Clown Shoes. Yea, he’s real Clown Shoes. Pure Clown Shoes 24-7. The neon car sprayed muddy shit all over his ordinary clown shoes, all over his ordinary clown suit. The sleet pebbles Yosemite Samming his clown feet into the clown ground. Jostled, reoriented, dancing backward, he sought shelter under the bank awning.
She was across the street in so many ways. Dry, but uncomfortable, waiting for him and the bus and the conversation Clown Shoes doesn’t know is coming.
I can’t. I just can’t.
She sees children everywhere, a reverse Where’s Waldo of children. They’re fucking everywhere. Dancing, squealing children playing in the grey rain. Squealing, screaming children on the insides of her eyelids. Screaming, shrieking children pounding out the grooves in her brain.
Now, Clown Shoes tap dancing like an imbecile Gene Kelly, waiting for the light. Soon, he’ll be here, man-spreading, shaking his umbrella and taking up every available inch. Another child. Oxygen all gone.
There’s gotta be a pamphlet for this. There is, but not for this, this.
She looked in the pop psychology section of the Waldenbooks. Nothing.
In thirty seconds, she’ll need to blurt the news out. No, “How was your day?” or “Call your mother, she has gout.” Not again. Not this time. Dodging her news meant failure. She didn’t make the appointment, spend the money, lay on that cold table, endure weeks of hidden pain for “How was your day?” Not this time.
Clown Shoes just gave a random kid a candy cigarette. That’s his thing, his way to cause chaos among the under-six set. Usually, the parents always intervene before his elaborate smoking clown show.
Not this time. He missed the light. He mimed an elaborate Greta Garbo puff. And, then, the kid actually took the sugar stick.
Where the fuck is this kid’s parents? Who does this?
She knew the implications. She kept telling herself, every day for weeks, her decision had jack shit to do with him.
But she knew THAT was bullshit.
Another light passed and now Clown Shoes and the random kid were mime-dancing in the rain. Singing in the rain.
Where were the police or child services?
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
Robot up. Be professional, cool, distant. You’ve got a job to do, she thought. Say it, grab your purse, sharply pivot on your heel and leave, board the bus outta here and be done. Don’t look back.
That’s when the bus wheezed up in front of her and the stop. Cock- blocked, or more accurately, pussy blocked by a Greyhound. Clown Shoes lost behind a sea of the unwashed.
She fished through her purse looking for gum. The bus, after a few
minutes—-how much shit is in this purse(?)—-popped the clutch and left like a gas and metal Hindenburg.
And there was Clown Shoes, suddenly, ten inches from her face, lips pursed, waiting for a kiss.
Panic and electricity washed over her like a successful orgasm in front of others.
She screamed into his face, “I had my tubes tied! I don’t want children! I don’t want you, you Clown Shoes motherfucker!”
The next bus arrived thirty-five minutes later. ###