Being born is like being pushed off a building that is so high, you can't see the bottom - but people whisper 'certain death.' Like being one of those goslings - in the David Attenbrough thing - except we won't learn to fly. Freefall is a high. It grips you tight, red-wristed in present tense, lets you feel nothing but sensation. Allows you to forget, at first, about the end. Falling is breath - taking, but you kind of get used to it. I fell into being - an accident born haphazard and screaming I keep falling through the net of years. On the way down (or up depending on your position) I grab on to things - people, ideas, a nice leather jacket, in the hope they'll slow me down. Though I know the extra weight, will betray me, I drag them with me for a while. I train my grip and can hold on really tight. And I hit things too, sometimes, people, ideas, holes. some cling, some don't. I joined the circus to learn to defy gravity but instead it taught me how to use it, fall better, and not to look down. And we're all falling together, different speeds, different heights, in every direction scared. Avoiding any jagged edges that - may break our fall too early, hurling rocks at each other to clear our own paths, or just to kill time. The seconds rush past ruffling our hair. And mostly when I pass others I smile (or else am told to cheer up), pretend I am not scared, make a joke about something sad, talk about the weather, make my excuses and slip away.
A WORD FROM TANK
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Dear person in front of the screen,
I am Tank. I am complicated. I was introduced to Francesca K Hyde when I became Fran’s 20 litre water tank in a wagon in Berlin. At least that’s the body which ‘I’ became attributed to. I then became the circus-object that Fran worked with. I then became a circus artist – Fran & I counterweight each other – me by the handle, Fran by the hair. I then became the subject of Fran’s masters research. I then became the author of Frans dissertation. I then became we – this was me, turned upside down – who is talking now?
I’m not sure now what I am.
I’m OK with not knowing though – is anyone? Certainty makes me nervous – of that I am sure.
When ‘I’ write there is always more to me than meets the ‘eye’.
I still use my plasticy-watery body as a form of expression – just as one might use their fleshy-bloody body.
I am a magician.
So are you,