What a world, what world.

My car broke down this morning. It was horrible.  Just stopped running.  I was on a busy street, during morning rush hour with Mr. D, on our way to his work when it died.  I was pissed and thought, “I can’t get out of this city fast enough.”  (I drive a little bity red car, there’s a pic of me waiting with my car at the end of this post)

Mr. D pushed the car off the busy street and we scrambled to reassemble our morning.  It was 8AM and Mr. D still had to get to work, it was, after all, his last day. We started calling his friends, which were either not awake or not taking his call.  So we started calling my friends.  The closest was Ms. E.  Now, a little background is needed so you understand how wonderful Ms. E was for coming to our rescue.

Background:  The night before this morning, Ms. E, myself and other pals were up until 2AM drinking and dry humping.  She might has been up longer.  Also, Ms. E was not going to work that day and planned on sleeping in before heading out on a 4 hour road trip to her family’s compound.

Okay, so I called her at 8AM, after a night of booze and humping.  She showed up, with a smile on.  Unbelievable.  She gave Mr. D a ride to work, she took me back to my car to wait for the tow truck and then most miraculously of all,  she made a second trip to return my keys, which I had left in her backseat like a dumb dirty imbeciles.

Basically, I owe my life to Ms. E.  She’s amazing and I will be looking for a way to pay her back.

To add insult to my injuries, I forgot to charge my phone the night before and my phone died about 20 minutes into this catastrophe.

Until I can properly repay Ms. E for her heroic, timely, lovely helping hands today, I give her this blog post and the following video from Dionne Warwick and friends, “That’s What Are Friends are For”.

girl in car

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This white girl had no idea

I just learned about something called the Universoul Circus.  I’m sure I never knew about this circus because I’m a white girl.  I sort of grew up in a circus environment, with my dad being a clown and all.  But, damn if this didn’t surprise me. This circus didn’t start until 1994- and by then I was coping with my crumbling family life the best way I knew how, drugs. I’m not really into circuses, they’re creepy to me and cruel to animals. 

Was it fun “warming up” the elephants and camels by riding them around the circus before their big performance, sure. Was it wrong, probably. But, shit, it was fun.  The creepy part came when my dad would lug me along to his rehearsals. Watching clowns hold their dress rehearsal in some dark living room with gross paneling was shocking at first, bizarre second, and sad third.  They would start with drinking. Lots of drinking, because everyone knows you’re funniest when your drunk. Then they would put on their clown outfits and apply only some of their makeup (some would only have their clown mouth or clown eyes or scary red cheeks, but not the whole fucking face. It would have been better with the whole face). Next, they would start acting out their sketches, which would inevitably lead to arguing about who’s sketch was the best or who should get the water thrown on them or who should fall down. So, close your eyes and imagine these drunk, middle age dudes partially made up like clowns, cussing at each other, and pantomiming. God, if I had been into acid in those early days… anyways. This imagery of boozin’ and cursing clowns has burned a certain part of my memory that can only be soothed with cursing and boozin’.

The good old days.  Me on a elephant, my sis on a camel and cursing clowns.

Happy hump day.

My dad and Vivien Leigh

On Saturday, my sister and I took a trip to visit our dad.  I haven’t seen him in about a month and not without his wife for over a year.  Our plan was to enjoy each other’s company and catch up.

 

On the train over, we sat across from Jackie the Jamaican, a.k.a. Shakespeare. Following his form, my sister introduced herself using her nickname, and so did I. Then we enjoyed some pixy sticks (thanks Hotdog).  These pixy sticks were old and the sugar was a little hard.  Shakespeare asked, “Where’d you get this kool aid mon?” I explained that it’s old, whatevs. Then we learned that Shakespeare has 10 kids, all by the same baby mamma.  He speaks English, French, Spanish, and Arabic, which he then began quoting from the Quran and saying, “You feel me mon.  You get what I’m putting out there, mon.”  We certainly do.  His dreams include being a preacher and playing air piano, and then he sampled some of his songs for us. When we passed by trees and he would say, every time without fail, “Mmmm.  When I see these trees they remind me of the ganga, mon. Grow wild in Jamaica.” He also shared, that he would never hit a woman out of anger.  Play fighting was fine, but to hit for real was wrong. He and his wife would play fight and hit each other, but never out of anger.  I wonder if she knew they were play fighting.  It was fun and we all said we hoped to run into each other again, then popped off the train and went our separate ways.

 

We met our dad at a local watering hole.  As I see my dad walking up, immediately I see that he’s colored his hair.  He did have salt and pepper hair, now he had a magenta/auburn color, like a dark, deep purple-brown with read undertones.  It didn’t look ridiculous, but it did look a little weird, probably just to me. It’s one of his attempts at looking younger. Another one of his attempts was Lasik.  He loves showing off his “new look”.  He’s worn glass all his life, since he was 15. Growing up he used to wear, what I like to call, flashy glasses.  It started with odd shaped frames, cat eyes, large ovals and circles, I recall a square pair. Then he moved to colored frames. And then he fell in love with a combo of these two. 

 

He first set eyes on his favorite frames when I was about 10. These new frames were a bright, true blue and round. Yep, perfectly round and blue, we can’t forget the blue (for the record he wanted red).  They were big blue circles on his face that cleared his eyebrows and came down just above his cheeks. He wore these forever.  They were no doubt ladies glasses. He said they were his clowning glasses, but he wore them all the time. He used clowning as a disguise for a lot of his behavior.  It was so embarrassing having to explain to my school peers, not my friends they didn’t care, but the school peers were so cruel. And by peers, I mean the popular kids, which were never my peers.  They would ask about his ridiculous glasses, “Why does your dad wear those ugly blue glasses?” then they would turn their curiosity to his other oddities.  “Why does your dad wear knee high tube socks?” “Why does your dad wear pink shorts?” (mind you these shorts, hit him mid thigh because they were lady shorts), “Why does your dad wear pink shorts and knee high tube socks over sweatpants?”, “Why does your dad shave his legs and arms?”

 

There was no acceptable answer to any of these questions. As time went on, I had to distance myself from him, you know pretend like I didn’t know him.  It was the best a coping method I could think of.  Later, I would find other coping methods that would extract me from reality.

 

Anyways, so we hung out with him on Saturday and knocked back a few ciders.  It was pretty noisy at this place and everyone’s conversations were echoing, so my dad had to take out his hearing aids.  At this drinking joint there are these tacky plates hanging on the walls and ceilings.  My dad starts the conversation about the plates by pointing out how handsome John Wayne was. 

 

“Man, the Duke was one handsome guy.”

 

I replied with “Clint Eastwood was handsome in his day.” 

 

My dad, “Still is handsome to some of us.” Then he points to another plate and says, “I kind of look like that French fella’.” 

 

Sis and I turn our heads to see who he’s pointing at and its Marcel Marceau.  He’s painted up like a clown, which sends chills down our backs.  Chills and flashbacks. We both look at each other, mortified.  Having a dad who moonlighted as a clown our entire childhood was tragically traumatizing.  I don’t know if other kids with a clown parent escaped unscathed, but we sure didn’t.  Clowns, balloon animals, circuses, magic tricks; they all illicit a snarl from the both of us. We’re jaded.

 

Back to the story. I say, “Dad, I would much rather you look like Vivien Leigh than Marcel Marceau.” And I point to the Vivien Leigh plate.  Vivian is dressed in a white gown from Gone with the Wind, very theatrical. 

Vivian Leigh in Gone with the Wind
Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind

 His face beams, “Really?” 

I say emphatically, “Oh, hell yeah.  I’ll take drag over clown any day.”  Then I turn to my sis and ask for her vote and she seconds Vivien Leigh with a head tilt.  My dad is so gitty, I can see a twinkle in his freshly Lasiked eyes.

 

He says, “Well you only live once, you might as well live happy.” 

 

I beam back, “So true dad, so true.  And, if dressing as Vivien Leigh is living happy, then do it.”  

 

I know this is what he wants to hear, and I want him to know we support him being happy. No matter what he wears.  (I need to find a greeting card that expresses this sentiment.)

 

His eyes are gleaming with anticipation and I can tell he’s deconstructing Vivien’s look.  He says, “Well, the dress is no problem.  I can find that at a costume shop.  And, it’s great that the neckline is high. The problem I’ll have is with the makeup.  I’d have to get some professional help perfecting the make-up.  It took me years to get my clown make-up down.”  My sister is munching away on her goat cheese pizza.

 

I look at my dad, “Where would you go to learn something like that?” We both shrug our shoulders.  I think MAC cosmetics would help him out and not judge.  I’ll have to call them.  Maybe this will be our next outing; I’ll have to build up to that.  That would be a big step.

 

After we finish our lunch, we head out to walk about the town.  We were checking out the area and my sister and I wanted to stop somewhere for a sweet treat. My sister, “Hey, can we stop at this chocolate shop for a treat?” My dad replies, “Oh, none for me.  I have to watch my figure if I’m going to pull off Vivien Leigh.”  So true, so true.

 

On a separate note, I’m thinking of signing up for e-diets and I plan to work out every day this week.

 I’m listening to http://thecure.muxtape.com/