by Joy Monger
A few months back I travelled to my favorite spot in Mexico with a few good girlfriends. It was lovely. They are the girlfriends that know me and love me still. This far into our friendship, I didn’t think there was much that I could say or do that would surprise them.
One evening on our trip we were enjoying a lovely dinner outside, people watching, melting into the candle light, discussing life. All of a sudden the sound of a booming man’s voice came out over unseen loud speakers, children started running towards the sound. Soon a black truck appeared, swarmed by the kids, and their parents, the mexican man’s voice still booming and bouncing off the walls of the cafe. Calling the children to come closer, hurry, hurry, hurry! And into our view, behind the truck came the source of all the joy and excitement; there was a cage with one sad tiger, and it’s shaggy, sleepy lion friend.
The Mexican Circus was in town.
And on this little island in Mexico, it was big news. Even thought it was well past ten in the evening, more and more people came streaming down the street, babies were pushed up against the cage to see the big animals, cameras flashed, the loud-speaker still cracking, the truck stopped in its tracks as the road became impassable.
And as my girlfriends sat a bit confused, a bit dismayed at the state of the animals, I swooned. I said dreamily; “the Mexican Circus makes me miss my boyfriend.”
My gals pals swiveled their heads from the melee back to look at me. I think maybe they thought I was making a joke. When they saw the far away look on my face, they realized I was entirely serious, and right in the middle of a world-class twitterpation. The Mexican Circus was my Paris, my Venetian gondola, my champagne and fireworks.
When I finally snapped out of it and saw that they were looking at me as if I just said “Sometimes I eat my own fingernails” or “Let’s watch some football”, I realized I had surprised my unsurprisable girlfriends and needed to clarify.
I said, “He and I like the circus. It’s kinda our thing.” Not like Ringling Brothers clowns and screaming children, but like old-timey-Water For Elephants-Depression-era carnival-Bearded Lady-Circuses. We like the idea of them. I think they are quirky and romantic and nostalgic and old-fashioned. Just like we are.
“But Mexican circuses?” my gal pals asked.
“You see”, I explained, “right before I left for my girlfriend trip, the boyfriend found a documentary about Mexican Circuses, because he knew I liked Circuses and I love Mexico”.
“And he actually watched it with you?” they asked.
“Yes, of course, that’s how great he is.” He watches documentaries about Mexican circuses with me.
And they said “wow”, which I think was part “you have a really nice boyfriend” and also “you are super weird”.
And it made me realize that I am quirky and so is my relationship but it is special just for us, and what works for me might not work for others and that I don’t have a boyfriend that has stock options or a briefcase but I do have a boyfriend that loves me enough to watch a sad lion tamer yell in spanish subtitles.
And that makes me think that the world is right, and just as it should be.
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