Life Behind a Painted Mask: Chapters 1 & 2

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The idea with this story was to tell the story of a long since retired formerly Black clown. It's sadly one of the many things I sort of dropped but here are the first two chapters.


It stated just as a fascination. My dad would take me, and my two cousins, to the quarterly fair. There sometimes would be clowns and the circus, medieval performers, or craft shows with people selling handmade items. To there and back was ten miles, no air conditioning, rarely any conversation, but just the semblance of family I had. Dill would sit in the front seat with my dad, usually talking about sports or whatever Dill was into with his stocky simply self. In the back was me and Henrietta. At 16 Henrietta probably peaked in beauty, her eyes were this golden brown, sort of like honey straight from the comb, and while Dill probably fascinated her more than me, I was the one who was always around.

We grew up in some town which will never be put in any story, somewhere north enough to give you access to the cities, but south enough where if you didn’t have a car you’d be stranded if you tried to leave your neighborhood. Still, with my mom long gone I found something in Henrietta letting me lay on her lap. I was never the son my dad wanted, and arguably he treated Dill and Henrietta better than me, but laying on Henrietta’s lap, especially as she pet my head, it helped me forget how much I wanted to escape.


“Mr. Boyd would you like a minute to rest?” my dear niece asks, ever so formally, as she places down her notepad. I signal for this lit roach just far enough from me that it would require to get up. Since the 70s I have smoked, not for psychedelic feelings but just to self-medicate. All things considered, compared to my contemporaries, I figure it is better than hitting the bottle. Smoke does no good for me at my age, but neither do most of my memories. That’s the real trouble with getting old. Not only does your body fail you, but now the vices which helped you run from your past your body can no longer handle. Well, for most people anyway. After a few puffs I tap a bit of the ambers and slouch a bit, I signal for her to pick up her pen and continue.

There was always something about the clowns and jesters I liked. They were always happy, dancing, making others laugh, and seemed oblivious to the ills of life. My dad told me that jesters would entertain kings and queens, that they were valued in society. With that I found myself watching Henrietta put on her makeup sometimes, thinking about using some on myself to be like a clown. Experience joy and give it onto others.

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About Amari Sali 3330 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all.

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