Above

There is, above you, a slowly turning diadem. Don’t look up. It has come from a place once referred to in its native tongue as the bootleg ballet of the galaxy. There, a traveling circus. There, a moving, itinerant magic and medicine show rolling over the endless spacious layers of the black universe, parking wherever habitable and in sight of a paying audience. When the suns of ancient planets rose over multi-hued horizons (and the ammonia content in the air was not unduly high), the ragamuffin jamboree began its fanfare. Hoots and hollers that had been cooped up in the airless whisper of deep space were set free to the rapt public – and so many publics there were! Not in a billion light-years was such an exuberant melee of wonder and tricks unfurled for an audience: elephant tamers, lion baiters, bicycle wrestlers, laser trapezes and giant flea shows. (Never so cheaply, anyway.)

Dances, drunken revelry late into the night, after the ballet closed down. But the show always rolled on in the morning. It was staffed by an interstellar gypsy band, seldom trustworthy, but eternally entertaining.

You may wonder what exactly this raconteur’s galactic yarn has to do with the whirling diadem over your brain. Oh, thereby hangs a tale, of the Betelgeusian King and his nest of critical aardvarks, and the mob of moose who wend the quantum shoals, far from Canada, subatomic and belligerent. The conniptions of the King’s daughter, who happened to be a gas giant at the time, brought the fury of the bewildered monarch to bear upon the bootleg ballet. Ever a man wont to belittle fantastical distractions, the king was poor in common decency, but rich in all other ways, and he, unlike you, did not know the value of a little nonsense in an otherwise serious dimension.

The King’s daughter, the gas-giant, his critical aardvarks, and his pan-galactic religion torched the ballet, routing its carnivalesque astronauts to the furthest reaches of the Milky Way on the neutron-buttered backs of the subatomic moose. The King, of course, never paid full price for a show, so in an act of both recompense and revenge, as they fled, the carnies stole a crown. And if you’re still reading this, my silly friend, above you spins the final ring in a universal circus.

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