The Most Interesting Person in the World

A Day Without Clowning is like a Day Without Sun

Posted on: October 7, 2014

October 1

Today I forced myself not to clown, as I have reading for school. I was disappointed. In fact, I’m surprised at how disappointed I was, given what I wrote in Day 3. When walking from one platform to another, I slipped my nose on just to savour a few moments of it. I saw a film crew and went with my clown mentality, asking them what they were doing. A big shift from my usual instinct to let people work without being interrupted.

I want to interact with people. I am surrounded by all this humanity, stimulus, and amusing situations, and here I must pretend it doesn’t exist! A woman leaned against the glass where I sat, and it looked like her butt was smushed up next to my book. A man caught up in sleep or headphones lay his bag out where I asked to sit, which another guy noticed and was amused. Instead of playing with any of this, I kept to my book, which was increasingly hard to read as the car lurched, announcements were made, I transferred several times, etc.

Something I’m noticing in my life is that I am taking my lightness a little more seriously. Some of my friends told me that thinking of me reminds them to lighten up, and some have even asked me to text them one-liners or give them tips on how to be more playful. I was on the phone with one friend last night who was stressed and wanted to hang up and get back to working. I offered one joke before we did. She laughed and, to my surprise, was really appreciative for it.

Suddenly, things I have heard and conversations I’m having are all coming together…

  • Patch said he has seen patients who told him, “If I walk down the street one more time and not a single person looks at me, I’ll kill myself.” He’s heard this from more than one person. You don’t know the impact every smile has on someone’s life.
  • At check-in, my teacher said that getting around is the worst part of living in Toronto. He’s not the only person who feels that way. Transportation is actually one of the biggest issues in this month’s mayoral race.
  • When I told my boyfriend about this project, he said I should find out which stations people are most often committing suicide, and clown there. I’d forgotten that this is one of the huge problems for the TTC: people regularly jump in front of a train to commit suicide. And this is the reason for many of the delays.
  • My friend reported being late for something because a station had flooded. When the announcement was made, it was the first time people actually spoke to each other. She was grateful for the experience, wishing people talked to each other more often.
  • My classmate is a professional party clown. Often she will find herself going to stores and running other errands still in clown gear. She told me one story of buying a serious card for a friend at a drug store. One customer appreciated the situation and followed her around. Later, as she moved through the check-out line, their conversation picked up energy and she had everybody in stitches.
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