Why So Serious?

Thank you Paulie, for letting me use this picture

So, I just came across a blog looking for submissions for an upcoming post they’re doing. The topic being Childhood Dreams. I plan to submit the story of my recurring nightmare there, but for you guys I figured I’d go a step further and give you a bit of background. After all, it has been a while since I’ve given one of those ‘Most Embarrassing Things That I’m Willing To Publicly Admit’ kinda stories.

I don’t remember how old I was, but if memory serves me right this was just before my sister was born, so we’ll say I was 7/8ish. On our way back from visiting with a friend of the family we passed by a carnival that I’m pretty sure wasn’t there when we drove by the park earlier that day. Like any good only-child would do, I guilted my parents into taking me. And they happily did so. Even though, as I recall, we left the friends house in an attempt to beat a storm that was heading our way.

We made it to the ticket counter just in time to hear the crack of the thunderous clouds overhead. They sold us tickets and explained that they would have to close one the rain started. Which, as you can probably guess, meant absolutely nothing to me. I was at the carnival with tickets in hand, the world was mine (mwahahaha)! Walking away from the ticket counter, the first few raindrops fell. We didn’t even make it to a ride before we started to get ushered out. And on the way out do you know what we saw?

Thank you Lydia, for letting me use this picture

You guessed it (probably), a clown! Blowing balloons. I asked for one as a consolation prize, my parents obliged, and the clown made quick work of balloon. The rain started to pick up, and so did our pace, as we made our way back towards the car. My Dad told me to “watch the balloon”, I’m assuming that he was trying to tell me to cover it from the rain. It didn’t last long enough for me to ask. As he told me to watch it I did just that, I looked at it… Just in time to watch it pop, and scare the daylights out of me.

Using my critical thinking skills, I almost immediately determine the cause and inform my parents of the newly discovered fact that “I hate clowns!!!” Not at all an exaggeration. I said that. Loudly. And I meant it. My Mom tried to explain but there was no reasoning with me at this point. In my mind that clown planned this, rain and all.

Soon after this I had tiptoed my way downstairs one random night and caught a couple minutes of Killer Klowns From Outer Space, which managed to solidify in my mind that clowns were in fact evil, and turned my hatred for clowns into fear. And that’s where the dreams started.

The one recurring dream that comes to mind when I think back to my childhood is one of me at a carnival. There’s a bunch of above-ground pools lined up like the tires in a football speed drill. And I’m running across the top of them, while being chased by a clown. Occasionally I would slip, and the pool surface would act like a trampoline and bounce me back upright.

Other times I’d fall in and drown myself awake. The creepiest part, now that I think about it, is that as long as I was running I never actually saw the clown that was chasing me. You know that feeling that you had, whenever you were being chased, of fingertips inching their way closer to the back of your neck? That’s the feeling that I had, and I identified those fingers as clown fingers. I didn’t have to turn around to confirm it, that would just slow me down. And whenever I fell into the pool I would see him standing overhead, daring me to reach for the side.

Thank you B, for letting me use this picture

Rarely would I ever actually make it to the other side of the pool-pile. And on the other side is where “it” would turn into “them”. The scene around us would go from a carnival in the daytime to a poorly lit street, at night, with an odd amount of fire escapes. And the clowns themselves turned into The Baseball Furies and The Hi-Hats, from The Warriors (I freaking kid you not).

This is where I get mine… Er… This is where I got* mine. If I was lucky enough to make it to this part of the nightmare it was as if my brain decided to reward me by gifting me a baseball bat and a less scary opponent whom I had previously seen get whooped on the big screen. At that point, I came out to play (if you don’t get that reference stop reading and unfollow my blog). I took that bat, swung for the fences, and even did a bit of showboating for the non-existent audience.

Eventually, I started making it across the pool-tops more often, and having that reoccurring dream less often. And over time, both my fear and hatred for clowns subsided.

~

Until next time, don’t be so serious.

Thank you Ang, for letting me use this amazing photo

P.S. This is worth talking about. Four out of the five artists that I reached out to for a picture responded… And all four of them said yes! I cannot tell you how extremely rare that is… Well… Actually… I guess I can… For as long as I have run this blog I have been reaching out to artists for complementary photos. Usually, I’m lucky if I hear back from a quarter of the ones that I ask. And there’s usually one or two that are merely responding to give a polite “thanks, but no thanks”. Ok, I’m about to start rambling. Let me just end this with Ang, B, Lydia, and Paulie, I can’t describe how excited I was to use your pictures for this post. Hopefully I did them justice.

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