Preparing for bed The Ringmaster takes the most exquisite care, he sleeps alone. Putting on his longest eyelashes, he wonders if he had been a little boy baby, or a little girl baby. It was all such a long time ago, he simply can not remember what sex he had been born, or how many times he had changed it. Bedtime is the time for beauty, the time to prepare for explicit congress.
Born in an orphanage, the Ringmaster ran away to join the surface, where aesthetics and artists live. This upper world had changed to a constant pink pastel hue, where the erotic and bizarre live in an endless expression of performance. Where any one deemed ordinary, sub-urban, mundane is banned to the underworld of normality. To live in the upper world on the surface, in the light, in the pink, you have to deserve to. Proof of your value is only in expression, in your ability to show that you, above all others, at that moment, had understood what it was to validate the aesthetic. In doing so you escape banishment to the world underneath.
Where the value system is greed, money and drudgery. The endless and fruitless grey straight lower world. Where all live in a different place from where they physically are. They exist in their minds, waiting or wishing to be someone else, or waiting for their luck to change, nothing is their fault. The lower world is a place where life has become tedious and cancerous and of the worst possible kind...work buy consume die.
The Ringmaster has a megaphone, he calls to bus queues things like "occupy space effectively."
Or sometimes "be where you are" or things in Greek that no one understands, not even Greeks, because it is ancient Greek dialect.
In both worlds, the Ringmaster is the master of all masters. With a top hat of course at all times, even in bed and certainly in the bath and shower, he mostly dresses in faded vintage fabrics and spray paint, (sometimes golds or neon yellow or pink) on occasions he wears little silver petticoats over jodhpurs, or over other silver petticoats and his tangerine trunks, whatever he wears or does not wear, depends on what he has for breakfast. Sometimes he eats muesli, often he eats honey roast quail. The not very nice tasting but.. very rare, and very pretty ones. It all depends with whom, or with what, he is breakfasting.
He is always followed by his pet peacocks, they spot hypocrisy or tired artistic rhetoric at which they caw and hiss, even at ugliness, and act as his sheepdogs , by herding the unfortunate, beings previously known as aesthetics or artists to the land below. Or by changing form into quivering fans of sensual beauty and seducing the lucky chosen underworlders to the land of performance and expression above. He calls the peacocks "Les Sept Pecheurs". The fishermen who caught the seven mortal sins. They have no remorse in the way they use their beauty, or their spite.
The Ringmaster who visits the grey underworld to find those of value and send them to the fantastical world above, is mostly disregarded as "odd" by the treadmill workers plodding endlessly round their wheel of emotional security. The underworlders mostly think of him as demic, discordant, born wrong. Possibly a very close miss at wonky. A self possessed diva. Very few understand that he can help them escape into the light above. To those very few who have by chance realised both their talent and their duty to their potential, he is ether. Breath. Air.
On other occasions, he visits the upper world looking for those artists who have become rich, complacent, tired......passe ...old hat. To be sent screaming back to the dark satanic mills of normality and sub-urbanity, to become curtain twitchers, deeply wishing they were still alive. . Wishing that they had not dried, or sold out, or got on the underworld art trapdoor of success where greed is justified as need. Their art becomes valueless as it becomes a treadmill of production, it represents and feeds the world below. The peacocks fluster around these plump puddings and take their souls below, leaving their now artless, souless bodies above ground to be despised in perpetuity by their fellows .
The Ringmaster is the medium of communication between the two worlds, art and not art, he strikes fear into the hearts of all those who do not understand what is ..isnt.