I woke up the next day and had to admit something that had been tickling me for the past 24 hours: I’m sick. I have a cold. I knew it would happen, but that didn’t make it any less disappointing. I cocooned myself in Amanda’s duvet, took a whole lot of medication, and waited for the evening to roll around. My bed overlooks the street, which proved to be more interesting than Netflix, as I saw a woman in a pink fleece onesie get arrested.
Do I go to salsa lessons in Manhattan on a date night, or an interactive play called the Orbiting Human Circus? I chose the circus. Amanda’s husband was running the sound.
The crowd sat on the floor of a theatre, surrounded by stage props and curtains. It reminded me of London. Firstly, because you had no idea where to look, when the show would start, or what kind of show it would be; and second, because everybody was behaving as though this was the most normal experience in the world. The sound of a stage show started playing, and everyone went silent, but it soon became obvious this was a prelude. Watching the audience collectively decide that they could talk again was interesting, and I realised I’ve become one of those psychology students. A janitor walked out to the sound of dying applause over the speakers. We learned that he would hop between theatre night cleaning jobs to avoid finding a place to sleep. He performed for us; music, stories, magic, hypnotism.
“I know that I shouldn’t imagine you”.
The crowd over the speakers were real; we were the imaginary ones. He told us about his life and his sorrows, and like any great monologue, I had trouble passing the actor afterwards without talking to him as though I knew him personally.
They have a podcast version, and if it’s anything like the stage show, I highly recommend it: http://orbitinghumancircus.com/podcast.html
Afterwards we partied until it was 7am. My favourite kind of conversations are ones where you disagree on something fundamental, but still try to find a middle ground in order to learn from each other. We talked about consciousness, religion, god, drugs, and gun control. Surprisingly, Trump wasn’t mentioned all night. I think everyone is a tired of it.