Monday, November 12, 2007

The Act--part one

It was his job to wrestle with the ape. It was the girl’s job to watch and look frightened. It was Manager’s job to turn the screw. The audience was always just half a dozen locals sitting in the metal bleachers. You could not say it was their job; they were not getting paid.

After it was finished, the spotlight went out and the man and the ape stood up, brushed the sawdust from their respective knees and went into the dressing room. The girl usually followed though sometimes she stayed behind to talk to the locals. She liked to call it “working the locals,” but really it was just talking, and sometimes she ended up going out with one of them and coming back late with her hair mussed and her shirt on backwards.

“Who’s working who,” the man sometimes said while they waited for her to return, and the ape would nod in agreement. When she came back, she would not look either of them in the eye.


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