DT, TPR, LA and I met in a crowded bar. DT’s orange messenger-style handbag slipped off the back of the chair onto the floor and I stretched down to pick it up for her. It was at that moment that I noticed the acrobats. In spite of their extremely scruffy appearance, they were obviously professionals with special talents for folding up their bodies like squares of newspaper, and making themselves invisible.
Towards the end of the performance the acrobats passed through the audience. They occasionally stopped to take the hand of a spectator. I was thrilled that one of them invited me to join the chosen few.
“My” acrobat was wearing a rubber monkey mask to hide his identity. He took me miles out of town across a dangerous terrain that included a steep rocky hillside.
At our destination the training began. All those who had been selected were now gathered together to learn the company’s tricks. It was tough, dirty work, and I was extremely grateful to be wearing gloves when I learnt that the first exercise involved being thrown at a wall, feet first.
Then I remembered that I had planned to go running in the morning, and then on to a conference. I needed some sleep beforehand. I begged to be released.
They eventually let me go – but not until they made absolutely certain that I would never remember who they all were.