Circus Tent
Image by nathanking via Flickr

It was quick, that was his first thought immediately afterwards. Something he’d thought about and fantasised over for 25 years and now it was finished.

He’d enjoyed it, but it hadn’t lived up to his incredibly high expectations; it couldn’t have. It made him question the wisdom of having dreams. People often said if you have a dream (like the American dream that we all hear so much about) then you can make it happen. You just have to hold onto that dream, never let it go, how ever far away or difficult it might seem and you will achieve it. It was true in his case. But he wasn’t sure if it was a good thing.

When he’d first had the dream he was 7 years old so no one took him seriously. Leaving school on careers day, he told the careers advisor, the woman had made an effort with him, probably felt sorry for him, so she chatted with him a bit and he revealed his dream to her. She grimaced a little, trying to make it seem like a smile and wished him good luck as she opened the door.

His ex-wife laughed in his face when he finally plucked up the courage to tell her about it, shortly after she opened the door for him to leave their home, never to return. A couple of guys from work, when he finally did get a job, at the box factory, seemed to understand, at least they said they did, but he caught them looking at him and whispering a few times afterwards.

At the age of 29 he decided not to tell anyone else. He hardly saw anyone now that he he’d lost his job – downsizing – they called it, even though most of his co-workers kept their jobs. He spent most of his time at home dreaming his dream and planning, really precisely, how it was going to happen.

Yesterday, it happened, after 25 years and he could barely recall the details. It was a whirlwind, it was a rush, but also, though he really really hated to admit it, it was disappointing.

All those years of fantasising after the first time he’d been to the circus. He’d imagined all the details; the make up, the lights, the big top, the applause, the bucket of fake water, the joke car, the flower-water pistol and of course, the massive shoes.

He had all of that, it was a success, he was good at it; he’d trained and studied long enough, he ought to be. But when it was all over he felt thoroughly pissed off and now 24 hours later he felt the same.

He wandered out into his garden. It was late, hardly any of the neighbours’ lights were on, but for once he didn’t care about being considerate. He looked to the heavens, raised his tiny fist and shook it as hard as he could whilst screaming at full volume:

‘You can take your dreams and shove them up your fat arse!’

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