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Circuses and Bread

by Insinq Datum 4 months ago in art · updated 4 months ago

A shadow-inspired metaphor for Mary Jane

Circuses and Bread
Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

There is a circus that is always in town and never seems to close its doors, no matter what time of day or night it is; I go there sometimes when I feel like relaxing with some pointless fun. At this circus there is available a very special herb bread which is rumoured to enhance the experience of the circus tenfold, with only minor ill effects as a cost. This bread comes in a box which bears a large, extremely visible warning on the inside of the lid of the box that informs the reader that consumption of the bread has a very mild addictive effect, which is 25x more intense if the bread is consumed outside the circus grounds. Once one enters this mysterious perpetual circus, one is quickly swept along in the fun and before one knows it, hours have passed. Only then does one begin to really look around oneself and the moment that one does so, the circus suddenly takes on an eerie atmosphere and the clowns, which you've only just noticed are located at all of the exits, start to look more sinister with every passing moment. The more you look, the more the smoke and mirrors of the carnal carnival become but a thin veneer on a disturbing situation: life wilfully spent without rhyme or reason, an existence empty of the meaning which sustains. At this point, stricken by a sort of soulful panic and feeling a little ill at what you have become involved in, you begin to search desperately for a way out but once again notice that the clowns bar all the exits, and now they look like guards standing to attention, or wolves looking in on sheep. You notice that in your hands there is a box of half-finished herb bread, and in your distressed state of mind you start munching on some as a way to distract yourself from the frightful situation, and it works better than you ever thought it could. Suddenly, the entire menacing atmosphere vanishes and it is as if you had fallen asleep for a moment and slipped into some dark nightmare, a parody of your real situation. The night wears on, but you are none the wiser for it.

You wake up in your bed, but you're not sure how you got there. You feel foggy and vaguely as if you are missing out on something that you just had at your fingertips. You don't remember how you got home, or what day it is. The only thing you can remember is the carnival, but all your memories of it feel unreal. As you lie in bed trying in vain to picture those funning looking clowns again, you slowly start to remember the other goals and responsibilities that populate your life, however the first thing on your mind is sating this deep hunger that you feel - you can focus on the other tasks once you've addressed that gnawing need. Beside your bed is the box of carnival bread, and as you peer over the edge you are delighted to see that there are two pieces left! You greedily grab one of them out of the box, remembering for a moment the warning that is written on the lid of the box but shrugging it off. After all, it's so good and just a little couldn't hurt. As soon as you've swallowed the first piece, you go back to the box for the second piece but it's not there. Did you eat it? You don't remember.

You think you had a shower and some breakfast before you started trudging towards the circus again, but you can't be sure now. You feel vaguely empty, but you're not sure why - only that once you get back to the circus, you will know. It was there that you last had a sense of where you were supposed to be going after all - you must have gone there for a reason, right? Whatever the case may be, what you *can* remember is that there is something at the circus that you need, and once you get that thing you will know it, and be able to leave. After all, you have plans and goals for your life; you're certainly not going to be spending another entire day there, not a chance.

As you approach the doors this time, you promise yourself that you're going to do some reconnaissance. You're sure that the bread must have some special ingredient which isn't listed on the box, because nothing in the ingredients list accounts for the effect of the bread. You're caught up thinking about what it could be as you pass through the door, but something prompts you to spin around and look more closely at the clown by the door. Again, you are struck by the oddest impression of a wolf in sheep's clothing, but there's something even more disconcerting about the picture. The throng of people entering the circus makes prolonged observation impossible however, and you are swept away from the entrance by the flow of feet. You're lost in thought as you take your seat, and you absentmindedly reach for the box of bread which is somehow already awaiting you - did you order this? You don't recall. Just as you're about to swallow the first piece of bread, it comes to you - the mirror behind the clown... it didn't show his reflection! Suddenly, this all seems unimportant and you lose yourself in the smoke and mirrors once more.

You wake up in your bed, but you're not sure how you got there.


Insinq Datum

I'm an aspiring poet, author and philosopher. I run a 3000+ debating community on Discord and a couple of Youtube channels, one related to the Discord server and one related to my work as a philosopher. I am also the author of DMTheory.

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