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THE CIRCUS! THE TINY MEN!(The Atomic Cowboy, Manchester Avenue)

That’s okay, Roy says; next time we’ll just have to remember to get some new clothes first. And he’s right: that’s how it shapes up. We’re surrounded by an amalgam of well-dressed people, looking good enough to be department store mannequins. The place is packed with them. Their mouths are moving, too – they are speaking, drinking, laughing, delivering a dizzying frenzy of spontaneous model-like poses. They don’t sweat, they produce no body heat.

A group of young men forms around a woman. The woman is older than the men. She’s attractive in an obvious way. Which means, in other words, that she’s attractively unattractive. Boringly attractive. A paragon to the effectiveness of cosmetic finessing. Still, there was something revealing that no cosmetic could ever hide. The truth, namely, which is a whining joke, a fizzling balloon reeling around the room, losing air. It’s clear that the men are pretty confident, but it could be argued that over-confidence is a form of ineptitude. Maybe they’re overcompensating. Or maybe they’re just jack-offs. Circus clowns who arrived together in a tiny car.

I am upside-down, walking on the ceiling now, falling on my head over and over again. Roy is floating around the room, capable of both walking on the ceiling and walking on the ground, a twittering, smiling cat – like this, he mixes well with people, moves from crowd to crowd. He would make a great psychiatrist.

“It wasn’t like this the last time I was here,” Roy says; “this is a different crowd.” He smiles, watches. I fall on my head.