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schrodingers dog
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    From Infinitas
    As It Was, so It Shall Be,...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    Angelo never felt quite right …

    He was a strong young man, bright, passionate, yet growing up he always felt out of place amongst his piers. He felt a passing tourist in this world rather one of its residents. He wasn’t distraught about this fact, a little perplexed perhaps, slightly uncomfortable, but not distraught. In fact he found it rather pleasantly dull and uneventful, though he did not spent much of his time pondering it.

    The only aspect of his life he found vexing at the age of fifteen was his father’s persistent insistence that he should decide what to do with his life. In the 1950′s, in this small Sicilian town, such was the norm and custom. After all, all his friends were already committed to a craft or profession that would occupy and provide for them. This, his father would remind him daily.

    And such was once more the conversation, rather the soliloquy, that was taking place on a summer Saturday night as Angelo and his father walked to the festivities. The touring circus was in town and that was a wonder to behold, a grand local event anticipated every year by all, including Angelo.

    They sat down, the lights dimmed, the show began.

    It was funny, it was exciting, it was exotic, and magical, it was all that was expected, until …

    Until …

    The lights went dark, the music stopped, a shuffle ensued, strange noises and whispers, and then … the lights!

    Two masts, a rope in between, and a man, with a balancing beam.

    Angelo had seen this before, nothing particularly new about a tightrope walker … yet somehow something was different this time. The lack of a safety net was observed yet it is not what captured his attention. But something did, almost instinctively, and a sentiment was triggered that he could not yet describe.

    As the act began Angelo was mesmerized by it. Something about the balance of the man, about his grace, his skill, his precision, his indifference to danger, something … he could not take his eyes of every one of his movements or the rope’s, Angelo was entranced.

    He knew there and then what he wanted to do, he wanted to do THAT!

    The rest of the show flew by as if it took a second and Angelo took no notice of it. A million thoughts in his mind at once and his heart bursting with excitement.

    The show ended, he composed himself, and started figuring out how he would tell his father of this decision. What would his father say, he will surely think him crazy, he might even throw him out on the street. But Angelo was determined …

    And so it was that night at dinner when Angelo told his father of this ambition, and his father declared him crazy, and his father threw him out on the street.

    It must have been midnight when Angelo found himself in the periphery of the circus. The smell of manure and wine indicated as much. He walked around the camp in a daze, smelling the food, watching the sparks of the bonfires, hearing animals and random violins. Faces half made up looked at him with smiles, drunk performers stumbled by him, and all was perfect.

    He found himself before a small tent, he walked in, and the tightrope walker stood before him. Angelo sat down, told him of his experience, told him about his father, and with barely enough volume in his voice to cary his words, asked the man if he would take him in as an apprentice. Angelo said he would work for free, he would ask for nothing but a meal a day, he would work unconditionally, he would do anything to one day walk that rope … anything to learn that wondrous craft that he was called to, indeed born for.

    The tightrope walker looked at Angelo and said yes.

    And so Angelo’s destiny began to materialize and Angelo left with the circus that next morning and never looked back.

    For the first year of his apprenticeship all Angelo was allowed to do in regards to his education of the craft is walk on a rope on the ground. For a year all Angelo did is learn every fiber of that rope under his feet as if it was as familiar as his own skin. First on a slack rope, then on a rigid one, by the end of the year he knew every bump and twist of the rope and walking on it was as natural as pacing the ordinary ground.

    On the second year the exact same thing happened, but with the rope now a foot off of the ground and the beam in his hands. Angelo felt the slack, learned to balance himself, compensate for the rope’s elasticity. And by the end of year two, after tortuous repetition and practice, Angelo felt on that rope as if he were born on it.

    On the third year of his apprenticeship, the rope beneath him having become first nature to him, he learned all the tricks, and all the showmanship. The rope was raised to a hundred feet, the net beneath him, and Angelo became a master at the skill of tightrope walking.

    Angelo fell often, he never complained, he was the happiest soul on earth. And after three years happily devoting his entire existence to his craft, he was incredible! His master himself stood in wonderment at Angelo’s skill and grace. His master thought Angelo the best tightrope walker he’d ever laid eyes on.

    To Angelo the rope was no rope at all. His skill and comfort upon it was such that the rope might as well been a bridge.

    And so the night of his debut came.

    The lights went dark, the music stopped, a shuffle ensued, strange noises and whispers, and then … the lights!

    And Angelo stood where he once gazed, ready to take the first step.

    He stood there confidently, for the rope was his home, his skill was beyond doubt, his talents second to none.

    He looked down, he saw that there was no net, and thought of the peril. His mind suddenly aware of consequences and his heart filled with fear. He tried to shake it off, after all there’s no difference between a foot and one hundred feet to the feeling of the rope. And his skill was not an issue … he could do this as he had done it thousands of times before.

    Sensing the rising anticipation of the crowd, and with these thoughts filling his mind, Angelo took his first step upon the rope …

    As Angelo fell to the ground to die, and as he flew through the air for what seemed like hours, he wondered how this happened to him … he wondered how he let his mind create the very fear that was about to kill him, and sadness overtook him in his wonderment of how and why he allowed this of himself.

    How he became fallen Angelo ...
    Tue, Sep 7, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: Fiction
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