Wit/Woes of The Jester A Collection by Hermine Robinson
Wit/Woes of The Jester
I am not the only one who wears a face that is not my own. The ones who come to smile/jeer at me are compassionate/cruel in their own right. I see it in the laughing/crying crowds. I see it in the smiles/frowns of couples holding each other’s hand/heart too tight; caught in the in between of love/hate as they cling to freedom/fear. I see it in the serene/tragic eyes of a young girl/boy tasked with revealing/keeping a secret that is too heavy for anyone/everyone, let alone a child.
I see it in the face/facade of a wife/mother who has divided herself into pieces that no longer/never did fit together; torn between what is and what she wants/needs to be.
Is it any wonder that I chose to play the tragic/comic clown? At least I can apply/remove my true/false face at the end of the day/night and pray that I might see the real me in the mirror when I am done.
A Bendy Man
The contortionist is a malleable man with a collapsible heart. He wraps his arms around his torso to evoke a phantom shiver from the crowd even though they are not cold, and twists himself into a figure eight, folding himself double to amuse those who can barely touch their toes.
The contortionist is a Mobius strip of infinite possibilities. Turned front to back, nose touching heels, with flexible ease and disjointed success, the bendy man tucks himself into a box at night, to hide himself away from the label of freak.
His name is written in dust, in clouds, in ripples across the water. He keeps acquaintance with the fates and says with authority, “History must be that way,” although his own history is lost. How sad. By what measure does he count his days? Time is not a fearful master for those who live outside of time. The phantom’s supporting documentation has gone missing. Long ago it was erased from the margins and deleted from the pages between beginnings and endings. There is no photo; he is a smudge on the lens, a flare of photon on the negatives. The phantom dabbles in the hobbies of the dead. Haunting, moaning, silent screams and audible creaks. The phantom is a full access voyeur without the power to change or influence. He attends séances with no intention of communicating. The wind blows cold in his presence and when he is near, people wrap themselves tight, but do not know why. The phantom is a man most immaterial.
Hermine Robinson lives in Alberta, Canada where winters are long and inspiration is plentiful. She loves all things ‘short fiction’ and refuses to be the place where perfectly good stories come to die. Her work has appeared in numerous on-line and print publications, including; FreeFall Magazine, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Unbroken Journal and The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir.