I WAS A FREE-RANGE TEENAGER

by Ross Sharp

A new post from Tongues is now up at Groupthink

I ran away to the circus when I was about 9 or 10.

I had no desire to join a circus, but as they were performing nearby at the time, it seemed a thing to do, especially as my parents had already indicated they had no intention of taking me, for some odd reason I could not quite fathom.

Well, I thought, fuck the both of you, I’ll go by myself.

And so I did.

It was about 7.30 at night. To get there, I jumped over the back fence, and had to cut through a primary school playing oval, then through another fence and across a public football oval, and then about a mile and a half up a road that bordered on an industrial estate, then about a mile more of suburban streets until there were a bunch of vacant lots and there, among them, was the circus.

In a whopping great big circus tent.

So I went around the back of the tent, lifted up a flap, crawled under and through, found a seat, and watched the show for a bit.

About ten minutes later, what appeared to be half the police force of NSW arrived, took me out, and returned me to the parents, who were, as you might expect, none too pleased.

The parents next door neighbour was a cop, you see. Ten minutes after I’d pissed off, they’d had him onto it.

He was rather good at his job, I’d have to say …

Read the rest of this post at Groupthink …

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