This is the year before I moved to Gotham, the year I was living in the condo in Shelburne, Vermont, the summer that the circus came to town.
This is the story of when I did a clown.
Do a clown, do a clown, all the world loves a clown, goes the song. Or something like that anyway. I didn’t know he was a clown when I met him, if that makes those of you who have the profound coulrophobia feel better. When I met him he just looked like your average black-haired, black-eyed studmuffin of indefinable ethnic origin.
When I met him, the first time, he was having lunch. I was serving him. I brought him and his table some kind of pasta, some sort of wine. Jokes were made. Banter was bandied. Extreme flirtage was experienced. The possibility of seduction was created.
I recognized his lunchmates. They were the Ringmaster of the Big Apple Circus, his wife the Horse Mistress, and the man who was the main clown, Grandma. I recognized them from having seen the circus before and having a pretty good eye for celebrity, however minor. And while I would have been extra special charming for them anyway, it was for my then unbeknownst clown that I dialed the charm rheostat up to eleven.
I twinkled. I shimmered. I evanesced.
I was 26. I was a part-time waitress, part-time aerobics instructor. I had ass-length blonde hair and a caramel tan. I was cute as all get out and cocky as hell. I had a boyfriend, Eff, of whom I have written, but he lived here in Gotham and I lived there in Vermont, and while we were planning on living together neither of us had any immediate interest in fidelity (it was, after all, the summer I first realized I was kinky).
We were not strictly faithful, so we played at being French.
And we had affairs.
And one of mine was with the clown.
I don’t remember his name anymore. I have no head for names. I never have. I do remember he was/is Greek, and so I’m going to call him Nick, though that may or may not be accurate. Nick was from New York, I think, and I am certain his father was a man of the Greek Orthodox cloth.
Nick was the only uncircumcised man I’ve ever been with, but as usual I’m getting ahead of myself. The lack of circumcision and the presence of a foreskin were directly related to his Greekness and to his father being a man of said cloth. But I shall do my best not to go leaping, stampeding towards Nick’s penis, though I have had a difficult time not doing that now and here probably because I had a similarly difficult time not doing it then, that waning summer, and there, back home in Vermont.
You know when you meet those people and you get that sudden flash of erotic heat, when you would throw the patio furniture through the glass wall to get to them if you were in a situation that required you to do so? You know when you meet those people and the air is charged with positive pheromone ions? You know when you meet a person and your eyes meet and you know down to the tingling tips of your loins with unshakeable certitude that you are going to fuck?
That was me and the clown. I met him and I knew I would fuck him.
Remember, he was not dressed as a clown. There was nothing clowny about him. No rubber noses, no snapping overwide suspenders, no giant squeaking shoes. Not a rubber haddock in sight. Not even the faintest tinge of greasepaint.
He was, actually, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and he was mighty fine, my Nick the unknown clown. He was, actually, a stunt clown.
He was the clown who held on to the bridle and was dragged along behind the horses. He was the man who leapt from horse to horse, surefooted and faking tottering until his footing slipped and he fell to the ground, dragged around and around from hand, from foot, from mouth behind the horses.
He was a stuntman in a clown suit and he was mighty, mighty fine. Fine, fine ropy hard arms and a fine, fine chocolate bar abdomen. Fine, fine muscular legs and a fine, fine sculpty ass that I would find out was carpeted with fine, fine tiny black hairs.
Typically, typical for me and my skanky destiny at any rate, I had a date with my boyfriend who was visiting to see said circus together. So I went with him, and I watched for my Greek god clown, and I chatted with the Ringmaster and introduced him to Eff. And the next day I kissed Eff good-bye on both cheeks, like a proper French whore, and Eff went home to Gotham, and that night I went again to the circus.
I never, ever said I wasn’t a slut.
I never, ever said I played by the rules.
I went to the circus and after it finished, I went and I found my clowny clown clown. And I got a tour of the circus folk. I saw their trailers and their tents. I saw them playing cards and strumming guitars. I smelled the food they cooked for themselves. I saw the honeytrucks for the hoi polloi who did not have their own trailers. I met the elephants and the horses. I met the camels too, though I am allergic to camels, so I didn’t stay long patting them. I waved at the tigers through their cages.
I toured the backstage of the circus, hand in hand with Nick and then I kissed my clown good-bye.
And I went home and I slept the sleep of the just.
And the next night I went back. After the show was over. I remember what I wore. I remember I wore this little 1950’s off-white eye-lit shirt with a Peter Pan collar that came just below my ribcage and a pair of jeans. I rode my motorcycle to the back entrance of the circus, and I convinced the lax security to let me in.
I parked and I wended my way through the peripatetic caravan of tents and trailers and trucks and vans and animal pens and people smoking in half-spangled outfits to Nick’s trailer.
I knocked on the door, unbidden.
His German Shepherd barked once. My breath caught a bit, for it was not as if I’d asked him if I could come. It was not as if I knew he had not someone else, someone perhaps spangled and leotarded, perhaps hanging batlike from the low ceiling of his trailer.
He opened the door, looked at me, looked at me again, and said, “Nice shirt you’re almost wearing. Come in.”
And we went to bed.
He, my friends, was hot. He was hot as Paris in his Greek altogether. His skin was tawny and almond smooth, except his hands. His hands, from holding on to the rope that pulled him day after day behind the horses, from wrangling elephants and tents, from lassoing and gearing and rigging and pulling day after day night after night was rough as an emery board.
But his hair smelled like man. And his skin was smooth as almonds. His voice was deep and dark, like I like it, burring in my ear, telling me stories of circus life and kidding me about moving to New York.
“Only one in a million makes it in New York,” he said.
I assured him I could meet those odds. (I wish I had now the confidence I had then.)
He laughed at my jokes. He kissed me hard with his generous mouth. He appreciated my aerobicized ass with his ravaged ostler’s hands. He gave me head and I could smell his thick masculine musk even when he was submerged below my waist. There wasn’t a tremendous amount of bathing in the circus.
When it was my turn, I found his cock was thick and long and covered in a generous hood like a monk’s cowl. I found it interesting, but at 26, I was not the lover I am today. I wonder now what fun I could have with my knowing mouth and muscular pussy with that un-nipped dick. I can only hope my fumbling was appreciated for its fervor.
Under a thin, worn comforter, I fucked him. Outside us were the sounds of late summer in Vermont—cicadas and owls—mixed with the occasional trumpet of an elephant or the lazy growl of a tiger. We fucked to this mixed symphony, and then I slept the night, or most of it anyway, with him under that thin cotton comforter in his trailer. In the small, thin-lighted hours of the morning, I got up and rode my motorcycle the 3/4 of a mile home to my condo.
The next day I rode an hour to some general store to get him Bag Balm for his hands. I once more talked my way past the lax security. I went to his trailer, he wasn’t home, so I patted the German Shepherd on the head and left the balm for him with a short note.
I thanked him, I think, wished him luck, and told him to keep on clowning.
Be a clown, I said. All the world loves a clown.
(UPDATE: Interesting. I walked past Lincoln Center today and saw the Big Apple Circus big top had been raised. The circus opens tonight and runs until New Year's Day.)