Becoming a Greenhorn

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

Well, I am no longer able to contain my excitement.  Up until now I have avoided discussing details about what I have been working on, as I tend to get paranoid and did not want to wind up looking like an ass for having talked about something without actually doing it.  However, since I have zero worries of that happening I can finally gush all I want.

Next month I will be leaving New Jersey and joining up with the Great American Circus Sideshow, which will be doing a tour of the East Coast until October or November.  This will be an authentic 10-in-1 complete with a tent and huge banner line that does daily shows.  My duties will include appearing on the bally and inside stage, as well as being a part of general set up and tear down.  Unfortunately I offered Electric Sideshow as a package deal and have to take my partner along, but I am getting paid in cash to do something I enjoy and cannot complain.

The fact of the matter is that I have wanted to do this since Jon and I stopped performing together, and it’s hard to believe I am actually going to achieve such a long-standing goal.  As much as I would rather be doing this with the man I love, I know he would not want me to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.  Then again, I sent him a letter telling him all about it in the hopes that it would urge some communication out of him, though I conveniently made no mention of my affair with Shane

Strange how there are going to be many things I will miss about the Garden State, such as great shows, drunken fun, roadside attractions, going to the Shore, adventures in the woods and all of the other weird things that make me love this place so much.  There is a lot I have to learn from this experience though, and know it is exactly what I need to evolve both as a performer and as a person.

Between now and the time I have to leave, I have to figure out what to take since I need to pack enough and fit it all into thee piece of luggage.  Tomorrow night Electric Sideshow is appearing at the Rail, and then on Friday we are heading up to Otto’s Shrunken Head in NYC, which may be the last performances in the area.

While refreshing my inbox hoping that Jon would reply to my letter, there’s a knock at the door.  It’s Shane; he wants to talk.

Sitting in his back yard smoking a joint and sharing a bottle of whiskey, I wait nervously for whatever he is about to say.  My mind is occupied with the upcoming shows and the fact that in a few weeks I am going to be touring the carnival circuit.  He casually holds my hand but won’t look at me, and my gut tells me what I have been trying to ignore for the past few days.  When he turns to kiss me, I hesitate and there is no reason for either of us to pretend nothing is wrong.

“There something you want to tell me?” he asks, a slight bit of nervousness in his voice.

“Listen, I should have been straight with you from the beginning,” I say, courage swelling up from nowhere.  “Well, I did tell you that I am involved with someone, though just as guilty as you are of letting things get out of hand.”

He cannot hide being taken back by my bluntness, but he puts on the macho act anyway.  “Yea, I had a feeling this was all for kicks.”

“Not entirely, but I am in love with Jon and when he returns we will be together.”  Seeing the truth sink in hurt as much as I figured it would, but there was no reason to prolong it.  “Oh, I also got a job with a touring sideshow and I am leaving in July.”

“Ain’t that kick in the ass,” he chuckled.  “Guess a Carny’s gotta do what they do best, and I have my own plans, so I can’t be mad I suppose.”

“Shane, I had a blast with you and I want you to know that it did mean something, otherwise I would like to believe neither of us would have wasted our energy.”  This was for the best since pursuing a relationship would have been rather difficult due to a few reasons, and in my mind putting an end to things seemed like the most rational decision to make, lest either of us wind up being hurt.

“Tell me something though,” he said, turning to me with a serious expression as his hand settled on my cheek.  “What is it that keeps you waiting for him?”

“Trust, loyalty, devotion and knowing that he would do the same in my situation.”

“How can you be so sure of that?”

Frowning slightly, I was not about to justify my long-term relationship to someone I was simply hooking up with.  As much as I cared about Shane and enjoyed our physical encounters, I went to bed every night thinking of Jon and endlessly wishing on stars that he would come sweep me off on an adventure somewhere.  “Since when do I owe you an explanation of something that doesn’t concern you?”

Ignoring the question he pulled me in for a kiss and this time I resisted as much as I could, though our lips made contact anyway.  What had once been fiery and irresistible was now very wrong and not something I should be doing if I wanted people to know that I was committed to Jon.  For whatever reason, that did not occur to me during the past few weeks I have been hanging out with Shane, snogging and shagging when the mood struck and chalking it up to a Summer romance that wasn’t meant to last.

“Alright, I was hoping for one last…nevermind it doesn’t matter.”

He walked me up the street in silence, casually holding my hand while doing his best not to look sad and telling me we might see each other once more before I left.  Not really counting on that, and though I cherish him so much as a friend, my impending job has me missing Jon more than ever.

“Nothing is ever really guaranteed,” I said as he stood there and finally released my hand.  “However, Jon is my brother and our bond as family is for life not matter what.  You can think I am a fool or whatever you want, but don’t act like you weren’t going to tell me some story to cover your ass before moving on yourself.”

He had that same look on his face as he did before when I spoke what was on my mind, though he just turned and walked away.  It’s better like this, or at least that is what I tell myself while still waiting for a notification of new mail to appear.

2 comments on “Becoming a Greenhorn

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