The Life of a Midget
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ďYouíre on in two minutes, Desiree.Ē
Great. More crowds of people just waiting to stare and laugh, to point me out to their friends. To laugh at me.
I carefully apply the bright red blush to my already flushed cheeks. I look like a freak. But, then again, thatís what I am. Nothing but an oddity for people to mock.
My face is so hideous now. Bright blue eyeshadow, black eyeliner, red blush and lipstick. All designed to make me even more disgusting than I already am.
During the performance, the crowd will gape at me as I perform my dance routine with my flaming batons. They will ridicule me, revile me. They pay money to laugh at my expense.
I picture myself after the performance. I walk across the huge field on which the carnival is assembled. The ocean is only a few minutes away from here. I could walk there. Just to get away from my fate as a freak for a little while.
Iíd run barefoot on the sand, not noticing how the rocks cut my feet. Just as Iím not supposed to notice how cruel the crowd can be as they stare at me. Just as Iím not supposed to notice how much it hurts to be a monstrosity, a painted dwarf in a gilded cage. Just as Iím not supposed to notice that Iím always alone, forever alone.
I think of the water. The cool, clear ocean, with its soothing waves and its bracing, icy chill. Serene. The ocean is so safe, so comfortable with itself. It never fears approaching the beach, never fears that the sand will reject it. The tide always comes in, always will come in, just as itís suppose to. It is a timeless, inevitable dance, graceful and elegant. The ocean will never let the beach down, never forget to come home.
The ocean will be dark tonight, its deep, murky depths completely void of other swimmers. The moonlight will reflect off of its opaque surface, glimmering enticingly. The crashing waves will be reduced to mere ripples and swells, the gentle rocking of a mothers arms.
I will run straight into that waiting solace, letting the waves cradle me. The water would cleanse away the horrible paint, the pain of isolation. It would wash away all my self- doubts and self-recriminations. I would be perfectly content to just be myself. For once.
The peace will not be permanent, though. As soon as I leave the accepting embrace of the ocean, I will once again be nothing but an ugly, stupid midget with no real direction or purpose. I will, once again, feel abandoned by the world.
The temptation to stay in the ocean forever is strong. As soon as I grew tired, I could just sink deep into the cool water. No one would ever stare at me, mock and laugh at me, ever again. I would be free, happy and tranquil for all time. There would never be another crowd. I would never have to put on my absurd sequined outfit, never put on makeup or hold another baton. I would, finally, be free.
ďOne minute, Desiree.Ē