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THE JUGGLER

by pepecaudillo

Afternoon. In the downtown area of a big, important city, a man in his forties is walking through a pedestrian-commerce street. His right hand holds an ice-cream cone and his left one a childís hand. The two are walking slowly, looking at the display windows passing by. The man stops to give some ice-cream to his five-year-old son. They keep walking until something grabs the childís attention. He stops and points his finger at a display window. The man looks at the pair of juggling canes his son is asking for. He smiles and leads his son into the toy store. Sometime later, the man is sitting on a bench, looking at the child playing around with the canes. The child tries to juggle the canes but they keep falling on the ground. The man smiles and laughs, he takes the canes and shows his son how to do it right, or at least he tries.  The child keeps on trying and the canes keep falling. The man laughs with joy. Later on, the two walk up to where a big, heavy-traffic avenue intersects with the commerce street. The man approaches a corner stand to buy a hot-dog while his son is trying to juggle the canes. The canes fall on the ground and one of them bounces off onto the street. The child runs after the cane. His father becomes aware of the danger and runs after his son. He manages to push the child off the street but canít miss getting hit by a car.  The cane is falling, whirling through the air. The traffic stops and a crowd gathers around the manís dead body. The cane falls on the sidewalk and the child picks it up. Heís crying, looking for his father, holding the juggling canes in his hands.

Morning. The sky is taken by the pair of perfectly-spinning juggling canes. The child, a few years older, his clothes dirty and torn, is standing on a bench and juggling the canes while a crowd of spectators stand in awe. He ends the show with a double turnaround. The crowd praises his skills while coins and bills fall in a hat resting on the ground. The crowd leaves and the child counts his earned money. Time goes on and the juggler is a trademark of the commerce street. Pedestrians watch him grow both in age and juggling skills. A crowd is enjoying the show. The canes spin in the air.

Afternoon. Some coins are being counted inside the hat. The juggler, now a thirty-year-old man, is buying some bread and ham at a grocery stand. He sits on the bench to prepare a sandwich. He devours the sandwich as if he hadnít eaten in a year. People walk by. He prepares another sandwich, gives it a bite, he stops. Heís sitting there with the sandwich on his mouth staring at something. A nine-year-old beggar is standing in front of him. This dirty and tattered kid is staring at the sandwich the juggler is eating. His eyes can tell heíd give anything to have something to eat. The juggler feels sorry for the poor kid and offers him the sandwich. The kid takes it and eats while the juggler inspects his face. He can tell the kidís been crying. The juggler grabs his canes and performs a show to cheer-up the kid. Some people stop and enjoy the show. The kid smiles. Coins hit the floor. The kid runs to pick up the money and gives it to the juggler. He then reaches for the canes. The juggler shows him how to move them. The kid tries to imitate the juggler but the canes are hitting the ground. The juggler shows him, step by step, how to do it right. The canes spin in the air.

Morning. The kid is sleeping on a sidewalk. The juggler wakes him up, gives the kid an ice-cream cone for breakfast. Later, both of them are practicing a show. This oneís a more elaborated show, with the kid jumping over the jugglerís back and climbing over to his shoulders. All this while the juggler flips the canes in the air. Once the kid is standing, they share the canes, juggling and exchanging them through the air. Finally, the kid spins the canes high in the air and jumps off to the ground, then the juggler catches the canes. They celebrate the accomplishment of their repeatedly trained coordination.

Noon. The traffic on the big avenue. The juggler and the kid are standing on the middle ridge, waiting for the light to stop the cars.  The cars stop and the show begins. They start with basic cane juggling and a few turnarounds. The kid collects money from the drivers. The cars start moving again and the showmen hurry to the ridge. The juggler counts the money. Not much. Next time, they stand in front of each other and exchange the spinning canes in the air. The kid collects the money and meets the juggler. He figures a better show rewards more coins. This time theyíre going all the way with the big show. The cars stop and they take the street. The show seems to take more time that the light offers. The kid stands on the jugglerís shoulders. Some drivers applaud but most of them are impatient to move on.  The light turns green. The cars start moving forward, evading the showmen who perform in the middle of the street. The kid throws the canes in the air and jumps off to the street. The juggler takes his eyes off the canes and on the kid, fearing he might get hit by a car. The kid stands on the street, safe from the cars. The cars keep driving by, fast. The juggler is happy the kid is safe. He remembers the canes and turns his head up to the sky. One cane hits one of his eyes. The juggler loses control and tumbles down backwards. A car hits him.

Afternoon. The canes spin in the air. The kid is juggling the canes over the bench. Spectators throw coins into the hat. He makes a bow. 

THE END

 

NOV 7, 2000