Mar 08, 2022, 05:55AM

Leaving Clown Town

No seats left in the complaint department’s carnival of lost souls.

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Tabulating a quick tally of my inventory, I’m low on some vital essentials. Missing teeth, half-deaf, poor eyesight, thinning hair, flabby, fatty liver, emphysema. I lost my mind long ago. There’re other maladies, diseases unknown, but why fixate? No seats left in the complaint department’s carnival of lost souls. No trade-ins, rebates, or returns. It’s been one helluva spin, and I still have a fistful of ride tickets left. There’s plenty of me left to go around, but the circus always leaves town. The law of diminishing returns is playing out, a rapid decline, a game of catch-up with my supply side. Still hanging tough enough with the best and worst of them, though no longer pay the freight. My fright wig and make up kit are no longer needed. Props aplenty, my book of gags bursting at the seams.

I can burn at both ends, or simply fizzle out. I’ve always been an idea man. So many thoughts, piled in the scrapyard. The song and dance man in a clown costume, an organ grinder’s dancing monkey. Make ‘em laugh. Singers change, and dancers switch partners, but it’s the same old song.

I accomplish things, now and again. I’ve tried my damned best to cancel my subscription to life, at times almost succeeding in my sabotage. We make our choices and take the chances. A lazy suicide. A career steeped in boozy debauchery. Degenerate gambler of wordplay. A crapshoot tossed in the poetic alley of no winners. All of that mad jazz behind me. Feeling a sense of achievement, a fitting end to the charmed spirit. The meter’s still ticking, as minutes expire. Sporting a resolute ambition of antics and hijinx aplomb, a cool jerk living the unfettered life, I meander through the hazy hours in ambiguous splendor. Fashioning balloon figures, shaped on the tip of a pin.

Tomorrow’s promise is no sure bet. I’ve got a whole bunch of nothing to squander, with time to lose. The supply and demand of a wild life has worn thin. Content to spend my twilight in quiet solitude with my best friend, the love of my life, plus a cat and a tiny dog. That’s more than I bargained, enough in an unforgiving world. When pondering what I never wanted to do, or considered the things I never aspired to, somehow it works out fine. It’s a poet’s life for me.

I have no death wish, but it’s prudent to plan ahead. I’m content with the way things are at this late stage of my poetic pursuits. When it’s time to leave, ask for a later checkout. Another few precious hours. There’s no rush order on this bill of goods. No profits made in the afterlife. Anyway, whether it’s a personal check, cash, debit, or credit, everybody pays the entry price to exit. Ante up. Throw down. You can’t buy it. The shelves are empty. The pantry’s bare. Always running out of stock.

I don’t want to burden anyone, especially my dear wife. An official statement, a new, improved, last will of sorts in writing. Avoiding costly lawyers. I’ve always said if I can’t wipe my own ass anymore, it’s time to vamoose. Maybe it’ll never come to that sad end. Maybe I’ll go quiet and peaceful in a dreamy slumberland. Nonetheless, it’s prudent to plan ahead for the inevitable. My final wish is to donate my corpse to medical science. This way they can dissect, slice and dice me up for experiments, spare body parts, or organ donations.

Not that anyone would want these old worn out parts. Cremation is my preference. No macabre funeral, memorial service, coffin or headstone. The best part of my demise is there’s no financial cost to my widow. I request my remains cast out into a field of wildflowers on a calm day. In the unlikely event my spouse leaves before me, I ask a remaining sibling or friend grant this last testament. No eulogies, epitaphs or epithets. A simple plea, from a simple man. Judge a teary-eyed clown, smiling at the foot of Jacob’s ladder. 


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