A Clown's Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
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Submitted: April 11, 2008

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Submitted: April 11, 2008

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Clown: (1) a job-description in some cases; (2) an important instrument for insulting one’s enemies.
In my case, it's the former.

My mother would say that it is a worthy deed to alleviate a person's sorrow and pain, and to give him joy and happiness, (although naturally, she never suggested that I become a clown). It takes considerable effort to transform someone's tears into smiles; I have to cry to make them laugh; I have to fall from great heights, to make them jump with joy. 

Among the various get-ups of a clown, my favorite is when I paint black tears under my eyes and a red line arising from my from the tip of my lips, stretching downwards, forming an inverted smile. It seems the best description of a clown's life. He cries, and people laugh.

It was our town's Grandeur Fair, one of the merriest days of the year, and like every year, it was held at a place ten miles away from the city. The place seemed quite aloof from rest of the world; no one lived there; and it was surrounded by a forest from all sides. It was the manager of the fair, Mr.Bostling, who wanted a place with sufficient area, yet inexpensive; and this place duly fulfilled his conditions.

The fair was first held eleven years ago. Our former mayor, Mr.Wesley, wanted to start an annual event that would bring people together from all quarters of the town, and since that time, it has been held every year, at the same place, and its description does not vary from year to year.

On the periphery of the fair, there are swings, slides, merry-go-rounds, sand boxes and, of course, trains. Most of the children could be found loitering around at this side of the fair. On the inner side, there were game stalls, hotdog stands, burger stands and also, barbers (but who knows what they are doing in a fair!).

Children drag their mothers and fathers to the games stand, and like a professional hunter on the track of rabbits, they aim at the empty coke cans kept on the table in front and try to knock them down, but without much success. If they win—which rarely happens—they receive a big fluffy white bear. At the centre of the place is a big oval tent, decorated with the seven colors of rainbow. It is my home, my temple, my workplace.

On the day I want to tell you about, this year, my performance was due to begin at eleven o'clock, and to last for one hour. I do all my acts with Tim besides me. He is less like a monkey and more like a kind and faithful friend.

I met him three years ago, when I went to a pet shop near my house. I desperately wanted a pet, but who knew that I would acquire a friend at the same time. He was only one day old when I saw him; he was kept in the corner, caged. His skinny little hands hung from his body like weak, worn out branches of a tree, his feet were weak, he could barely stand upon them, and his small round moist eyes could have melted even the hardest of hearts. He stood still and kept looking at me with his glittering eyes. I never came to know what made his eyes moist, nor would I ever like to know. I was told that he was also the cheapest pet in the shop. The owner of the shop told me that he had been deserted by the other members of his group. I took him into my arms and bought him home. So, as you see, it has been three years that he has been living with me, and he has never even attempted to stir out of the house. So I imagine that he is really happy to be with me.

My watch tells me that it is 12:30. My performance was over, and everything had turned out to be the way I had planned. All the children loved Tim; some even came to me afterwards and shook hands with him. Some little girls came to meet him but were scared; they hid behind their mothers and kept staring at him. Tim turned out to be really good host, he shook hands with each child and even gave some of them toffees, that I had kept in the brown pouch that hung around his waist. I gave him that brown pouch some months back, and since then, it is very precious to him. If he ever woke up and did not find it in its proper place in the morning, he would start shrieking at the top of his voice, and would jump around the house, looking for it.

After some time, he would become tired and sit on his little bed. If I had hidden it, I would come in front of him, place the pouch on his bed, and laugh out loud -this is how I tell him that it was prank. He always understood that it was a joke and never became angry at me.

One day, he woke up early in the morning and hid behind the cupboard. I searched the whole house but couldn't find him. Finally, I sat down on the bed, shattered, thinking that he had deserted me. Then he came out from behind the cupboards and started jumping here and there, and showed his teeth—this is how he expresses his laughter.

One day, he played the same trick on me that I used to play on him! That day I came to know, that he was, to me, the thing most dear in the whole world.

This is how we drive away our loneliness, by playing pranks with each other. If I ever have to choose between the most faithful man on earth, and Tim, I would go ahead and select Tim, without a second thought.

The time was 12:30. I didn't even get time to change my clothes, and was still wearing my rainbow clown dress. I came out of the tent and sat down on the wooden bench with my friend besides me. Though the show was good, the day had turned out to be a bad one. I was running short of money and wasn't able to feed myself and Tim. Even in the faint light of the lamp, I could see sadness on his face.

 “Am I a bad friend, Tim?” I said

He said something, something short. Maybe he said yes, maybe no.

After some time he became uneasy and started jumping around the bench. He sat on my lap and made funny noises. I got angry, but as a friend, I could understand his anxiety. I was the world's most incapable friend. 

“I'm sorry; I've run out of money. You know my condition, don't you? Mr.Bostling keeps on postponing my payment.” I said, feeling sorry for Tim.

I tried everything to stop him from jumping around and making silly noises, but he wouldn't listen.

Then I did something I had never done before. I shouted at him. He replied back with tears. That was the second time in my life that I had seen him crying.

Finally he climbed down from my lap and sat at some distance from me. For a long time he kept on looking at the black sky above. I don't know whether he was gazing at the sky, the stars, the moon, or the God, who was hiding in the darkness, laughing at us.

We didn't say a word to each other for an hour, and his gaze towards the sky was unaltered. He stood there like a devotee praying to God.

Finally, after a few minutes he slept. I could see him shivering with cold. I took out my handkerchief and covered him with it. Because of my busy schedule, I had forgotten that I had bought two biscuits: one for him and the other one for me. I placed one biscuit besides him, and with a broken heart, tears trickling down my cheeks, I left for my home, leaving my poor friend behind. It was getting really hard for me to feed him.

I hoped that he would find his way to one of the nearby forests and would live a happy life there. Probably he would make friends with the other animals there. He would be able to feed himself and wouldn't have to work with a clown for it.

That day I got the answer as to why my parents had deserted me. I forgave them, and hoped that Tim also forgives me one day.

Living the life of a clown is not an easy task. Behind his smiling face are hidden thousands of tears. The world laughs at him and he cries inside, alone. A smile for a person always comes with tears for the other. A clown can make anyone happy, except himself. He makes the world happy, but is himself bereft of happiness.

On my way home, I sat on a bench and wept. The tears washed away the red paint on my face. Once again, I was left all alone in this world.

Then someone else's weeping broke the silence around me. I stood up and looked in all directions, but couldn't find anyone. There was a small cargo truck parked in front of me.

Behind the truck, I saw a small boy weeping. His head was sunk in his chest, and the only piece of cloth covering his lean body was a vest, which only hid his nakedness and failed to protect him from cold. His soft cry was the only sound audible, which was flowing everywhere, searching for a listener to whom to tell its sad tale. There was helplessness on his face. He wrapped his hands tightly around his body, to escape the chilling cold. I don't know if it was the hunger or cold that made him cry. The only thing I knew was that I had to do something for him.

I took out some red balls from my pocket and started juggling them. At first he didn't even notice that I was there. But eventually, he wiped off his tears and paid attention to me. I knew what I had to do next. I took out a colourful handkerchief from my pocket and placed it on my hand. He was astonished to see the color of my glove change. Then I took out a coin and flung it in the air. It never came down. He took off his eyes from me, looked up and kept waiting for the coin to come down. And when it didn't, he smiled, and even clapped.

I took out the other biscuit and handed it over to him. At first he hesitated, but then he ate it, giving me in return, a big and pleasant smile.

Now, there was just one last thing left to do, I took off my jacket and wrapped it around his naked body. With this last act complete, I left the place, for I had nothing else for him.

The poor little boy made me realize what I am. I am a clown; and a clown's job is to make people happy, no matter how sad he is. I did my job, and earned his smile. A fire cracker has to burn itself, before it can light the world. And a clown has to shed tears, before he can make someone laugh.

I learned a lesson that day. Happiness is never born; it is always taken from someone. I went home from there, sad because I was all alone, and happy because I gifted happiness to someone on the way.


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