Did she Jump?
14th January 2018
He managed like an alcoholic goes from day to day. Some days clearer than others just trying to stay clean. He didn’t drink but the lager can ring’s still left stains around his eyes where tiredness crept in. His lazy arm lay across the pad with the pen mute as sleep trawled along his neck and into his mind letting his head fall sullenly.
She entered the bedroom thinking of nothing more than the shining top of her jewellery box and the last expression of her sleeping daughter when she saw him sat up asleep. It was the fourth time this week he’d done that and it reminded her briefly of her father. How he’d come home promising her the next big day out and then would have to sleep all day.
Her husband was different, she knew it and yet the memory plagued her briefly like toothache. She’d caught him last night going through the C.C.T.V shot by shot in slow motion looking for the perfect image of her. The arch of her neck, the turn of her jaw, the way the light catches her eyes through her hair. He may write to escape but he photographs to be free. The bed seemed to sink lower than usual under the weight of pressure and stress. She didn’t need to be psychic to know work was getting to him. After prying the pen from his fingers and placing a pillow behind his neck she dreamt of their last trip together, he didn’t.
He was a ringmaster at a circus in a blurry dream which smacked of symbolic realism. The monkeys at the front kept shouting to be heart and stealing the inflatable banana’s from the clients who cheered in admiration. Some complained but few and words appeared in his mind’s eye like daggers of blame.
A midget shot from a cannon in a poor advertising campaign. Tiny man flopped to the roar of several seals flapping their hands in poor applause. The midget was nevermore but transmogrified into a lawyer with a clipboard and those daggers they slipped some more.
He was the ringmaster, the advertiser, the cannon firer and the great despiser. He was the one to take them higher until the best he’d have to fire. The tightrope walked a clown with a bucket. His email#s buzzed in his pocket as off went two rockets. The popcorn filled room was immersed in the smell of wood chippings and caramel as the curtain fell and the clown with it.
Applause as the ringmaster caught him one-handed, the crows went wild! What was left for him to do but smile? It wasn’t part of the show yet what they didn’t know, they didn’t know.
Seconds past as the tent grew dark. The grand finale a successful spark. A roar filled the night as a solitary light fell then another and some more and a million more as well. The light’s themselves drowned out the spectacle behind the daunting roar. What else would you buy all those lights for? Inadequacy, a lack of finding, some education that was un-rewarding, either as the expectation and hype met a crescendo of light on top of light until out pounced a kitten. A tiny, small cub, well more like a pussy that had fallen in a tub.
A lion had been advertised like a McDonald’s burger we expected, well, more like a chocolate gateaux dessert. One foot in front of the other it stood proud on a block and then through the lights it started to rock. Side to side up and down then onto two feet it sat back like it was meeting it’s owner for the very first time.
Without any warning it pounced from that step onto another (Was this over yet?) As it grew and enlarged and morphed as it grew. It took on more and more the Hulk type of hue, until with eyes wide and no clue what to do the pussy looked down as Fiona from Shrek 2.
With a perplexed expression (and somewhat green too) Ringmaster asked himself “oh what could he do?”
He tried with relaxed, he attempted assertive, he questioned his faith “Did he really deserve this?” He started direct with a clear stern voice “You’ll send us all under! Why make this choice?” He growled and he whimpered like a cat in a trap. He couldn’t get his own way and he didn’t like that. “I am the boss! I am the law! I have the money, come hear me roar!”
They tickled his tummy, they praised his new coat they followed his tail with their eyes on his throat. Blind to the facts, blind to reaction, blind to the honesty that could save the occasion.
The crowd started to titter then falter and ran. What had he started? What had begun?
The ringmaster whipped a cat o nine tails. hE jabbed and he stabbed until his arms failed. He tried and he burnt, he blaster and boiled and he hurt until he realised all their plans were foiled.
He awoke to the phone buzzing along, whipping at ghosts from the dream of his song.”Morning boss” he said to a sunday man. Knowing he’s off but had to do what he can. The coffee smelt up the stairs as daughter and wife stood half spectral there. Hope in their eyes as new day to begin with dad and laughs no work a win/win. A day with just the three of them in “You can’t make it in?” They heard him say and knew he’d be at work today.
© G.P Williamson 2018
Any simularity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. The same can be said for midgets, Ringmasters, Seals and Monkeys.