He sits in front if his dressing room mirror in solitude, wiping off the grease paint, putting the red rubber nose back in its case. The big floppy shoes don’t come off as easily as they went on. His feet are swollen after hours of standing up against socialism for the salivating moralists of the fringe right.
The clown stares into the mirror and gives himself a hard look, wondering, is this who I really am or just who I’ve become? Do I really believe the outlandish and borderline psychotic things I say? Are my crying jags in front of a television audience real or do I just know how to sell a crowd? Do I really have the common people in the folds of my ridiculously oversized, polka-dotted clown suit?
“I don’t know,” he thinks, “I’ve always just seen myself as an entertainer and a bad one at that. But when I say socialism my slavish minions gnash their teeth and rend their clothing. When I say my ass itches, they offer to scratch it for me.”
The paint is off, his public face now just residue on a towel. He hangs up the suit, placing the giant shoes lovingly underneath so it looks like the outfit still has life. With a wan smile, he gives the lapel flower one quick squirt, splashing water off his face and he laughs with a snort. Cheers him up every time.
Leaving the room, the clown flicks the light off, allowing the darkness to swallow his persona. With the door closed, his mind turns to tomorrow. He has precious few hours to make up facts and create conspiracies for the next performance. There’s always another show and the clown has to be “on” or the kiddies get restless. He doesn’t want them leaving the party to go to Sean, Rush or Bill’s house. It’s all about the frizzy orange hair and the fake moral outrage that keeps it glued on.
Out in the night, where real life is happening, he takes a tentative step. No one notices. No one revels or bleats his name. Haltingly the human being begins his trek home, feeling lost and alone.