They travelled from town to town entertaining the other Replanters, the soldiers, the government officials and their families.
He personally hated going to the Blacklands or, as it used to be called, the dark side of the Moon. Permanent night-time didn’t help with his sanity issues – no, he preferred over this side where he could see the Earth – he called that planet home, or rather his family did, but the truth was he’d never actually lived there.
With all the wars that had erupted on Earth, his grandfather had taken the money to move to the Moon – ‘cause up here, there was no religion. It was outlawed. Some folks tried to build churches or meet in secret, but normally the buildings were destroyed and the folks were sent back ‘Blue-wards’ (that’s what they called it when you were exiled to Earth). And for most of the time, he was happy.
Well to be honest, he didn’t know any better, yet sometimes he’d sit and stare at the Earth and wonder what it would feel like to go there.
He’d heard stories about the pollution, and the mess, and the heavy gravity – but he’d also heard folks talk of smelling fresh air and he wondered if he’d ever get the chance. His father had got to go when he was in the army, and although he said it seemed like a nice place, he never really talked about it again.
‘There was too much killing on Earth’, was all his granddaddy would say. On the Moon, there had only been one serious crime when a Sergeant over on the Blacklands had gone stir crazy and killed his wife and kids. That had caused folks, who lived on that particular patch, to get more vacation than the brightsiders, which, to him, seemed fair enough.
When he’d been at school, some kids from the Blacklands had been temporarily placed in his class and to be truthful it hadn’t worked – not at all. They were called all sorts of names, some that he hadn’t heard before nor understood but it didn’t stop him joining in. It got so bad that the kids were educated in a little classroom by themselves and he felt that maybe he’d missed out on an opportunity in getting to know them.
But there was something else bothering him, something he just couldn’t put his finger on exactly.
Here he was sitting out in space, on a little satellite of Earth – with no reason for any of it. Maybe if you were sitting back on that planet and your daylight was covered by blue skies, then it was easy to forget where it was you were. But not up here, no sir. From up here you could see the comets, and exploding stars, the whole of the Milky Way and it made you stop and take note. It sure, did. Well it did for him.
Due to these very views, the show was called, ‘The Circus of The Stars’. There were no animals used, not like the old practice on Earth. Up here, pets weren’t allowed on account of the fact that they brought diseases, something that they could ill afford on the Moon.
So the show travelled from camp to camp, entertaining the younger members of the group and some of the more easily pleased elements of the adults.
He was proud of what he did, it just didn’t satisfy him anymore. Each time he looked out at a naked sky (the ones you got outside the encampments), he just felt there had to be more to life than just existing.
In his moon-trailer he had a painting of Joseph Grimaldi, the man who, in the late 1700’s, had turned playing the Clown into an art-form.
Religion had gone up here; no churches; no bibles; no hymns – yet he noticed the tendency for humans to create gods where there were none. We needed gods more than they needed us, it seemed. His was his hero Grimaldi, and all the words in his room spoke of the great man.
He needed something to look up to – other than the sky. In a little leather diary, the Clown had written down rules that he had made for himself, for living a better life:
He would not steal.
He would not kill.
He would not lie…..
And as he read them over again, he realised he’d read something similar in a holy book, his grandfather had once shown him.
bobby stevenson 2016