This evening I had the good fortune to learn something about my clown, Barclay. For most of the last two or three years, my mentress Nettie Lu Lane has been my clown teacher and my clown tether, however tenuous, to the Earthen place where I and Barclay cohabit. This is normal, everyone needs a clown mom, or a mom anyway. Clowns need clown moms. But tonight something special happened that I had been missing, which is Barclay found his own narrative, and some aspects of his character that had long remained recondite to understanding became clear.
Barclay is an alien. To say he is that is a bit misleading, because alienation, even for clowns, is an unstable state due to its endemic inertia in the search for a resolution outside of itself. Have you ever known a baby that wouldn’t cry if left alone for more than 10 minutes? To be two months old and to lie, inarticulate, untouched, and not eating or defecating, is to face a howling wilderness more infinite than the Pampas or the windward side of the Matterhorn. Where O Where is the succor, the relief, which had appeared so long ago and disappeared so shortly after? COME BACK!
Well, as any adolescent bear worth his salt knows well, the relief will eventually disappear for good, and you better remember where you and Mom found all those grubs last year, or you’re fucked.
Welllll…., that’s where Barclay and I have been. We tried working with a cactus, Freddy, but he died at the hands of a disarmingly fiendish clown called Pistachio, and a little while later I stubbed my toe during a biographical skit, and I haven’t seen the clown stage since then. It took six months for the nail to turn black and for a new one to grow under it so the old one could peel off.
It has been a worrisome time. My human Mom, who could never get me to call myself anything but my nickname Wat or root for a different baseball team, died also, and things have been eventful since then, especially in that Barclay seemed to disappear over and over again, perhaps to the subterrain of postural idiosyncrasy that is the birth dimension of clowns. Clowns walk before they can talk, generally. If the clown is exceptional to this, prepare to be bored, frightened or confused to death.
I had intended to begin at a point of potential demise. A friend I have known for a long time is mortally ill, and may not recover, partially due to an unacknowledged alienation; perhaps they are a clown that was aborted before it had a posture. I’m not sure, but they gave me the gift of understanding of Barclay, and I am hoping he will come back to stay for a long time once I get his pajamas on again.
In addition to being an alien, Barclay IS an alien. There’s nothing else he can do. He and I have tried many different postures, narratives and positions but they all ended up corrupt and wrong unless we embraced, however reluctantly, a basic alienation and desire for surcease of it, neither of which would ever surcease. Clowns are forever, I guess, although they may depart, and woe to the human who attempts to follow. There are no flagstones that will form as a permanent path. Even the best ones, completely glowing moments on the stages that are the only place where a clown may truly appear, and which can be laid over and over again, will fade into the mists of clown time if the concretization of any kind of permanent path is ever attempted. Welcome to the quandary of the clown: Carpe diem quam perdere. Seize the day and lose it, little tit sucker.
Did I say Barclay can be a little nasty?