Sad Clown

If I stay put we will soon be making love and there will be no distance between us and nothing to fear.

by Mo Rogoff

Home to empty house, feed hungry self, I’m still empty, retreat to couch, close eyes. By 8:30, I surrender, lock up for the night, and go to bed.
At 10PM I wake in fear, positive a large man has broken in and is sitting next to me on the side of the bed. Staring at me as I sleep. I wake myself by talking out loud, trying to find the right stance and tone of voice to persuade the intruder to go.
I use the word Please, trying to reason.
“Go home, please.”
I make out the vague outlines of his appearance.
Hair bushing out at the sides. Big nose, exaggerated features, funny clothes ~ baggy striped pants, suspenders, funky tee shirt. Big red lips. Even the funny shoes.
Who is a sad clown?
Dresses up, puts on happy face, sad behind mask.
Dearly Beloved? (my ex)
Looks exactly like him. Has his aura, attitude. Feel afraid when he comes close. When I say GO HOME do I mean GO AWAY or COME HERE? My own mixed message. Even I don’t know what I mean. I’m terrified, mouthing words I think are intended to make him go away. LEAVE. (I say all this out loud, alone in the room in a waking dream.)
His nearness is compelling. His PRESENCE. My way out is blocked but do I have to go anywhere? If I stay put we will soon be making love and there will be no distance between us and nothing to fear.
Sharon said, “It’s only a year. It could be this was the year in your marriage when you lived apart. A moment in the history of it, to step outside the boundaries.”
It has been EXPANSIVE to move past old boundaries.
I was even having fun.
Is that CLOWNY?
Is there some other character I could play?
One who is neither SAD nor CLOWNY.
The cat is facing me on the bed, trying to decipher the meaning of GO HOME, COME HERE, GO AWAY.
I should be more CAT-LIKE: feline, self-reliant, purrs when content, settles the body, stretches, eats when hungry, rests when tired, sleeps as much as she wants, minds her own business, gets into fights then heals her own wounds.


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