The Strongman Used To Weep

by Darryl Price



    The Strongman used to weep alone in his

single dusty tent at night, all of us

could hear him, sobbing, thinking about the

one incredible time in his mostly

miserable life he accidentally

brushed his thick arm skin against the soft 

backside of the Invisible Girl's sweet

bobbled head as she turned in mid-laugh. It made

him so weak in the knees to think about.

It punched the entire reserves of air out

of his lungs over and over again.

He worshiped that invisible spot on

his very visible arm, constantly

looking at it, touching it with swollen 

fingers. He could find it in the dark. It

was always there. Sometimes he would wake in

a cold enough panic wondering if

in the middle of the last stars it had

somehow finally worn off, disappearing

into thin air, leaving him nothing but

his own rough skin in its place, his fields of 

wheat-colored arm hair to welcome the burst

of a new day with, only to discover

that yes it was, thank God, still there, as ever,

melting him in ways he wasn't really

used to , but that he really couldn't go

on living without ever knowing once

more, he was sure, either. Of this he was

absolutely adamant. He was trapped,

tightly wound, like a dumbfounded beetle

bug in a jar, seeing ahead only

the world in which she so casually

lived and played, but not being able of

course to join her in any way out of

it all. It warped his view of everything

he had to live for. He pumped his iron junk

without another thought entering his

head for days at a time. She was supposed

to be marrying some little faggot

hippie juggler type guy from another

faraway circus troupe anyway. A

questionable Russian whom some people

had said was a stinking robber Gypsy

fellow simply hiding out from the law

in plain sight and using the good old sweet-

hearted folks at the circus to do it

with. Didn't matter, nothing did. He knew

that much. He didn't care one way or the

other about those kinds of flat facts and

full figures. He didn't deserve her. He

was fooling her. What she took for love was

just a con game probably played out on

many an innocent woman before

her. He hated everything about that

stinking commie from his rotten, peeling

bowling pins to his incredibly lame

stupid looking long braid of jet black hair.

The Strongman always kept his own hair cut

bristle short and to the point. Once he thought

about letting his hair grow out just for

her and then calling himself Hercules,

the Most Powerful Being in the wholeblasted

Universe, but he could never stand the

long growing it out period, so he

grew a nice big mustache instead. A great

big bruiser that, simply stated, always

said, “Don't ever mess with me if you want

to live to talk about it,” in about

a dozen different wiry ways. At

least that's what the mirror kept telling him

as he dried his eyes with the backs of his

enormous fingers.


    Now one day the Invisible Girl, who

was only ever partly there on the

best of days, overheard a couple of

new clowns,Chuckles-A-Lot and one Douche Bag

Donny, talking about the gossip that 

everyone else now knew by heart but her.

How the thinnest of bare chances within

the briefest of moments with her own dull

brown head had brought him down, like some kind of

heavy metal space junk, crashing to the

ground like a giant redwood forest tree

and reduced him to a gently fallen

over meal for termites and other overpopulated

crawling insect societies .She blushed

and blushed and blushed some more at the very

thought of it-- that only made a little

bit of her left shoulder visible to

the ground around her. One huge nosed clown, the

only seventh level in the whole sad

daffy joint, went on to say,”Did you know

he even went so far as to leave her

a toothpaste poem written on the bath

room mirror, before he, you know?”She could

not bear to hear any more of this, this

utter, crapable nonsense. What did the

poem say? It couldn't be true. It just

couldn't. She didn't want to believe that

her stupid hair had been capable of

such deceit without first gaining her own

consent to comply. She'd always loved the

Strongman, as a good, and loyal, friend, a

someone she could trust in the craziest, 

worst times of her life to always have her

back. He was sometimes fun to be around,

to flirt with, in a pal to pal kind of

grumpy old man sort of way, and well his

skimpy Fred Flintstone costumes always made

her laugh out loud, even so many hours

later in the day. He'd always been the

perfect gentleman around her, pulling

out her chair at lunchtime, opening tent

flaps so she could make her professional 

grand entrance unnoticed by the crowd, and

bringing her glasses of ice water on

all of the hottest days of working in

the warm summer weather. Her soft trail of 

unforgiving tears rained down on the room

and pooled out, one by one.


   No one saw much

of her hair or the rest of her body 

after that, even though not many had

ever seen much of it to begin with.

She and the juggler had had a bouncing 

baby boy, I am told, that easily 

steals from all the other babies without

ever having been seen or caught once in

the act and is at least seven times as

strong as any baby elephant  up

and walking around looking for some new fun to be had.