Big Apple Circus Wants Me Dead




It came in the month of October. Almost like the 1917 revolution, but infinitely worse. The Big Apple Circus. The resident of Damrosch Park. My fourth roommate. My obnoxiously loud, infuriatingly blue, pathway-blocking nightmarish fiend roommate who has issues with turning the lights out after it’s past bedtime and has a strange obsession with screaming children.

It was what could have been a beautiful Saturday morning. The unreasonably hot weather actually kept the tourists away for once, and the sun was rising in the cloudless, cerulean sky. I, after an eventful Friday, was peacefully asleep, undisturbed by the bright rays shining onto my bed from the window. Then, suddenly, it began. 

A grand concerto of drills, hammers, chainsaws, buzzsaws and God-knows-what-else filled the air. I tossed, and turned, and groaned in my sleep, trying my best to keep the sound from penetrating my peaceful slumber. In the end, I turned a little bit too hard and fell out of bed.

As my face raced to meet the floor with a loud smack, my whole life passed before my eyes. Unfortunately, I didn’t die. The drills, which were now harmonizing at an especially ear-piercing pitch, still penetrated my head.

Banished from my room by the cacophony, I returned to it late at night, hoping to spend a few hours reading in bed (a grandma-like pastime these days, I know). However, the circus just wouldn’t leave me alone. The erected tent that had the color of a reusable IKEA bag stood proudly in my McKeon backyard and taunted me with its pompous grandeur. Not only was it an eyesore because it spoiled the beige-brown-gray-red Manhattan landscape, but also because it literally shined a bright light in my eye with one of its roof projectors. Why the projectors would ever be positioned there is still a mystery to everyone who fell victim to them. Many still haven’t recovered from the trauma of wanting to observe beautiful cityscape as they fall asleep, but instead having to buy an eye mask, or worse, to physically move their bed.

A week later, I woke up with the throat of a 60-year-old chain smoker. Once more, the circus was to blame. It so happens that my wonderful body is very scared of the wonderful outside (city child problems), and to prevent me from exploring the wide plains of Russia, it had developed a myriad of allergies, including to every single animal that has fur — or doesn’t, since hairless cats still make my face blow up into a watermelon-sized sphere… Well, you can probably see where this is going.

The circus had moved in the dogs, ponies and horses a couple of weeks before the shows were to start. The animal dandruff was spreading through the air, into the air conditioning vents, which then circulated it through the room. Despite hating the animals for giving me a permanent red eye, I could nevertheless empathize with them, since I, too, had to move in a week early to go through a strange and elongated process of “Global Transition,” which I was forced to complete as an international student (the only transition it helped me with was my jetlag).

I have managed to fix my throat by overdosing on cetirizine, so the struggle has been turned over to my debit card: a 70-count pack of Zyrtec costs $35, and I’m still recovering after being forced into purchasing an overpriced meal plan (seriously, we could have used all that money to bribe the circus to set up shop somewhere else).

The circus won’t give up. It blasts alarmingly loud music for hours and hours at times when I most need to concentrate. In fact, it is doing so now, as I write this confession of hate. There is a bright side to my story: I’m moving out next semester. But my mind cannot rest, and I can’t help but worry about the poor souls that will continue their lives under the circus’s reign: It’s here to stay until February, and it’s only going to get worse.

So I suggest that we, McKeon residents, and other Fordham students willing to support our righteous cause, rise up and tear the circus down. Not literally (unless you know someone who owns a bulldozer), but with the power of our Jesuit souls. Join me in writing a petition to Father McShane, in which we ask him to perform an exorcist rite on the devils in the blue tent! It’s time to free ourselves from the circus’ reign once and for all, before it is too late…