Guest Post, By Hogi the Clown
So, here I am again, standing ootside Elstree and my feet are solid. Frozen to the insoles of my big tackity boots as I do my wee sun dance, willing the blood to flow back into my tootsies.
I was nervous last night, I was nervous at 1 then 2 then 3, 3.30 when the alarm went off for the first time, snooze, 3.35, snooze, 3.40.
“Get up Katie!” (she rolls over unperturbed).
3.45 “That alarm tune does ma heid in, get up!”
“You get up.”
“I am up”. “I’ve been up all bloody night”.
“Quiet, you’ll wake the boy”.
“I need to pee”.
“Well go then”.
“Put the kettle on!”
The tea was made, child undisturbed, the pee was had
Make up done, undone, then done again.
Baggy pants oan, wig in place and we were ready to go.
The doctors coats were manky, remnants of last month’s makeup and spilt tea still present,
but we were ready to go never-the-less.
Today we hand out leaflets. We do this every month.
Every month a wee bit different, keep them from getting bored you know.
Last night I printed off 40.
40 A5 copies of Katie’s Clown Tales from last month.
Trust me the irony was not lost on me.
Handing over leaflets to generally disinterested passers by that talk about handing over leaflets to generally disinterested passers by.
We had a wee laugh aboot that.
We always argue when we get to Elstree. Build up of tension.
Or gettin’ it all oot before we have to be silent. For hours.
It doesn’t come natural’ to me.
My will to bump these gums is strong.
I always cheat…
Whisper something pass-remarkable into my wife’s ear
when nobody’s lookin’…
She tries to reply…I give her a dirty look.
No cheatin’ Katie!
The atmosphere feels strong today. Charged. A wee bit pungent if I’m honest. Maybe I was right to be nervous.
Then everything’s the same…
Some smile… Most ignore.
But it feels more aggressive today… the ignoring…
It’s not hard to be sad today… it’s not hard to be a sad clown.
One man comes at me with his camera, a wee bit too fast,
all Burton suit and Clarkes shoes.
I hand him a leaflet. He’s filming.
Obviously an aggressive filmer.
I feel sad and a wee bit vulnerable.
A lot of people think that my mask hides something, protects me.
But it doesn’t.
It reveals me. It strips me of the armour. It took my voice even before I chose to be mute.
I’m just 1 wee wumman handing out leaflets.
Some sparrows fly past my face at a hundred miles an hour.
They’re playing tig.
And I try not to smile. But life’s just too good
right at this moment…
I look across the road at Katie; she’s seen them too.
A big grin splashed across her supposed-to-be-sad face.
We share the moment.
Then I frown,
tell her off.
No cheatin’ Katie!
And then the man comes. Grey hair, fat face and skinny legs.
He passes her and I hear him mumble. Something flashes across her face…Something…
But then it’s gone and he’s gone.
She’s moved on to the nice lady behind.
Finally it’s 10 and it’s time to go and get the boy. As we walk to the car, I ask her
“What did that man say? Was he horrible?”
And the flash is back and I’m worried.
“So you’re all still feeling sorry for yourselves then!”
“He said that?”
“To a silent clown?”
“No wonder he walked away so quickly. What a twat!”
We’re finished for the day. We drive home. The boy goes to school. I go to work.
Remnants of my make up, my mask, still marking the edges of my face. They must think I’m mocket here.
Now work is finished and I look at twitter. I begin to share.
And I sigh,
because she’s been at it again. Lacking not only in empathy but basic understanding
And I hear it
“You’re all still feeling sorry for yourselves then.”
And I realise… that’s what they think.
She’s not alone,
she’s a symptom.
She’s just saying the dickies. Even now
she thinks it’s ok. Because they told her it was ok.
She’s just saying the dickies.
No thinking for yourselves, saying the dickies.
She thinks it’s ok. Those with the power told her so,
so it’s ok to laugh at and to bait. Because we’re all just
still feeling sorry for ourselves.
Catherine you’re not a twat
But you believe the twats.
And that makes you behave like…you do.
But I know
you have no power.
She has no power, folks.
She can never be the focus of my rage because she has no power to change this.
She has no power.
She can never sate my anger or my sadness,
I honestly don’t know what could at this point.
But until I figure it out,
I’ll continue to stand outside Elstree.
Hogi the Clown
My true face beaming through a layer of grease
as the wee sparrows play their game of tig up and down Eldon Avenue.
I’ll look over at my wife
And she’ll grin at me.
And I tell her off…
No cheatin’ Katie!