An Angry Squaw, My Hairy Friend, And The Last Circus

May 17, 2020 Diary entry: I think it was back in the summer of ’66, we were about two hundred miles off the cape, squalls had been hitting us hard all day, the last squall hit us like an angry squaw hits her husband when he comes home drunk to the tee pee at 2:00 AM and he wants to be romantic, all the while talking about how he’s king of the castle and if he wants to dig a moat, he’ll dig a goddamned moat, anyway, we were down below in the galley getting out of the worst part of the storm and I was relating a story about a kid I knew from back in the neighborhood who was the hairiest person I had ever known, he looked like he was covered in shag carpeting, his whole body looked like Castro’s beard, when he fell in the crick it took him all day to dry out, he didn’t take after his father, he looked like his mother, except his mother was bald on her head, she looked like a bald monkey, she was a Ferris wheel operator who worked for one of the big circus operations down out of Wheeling, sometimes the whole family would be on the road during the high part of the season, anyway, hard times hit the circus industry, there were massive layoffs, no one would hire ex Ferris wheel operators, ladies who trained dogs to wear dresses and ride bicycles, or sword swallowers, times were tough, clowns began to drift and ride the rails, animosity arose between hobo jungles and clown camps, the hobo/clown war of ’67 was especially brutal, the neighborhood was falling apart, chaos ensued between down-and-out clowns and the hobos who didn’t like competition on their turf, the world was a much different place then, not like now where everyone is a clown and they’re not even getting paid for it, and riding the rails is no option because the trains don’t run like they used to, maybe the circus is a microcosm of the world we live in, everyone has their unique specialty, and when times are good, we all laugh, but when the big top comes down for the last time, we all simply become hobo clowns with no job experience and nowhere to go, well, people have been trying to warn us for years, I guess we should have listened instead of believing that the high wire would last forever, when the clown car runs out of gas in the desert, there’s no use leaning on the starter, it’s time to face facts, you’re done, well, this is Paulie, leaning hard on a tall Skunk In The Hole cocktail, and as he does, he wishes everyone his best, shalom…


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