There was a lineup of performers and the back of the cold winter tent. Women in sparkling dresses and men in striped tank tops gripping hoops. The tiny boy peeked over the mound of dirt to get a peak at the dazzling people. People who were praying for no deathly error in their performance. One slip-up and the crowd would strike with their ridicule. Then would come the berating by the boss and the night would end with no job.
Jobs were like diamonds during the time. Like a fragile porcelain plate, it could crack and the precious secure feeling would be lost.
The boy knew nothing. He could only balk at the dazzling creatures. He wanted to become like them. Them. He wanted to become the cake batter, have all the right ingredients to be able to be transformed into a delicious cake. A cake others would want to eat. He wanted the praise.
But with a slumped back, a scarred face, and clumsy hands,there was no hope for the little boy. He was a wind up toy, an automated prop others used as entertainment. He was not what other boys would call a 'broken record'! He was not a ball to be kicked around!
He was a boy with dreams. A boy who could catch words and store them in compartments in his mind. He wanted to sell his pitch to the performers of his dreams to give them a reason to adopt him into their circle.
But, the performers had scores of fear weighted on their shoulders. One little boy could tip the balance of their lives, their job, their relationships. They were cramped in a dugout canoe, and one boy--one with dreams and thirst for acceptance--could topple over the canoe, leaving them all drowned.