...It was Smudge who found him… and Smudge who brought him back.
To lose one’s speech is terrible, to lose one’s tongue to the Oppressor’s sabre more terrible still. The Dervish’s voice was sweet, his tongue was very long - oh, how the ladies admired the timbre of his speech and his tongue’s long, lithe, lively, length. Now the crooning, swooning, voice was no more and his licker lay upon the ground abandoned, alone, annulled. Their loss drove him mad, insane, crazing the paving of his mind until it flipped like Smudge’s coin.
Unlucky Dervish, and poor unlucky ladies.
It is all luck. Life is luck. Death is luck. Luck is luck. There is only luck. Good luck, bad luck, the luck of the Irish, lucky charms - a rabbit’s foot, a horseshoe, chimney sweeps, a four-leafed clover, cross my fingers, cross my heart and swear to die, the sign of the cross, black cats crossing, cross my palm with silver…silver tongued… silver tongued…silver tongued…no tongue at all.
Yes, it was Smudge that found him.
The Dervish’s luck had arrived in the form of Septimus Seigfried Smudge - and it was all bad.
Those early circus days had been very hard, controlling the Dervish even harder. His madness grew, his temper raged, he whirled and span until his blood boiled over. His dander upped, his goat all got and goaded. These were the days of the alliteration – there would be no stopping him now, whirling his way into the air, a helpless helicopter of hellish, haemorrhaging, horror. Often he’d be gone for days, returning only when his terrible tempers had run their testy, tantrum course to temporarily terminate.
The reports of murder were never far behind, and Smudge locked the Dervish away inside a pen to spend his days like a caged wild animal.
Unlucky Dervish. Oh for the semahane and the mystic prayer, oh for his brothers as they whirled towards the sun, oh for the others, turning and spinning towards the light. The brotherhood of the Semaze, the Dervishes of the east, spinning ever faster, transported by ecstasy to fly up and into the sun in a final act of whirling.
‘The Semaze, the Semaze, on the roof of the semahane, high above the city, slowly spinning around and around until they spin up into the air and high into the sun to melt and fry and burn and spark. The children of light, each a holy flame, fuel for the furnace of the future. Watch them whirl, see them whirl.’
Oh how the maddened Dervish longed for his brethren.
Eventually with cruelty and chides the Dervish calmed - cooled, counterbalanced contravening chaos with contrived contrition; his fury never far away, but controlled.
Like a careful charmer charming a coiled cobra Smudge controlled him as only one such as Smudge would, could, or should… with fear, and threats, and fetters.
Only Smudge could control the Dervish… until one night, in the stable tent, he met the Ju-Ju Jesus.
Immediately the Dervish found peace. The hurts of the past were over. The Dervish, calm, free from pain, was filled with a deep quietness. He whirled no more, content to follow, as the Ju-Ju’s voodoo hoodoo undid the rage that lay tight in the poor Dervishes mad mind.
From that night forward the Dervish worshipped only the Ju-Ju Jesus – his devilish destruction of death and decease was ceased. Reborn - a declared disciple, determinedly devoted, decidedly dedicated, drastically driven by the will of his master.
The Dervish is made as the lamb in the field.
Peanut be praised!
But the show must go on.
It is all show. Life is show. Death is show. Show is show. There is only show…and it MUST go on.