Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Radical, liberal, fanatical, criminal.

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,
joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,
logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
clinical, intellectual, cynical.

There are times when all the world's asleep,
the questions run too deep
for such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am.*
Our time in the circus didn't end well. It didn't end at all, actually, at least not with any measure of closure. I bounced back and forth between the high wires and the freakshow out back, Lochlan kept true to his craft, throwing fire, taking a straightforward routine and turning it into something positively magical there. He bloomed. He was positively riveting and I realized that the years on the carnival had made him complacent and content. Now he was hungry, attention-starved, always seeking limelight as a source of nourishment, always trying to find ways to be different.

He changed.

Looking back he didn't change all that much, those facets of his personality always bubbling on a slow boil just beneath his surface but at the time it seemed as if Lochlan had gone away and been replaced with a virtual stranger, someone slightly darker than Lochlan, who seemed to be under a dark cloud. His hair was darker, his eyes darker, his mood? Darker. He listened to strange music, and told jokes with no punchlines. He ceased to care if we ate or got paid.

For the first time in my life, it wasn't pretty. He wasn't pretty. He made himself ugly on purpose and he became a caricature. I packed my meager things and I called Caleb from a payphone on the boardwalk one morning at 5 a.m. and asked him to wire me some money so I could come home. I asked him not to tell Cole, that I would pay him back any way I could.

And he laughed and asked me to put Pyro on the phone and I stalled and hummed and hawed and then I cried.

And Lochlan, to his credit for stabbing him in the back, didn't talk to me until almost Christmas that year.

( *Look, a footnote! No, seriously. Loch asked me not to write about his birthday and so this is what I wrote instead. Because people always ask why he moved to Toronto and got engaged when I went home and hung up my tights and started being a Regular Human Being again. That was why, okay? That was why.

I'll write about his birthday tomorrow. No worries. If I listened to any of them I wouldn't have a blog at all, now, would I?)