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Robinson The Clown
I found this journal today out at the local grocer. They’d been in stock all this time and I just never noticed it before today, or simply never was so bored as to care. Man, I’m getting old.
Anyway, allow me to introduce myself:
I’m Robinson, but I don’t call myself that and no one else calls me anything on account of the fact that my only company’s a housefly.
My given name may be Robinson, but the only name I ever hear is “I” and “Me.”
I know I’m old, but I’ve completely lost track of exactly how old I am. I would wager in my mid-sixties but I’d be lying if I said I actually knew.
I used to be a clown, a really good clown, the best clown actually. “Clowning” was my life; I could’ve kept going till I was dead… at which point I’d hopefully no longer be humorous.
But when the circus began to think I was already as useful as a dead man, they fired me.
Well, technically I retired, but in those circumstances it’d better be called “terminated.”
I guess in the modern age you went out of date once you hit fifty or something…
I had given my life to the art of playing the fool, and for it I was a fool. I’m reminded of the folly of youth every day when I look in the mirror, for in the mirror I see the greatest mistake I ever made. I guess the mistake doesn’t matter anymore; mistakes really don’t matter at all anymore, but it was a bad call at the time.
The mistake I made so long ago, that decision that haunted my every day ‘til recently, was this…
I tattooed on my clown makeup.
I loved it then. I was the envy of the troupe. I was the most popular guy around. Back then I didn’t like to think about something important that is now my whole life.
That little thing I overlooked was age.
When I “left” the circus I couldn’t get a job anywhere else or even really live in normal society. I’d made myself a creep, an outcast, and to most people, a monster.
Can’t say I blame them, though; I get scared when I see polished glass or shiny metal… you don’t ever quite get used to seeing a white face with black stars around the eyes, purple lips and a cherry red nose on a rainbow neck when you see yourself.
But I did learn to cope eventually, and to avoid mirrors.
I guess I’m kind of like a vampire in a really weird way…
Anyway I got in my truck and drove. I did that for a good five years or so ‘til my vehicle broke down. However, in that time I took up animal loving. Mind you, I still hated those cats and dogs and rabbits and things… but I developed an interest in and relationship with a housefly I came to call Jackal.
I’ll bet “you” didn’t know that houseflies could be domesticated…
Well neither did I at first but this little fellow started to follow me once I started stinking and we’ve been friends ever since. Actually that’s technically not true at all because flies only live a couple weeks, but Jackal has faithfully laid eggs on me, and I’ve faithfully kept one of the maggots, so we’ve continued the tradition for a long time.
I recently grew a little tired of the fly and tried a bumblebee I named Winthrop but Winthrop didn’t leave offspring so that fad ended rather quickly.
A couple years ago I also had a phase when I got tired of the fly and I tried a rat.
I named the rat Finn Maccool but that was the most tamed it ever got.
Finn left before a single day had passed and I never saw him since, so I begged Jackal to take me back.
I only ever talk to Jackal and myself, and by now, he talks back quite well and is surprisingly verbose.
So, I’ve given “you” more background into who I was and how I came to be then “you” would ever care to know. Except for one thing, probably the most important thing, and I can’t believe I nearly overlooked it... see how old I’m getting?
As far as I know, I am the last man alive...
Yeah, “you” heard me right.
Hence the reason I’ve been reluctant to say “you” seriously.
Now I’ll explain how it came to be that a crazy, aging, ex-clown/hobo who only ever talks to flies and himself survived when nobody else did.
I lived in a decrepit old shack in a remote corner of Arkansas.
I was sitting on my mattress, eating my breakfast of cold pork-n’-beans, listening to some redneck moldy-oldies station, when suddenly the Buddy Holly song stopped playing and a frightened voice started talking across the radio. Now I really like Buddy and I didn’t particularly care about anything else at that moment… they could’ve said a hurricane was about to hit or the president had been shot or there was some other national emergency, but I’d already been through all those things and I just wanted them to start playing my song.
Until I heard what that stupid voice was actually saying. I stopped yelling at the radio when I heard the following:
“Bombs dropped... *static*... nuclear war...*more static*... DC destroyed... *static again*... never expected... *static*... those damn Canadians...*static*... rest of the country is next... Who knew they had an arsenal...*continuous static from then on*... ”
Or something along those lines…
The Canadians had finally snapped. I’d always suspected that day would come, but no one listens to a hobo with creepy clown makeup.
I guess they got sick of Americans making fun of hockey and only watching football, but for whatever reason, they bombed us out of the blue then proceeded to commit a mass-suicide.
Nice thing is, they only completely wiped out the important states. For useless states they bombed capitals, and cities with football stadiums. Now these were frequent enough that the nukes killed pretty much everyone, at least with radiation… but it just so happened that the exact spot where I was, was so far away from “civilization” that I was completely unaffected.
So I sat in my shack in the woods with my pet fly doing almost nothing but eating vegetables and rodents and stream water ‘til I was satisfied that there was no more danger of radiation. And I went out and walked to the nearest city… there was pretty much nothing left standing.
I kept walking until I found a standing store and house, and that’s where I am now. I’ve pretty much cleared out the store now; this journal was the last interesting thing I found. So I’ll soon pack up and move on.
I’m sure I’m not the only one left. Eventually I know I’ll run into some other useless sap and we’ll do nothing together. But until then, I’ve got Jackal to keep me company, I’ve got clothes to keep me warm, I’ve got food to keep me fat-ish, and I’ve got my face to keep life humorous so I’m good for now…
No one can read this, and if they do, they really won’t care. But I killed an hour or so, so I’m happy.
I’ve never really cared about what other people thought anyway. We avoided each other when they existed, and now it’s moot.
Robinson, the last clown on earth, is done with this, and done with you.
I love a useless life.
I’ll go talk to Jackal and look in the mirror and be bored now…