Published by Connotation Press


For almost a year I’d been teaching at a school built into a bowl of land between two mountains. In the shadow of the rock I hunched, pulled my elbows in tight. I scurried from building to building, wincing at the weight of what towered above.
On a day when I wasn’t just wincing but dizzy, if I caught myself wanting to fling my body at all that hardness, to beat my fists on it, then I would plan an escape.

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Empty Stage

There is a name for the fear of clowns. Does that name also cover fear of mimes? Or does the terror of mime fall under some associated fear? Fear of fake emotion, fear of forced expression, fear of exaggerated movement. Fear of face powder and skin-tight black pants. Fear of white gloves that make your hands look like napkins.
Fear of silence. Fear of cringing in embarrassment for someone who doesn’t know better. Fear of inattention or fear of contempt—which is worse?

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Photo from Visualhunt.