The elephant in the room was literally an elephant in the room. Which, granted, sounds hilarious and witty when put on a postcard, but is much less funny when you’re sharing an elephant-sized room with an actual elephant.
When Tracy ran away to join the circus (a cliche in its own right), she expected hardship. She expected to work her way up from the bottom. But she did not expect to be sleeping next to 30 pounds of elephant shit. And the piles of shit weren’t even the worst smelling aspect of her living quarters. A bed of hay, largely ignored by the clowns who came to shovel dung every week, rotted, choking the room with methane gas. Webs of mold – black and grey, yellow and red – bonded individual strands of hay together, turning it into a cushy-yet-terrifying mattress.
Tracy expected to move up the ranks eventually. She knew she had talent. But for now she spent her nights with an elephant and her days smelling like shit and rotting vegetation. But despite it all, more often than not, she could be found smiling. For, while she more of less constantly smelled like a fart, at least she wasn’t still living at home.