surprising pasts

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.

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1 Comment

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One response to “surprising pasts

  1. L.

    I still don’t believe him, for what it’s worth.

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