I woke up pissed, sore, and groggy. There was no good reason for this.
Of course, 2014 has been a generally pissy year for me: my dad was hospitalized twice with various mysterious alcohol-induced illnesses (one of those times he was bleeding profusely all over his house before the ambulance came, and so a week later I was the one cleaning all of that up); my estranged mother has cancer; my dog died; my grandma died; my job continues to be dissatisfying, injurious to both my physical and emotional health, and low-paying.
I wasn’t thinking about all of this consciously when I woke up pissed off this morning. But after grumbling internally about a lot of suddenly prickly past grievances and new annoyances–a grumbling that lasted all through my shower and putting on make up and running around forgetting things as I left the house–I stopped myself. I took a deep breath, and I prayed the same thing I always pray: that I would be forgiving and loving and generally be God’s woman today.
And yeah my life is crummy by certain measurements, but it’s also very blessed. I have life. I have a steady–albeit rather crummy–paycheck. I have Eternity. I have friends and family who love me.
And I have clown.
Not only that, but I also have New Clown, The Christmas Miracle.
Let me begin at the beginning.
In the year and a half since I wrote about the original Clown, what started as a purely electronic, one-sided trolling has become something more: I printed a hard copy, and Tish and I have been exchanging it on and off in disparate locations and circumstances. She’s put it in my sheets, in the dryer, in the shower, in the medicine cabinet. I’ve slipped it into her lunchbox, in her wedding present, in a Thanksgiving card. All our friends know about it and reference it. Her husband speculates with her about where to put it next, and my new roommate tries to get in on it misguidedly.
Me: What is this picture you just sent me?
Roommate: Is this not how you do Clown? Like you just send a picture of a clown, right?
Meanwhile, another roommate and I had had a standing date at CiCi’s pizza every Saturday night for several months, not only because we loved gorging ourselves on bad pizza but also because we loved gorging ourselves on bad karaoke sung by off-tune pre-teens, which one could also find at a particular CiCi’s Pizza in town (alas that roommate moved out, and that CiCi’s has gone the way of the dodo).
It was a strange and close-knit community we observed there. Our favorite act was a twelve-ish-year-old boy who would always sing “Glad You Came.” The kicker was that he was a ventriloquist with a professional dummy. He was neither a good singer nor a good ventriloquist, but we enjoyed his enthusiasm and confidence regardless.
Now imagine my surprise as my family is opening gifts this morning to find that my one brother has bought my other brother a homemade ventriloquist dummy.
Given my track record, I already find this hilarious, of course.
But then out comes the real, actual best part. My brother special-ordered this dummy (to look vaguely like my other brother) from his teenage neighbor, who not only makes homemade dummies but also owns several professional dummies and goes to ventriloquist camp.
And that teenage neighbor is none other than THE BOY FROM CICI’S PIZZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We live in the smallest, strangest world.
New Clown scares my brother, but he doesn’t scare me!
And in conclusion, I’m glad you came, New Clown. And, of course, Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!