Wednesday, 25 November 2009

When the circus came to town....

"The Son always shines here". I'm not talking about ours, newly three by the way much more of that in a mo, no I'm just passing on the Message from the sanctuary of divine mercy which we passed on our two hour drive back into the city after picking up mum and cousin from the airport. Yay! Many other sights were passed on our slow drag in (Thanksgiving is busy business here it would seem) including a subway train's tracks running the length of the highway (imagine the tube going down the middle of the M1) double decker trains on tracks beyond that (much joy to boy) and a whole host of glorious holiday traffic. We didn't get bored though, trying to convince a three year old that he can hold his pee just one more mile because there is traffic on both lanes either side of us and we can't stop, keeps even the most laid back of adult (which is not how I would identify myself by the way) on their toes. Some time later family off load into the underground city which is our block's car park and Sammy is the proud creator of a five minute mile long projectile pee. I would have taken a picture to embarrass him in later years but my hands were full of jacket, dungaree and Thomas the Tank Engine Y-fronts at the time. So house is full of holidaying family which is fabulous. The place is starting to feel like a home. We have been maintaining our cup cake high (inspired moment in cake decisions involved ordering 50 cup cakes from local bakery laid out in a number 3 for the Birthday) since the impromtu party. It was a great success. A subdued cast and crew arrived at the crack of their dawns (midday) to a dimly lit billiard area of the pinky ponk tinkle tank arcade. Nibbled demurely at party food (perhaps chicken wings was not their idea of breakfast fayre) and then sang the boy a beautiful harmonised version of happy birthday and inhaled cupcakes. Our guests came to life when they proudly presented the fella with his presents. A family of Magi had been called to the second coming. We're talking serious adoration here. Cory and I were completely overwhelmed by their generosity which included: a bike (yes you read correctly), a toy shop worth of Thomas trains and tracks and two tickets for he and I to see the Ringling Bros circus which is in town. This is but to name a few, not to mention the books, the cuddly toys, the DVDs the the the the. We have promised him oranges for his next birthday. The crew also kindly informed us (perhaps they could tell from our faces that the idea of finding space for all the treasures was going to test our already logically challenged little minds) that whatever the crew had given, the crew would find space for in the trucks. Give in an inch. Next I'll have them stuffing the Bimbo in a back corner to make eyes at Bones, the skeleton who gives consistently solid performances in Dr. Frankenstein's get the audience to love-him wordy jaw cracking opening number. After the gifts were gifted and gawked at (by everyone) we handed out game cards to our guests and together we swarmed to the floor. Some Guitar Hero-ing others Millionaire-making others yet shooting hundreds dead. Horses for courses. Oh there were those too. We raced one another and screamed into the early afternoon. Machines tinged and tanged and rang and buzzed and proffered around 14,000 tickets which were pooled, and, when we had as a group set our eyes upon an executive game set the crew returned to the floor and in a last 5 minute push won another 2000 so that we could take the baby home. All 36lb of chess, backgammon and, most importantly poker, in one pleatherette cube of goodyness. Poker game has been arranged for next week. House better always win, thats all I say. So yesterday, Sam and I took our trip to the circus. Somebody fell asleep in the cab ride over and bemused glances were shot in my direction as I scrambled him in, flopping around my leopard coat as I fumbled for the tickets. What a sight we must have been as I hobbled down to the most expensive seats in the house with a half awake child. I was thankful he woke up before the start of the show though. Nothing says spoilt like a sleeping child in break the bank ticketed seats. The ladies from the troupe had informed us that our seats were "Celebrity Passes". This meant moving onto the ring at a certain point so we could feel very much part of the show. Wonderful. Until boy needed to pee. What a show. Or I should say 9 shows. Because at any given moment there were three different set ups twirling about our eyes. Our heads ping ponged from opposite ends. Where should we look first? The horses? The zebras? The chinese swinging couple? The clowns? The dress wearing puffy doggy things doing sautes across the floor? The uptight barrel Russian guy? Or the two women shooting across the arena from the canon and headed straight for us? It was like circus on drugs. I wondered why the lemonade had cost me $10. When the twelve elephants paraded out to dance together followed by ten tigers and their endorphine overdosed trainer I thought the show had reached its natural climax. Not so. In the final number everybody and everything came parading back on and trumpet sounded (live) and the drums bellowed and the crowd roared. No wonder that in the lobby after the adults twitched and the children screamed, and those good old sellers, they just kept up their bellows, right up until the pavement. Inside they had been hawking overpriced popcorn (worth it for these English tourists. It was packaged in a cereal sized box with a brightly kitsch coloured picture of an elephant on it) lemonade and E-number ectasy on ice. Outside we were offered spinny LED thingamawhatsits and colouring books. And finally, out in the rain, a last desperate call for buyers of five foot long lollipops. Last lot got the raw deal I think. I hope they rotate the team. Inside the arena there was a sign that read WELCOME TO THE MAD HOUSE. Never was a truer word written in public. Some tears later, and one frantic stop for pee in the November down pour we were ensconced in bed with the memory of the circus but a dream. The effects of the late night psychadelia drifted into my son's morning. I know this because his first conversation with me today went like this:
"I want one boob like when I was a baby. Just ONE boob."
"Oh." I reply, wondering if he is having a glimpse of his past in which nursing was infinately easier on the one side and I had sent the other side to hell and back several times till we FINALLY learnt to do it right. I wait for another moment of past life illumination, and then he adds, "No. TEN boobs. And then we go to the bra shop and try one on and... it fits!"
Cinderella meets Priscilla. Not a surprise considering.
The day was memorable not only because of this visual overload. It was marked by an important day in my green card story. The final form has been Fed-Exed. It is waiting on the desk of a Californian lawyer in Valencia (don't you just love the sound of Spain meets US? I take it as a good omen what with my Medittarranean history and all) to get to a kindly immigration person who will give me the once over and then give me freedom to contribute taxes in this country also. I mean, let me become part of society. Ingratiate with what talents I can offer; strange Sardinian character comedy? Bit of honky tonk piano? A turn or two on some boards? Who knows what this world might offer? Or what I will end up offering it? On the way to the Kinko's place (thats Fed Ex for photocopy) I passed Panda Express - a gourmet chinese food take away place (what meat would you like with that sir?) and Rom, an Italian inspired coffee shop with some mean looking java I have to get my lips around one of these days. There is a place for everyone here I suppose. Like the they say. Bit like our flat. The tempo is slowing up here as everyone drifts off into sleep to get some rest before we give Thanks tomorrow. It will be a memorable day. My mother in-law's family, traced when she was in her late thirties after her adopted mother had passed, have taken us all in as if our histories had been intertwined since forever and before. A reservation has been made for twenty. What better way to celebrate? And so, from memories of one circus to another yet to be.

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