I don’t have many fears. I like flying, don’t mind heights, have a healthy aversion to spiders and snakes, but I wouldn’t freak out if I saw one. I do have two fears, though (apart from the humanistic fear of losing my kids) – the fear of being buried alive and Coulrophobia. The fear of clowns.
I don’t think it’s a “phobia” as such and it’s not something that infects my everyday. I don’t run screaming from the building if I see a clown. But when I see one, my throat dives into my stomach and I feel nauseous. I don’t remember when my fear of clowns started. It may have coloured my preteen sensibilities (do preteens have sensibilities? Note to research) with too many viewings of Poltergeist, The Attic (yes, I’m old) or It. It may have been a Year 10 Theatre Circus module where we were assessed on our ability to be clowns, and I lost a little part of myself. In my university days I wrote many short stories featuring clowns (hellish ones) in a vain attempt to decreepify the little f*ckers.
Clowns. Motherf*cking clowns.
When I lived in Vancouver in 1995, I became friends with some lovely ladies. Unbeknownst to me, one of these “ladies” was obsessed with clowns. I don’t mean she had tucked the odd poignant painting of a Pierrot on a well-chosen wall, I mean the woman was obsessed with clowns. We were out late one night and I crashed at her apartment in Burnaby. I walked in, quite pissed, thank you for asking, and was confronted by clowns. Everywhere. There were clowns crammed into and onto every possible furnishing and surface in the place. Clown clocks, clown cookie jars, clown bedspreads, everything was clownish. If I hadn’t been so drunk I probably would have laughed (maniacally) at the excessiveness of it, instead I vomited. Clown OD? Bellinis? Who knows.
The “lady” made up my bed on her fold-down couch and gave me a pillow with, you guessed it, a clown slip. Who does this? I have a massive Jensen Ackles celebrity crush, but I don’t have a wall-clock that titters Jensen-o’clock at dawn (come to think of it, this wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing).
Ahem, back to the story.
This “lady” turned all the lights off and went to bed. I was left in a living room with my face lying on a f*cking clown, a clown clock tick-tock-ticking every second, the awareness of 3 huge clown paintings peering at me in the dark, their soulless, dumb-arse evil happy faces leering and silent as I tried to ignore their gaze even though I couldn’t see them. “This is so dumb”, I thought. There’s nothing to FEAR here. They are just paintings. A clock, albeit an annoying clock, but just a clock. A drawing etched on cotton to protect pillows from drunk transients. I can’t even see the paintings. Wait. Have they moved? Evil mind tricks. Paranoia. F*cking clowns.
I was freaked out. I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep. I dozed in the early morning and promptly dreamed that a clown was crouching silently (expectantly) on the end of my bed.
I was relieved when dawn broke. I felt stupid. Creeped out. A fear like this is illogical as it’s not based on anything concrete. I’ve never had a clown attack me, nothing. But there are no clowns in my house. I won’t allow them, just as I won’t allow Bratz dolls (I’m actually not sure that there is a difference). But you can bet your a*se that I’ll be leveraging that coulrophobia for my great australian novel (if it ever gets written).
And you can bet your a*se I didn’t go partying with that “lady” again.
Linking up with My Mummy Daze for Stories of Me and With Some Grace for FYBF.