. 





Comments

liv said…
So many times you've taken us to this hallway - I feel I know it. Bad lighting, funny smell, a wee bit damp with an odd odor...am I right?

The first part of this reminds me of that Bob Dylan photo - NY city, hands stuffed into pocks, cold and windy. But it's you...the Bob Dylan of Moscow.
This is good work! I have a couple of questions: (1) Why did you choose not to place a comma between dark and wet at the beginning of the first sentence? Why not treat "dark wet" as a compound adjective? (2) Why did you choose not to treat "seven year old" as a compound adjective by placing a hyphen between each word?

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