The clown strolls down the sidewalk his balloon hanging behind him, half inflated, like a dog being taken for a walk. What slim string holds a balloon to its master? It is convention. To a balloon being half inflated is to hang dejected. Not up. Not down. Just there. Any dreams the balloon once had have long since popped. Where do balloons go when they sail away aimlessly skyward? To salvation? Or are they ultimately eaten by the sun? I cannot tell you. Because if you look too long at the balloon it means you’re taking your eyes off the clown. The balloon is a diversionary tactic employed by clowns throughout the known world. The oldest trick in the book. When you develop a tingling excitement regarding the advertisement “balloon tricks,” you have already been ensnared in the trap.
Balloons contain thoughts. Exclamations. Hopes and dreams. Each balloon, each balloon filled by a clown, is filled with thoughts, exclamations, hopes, and dreams. Every balloon a repository of such. Filled by a clown.
From where? From where?
These things encased in artificial skin. Divided from the real world by a colorful but transparent wall. Turning the outside world into a fun house mirror of horrors, every day and accute. Of one color. I have one viewpoint. The result of one vantage point. The result of a definite imprisonment at the awkward hands of a clown.
The clown sneaks up behind you and delivers a tentative touch. You feel deflated. There is laughter, not yours.