Thursday, March 24, 2016

the clown

by cindy jane walker

illustrations by palomine studios

to begin at the beginning, click here

for previous chapter, click here

all right, that is enough about ancestors - for now.

we might come back to them later, because the subject interests me.

if it doesn’t interest you, i am sorry.

there i go again, writing like somebody is actually going to read this.

anyway, back to describing things “one at a time”.

on the first day of school, regina had delivered me a clear message.

i was a clown.

a clown to her and her group, who for practical purposes were the center of the universe.

i don't mean a scary “funny” clown with a big green nose like they probably don’t even have in the circuses any more.

are there even circuses any more?

anyway, i use the term “clown” as used in a book that is not as well known as it should be and that i heartily recommend (can you recommend anything unheartily?) -archetypes and their applications by maria pomfret-fludd.

ms pomfret-fludd’s theory is that all human brains are the same and perceive their fellow humans in seven basic archetypes, which she names knights, companions, dragons, damsels, clowns, martyrs, and demons.

the categories apply within individual brains, so that a given person can be a clown to one person and a demon to others. in fact, the categories would not apply if everyone agreed.

only a handful of mostly famous people belong to the first four categories.

most people are clowns, martyrs, or demons - to other people.

from page 89 of ms pomfret-fludd’s book:

ted, tad, and tod are triplets. they dress alike, usually in red or blue blazers with peppermint striped shirts and green or orange bow ties.

they work from their childhood home - which they now share only with each other after their mother’s death and their older sister’s marriage - as telemarketers.

on saturdays they go on a picnic together, and on sundays they go to the mall.

each of them has conceived a secret passion for a person employed at one of the shops at the mall.

ted is enamored of rose, a young single mother of two children who works as a hostess at ruby tuesday’s. he records his romantic dreams of rose in a secret diary he keeps regularly.

tad is desperately in love with roger, a college basketball player who works part time at the army and navy store. tad writes poems about roger which he does not show to anybody.

and tod has a hopeless passion for mickey, the assistant manager at dunkin donuts. tod has obtained the address of mickey’s apartment and writes him two or three anonymous letters a week in which he outlines his fantasies in explicit form.

it might seem to some people that there are similarities between ted, tad, and tod.

but to others, especially most educated people in the modern world, they are creatures from three different universes.

ted is a geek - a legitimate figure of fun and contempt for even the most compassionate and enlightened.

tad is a gay man - the cynosure of all enlightened human sympathy.

and tod is a stalker - a loathsome creature for whom no fate who could be too gruesome or too richly deserved.

ted is a clown, tad is a martyr, and tod is a demon.

clowns are the people we feel good about ourselves for laughing at and feeling superior to.

martyrs are the people we feel good about ourselves for sympathizing with.

and demons are the people we feel good about ourselves for hating and fearing.

anyway, i have found ms pomfret-fluid’s categories kind of useful, except that i would add one sub-category. sad clowns - clowns that are not worth laughing at. that is, most of the human race.

from day one at school, i was a clown to regina and her coterie.

and a sad clown to everybody else, including the teachers.

i was not a martyr to anybody, and it would be many years before i would be a demon to anybody.

my first day at school was my first day of clowndom.

not that i had any concept of such a thing - or any concept of anything.

except regina. and her overwhelming reginaness, that i wanted to be absorbed into like one steamy little white bubble in the big marshmallow of regina.

but i think, checking over my notes, that i have already gone on about my feelings for regina sufficiently for now, and do not have anything to add until developments develop.

so, back to one thing at a time.

i already told you how cooley, or maybe some other of regina’s loyal subjects, had knocked me down into the mud puddle.

because i was the richest kid in town, even though i really was no such thing.

when i got up i made my next mistake - trying to defend myself.

fool that i was, i thought they had knocked me down for the reason they gave - that i was the richest kid in town - not realizing that they had done it for one of the only two reasons anybody does anything - because they are forced to or because they wanted to.

and nobody was forcing them to.

naturally, when i got home that afternoon, the first thing my mom saw was my muddy dress.

she was not pleased.

“what, you think we can afford to buy you a new dress every day - or send one to the cleaners - because you decide you like to play in the mud?”

i explained it was not my fault, that “some kids” - naturally, i would not name or blame my beloved regina - had knocked me into the mud.

“they must have had a reason. you must have done something to provoke them.”

“i did not! but they thought i was the richest kid in town.”

“that’s no reason to knock somebody into a mud puddle. people respect wealth, unless they are morons or communists. you must have done something else, something you’re not telling.”

“i didn’t! they just thought i was rich!”

“they must be communists. next time just tell them you are not rich, that you’re a communist too.”

she went back to reading her book about jacqueline onassis.

i went into the kitchen and made myself a peanut butter sandwich.

i came back with my sandwich and asked if i could turn on the television.

“i’ll keep it low,” i promised.

“no, i have a headache.” she looked at my sandwich. “how can you eat it like that, without any jelly or marshmallow? bleaah! you have no taste, no class. no wonder nobody likes you.”

i didn’t bother to tell her that there wasn’t any jelly or marshmallow.

i was learning.

(to be continued)

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