Roncali by Brian Duke

October 4, 2012 Comments Off on Roncali by Brian Duke

After the show, I approached the fallen acrobat, and, like the coward I am, shook his unbroken hand. I wanted to tell the sophist everything. I wanted to tell him about my wishing of his injury and thank him for the fulfilling of my wish. I wanted to tell him that my guilt over my wish was triumphed by my correctness. I wanted to thank him for being the pornographer of movement he was, one willing to risk his personal safety out of performance and confirm my expectations of human error in perfect execution. I wanted to say thank you for your human error, thank you for providing all the sustenance I need to get through the next show and the shows beyond that, always with the pinnacle of human error that this show was, not far from my mind.

“Would you like an autograph?” the fallen acrobat asked.

And as soon as the question came, I couldn’t help myself anymore. Out of nervousness or pure hilarity, I started laughing. A deep, stomach-centered laugh that began in my stomach and extended out until my entire body was gyrating in paralysis with laughter. My chest was in pain, and I could hardly breathe, but I kept on laughing, pushing my laugh as hard as I could into the face of the acrobat. I laughed harder than I have ever laughed before. He stood and looked at me in silence, in horror. But I couldn‘t help myself.

I laughed and laughed and laughed.

© 2012 Brian Duke

Brian Duke is an educator living with his wife and dog in Berlin, Germany. He has published fiction in Pathos Literary Journal and Monkeybicycle.

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