Delusions of Grandeur
Given that I have always had a burr under my saddle and certain ongoing developmental issues, all of which have caused me considerable anguish and provided chaotic fall out for innocent bystanders --- as opposed to taking responsibility for my ongoing psycho circus -- I'd much prefer to find someone else with broad shoulders to blame for the mess. Mainly a strong man famous for his ability to hold five men on his shoulders who has considerable accomplishments in other areas of Big Top performances as well. Some good -- some not so good. It's from My Father -- "ZORRO" that I inherited the not so good MEME MIND VIRUS, which has sometimes caused others to run for cover.
Along with his many accomplishments, extraordinary abilities and striking good looks, "PAPA" was also in possession of so unruly and uncontrollable a temper that whenever his brothers suspected he was about to lose it -- they would in unison (it took at least a half a dozen of this band of brothers) to forcibly place him into one of the vacant wild animal cages that was specifically placed in the circus backyard for just such an auspicious occasion.
The man in the cage hardly resembled the soulful musician who would for hours at a time in heartfelt reverie zone out on his flamenco guitar bringing to mind the haunting moorish melodies so reminiscent of GYPSY MUSIC. It belies the long history of a little known exotic culture whose longing for freedom so overwhelms any other cultures attempt to confine them. One might as well have tried to confine the wild streak that existed in my Father's otherwise peaceful nature. The side of him I most often saw within the cozy confines of our caravan when self absorbed within the sounds of his own music -- he was the Father anyone would want to call their own. But PAPA was a multi faceted individual subject to mercurial changes and alternate dispositions. Ones that could take you off guard in a nano second. Then you better be ready for anything -- or better yet, make yourself scarce.
Among my Fathers numerous abilities and impressive talents -- the one for which he was best known besides going off the deep end like "Sonny in the Godfather" (remember The Bad Don?) was his uncanny portrayal of "ZORRO". Many times removed. To PAPA's credit, if one can gain credit for near manslaughter, my Fathers bad behavior was directly related to his perfectionism and rare equestrian ability to perform a "Dressage Act" that was the high light of every BIG Top performance. A tour de force that requires years of specialized training on the part of both horse and rider and demands the same degree of perfectionism as is demanded of anyone seeking to master "The Stradivarius". In the classical sense -- that kind of an act is more often referred to as "Haute Ecole" which translated means "High School." A term most people are familiar with through the horses General George Patten saved in the Second World War. THE SPANISH RIDING SCHOOL OF VIENNA and their famed AIRS ABOVE THE GROUND. My Fathers interpretation of that particular brand of equestrian artistry took on a more flamboyant approach and differed in his choice of a Black Andalusian Stallion as the "Piece De Resistance" with whom he chose to leave audiences breathless at their combined appearance. My fathers enormous ego however, and narcissistic tendencies created an added extension to his "Airs Above The Ground". Believing himself to be a body double for that long ago screen idol "VALENTINO" in both looks and his ability to mesmerize females, PAPA did his best to play on that supposed similarity. He originally dressed as "The Sheik" but found that wardrobe a bit too cumbersome for the intricacies of the equestrian act involved. However, once having set eyes on the famed Spanish Dancer Jose Greco and his magnificent classic couture, my Father went to great lengths and considerable expense to having the famed Mr. Greco's tailor fashion for him an exact duplicate. In point of actual fact -- a number of duplicates -- as inevitably my Father was to use those magnificent outfits -- not only to perform his "Dressage Act" -- but also to engage in a violent mutation of Sonny Corleone, Rambo, & Rocky in a mangled display of fantastic fisticuffs minus the Marquis De Queensberry rules.
The Great Corliani's by that time owned their own Circus and being the owners they also reaped the profits of whatever concessions they had on the MIDWAY and under THE BIG TOP. At least they did until my Father put at risk the entire smorgasbord of the usual circus fare of Cotton Candy, Candy Apples, Peanuts, Cracker Jacks, Hot Dogs, Soda, Snow Cones, Pop Corn, and whatever else was necessary to enhance the income of any traveling circus. It's sad but true that some Circus Entrepreneurs readily admit that their main purpose in presenting a circus to the public is for the privilege of reaping the profits of the concessions accompanying their traveling enterprise. Tch Tch Tch, it's also sad but true that there were those occasions when the possibility of putting my Father in his Special Wild Animal Cage proved to be an insurmountable inconvenience. Specifically in the center ring when he was performing his famous Dressage Act and all eyes were focused on him and his Dancing Prancing Black Andalusion "Othello". The Children Of All Ages under The Big Top didn't actually relate to PAPA as a body double for Valentino -- but rather saw him as a reincarnated Zorro, and so began chanting "ZORRO" "ZORRO" "ZORRO". He managed to accept with good grace that he a had been demoted to Zorro as opposed to his alter ego Valentino. Mistakes happen. But what pushed his super sensitive Sonny button to Red Alert was something right out of "The X Files".
The abrupt invasion under The Big Top of a contingent of new concessionaires (to replace the old ones that quit) let loose on an unsuspecting public all of whom were intent on doing their job and making the proverbial buck. Some of which could have ended up in my Father's pocket had he not chosen that particular moment to go on the attack. Perfectionism has certain deleterious side effects which no amount of anger management can surmount. My Father's zeal in presenting his Airs Above The Ground to the utmost advantage of both his horse and himself took on Herculean proportions. The fact that a bunch of rowdy concessionaires would dare to break the combined concentration of both him and his mount while in the process of performing their most difficult and demanding exercises such as, "The Capriole", "The Levade", and others equally difficult totally unhinged him. It signaled a dramatic departure from his usual routine whereby he abruptly abandoned Othello who was forlornly left in the center ring to his own devices. Mean while my Father, the misunderstood Valentino who looked like Zorro and acted like Sonny Corleone did one of those "Incredible Hulk" transformations, and went in search of as many rude and rowdy concessionaires as he could get his murderous hands on. "The Goddamn Bastardo's" who deliberately tried to ruin his act with their cries of "Peanuts", "Popcorn", "Cracker Jacks" & their insistent and ceaseless pitch for "Cotton Candy" "Candy Apples", "Snow Cones" et all. Words that rang in his ears like a red cape flying in the face of a bull. Like a headless horseman on the rampage, he tracked them down one by one until they all got their just desserts. And until he had exhausted his own thirst for vengeance. That was only after most of what they had to sell was firmly stuck to his lapel and various other parts of his Jose Greco outfit, which I assure you was never meant for a performance such as this. With as much dignity as a man with "Cotton Candy" stuck to his posterior could possess, not to mention A Jackson Pollack Type Masterpiece of mustard, ketchup, & relish of a number of flying hot dogs left behind decorating his upper body as though he was the star of a Mummers Parade. His tight designer outfit split from crotch to knee (flagrant delicto) to an audience of breathless women who now had visible proof that he did indeed possess "The Whole Enchilada". My Father once again apologized to Othello and resumed the Equestrian Act that had been so rudely interrupted. This to the thunderous applause of a appreciative onlookers that hadn't seen such a knock down, drag out testosterone display of such absurd and wacky proportions as performed by so outrageous and colorful a cast of mixed cockamamie characters since the last down and dirty John Wayne shit kicker they attended!