The Moonlight Clown

The day started at 5:30 with the Diva popping her head out of her door to see who, if anyone, was awake. Finding the house still in deep slumber, she decided to take matters into her own hands and ensure that at least one other person was awake.It turns out it would be me.

I’m not a heavy sleeper but really, it’s hard not to notice “I’m A Little Teapot” blaring at full volume in the room next door (although that’s not entirely accurate as nobody else did notice, except for me). I quickly got up and ran to her room where I wanted to yank the CD player from her wall and toss it out the window, but thought twice about it because of the look on her face.

It wasn’t so much that she was shocked at the prospect that I would toss her stuff out the window (I have, in fact, trained my kids to always be on guard, never quite knowing if I am going to follow through on some hair-brained proposal I fling their way). No, her reaction (which, by the way, looked a lot like sheer horror but was, in fact, utter mortification) was due to the fact that I had dared walk into her room in what I like to call, my clown outfit.

It’s not a real clown outfit mind you, but it does look like something you’d expect a clown to wear to bed. I won’t burden you with details but let’s just say it involves a bright yellow item, some green stripes and blue and purple polka-dots. There is absolutely no reason for me to wear this but then again, I don’t expect to be mocked in my pajamas. I had obviously forgotten who I was dealing with.

The Diva is a fashion force to contend with. She wears all pink, and only pink, all the time (not my choice and while I’d like to blame her father, anyone who knows him will easily call my bluff); she wears ruffles like nobody’s business; her plastic jewelry collection is valued higher on our insurance policy than my real one; and her shoe collection rivals that of Imelda Marcos.

“Mommy?” she asks. At this point, I had put down the CD player because enough time had gone by since I walked into the room and registered her reaction to me that tossing it out of the window would be a total non sequitur and would only result in my neighbors pulling back their curtains to see me standing at the shattered window in the Diva’s room in my clown wear. She put on her most charming smile and said, “why are you wearing that?” pointing, of course, to all of me. I tried to act coy. “What, my skin?” “No… ” “My eyes?” “Your clothes,” she said, deadpan and putting an immediate stop to all my nonsense. I could see this was going nowhere fast. Fine.

“If you must know,” I told her, “I moonlight as a clown and I just forgot to change my clothes.”

“What is a moonlight clown?” she asked. I could have corrected her and told her that I was referring to my night shift at Barnum & Bailey, but instead I told her that on full-moon nights, I turn into a clown and walk the streets juggling – a slightly less creepy version of a mamma werewolf (although now that I think about it, perhaps equally, if not more, creepy).

“What is juggling?” she asked, completely unfazed by my moonlight transformative powers. I gave her some totally unsatisfactory answer because (a) it was not even 6 a.m. yet, (b) I don’t know the first thing about being a clown and (c) I have no idea how to explain juggling to a three-year old. “Show me,” she said as she handed me two pairs of plastic high-heels (to wear or to juggle…?!).

… and this is where the proverbial box of chocolates smacked me right in the face because I suddenly found myself not at all where I expected (even though I inadvertently dressed the part), doing something one should really only do if heavily medicated, and not at all satisfied that I achieved the one thing I set out to do a mere 30 minutes ago.

I would like to think that at least the Diva was on the receiving end of some of the tinfoil wrappers that flew out of the box of chocolates as it hit me in the head and that perhaps she shared my experience of not really knowing what she was going to get next in life. But I know that’s not true.

She is always in control, of everything. She would never accept a box of chocolates unless she got to decide exactly what went in each one, how it was wrapped, where it was placed in the box, how the box was designed, where it was assembled, who shipped it and when it got to her door. Then, she would open it up, give me one of her I-have-eyes-in-the-back-of-my-head-too looks, toss the chocolates in the air and start juggling them… in high-heels.

All content is copyrighted by Karla Valenti. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is expressly forbidden.

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