In 1958 I met a clown in the muddy backyard of his trailer. I was very very young when this happened, barely born. Some would say that I am making it all up, that I can’t possibly remember. But I remember the clown, I do! He had two yellow roses in one hand. Not the kind you would want on your kitchen table though––too grey to be considered yellow, really. His face was painted white, with a big black mouth and thick eyebrows. He offered me his cigarette, but I told him no. Silly little man, I’m barely born, I can’t start smoking now.
He frowned, in that big exaggerated way, and started telling me little stories instead. He called them vanishing acts. They were meant to make me understand––understand what it feels like to disappear.