One Meditation on What a Juggler Thinks About

Or A Home-Grown, White-Trash, Possibly Dog-Trafficking Terrorist

The Museum of the Weird was a busy one last night. My partner and sword swallower, Juan Martinez, brought out his Triple-A Plus material several times as we had standing room only crowds, though Juan claims so many people have fainted during his shows that he isn’t allowed to have anyone actually stand during his performance. Despite my training as a scientist, I refrain from ever asking, “Is that true?” or any similar questioning of veracity. Just accept what you hear in the metaphysical framework of “The Museum,” as it is referred to, is my attitude. I guess I learned that from my listening to the ridiculous speeches that coaches would give, supposedly to motivate my teammates and myself.

I would walk out of those team meetings, chuckling at some of the catch phrases that we had been hammered with, look over at a teammate and see them practically crying from shame at disappointing “Coach.” But I digress.

This is one of the dogs this guy wanted to buy from me, on the spot, based on seeing them walking by for less than half a minute.

What I am thinking about this morning is the aspect of doing the same routine 20 times in a night and the alternate reality of musings that happen after this many shows. Towards the end of last night, right in the middle of a routine, I remember thinking about an interaction I’d had earlier in the day.

I’d walked the two older Papillons I have to go eat with a friend and as we were walking back to my place, a character, probably in his 60’s, with shockingly white hair, huge bushy white mustache and eyebrows, and super-countrified appearance, dress, and demeanor (I mean my maternal family farms in Gonzales and this guy would fit right into their circle of friends-now that’s country) said, “I’ll give you five hundred dollars apiece,“ after the younger female he was with expressed interest in them. I kind of chuckled and he said, “I’m serious.” “Oh, I know,” I said, while thinking, “Whatever dude,” as I kept walking away from that type of craziness. The truth is that the dogs I’ve rescued all come with the provision that I return them to their adopting agency if I can no longer keep them. I don’t actually own any of my dogs in a normal sense. And this has nothing to do with my refusal to sell-I simply wouldn’t ever sell an animal. I see selling obviously sentient creatures like monkeys, parrots, and dogs as a form of human trafficking. I find it funny that people make facebook posts saying that they’re against things like human trafficking. Wow, way to take a stand!

Anyway, as I was juggling away on stage during one of the last shows of the night, my mind began ruminating on the rest of this anecdote. My apartment is just a couple of blocks away from where I was so rudely accosted with the above malfeasance. I came back out of my apartment shortly after going home and found this piece of white trash and female across the cul-de-sac from my parking lot leaning against his truck looking directly into my courtyard. My street gets lots of people hanging out, so I at first just chalked their being there to the random nature of the universe. But after a half hour of them staying there and looking directly at my building I became alternately concerned and worried that I was being unjustifiably paranoid. Another aspect of my concern was that this guy seemed like the type that would hate being around the immigrant look of my neighborhood-why would he be there? Ok, I know I was entering the world of non-logical visceral judgments so I checked myself-they’re just standing there, nothing wrong with that, right?

Well, once the hour mark of them staying there approached and me defending the legality of what they were doing, just standing in the sun, I spontaneously realized that I had a legal right to walk over, did so with them watching me. I pretended to be busy with other matters until I got close, looked up, feigning surprise, and said, “Oh, hey—,” while they kept talking to each other ignoring me. Well, I stood there for a moment until determining that they were purposefully ignoring me, and broke in with an abrupt, “Excuse me,” got continued ignoring, said “I’m sorry to interrupt you,” which finally got the female to make eye contact with me. That got the dude’s attention. “I recognize you from somewhere,” I said to him. “You recognize me?” he said. “Yes, I think I met you at ….” Well, I forget exactly what I said but it was vague enough to be accurate-kind of like what those palm readers would tell you about yourself. I was just trying to get the guy to talk to me so I could look him in the eye and determine further what his soul was like. I mean offering to buy a dog is different from being willing to steal one-not that different, but at least there has to be a willingness from a second party for the trafficking to occur.

Ta Da!  I just rescued this dog yet again!
Ta Da! I just rescued Chickendog yet again!

I tell you, the reaction I got from saying I knew him was very immediate, abrupt, and just short of explosive. “We’re done,” he said to me and, “Let’s go,” to the female. A further strangeness is that the female was in a separate car from his truck. They’d driven over separately very shortly after having offered to buy my dogs.

Remember, I was juggling during this musing, and I again told myself that nothing had so far happened-as far as I knew. But I felt uncomfortable-maybe my dogs were already in Louisiana. It was a true Schroedinger’s Cat situation.

And during all of this musing there was no apparent problem-my juggling was automatic, loose, and included the ingrained flair that I’ve spiced up the routine with over the years. But once I snapped back to that moment’s then-present reality, guiltily going back to full concentration, I immediately bungled a throw causing two balls to collide in the air, recovered, felt relief and congratulated myself on recovering, and then immediately just simply missed an easy catch.

This type of concentration issue is a common occurrence for me-probably for everyone. The aspect of thinking about what is being done totally immediately creates a separation from actually doing it. Concentration is actually a distraction. My wandering mind results in no mistakes. It’s a dichotomy I think about often and I’ve recently come to realize that I much prefer the trying to improve while suffering constant defeats in my life over the times that life has just flowed so easily that I don’t bother thinking about what was going on.