Sunday, March 27, 2011

CLOWN CARS, room for three.

STABILITY: degree to which fabric resists pulling out of shape

Yousef Clown was in my taxi this morning. I was coming from the market and almost melted and it would have been impossible to not take a taxi. I found one and just as we were about to escape the chaos of the Souk Barra he ran up to the window and asked to go to some place I have never heard of but was somewhat on the same trek as mine. Yousef Clown didn't see me. The driver was reluctant to let him in and I wanted to loudly whisper or gesticulate in the rear view mirror or kick the back of his seat to communicate, No! Please! KanKaystobarni!

But he could not hear my silent cries. In addition to the surprise 70 degree weather in what would be considered chilly-autumn- boots, I felt like I was melting with the thought that he had come in the taxi because he saw me there and came to reprimand me for some lingering, unfulfilled social obligation related to clowning. But I was resolved that it couldn't be. After sleeping on it, I decided that I was being too judgmental of clowns. I quietly imagined a television series in which clowns are a common race along with regular mortals, deprived of their basic rights. I would play the special clown that was both clown and magician - the best parts of a child's birthday party. And you would play the evil clown from "IT" except secretly good inside.

He didn't follow me out of the cab even though I had to wait for change, and I am sure he didn't recognize me- the runaway. These small interactions tend to play out like little stories. There is a minor chance it is just my mind constantly reshaping events into tiny narratives. I was always awful at interpreting the moral of the story. There was something the author was trying to say and I could never "get it." Eventually I decided it was fine, because there was no such thing as "getting it" as long as you got that you could never get it. And the author was absent anyway. And lots of dead white men wrote about that sort of thing and lots of other dead white men agreed with them later and I wrote some papers about it and it all made sense to me then.

After years of such a fine education, I think about these small things and how they unfold, and I know that actually God is unfolding them, and I can only hope I'm getting it. I like to think the best of people, and I like to think the best of clowns.

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