They were sitting on the torn vinyl covered seating in the corner of a university bar. The two of them had been sitting there since it opened at five, when they’d been the only ones in the place. Now, it was eight and other students were starting to arrive. They sat here most nights unless a trip was planned to go somewhere more lively, or to buy some dope, but they didn’t really need to go anywhere, because they could get in enough trouble where they were. Here, the evening could easily end in a fight, they could get laid, and the beer was cheap.
Most days they’d sleep and read until midday, and then travel in to the campus to steal lunch, maybe get stoned, and convince someone else to scrap the afternoon. They were halfway through their first year. They didn’t go to lectures or even out dancing. The drink was the thing. The warden of their halls of residence kind of liked them, since he was only a few years older but, seeing them this way night after night, spilling pints on the floor, and on themselves, had first made him laugh, then made him sad, and finally made him angry. They were beginning to drop him in the shit. He walked up to them as they sat whispering to each other. “Look what you’re doing to yourselves”, he said, and he asked, “What kind of clowns are you?” One of them replied, “I’m not really the kind that tells jokes”, and the other one said, “That wouldn’t be a clown that’d be more like a jester.”
“I’m the sort of clown that wears a bow tie that spins around, and throws buckets of confetti into the crowd. He’s the kind of clown that wears a plastic flower in his buttonhole that squirts water and drives a funny car that falls apart. Both of us wear those big shoes.”
For Steg & Reesy, with love and squalor.