I hadnt looked back that fateful day. I left all I loved. If I could re-do it all though, I wouldnt, because the night I died inside made way for my rebirth. My name? I don’t have one. The people of this town however call me El Flamingo.
As a young boy I had always been interested in the art of masked fighting. In my country it is called “la baila de los idiotas” It was a huge honour to have been chosen to perform in front of the crowd of six whole people, they were so proud of me. I had always admired the skill that my heroes had, however there was one particular fighter who I had always aspired to be. His name was El Terror. Like a fool, trying to impress my family, I challenged him! That would be when my championship title would ripped away from me. El Terror was the most ferocious six year old I have ever fought against.
There is no greater dishonour than being unmasked in front of the vast crowd of fans! I remember the sweat dripping down my rippling pecs. I was a laughing stock! I had been a fool to have a dream! I would never amount to anything. With that sudden realization, I took my uniform and I ran. I ran until I found solitude, and then I ran until I found sanctuary. There they were, fluorescent and inviting. Their beautiful feathers shimmering in the sunlight. I knew that what I had run from was not home because I had found it here, in the town called “zoo”.
To those with a untrained eye, they would have seen a man at the young age of forty six frolicking in a group of frightened flamingos. But to the skilled observer, they would see a family. Of course it took me a while for the group of feathered companions to accept me, but once i started to learn their ways, they began to treat me as an equal. I have never filter fed so happily in my life. After a while, I felt a great sadness in my heart, I knew that something was missing, but I didnt know what that was until I saw her. Violeta, always lovingly bringing food to all that lived here.
Unfortunately the place I had chosen to live was riddled with crime and injustice.Who would stand up for the citizens? I remember looking around and finally realizing that the place i called sanctuary was actually a prison. To the left were hyenas, who did not laugh, trapped in barred cages, and to the right were elephants, unable to remember the freedom they once had. This place, it was almost like a zoo! It even had zoo keepers! I had to set these animals free. I knew I was meant for bigger and greater things. I would be “El Flamingo” A hero! I gazed upon a fallen brother, and took his body and made a costume, so that he would forever be with me. I knew it was exactly what he would have wanted. I was a vision in pink. If I couldnt be the most glorious wrestler back home, I would be the most glorious hero here!
Unfortunately, the life of a hero is a lonely one. I could never be with my beloved Violeta, for if she found out my identity she would be in constant danger! I had to love her from a far. As I stood one legged in the sun with my brothers I recalled a memory: Like my great uncle Benaldo used to say, “with great power comes great torture.” I may not have had her by my side, but I still had a destiny. I unleashed all of the animals!
And they all died.
But they died free!
My mission was accomplished.
It took a shameful tragedy to morph me into the man I would become. One day this mask will be taken off, but by my own hand. I have shaped my future, and I have moved on from my past. sometimes on a quiet night,I can hear my name spoken in the wind. for I have become not a man, not a flamingo, but a legend. *cue flamenco guitar*