"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Aug 18, 2011

The Jester Has A Sword

Returned ripe and prodigal, again from another visit to a specialist who can manage only to specialize in a lack of conclusions. I have blood leaking into my legs, below the knee. [Resist the urge to sympathize; I will hate you for it.] Staining my skin, a clown nose red in wing mottled patches. Elsewhere, the color of dried cumin.

It does not hurt. It does not sting, or itch. Rarely, it burns, but that could be anything. I make it worse, because I'm a runner. Every impact springs free some hemoglobin goblin escapee from the confines and prisons of a too narrow pathway back to chambered prison heart and the death of an anonymous re-absorption.

"I have seen it worse, at your age," the specialist said, perhaps to comfort me. Comforting did not occur. "It isn't common, or everyone would have it." Ha hah ha. Amusement burps and bubbles.  No, really, I am entertained. Fucker. He has pictures on his wall, photos he took himself. Last time in the office, from a sojourn in the Alaskan wilderness. Today, from scuba diving off the Turks and Caicos. He poses with a shark.

I have never been away from this little life, even when I lived it larger. I have never been outside of it. I keep having to pay. I'll pay the ferry man. I'll pay the coin. But, beware the moonless night I finally get across the river. Like most abused and broken cast outs, I would settle accounts with our betters and sleep sounder for the doing of it.

And the costs for a moment of honor have not failed to catch up with me. Or accrue. Like blood debts and blood stains around my ankles. Few of us get respite, get away.

I have been as far as New Orleans, and I had to steal a car to get there. Running from the law, each with varying degrees of guilt and innocence. For my own case, neither condition obtained. I did a stupid and terrible thing, was certain I was found out, felt no shame for a necessary and vile decision - but the law never caught me. No one but we three know it ever occurred, and three are now two. This secret I have always kept. It was only a shade more despicable than that which prevents me from ever, ever returning to Canada. I swear to you I did not know that car was stolen. By and by, Mounties are as eager to do an aggressive and rough handed cavity search as the New York State police are to follow it up with one of their own. Alas, indignities are not like bank accounts. We cannot draw from our deposits, there.

Anyhow - New Orleans: not understanding fully the implications of our act, we left our stolen yāna in the most blighted neighborhood I've ever seen, somewhere off the Chef Menteur. The residents did not strip it as imagined. They reported the car, stolen.

We were clowns to think they'd see it as a boon. It was a provocation. An interloper's addition to their existing troubles. Flypaper for copper yellowjackets.

It was not the first time I'd been a clown.

My mother used to dress me as a clown. It wasn't a pathology. Well, not as your first reaction spelled it out in your dirty little heads. We were death clowns. It was a religion thing, I gather. We dressed as painted fools, to sing and juggle and play act for dying children, or the elderly abandoned. Cancer ward pagliaccios.

I fucking hated it. I still fucking hate clowns. I can conceive of no greater insult than clown. Do you know what it's like to be too young to confront death, and have to confront it anyway? Two or three times a week? Dressed as a clown?

The distance from then to now has shortened itself to a footnote; time has passed and gone, lost to embittering forevers and untrustworthy recollection. It has sometimes even flowed over me, lightly. But, a boy should be an old man before he is forced to whisper his memento mori in a clown suit and a grease paint smile.


I'm not too young to misunderstand the pleasures of evil living, or a rugged go at sovereign monstrosity. You should try it. It gives your compassion a finer boutique, should you later manage to ferment yourself some.

I'm also not too old to ready myself for death, or dying. It insults me that, for all the evil that I've done, and some of it with relish, I should come to this - clown nose red blood stain skin leggings and the specialist's kindly reminder that it will, yessir, only get worse.

Blood that refuses the modesty of remaining within its banks.

Somehow, I'll ken out a way to find this all very fitting.

But not now. Not yet.

Because I won't be a clown. Not ever. Not ever again.

I'm a jester this time around. And the jester has a sword...


Will Shetterly said...

Okay, I'll just say I hear that.

fish said...

It is a ratty lifebuoy that almost certainly won't float, but I toss it your way anyway.

davidly said...

Comforting did not occur.
I heard that too.

Landru said...

Just for reference, today is not one of those days when I wonder why I'm still peeking.

Cüneyt said...

Hmm. And the jester speaks truth to the powerful few while the clown only distracts the peasant thousands.

Whatever it is, keep it up. And you will get no pity from me, but I will say, loudly: that shit with your health sucks.