I know that there’s something out there for me, but I don’t believe that. At least, not in a religious faith.
I know that this will end in me scrunching up paper and throwing it against the sturdy wood in a fit of rage. The stencilled words deceive and torment me, as the white shavings of wood are abused and frowned upon by myself. The letters form illegible slanders, words only to humiliate and deprecate. The A takes on a clown’s frown, with the O as its big, black honking noe. The rest of the lines and curves serve as the clown’s home and toys, the B serves as the circus tent, the P as its juggling recital, and the S as the crowd.
The onlooking children peer at me from the small and wobbly hilltop of white balls, and they leer with overflowing curiosity. They ask their mothers if I will be an act in the show, but the women reply no, it is merely a statue of failure. They would ask what failure was if the two-legged lion hadn’t roared, missing its rear from the half-written q.
The ringmaster, a very sloppy L, leads the performers in one-by-one.
The W magician is in front, a confident letter filled to the brim with entertaining tricks. Followed closely by is the W’s assistant, the sultry R, meant to capture the hearts of all the uncommitted men (who are distinguished by their trademark M). A cannon, shaped by a Z, is also dragged in by the very overworked Vs. The ringmaster commences the performance and the S cheers.
I watched with amused eyes, leaning forward on the desk as my head rests on my hands and as my elbows rest on the wood. The unfinished q starts off by pushing itself in the Z, knowing full well that a lack of hind legs would cause the lion to fall in a very comical way. The children laugh at first but are awed as a stunning C flies in on a trapeeze to catch the q’s paws before it could crash into the ground. But instead of rescuing the lion, C releases it into the air. Just as the women were about to gasp, W lets loose a black K upon the flying lion, and in an instant, the beautiful R replaces the lion and floats magically to the ground. The crowd is in uproar, and some stand on their white seats with their hands in the air.
However, the ringmaster hushes the S and they fall silent. L tells them that the grand finale has only just arrived, and with his black-and-white striped cane, he points at me. I can hear the confused whispers in the crowd, what could a statue of failure possibly do, I imagine them asking. But I ignore them an stand, towering over the minuscule letters.
The clown finally makes an entrance and juggles his way back in, almost losing his O in the process. With outstretched arms, he mimes my position in the circus act. L translates on his behalf, announcing to the audience that I would create an act of wonder, and he allows me the fifteen minutes of spotlight.
I am more than happy to oblige to the clown’s request, and so I lift the discarded ball of paper with ease. I unwrap the crumpled little thing and iron it as best as I can, small creases poking out everywhere. The children stare at me with excitement as the letters jumble around to get a clearer view of me. I smile at the onlookers, caressing the big-top with care. I inhale and gently breathed on the sheet, shaking it lightly. The letters were surprised, a lot of them shouted from the sudden rocking.
Then it stops, but once there was no longer any movement, the white seats began to turn candy red, the two-legged lion gained its golden mane, and the clown’s nose began to radiate ever-changing colours. In his joy, he honked, and the children began to laugh. The cane of the ringmaster is glowing, the monochrome pattern changing into that of red-and-white, the circus’ official colours as of then.
But I began to change too, the dull clothes that once wrapped me are replaced by rainbow threads which are sewing itself. The meticulous detail and grand harmony of the threads could not be rivalled by anything else. The women gasped with wonder, look, they exclaimed, the statue of failure is actually a statue of hope!
I nod and smile as the crowd began to cheer and applaud. I set the sheet down with extreme delicacy as the children goes wild for an encore.
To know and believe are two very different things.
I know it’s imaginary, but I believe it exists.