My Night Circus

Last night was spectacular. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to do it justice. I’m not an artist of words.

I read a book called the Night Circus once. It’s awful what it did to me. It ruined me in two ways.

Firstly, it painted a place where I desperately wanted to go. A magical circus that appeared overnight and disappeared just as abruptly. A circus that entertained not only your eyes but your very heart. After flipping the last page I realized that I’d never find myself in such as place and this realization devastated me.

Secondly, the author, Erin Morgenstern, aroused in me a desire to write so clearly and poignantly as to be able to share my own Night Circuses with other people. Sometimes I write a sentence, and it summarizes my thoughts painfully clearly. Alas, as I said, I’m not an artist of words and such sentences are few and far between.

Today I am put to the test. I attempt to describe my very own, entirely real Night Circus.

Nuit Blanche is an art festival that takes over the streets of downtown Toronto for two short nights every fall. The streets crowd with clumsily entwined teenagers, grungy buskers and neon police officers. Everything is booming and bustling, and yet, I find it easier than ever to focus on a single moment, a single square inch of colour, or a single voice.

I share the night with my best friend Anastasiya. She says what she’s doing isn’t photography because it has no purpose, but I disagree. As we walk along the streets, she captures images with her camera, and I capture them with my mind. The sights are delicious and the noises are colourful. It’s a confusing, beautiful myriad of masks, food trucks, stoners, and lights.

“I can’t tell the difference between what is real and what I want to be real.” – Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Anastasiya tells me about William. Although there’s lots of bright lights around, I can tell they aren’t the ones making her eyes twinkle. Tomorrow he’ll find yet another way to tell her that he loves her. And I love her too. And it makes me happy that a person can be loved so much.

We see installations and performances. We guess at what they mean, and the knowledge that our guesses are probably wrong tickles my numb fingers. The chilly air urges me inside, but I ignore it.

The night is coming to a close. Nights that make us happy never do last long. They’re too selfish. They know that if they stay too long, we’ll get used to them, stop loving them, and run away with the sun.

The crowd of people that seemed vibrant and rare in the chilly night air lose their magic as they descend into to the brightly lit train station. The subway ride home is an immersion back into reality.

“You think, as you walk away from Le Cirque des Rêves and into the creeping dawn, that you felt more awake within the confines of the circus. You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream.” – Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circusnuitblanchecollage1nuitblanchecollage2


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