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"… My sense of alienation became acute. I glared at the neatly-made beds with their perfect hospital corners and folded quilts. This buttoned-down life would end for me soon. Now that I knew there was an escape from it all, a place where I could ride an elephant into the river, I was ready to move on. I wanted to put my feet up on the dashboard in the cab of a semitruck while the circus boy drove, glancing at me sideways and sliding his fingers into mine. I wanted it so much. Something very alive and dangerous was prowling inside me, and I let go of all caution …"
“Out in the swamp, it was peaceful, no people making my life miserable with their bullshit and uppity crap. I was able to let everything in instead of tuning everything out. Most people I know, when they find themselves surrounded by nothing but light and green, they struggle with the peace, have to get stoned before they can slow down and read what is really going on. So much life happening all around.”
“Come on, let’s get this thing done!” Jesse called out in his rich Alabama drawl. He looked rough and handsome, like a stunt man for a Spaghetti Western. I liked him a lot for his direct hit way of talking. He liked me well enough, except that I was a 'goddamn Yankee.'”
Red raised his eyebrows and patted the cab door. “I always keep a gun on the floor of my truck. Got to have an emergency kit,” he said. When he looked up to give me his wry smile there was no twinkle in his eye.
“A little pain doesn’t matter for a performer—we’re not soft. I come from a circus family in Germany. My parents and my grandparents all performed under the big top. My mother was an acrobat on horseback and my father, a clown. I began traveling the circus route a few months after I was born."
Alana bubbled up to the surface after executing a perfect swan dive into the deep end of the pool. “Come on over after you finish teaching the kids,” she called over to me as I stepped up on the diving board. “We can get you up on the ladder.”
“Nothing takes more out of a man than Sundays. That’s supposed to be our day off. We just stay on the lot an extra day instead of going to a new town. No setup, no teardown, just the shows. The music goes right though your head: same words, same barkers, same damn show. Goddamn days off make me nervous.”
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