I knew what I was signing up for. We roll Turkish Delight in arsenic, then in front of a crowd, smile and swallow. Seemed innocent enough. Show up and receive money. Plenty of time to do what you want afterwards. Several shows a day, nonstop. A little break for escapism, but not enough to fully rejuvenate.
It’s all right in the beginning, you build up tolerance quickly. Don’t notice the stomach pains anymore because it’s all part of the show. You knew what you signed up for. It’s all mindset. Be the change you want to see. Smile brighter.
The doses are becoming too strong, starting to really get sick. The pay isn’t great and the job isn’t worth the pain, but I feel I need it. And then there are the others, the others eating with you. They’re good people. Some you’ve started to care for. You like them. Can’t leave them.
I’m dying. I’m a performer, but this isn’t the circus I thought it was. Just because you know what you signed up for doesn’t mean you agree to accept it. Soon the pain becomes too much and you need to change in order to survive.
Every day, we wake up a little earlier to feel more of the dawn. In this quiet light we practice. We still show up to consume arsenic but it’s a little more tolerable because we know what we did earlier. We get stronger until one day we pack our caravan and go on the road. We are a travelling circus and meant to be happy, bringing joy to people’s lives.
(Obviously, I’m not an arsenic eater, but this is how I feel about the day job. If you don’t like something, set into motion to change it.)