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The clown in moonlight
Tonight, in the back of my mind, there is a man wearing a red clown nose, and he is confused about something simple. Like why doors open one way but not the other. Or why his trousers are on backwards. Or why he sometimes feels as if he is standing on the narrow ledge outside a window, 36-storeys up looking down at everything small.
But what if the clown is standing on the balcony of a small hotel room in Mexico, looking up at the moon and the moon is wrong. It’s tilted, as if it’s not the same moon as he remembers. As if it’s fallen over. He knows if he tries hard enough, he can right the moon with just his hands and his powerful mind.
Perhaps he is confused by the moon’s silence, which it owns so thoroughly. The clown stops and listens, and the moon is silent. Hello? the clown thinks. I see you have fallen over and I will help you. It is the least I can do. For all you do for us, it is a small thing. And the moon says nothing. And the clown listens, his hand up to his ear. Waiting.
Then, the clown is, again, trying to open the door the wrong way. He pulls on the push side and fails. Perhaps he tries so hard, he falls down. Gets up and tries again, this time, turning his back to it. And fails again to open the door. Then, he crawls toward the door and sneaks his hand up the frame and still, the door won’t open.
He removes his trousers and stands on the beach in his red polka-dotted briefs as if this is normal. He will twist and turn his trousers. Unfurl, and shake them out. And then put them on backwards again, as if everything is fine. He will go to shove his hands into his pockets but they won’t be where they’re supposed to be. He will act as if this is how he prefers it.
The clown will look up at the tilted moon, and out at the ocean. The moon is still watching, listening, marking the seasons in its own sweet way. And the clown is determined to hear. He listens beyond the ocean. Beyond the breeze in the palms. Beyond the refrains of flamenco guitar coming from an open door. He will stand in the sand and he will never stop listening to moon.