The Acrobats

I want to become an acrobat
Really…..
I am sitting watching these three acrobats
Their colourful uniform yellow in color
The arena is well lit ….colourful multicolored Christmas trees. ..Christmas lights…make the yellow outfits glitter even more

Rivulets of sweat stream down their dark faces
Their shirts stick to their back in the sweltering Mombasa heat

But I am drawn to the hair…..beautiful African locks…..thick black locks stream down their backs ….this seems to be the signature hair style for most acrobats and i smile
My locks should look half that good in about a year

Loud Lingala music blares in the background
I tap my feet to the beat and i am not alone
Parents and children alike crane forward
No one wants to miss a trick
One of them drops a trick we all burst out laughing we are all caught up in the fun

An acrobat gets on a tight rope and walks calmly from one side to the other
We clap to the sound of reggae music and i shudder as he goes ahead to remove his costume while atop the rope

The music says when I was a young boy I danced all the time
I smile
It’s only the audacity of youth
That near feeling of invincibility that makes one dare turn a high rope into a walk-in closet

Now he is putting the costume back on
We are told to clap for him as he spins round
My daughter claps to the beat
My over cautious mind refuses to allow me to enjoy the fun
I am afraid to say but my overactive mind has already imagined him falling down…..tumbling down so many times in so many different ways

The he lightly jumps down
I relax visibly
As the next act comes on….balancing of two long swords am thinking…. nightmares are made of these

So anyway am determined to become an acrobat
For several reasons
There is not a Single woman in the troupe
Second the music is nice.
Lastly I like the hair and the costumes and i think I can dance on the sides
Just smile put on the longest plume and i can be a source of distraction for cowards like me with overactive imaginations
My daughter is laughing so hard as the next person gets up the rope…I envy the innocence and audacity of childhood
For once my overactive imagination is a hindrance otherwise I might have offered to be a prop on the next trick

The guy just squeezed himself into a tin and is hoping around like a monkey. My daughter laughs so hard she dissolves into a fit of coughing. I rub her back as the next act comes on. The acrobat walking on stilts calmly picks up someone’s baby and starts dancing with them. Okay now it’s no longer nice to be on the first row. Those stilts are like two storeys up. I grab my daughter’s hand but she is straining forward she wants to be lifted
God please let them not see her eager face they may come for her

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