“You can stare at a coin for decades and you will never see anything different. Only when you finally flip it over will you see a completely different view. So is it with ideas and thoughts as well.”
He sighed as he sipped his tea. He looked at her as she brought the cup up to her lips and admired the little droplets it left there. She always spills a little when she drinks, he thought as her cup came down on the tray with a clutter.
He looked out at the rain falling in the creaking dry desert they sat in. Each drop of rain thundered down, crashing on the ground, hoping to give live to something but only dying in the end. Thunder came crashing down, splitting his thoughts into a million fragments that floated around them in the darkness of the sunrise.
He pulled one of them close to his eyes and looked into its clinking glass. He saw a floating colorful balloon with a monkey and a camel singing lullabies in the basket. They played with the drops of rain, balancing them on their noses and throwing them to each other. He pulled another piece and saw the monkey and camel sitting by the sea, listening to the lazy waves tumble into each other while a strange bird sang melodies to the sound of the rain.
The shards of glass fell to the ground with a bang, breaking into even smaller pieces that he could not make out anymore. He let out a helpless cry, there were so many more thoughts he would have liked to see. But even the rain failed to bring them life when they fell muted to the glass.
He looked across at her again and admired her distant look. Far out in the desert the clown became a fat cow, but was still dancing, and he was still not funny. How can he be funny when there is no living audience to laugh loudly to him wildly flailing his arms around?
Suddenly a huge worm broke through the ground with a deafening growl and swallowed the clown and the circus tents whole. He jerked out of his rocking chair, spilling the hot tea on his bare feet. He screamed in pain and threw the cup in anger. It landed lazily in the ground, with the rain falling around it until it just became part of the desert.
He looked at her but she did not move. She sat silently sipping her tea. He wondered how she could just sit there through the whole thing. She did not even blink. She turned slowly to look at him as she read his thoughts.
“Nothing here is alive, my love. Nothing is alive. That’s all there is to it.”
And she became part of the desert.
He was surrounded by faces distorted in laughter. A melancholic happiness seeped the whole place. Children were clapping and clowns were playing fools. Bright balloons floated in the air, dazzling and wicked. The lowly remembered, the lowly forgotten, just as they have always been.
Lazy applause rang out all around and crawled into his ears, mixed with the sweet getaway of loud obnoxious music.
He was out of place yet felt right at home. An emotion was raining, sending lightening bolts of icicles through his skeleton, confusing his senses and eating at his mind. A throbbing nerve spoke of a headache. An evilness slowly unwound inside, like a slumbering giant hungry for death.
All he could feel was pain. It was in his soul and span out like the tentacles of a sea monster to every limb. He tried to take a deep breath but little air found its way to his lungs. His fingers and toes became limp as the colors around flowed into each other, becoming a surreal portrait of his soul.
An outcast, hated and discarded. There was no way he could be part of the circus when all that was inside him was the blackness that overtook him, like spreading, climbing vines through his soul.
A large smiling face jumped right in front of him. It seemed like a dislocated head. The clown had an everlasting smile of makeup. Wild hair full of the broken dreams of hundreds of children and the slumber of adults.
He looked around the circus, looked at the colors, looked at the faces and finally at the clown, then he cried.
They sat together to the greatest feast there ever was. Laughter rang out across the hall. Voices rose in singing, others in stories of valor. The faces around the table were familiar yet they looked very different. Young, vibrant and energetic. It was like the sun was always rising to their faces.
The stars served them, darting around in all their brightness to answer their every whim. The elements obeyed them and worshiped them. The wind darted around to hear their stories of valor while the earth sighed in satisfaction – even as it heard the tales for the millionth time.
Vastly different faces spoke with one voice. The scars were not gone, but became streams of bright light – tattoos of dignity. The rugs they once wore were adorned with elaborate designs of silk. The pain was forever gone.They spoke of their dreams and, unlike him, they laughed about it. They were, finally, happy. Did they know what he knew? Or maybe he didn’t know what they knew.
The eternal dance went on, threading like a golden needle in the fabric of black space.
He entered the hall, humbled, and tears flew down his cheeks. At long last he was in good company again.