“Come one! Come all! See the greatest show in the world! Step right up and get your tickets, only $1 a piece, it’s a steal!” The man stood outside the circus, wearing the same red and white stripes as the tent, waving a cane around in an attempt to garner attention. He looked just like every circus salesman you’ve ever seen on T.V. or maybe in real life, dramatizing what was sure to be another disappointing experience. It was just a circus, he knew that. If you’d seen one, you’d pretty much seen them all. The man’s stomach growled irritably and he had to pause for a moment to let it subside and catch his breath. There were no breaks for him, he had a job to do. With renewed fervor he began to call out again.
His eyes were heavy and the bags under them hidden well with makeup. This circus, if it had anything, had excellent makeup artists. The other performers would pass by occasionally and give the man a knowing smirk, and he used it to encourage himself to try at his performance even harder. Out here was where he performed, and doing well meant people went to see the real show. Out here he cried out to the uninterested masses, trying to turn just one head in a hundred. Out here, he was in charge, if only for an hour, and he was good at what he did. He had to be.
Tonight it would all be different. In 30 minutes the show would start and his job would be over. He’d go inside, sit opposite the audience but off to the side, almost out of sight, and watch the show courteously. He’d clap, he’d laugh, and he’d gasp right on cue. Out here he is in charge, but he can’t ever stop performing, he has a job inside the tent too. But that one doesn’t count. Out here is what counts. Out here is where he can drawn in paying customers. His voice reaches a desperate fervor as he tries to catch a few more eyes. If he sold enough tickets, they might let him sleep. If he sold enough tickets, they might let him eat. If he sold enough tickets, he might not have to have makeup covering so many bruises and cuts, though they were covered very well. If he sold enough tickets, he might be able to leave. 20 minutes to show time.