Calling All Circuses! A Klutz Looking for a Position!

February 18, 2009
By Carmen Lin BRONZE, New York, New York
Carmen Lin BRONZE, New York, New York
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I stared down the three flights of stairs and cautiously walked across my hallway's railing. I felt goose bumps rise up on my arms as the wind blew in from the window. I glided safely across and tried to gracefully land like the green girl at the circus. Unfortunately, I landed with a loud thud sound and waved my arms in the air to catch my balance. I have always been and will always be a klutz, never beautiful like a ballerina or an acrobat. My attempt to mimic that graceful girl failed.
A few hours before my stunt, I went to the circus with my fourth grade class. I sat in the back but saw everything clearly. I was amazed by the elephants and flashing colors of the woman with billions of hula hoops. Everything was like a fantasy made real. My favorite was when the girl in a green ballerina outfit and fire red hair climbed up the wall covered with huge leaves. The way she stretched out her arms and worked her way up the leaves was smooth and graceful. She got to the top and made a summersault before she walked on a rope that was as thin as a strand of hair from afar. She gently walked across to the other side like a green pixie from my daydreams. She was beautiful and peaceful, everything I was not. At that moment, I yearned to be like her. I want to be in the circus like her. To be part of a magical place with animals and clowns, maybe they can change me into a graceful creature like her.
'What was your favorite part of the circus?' my friend asked on our subway trip home.
'I really liked the green girl,' I told her. 'You know the one that was climbing up the wall of plants?'
'Yeah, she was cool. She was like a fairy!'
'I want to be like her,' I smiled, 'I want to be a part of the circus like her!'
'In your dreams!' she laughed, 'No way you'll make it into the circus! You're too clumsy; you can't even walk in a straight line!'
'I can always practice!' I exclaimed, 'I can prove to people like you that I can be graceful and beautiful!'
'Fine,' she agreed, 'and when you can do it, which is a million years from now, call me. I always wanted to be a lion tamer,' she held out her pinky. We both made a pinky swear before getting off the train.
When I got home, I put on tights and a pink skirt and began attempting to do a flip. I placed my hands on the cold white floor and tried getting legs to go over my head.

I constantly got dizzy and realized it wasn't working. Yet it didn't matter, what I wanted to do most was glide over a rope like her. A person who can accomplish that can be the most graceful person ever. I looked for a rope that was long enough but no one was home except my grandfather, sleeping soundlessly in his solitude room. I brainstormed and thought about a balance beam. I recalled the rail in the hallway. I unlocked the door quietly, letting the click of the lock echo through the empty house without waking my grandfather, and stepped outside. I ran over to the bar and pulled myself onto it. At first, my legs were wobbly but I hugged onto the other taller rails. I gently slid my foot over the rail. I smiled knowing this was how it must've been to be like her, the pixie girl. I wanted to be her. I got to the end and imagined a ballerina landing from a leap. I let go of the rail and jumped, letting my arms rise above my head. I landed with a loud sound and tumbled back and forth. Was my friend right? I could hear her laughing in my head. Was I doomed to be a klutz? Why could I not be perfect and beautiful? Why did I have this flaw? I walked back home with a frown. It would take a million years like my friend had said and her dream of being a lion tamer would have to wait as well, too bad for her. The circus would've laughed at my pathetic attempt. I was not the pixie of my fantasies; I was just an ugly girl.

The author's comments:
This was an assignment from class. We had to pick a theme from the book, An Autobiography of a Face, by Lucy Grealy and write a slice of life that fitted in with that theme.

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