Listen to our audio presentation of “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys: The Elephant’s Tale” by Damien Angelica Walters. Narrated by Lisa Shininger.
Andrius Kavalauskas, the last magician of Lithuania, closed the door and rested his head against the wood as the nurse’s footsteps faded away. He smelled cabbage and pork cooking from the apartment across the hallway and knew that in a few hours he would find a plate of food sitting by his door. Daina was a good neighbor, a good friend.
The soles of Alison’s shoes marked each limping step away from her front door. She tugged the scarf on her head, pulling the fabric down to cover most of her forehead, and shoved her gloved hands deep in the pockets of her jacket. A woman’s voice, high-pitched and nasal, broke the 3 a.m. stillness.
Every circus has a story, and every story has its secrets. Those of us taxed with bearing the burden of such things do so with no sense of pleasure, only duty. We remember so that others, in time, may forget.
The first time I saw you play:
Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello; your chin tucked down; your eyes soft but intense; the fingertips of your left hand deftly pressing into the fingerboard; the bow in your right moving across the strings like a lover’s sensate promise.