AMAZING JUGGLER IS A “BANE” TO A PRISON’S DOOM AND GLOOM
DATELINE - Santa Prisca
There are many things that come to mind when one thinks of the tiny island nation of Santa Prisca: Crime. Revolution. Poverty. Pena Dura. This last one more than anything else. One of the smallest countries has brought to the world one of the most infamous milestones in human history in the form of the pit prison of Pena Dura. Like a black hole, nothing escapes the underground confines of what many call “The Snake Pit” - no men, no dreams…no hope of a life outside of those walls.
So who would ever suspect that in this grim setting resides one of the most gifted jugglers in the world (and at the tender age of 15, no less)? While he refuses to divulge his real identity, the name he goes by - and one spoken of with an odd reverence amongst the prisoners - is “Bane”. Though sinister sounding, this young man is more saint than sinner, bringing about a hope that his fellow prisoners have not felt in a long time. With time and patience - and really, he has nothing except for that - he has honed down the craft of juggling to the pinnacle of the art’s achievement. On a typical day, men gather to the sound of his voice, sitting and watching as he stands before them and demonstrates his prowess by juggling lit torches much to the amazement of all.
More impressive is that he does all of this with a mask on - no doubt to hide his true identity due to the same motive that causes him to use a pseudonym. The downside of this piece of showmanship however is that it makes it very hard to understand him (when combined with the bastardized form of Spanish that they appear to speak). When asked why he does what he does, the young Bane launched into a lengthy diatribe that this reporter could not understand, but which the surrounding prisoners seemed to respond to with many launching into a chant of “Las subidas de fuego!” Whatever it means, it is just one demonstration of joy that this young man’s talent will bring.
While bittersweet when one considers that the world at large will never get to experience the talent and charisma this young boy has, it is a small consolation that, at least for a few people, he truly is their savior.
During the light seasons when all is warm and dry, we build our lives around a single point and slowly work our way out. With time comes experience, and with experience comes the need for more room to hold our wants, dreams, and desires. But as the warmth passes, the storms come in and where once we hid secure now lies strewn about us. And we wail and we weep and we curse all that we set our eyes upon. In the end, we are alone in the rubble with no other option but to start all over again.
Every dream is attainable…they just always start out as a fixer-upper.
There is a self-imposed task I have - to imbue each moment with a modicum of meaning. A cold chill is a lover’s longing; A broken door the entrance to the broken life. Each snowflake that falls on the gentle ground has an emotion to empathize and their collection just an encoded metaphor. But for once, I look on and see just a winter’s day and that is all. And for once, I am perfectly alright taking a break from the search, even if only for a little while.