My friend J., who lives in New York and whom I met through my former roommate, told me last night he used to be a trapeze artist in the circus.
I said, “Really.” With about as flat a tone as possible. “I don’t believe you.”
“Go look it up,” he said. “I taught at the San Francisco Circus Center. Look it up.”
I laughed and told him he was ridiculous. A trapeze artist?
“You’re going to eat humble pie,” he said.
I looked on the site this afternoon before I went for a run. No J. So I texted him. “I can’t find it.”
He wrote back: “Go to the flying trapeze section. When you find the instructors my name is there.”
And another text: “Humble pie, I’m telling you.”
I still couldn’t find him, so I wrote: “Guess you’re going to have to give that pie to someone else.”
“Ok,” he wrote. “Google [his name] and trapeze artist.”
At this point, I spent at least 20 minutes trying to find out whether a guy I’ve known, albeit not well, for nearly three years who has his master’s and now is working toward a PhD in anthropology and has traveled the world, was, indeed formerly a trapeze artist.
I googled his name and finally found a bio.
The third line read: “J. was formerly a flying trapeze artist, performing and teaching in the United States and Mexico.”
I was floored. Now I want to learn what being in the circus is like and how it feels to fly a trapeze. And how I can try it out (of course). I’ll save those questions for our next conversation. I hope humble pie tastes good.