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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 …

Heaven is a place (where nothing ever happens)


There are days, wet and dark when the sun never comes out. The leaves are falling in silence. I am out in the street, hands shoved into warm pockets as the lights behind the windows glow from inside old apartments. The drapes are pulled closed, offering no glimpse of a kitchen table covered in plastic, no teapot, no steam, no plate of cookies. Fancy cars gun their engines on these twisted back streets. All at one once a throaty roar as they rush off to nowhere. Old men and women pull little carts on squeaky wheels, a plaid flap bouncing on top, inside a bag of potatoes, a package of herring, a tube of mayonnaise, maybe a small bottle of vodka.

Sometimes, the quiet feels suffocating. Sometimes it feels rare. Nothing happens here beyond a store closing, another taking its place. Maybe a market is selling wild honey. Maybe a tree falls down. Maybe the water will go up to our ankles for a day before it runs into the forest.

I hear the news of another shooting, this time in a small Texas town. I can imagine it is similar, that hushed little village. A place where you know the person that brings the mail, and who sells the milk. A place you might feel safe, because nothing happens there. Until it does.




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