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Robinson The Clown (rewrite)

Date: I don’t even know anymore. It’s winter; that’s for sure.

Time: The evening.



So, I found this little bugger over in the convenience store. It’s nice too: it’s got a leather cover, those gold edged pages, and embossed lettering. It’s kind of ironic; the thing that is completely useless to me is the fanciest thing I own.

That’s how my life’s always been though.

I mean, my mother was a super model and my dad was a professor of biochemistry at Harvard.

People say I got dad’s looks and mom’s intellect.

I guess it really doesn’t matter now. Nothing really matters any more. I can do whatever the heck I want.

Anyway, this is killing time so I might as well try to recall my history up to this point.

Let’s see, my name’s Robinson. I can’t remember my last name so just call me Robinson.

I used to be a clown for the circus. I was a great clown: the kids loved me, I was skilled, and of course I was goofy and surprisingly quick with the quips. I was the life of the troupe. Man, those were good times. Anyway, even when I wasn’t in my costume I was a wild and foolish kid who never looked before he leaped. Needless to say, my parents were disappointed with their offspring. Our relationship fell apart after my decision.

One day a few years into my career, we had had a wonderful show and were all chilling at the local bar. I got totally drunk and loudly declared my undying love of “clowning.” “I am the best on earth!” I sang, and decided that I should give myself an identifying signature.

My friends loved the idea even though they didn’t know what I had planned. In our eyes we could do no wrong. We marched out of the bar until we had arrived.

I stepped inside and made the worst mistake of my life.

I still cringe when I think about it. I used to think about it all the time so I actually had rock-hard abs for a decade or so. I’ve gotten older and things have obviously changed a lot since then so it doesn’t pain me quite as much now.

Anyway, I got my clown makeup tattooed onto my face.

Even while it was happening I could see the uneasiness form on my companions’ faces.

I first realized that it was a bad idea the next day when I woke up.

When the ringmaster saw me I think he began to wonder about my sanity. I must admit, it was a warranted fear. I quickly realized that I had turned myself into an outcast. I couldn’t go out into public and I had even become a freak among my own kind.

I discovered that people actually dislike clowns. It was one thing in the circus, but something completely different in the grocery store. I still creep myself out. It’s freaky to look in the mirror and see a paper-white face with rainbow eyelids, red lips, and a purple nose.

As can be assumed, my career went downhill quickly after that. Not only were they concerned about my mental health, They said that I didn’t bring enough to the table to justify my instability. “You can’t just be funny anymore. You have to juggle something dangerous or eat something dangerous or jump off of something dangerous or tame something dangerous. Sorry man, you’re out.”

And with that I became a hobo. I couldn’t get any other jobs; I had made sure of that. Oh, the folly of youth.

So I packed my belongings into my truck and drove till I had no more gas, then I walked.

I have to admit, there was one advantage of the homeless life: I met Jackal, my best friend.

Ah, Jackal! She’s the best pet housefly a broken man could ask for!

I’m pretty sure she showed up around the same time as the smell. She’s been with me ever since.

Actually, that’s technically not true because houseflies only live a week or so. We have a system worked out. She lays her eggs in my stuff and I keep her offspring as if they are her. She’s a good companion, if a bit talkative. We discuss everything: philosophy, literature, dreams... we used to talk about politics but that doesn’t matter now, does it?

For about a week I got bored with my disease-ridden insect and decided to try a rat.

I named him Winthrop, but he left me later that day so I begged Jackal to take me back.

By the way, I almost forgot to mention.

I’m the last human on earth.

It happened, what, five years ago maybe?

I don’t know.

I will say though: it was the Canadians. It turned out that the canucks had a little secret that explained a lot of mysteries about their way of life. They’re aliens.

Now that I think about it, we should have been suspicious. I mean, they live in Canada! What human would choose to do that? Also, they played hockey. I think there might have been a bit of spite about America’s obsession with football.

Anyway, I woke up one day and two gooey-tentacled beings wearing flannel and fur hats and drinking beer were rounding up the other hobos in our camp.

I was hidden from view so I watched as they evaporated them all.

They heard me gasp and turned towards where I lay hidden. Their eyes spontaneously combusted upon looking at my hideous face.

So, ironically, my stupidity saved my life.

They ate everyone and left and now I’m here. It’s sort of a joke that I am left. I don’t care about the earth. I have no ambitions or goals. This actually didn’t even affect me all that much.

I’m still alone. I still have no home. I haven’t bothered trying to better my way of life. My best friend is still a pest.

I guess the only advantage this situation has is that now I don’t have to pay for all my junk.

I’ve been raiding the local convenience store for a while now.

It’s pretty much run dry. This little journal is the only cool thing I’ve found in three days.

I just thought of something: there’s a possibility that there may be others. They’d probably be freaks like me that those Canadian monsters couldn’t bare to feast upon. Like those Africans with the stretched necks, or those losers who get plastic surgery to look like animals, or Siamese twins. Who knows… Maybe if I wanted to I could search for companionship. Nah… I really don’t see the need.

I think I’ll probably just be moving on soon: taking stale twinkies from abandoned stores, living inside dilapidated homes, talking to my fly, avoiding mirrors, and reminiscing about how it could have been.

Eh, it’s a living.



Join the Discussion

This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

RhythmAndRhyme said...
Aug. 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm
This was great. It was so deep without being too long and dragging. You, my friend, are quite the talented writer.
 
Timekeeper This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 10, 2011 at 10:11 am
I'm deathly afraid of clowns, but this was a nice change of pace. Definitely a good short story.
 
RainyWriter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 9, 2011 at 9:38 pm
It could use a little extra here and there, but overall I loved the darkness about it. For me, I wondered if he really was insane. Or sane. Circuses are kinda intriguing to me right now (mostly because I just finished Water for Elephants, excellent book by the way), so this was a nice read.
 
IncorrectlyWired replied...
May 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm
I agree that this one could use a bit of work; it definitely is not my best by any means. In my mind he is insane, but it really is up to the reader on how far you want to take it. I almost think the original is better. You should read both and let me know which you liked more.
 
DaylightDarkness said...
May 9, 2011 at 8:44 pm
This is amazing! I really like it, dark, but really good. you should really keep writing!
 
alex198 said...
May 7, 2011 at 9:12 am
I love it! All your ideas are so original. They're also random and crazy but I really like that about them. I love how you're style of writing sounds like everything is normal while talking about the craziest things. This was great! :)
 
Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 7, 2011 at 1:58 am
Your style of writing is amazing! And I love the voice of the character! I read another one of your stories, and thought I should check this one out as well. The idea was new and not one of those cliche ones I’ve seen so often. I like how you’re able to intertwine humor so that the whole character-being-a-hobo thing doesn’t seem so depressing. Good job! :)
 
kate21 said...
May 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm
All I can say is amazing.. Loved the starting... It's very different from all that I've read until now.... Keep writing :)
 
IncorrectlyWired replied...
May 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm
Thank you! I really appreciate that! You should check out the original story and my other stuff. I almost think it's better. Thank you for the comment!
 
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