Friday, February 24, 2012

The Blind Juggler's Pants

In Rota, Spain, where I was stationed in the Navy, there were a lot of west European girls, young women, whatever, who were basically working their way across europe. They would work someplace for a while until they'd saved enough money to move on to the next place and then they would travel until they ran out of money again and repeat. There were girls from Dublin, from the UK, and from various other places. Many of them worked as bartenders in the bars that catered to the Americans from the military base. Several of these women were street performers in addition to everything else and at one point, I and a friend hung out with several of them.

I had always juggled but I never really progressed beyond three balls. While I was with the women, I taught myself to juggle clubs. I also went out a few times with them. I would juggle while they performed. One night, as we were busking our way through town, I decided to do cartwheels across the street. Being who I am, I split my pants. This was one of those complete air conditioning splits too, a vent from front to back. Because I was young and shameless, I went around the rest of the night with split pants juggling.

Another time, we went to Carnival over in Cadiz across the bay. I wore garb from my SCA days, including a liripipe which was a sort of hood. It turned out that I could pull the hood down over my eyes and just barely see through the hood but it looked like I was completely blind. At one point, we took a table outside a tavern and just to amuse myself, I pulled my hood down to see if I could still see well enough to juggle. I only had the hood down for thirty seconds or maybe a minute but when I pulled the hood back up, there was a huge crowd of people gathered around our table watching me. I must have appeared to be juggling blind. I couldn't see well enough to see them gathering and they thought I couldn't see at all. It was a surreal experience.

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