Sunday, December 27, 2009

Running Away to the Circus

Gabriella Herkert
Catnapped and Doggone

If I couldn’t write … yikes. You have to imagine that in the event I could not compose witty repartee among my imaginary friends and their cohorts that I would exhibit a modicum of some other talent. There are numerous individuals, including many of the prodigious talents who share this blog with me, who could put down their pen, pick up a paintbrush or a spatula and continue to be called artistes. I am not one of them. So go with me on this. Pretend, or think in fictitious terms if you’d rather, that my abilities are not confined to the written page like a convicted serial murderer to Super-Max.

If my fairy Godmother grants me a talent wish and sprinkles me with magic dust, I would be an acrobat with Cirque du Soleil’s Love in Las Vegas. Pretty specific there, aren’t I? And limited. A special one night only performance of Gabi the Gumby in a spotlit special appearance. Not for me the decades of fame enjoyed by Frank Sinatra. No way would I sign up for Mikhail Baryshnikov’s voluminous resume. Too visible, too much pressure, too many chances to toss my reputation away with a single misstep or off-key note. I just want one chance to twist gracefully from a blue silk ribbon hanging from a fifty foot ceiling. I want to arch and bend and twist my way delicately swinging over the heads and open mouths of an awed audience of otherwise jaded Vegaphiles. I dream of skipping through a silver hoop as my compatriots roller skate up vertical inclines to flip within a hair’s breadth of my elevate perch.

In my imagination, I can origami my limbs like a boneless Chinese acrobat. I can fly through the air with the grace of a dove. I can swing with more style than a Zoot-suit club kid. My toes point, my back bends, my arms delicately slice through air pounding to classic Beatles refrains.

If this is non-fiction, I am taking solace in the fact that the music will drown my scream as I crash to the ground. The splat of my body will be greeted with a laugh of appreciation reserved for the slapstick humor of a French-based circus. My blood splatter will match the psychedelic splashes of color on the sets worthy of Maurice Sendak. Except I’m smart enough, and lack adequate insurance, to have ever left the ground in the first place.

Don’t you hate it when reality gets in the way of your dreams? Gotta run. Off to my aerial class. So I’m not young. I’m not flexible. I’m ten years older than anyone in my class and while they spend their days as personal trainers and professional dancers, I ride a desk and scare lawyers with the threat of paper cuts. None of that matters. If this writing thing doesn’t work out, I’ll need a plan B.




Kelli Stanley said...

Gabi, I can see you soaring to the music!!! She flies through the air with the greatest of ease ... :)

Very cool fantasy--and glad you're taking steps to making it come true. Hey, remember Circus of the Stars? If Elke Sommer could do it ...


Michael Wiley said...

Yes, a good fantasy. Sign me up for a performance too. Beats riding a motorcycle around in a spherical cage.

Gabi said...

I don't know about ease but Ben-Gay will undoubtedly play a part.

When they have Circus of the truly inept, I'll stand on line for the audition. Elke had untold talents...

Gabi said...

I couldn't take the dizziness of the moto-circle. It's like that ride at the fair -- the English Roto -- you spin and spin and spin and then really wish you hadn't had the bratwurst with sauerkraut. I'll stick with circus peanuts.

Jen Forbus said...

This was fun, Gabi! I can't say I've ever dreamed of anything so acrobatic. I've often wished I could dance - I was born with two left feet. Or, I'd love to learn, let me rephrase that. I could learn it; I want to be able to DO it, proficiently!

I wouldn't mind being handy, like Michael, or I'd love to have the DESIRE to cook. You know how some people LIKE to cook? I enjoy baking from time to time, but cooking...torture! The eating part I don't mind! ;)

It's always fun to imagine. Thanks Gabi!

Shane Gericke said...

We saw Love in Vegas, Gabi, and were absolutly floored by how great it was. Wouldn't it be fun to do just that? We love all the Cirque shows, and are going to the vaudeville one in Chicago--the name escapes me at the moment--tomorrow. Can't wait.

I dunno, Michael. Sometimes publishing feels like riding a motorcyele around in a spherical cage :-)

Gabi said...


Take out was invented for us. Embrace.


Gabi said...

They all seem kind of vaudeville to me. I'm totally jealous. Waiting for a review...