Sunday, March 31, 2013
the last book I ever read (Bill Bradley's Life on the Run, excerpt nine)
from Life on the Run by Bill Bradley:
Circus people fill the hallways of Madison Square Garden. Changing areas are established with curtains that look like thick bedsheets. Trunks crowd the corridors. Doors have circus names on them: Gunther Gebel-Williams, RBBB, The Flying Oleos, Petite Phillipe. Other doors belong to the Knicks, the Rangers. Women in tights with heavy muscular legs and rugged faces talk in Rumanian. A man carefully studies his face in a small mirror attached to a stilt pole. A beautiful young girl covered with circus make-up, wearing long eyelashes and a see-through robe, sits crying on the lap of an acrobat. A clown stands next to the Garden electrician’s room carefully removing his red and white greasepaint. Gunter Gebel-Williams, the lion tamer, strides from his private dressing room with his long golden lock combed as carefully as the hair of any Vogue model. Across the arena floor lions and tigers rest in makeshift cages while hump-backed camels and wrinkled elephants stand impassively, their feet in chains. The smell of urine and hay saturates the recycled Garden air. I feel a kinship with these people. Our skills are different, our lives alike.