Just a Clown

watercolor profile

“My thoughts were so loud I couldn’t hear with my mouth.” -Modest Mouse


Every morning is the same. I put on my bright red nose, paint my face, lace up my oversized combat boots, and clamor into my impossibly small car. Knees resting on the dash. My commute gives me time to rehearse my lines, practice my smile. The makeup irritates my skin but the plus side is it perfectly conceals a tearstained face. The sunshine plays off my flashy standard issue polyester jumpsuit which has elastic bands at the neck, wrists, and ankles. Somehow the elastic doesn’t have very much give and as a result this design element constricts my circulation making me feel trapped and lightheaded.

My boss, the bearded lady wants me to reconsider the high wire act. Says it was a once in a life time malfunction. Won’t ever happen again. Her words are empty. She doesn’t care about me. Her bottom line is the show. Fill the seats. Do what it takes. If not, step aside because there are others eagerly awaiting the chance to walk out on that wire. High above the disgruntled big cats, over the artists juggling various flaming objects, near the show-off contortionists continually bending folding transforming themselves into something else entirely. I’m just a clown.

But I suppose acrophobia is my super power now. That’s how my doctor refers to my extreme fear of heights, acrophobia. When you’re an acrobat it’s harder to appreciate that play on words. I wasn’t always this way. I developed this intense fear after that incident when the wire snapped and I free fell. The act itself of falling was quite peaceful although alarming as it was unexpected. The landing, I imagine was rough I don’t recall that part.

On my way back to the big top and the thought of possibly having to teeter on that wire once again brings on a new wave of panic. I turn up the radio to drown out my thoughts.

“Why does it always feel like I’m caught in an undertow?

Walk a little farther to another plan.
You said that you did, but you didn’t understand.

I know that starting over is not what life’s all about.
But my thoughts were so loud, I couldn’t hear my mouth.
My thoughts were so loud, I couldn’t hear my mouth.
My thoughts were so loud.” -The World at Large, Modest Mouse



  One thought on “Just a Clown

  1. March 18, 2014 at 3:55 am

    I can so relate to the quote in this post. This was a powerful, thought-provoking approach. Thanks for sharing.


    • March 18, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      This means so much to me. I’m so glad it resonated with you. Thank you for letting me know!


  2. March 18, 2014 at 4:05 am

    No matter what it is about: The most important is, to be gentle with yourself !
    Greetings from Vera 🙂


    • March 18, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      Vera, you are the voice of reason. Thank you so much for commenting.


  3. March 18, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Wow. The mash-up of your poetic verse and Modest Mouse’s striking lyric is mesmerizing, Sandra. I hope you do not feel thusly constrained by your daily job, though …


    • March 18, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Mark, you know how I feel about your writing style. This is a tremendous compliment from you. I really do love what I do but some days are easier than others. Don’t you think that’s the case with all jobs though?


      • March 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm

        I do think all jobs leave their mark on your life, Sandra, in ways that you often have no control over. I felt your angst, and I’m glad you let it out in this post. Bravo, friend.


      • March 18, 2014 at 6:52 pm

        Thank you!!!


  4. March 18, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Great post of a little flash fiction, Sandra. What prompted you?

    By the way, that Modest Mouse quote is probably one of my favorite lyrics ever.


    • March 18, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      Christopher, we are music twins. I believe I’ve said that before, maybe I just thought it. Twins separated by a decade and on the opposite sides of the continent 🙂 Your words inspire me! What prompted me? It’s a storyline that’s been running through my head for awhile. The details are fictional but the feelings are real. I appreciate your feedback!


  5. March 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Your pictures are always very cool! What kind of editor do you use?


    • March 18, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Ninna, your pictures my love, are ALWAYS very cool! What a compliment! Thank you so much. I love your posts. Come back tomorrow, I’m sharing more about this particular app in a post I’m currently pulling together. XOXO


      • March 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm

        I always come back! You know that! 😉


  6. March 18, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    A fellow kindred … 🙂

    I love writing musically inspired posts. I don’t know much Modest Mouse aside from Bukowski, but I will check out the song. Of course when you mentioned Undertow, I thought about Suzanne Vega and her song “Undertow.”

    You write beautifully, xo,


    • March 19, 2014 at 5:36 am

      Thank you so much for such a kind comment! Music is always playing in my world too. 🙂


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