by Nancy Stohlman
I waited on the side of the highway. There were very few cars passing at this time in the evening and the ones that did switched to the far lane. I was afraid I might be sleeping in the bushes when a car came very slowly, headlights already on, and coasted to stop in front of me.
I jogged over not too fast not too slow. I saw the window being hand cranked down—the red nose barely visible in the darkening light. Do you have a lot of stuff? he asked.
Just this, I said, holding up my duffel.
Great he said. Squeeze in wherever you can.
The car smelled like rubber and greasepaint and I squeezed in between two giant sets of feet, a hairy man clown dressed in a diaper, and a mime clown. I could not see out the window at all.
We’re planning to drive through the night, the driver clown said, so we’ll take turns in the sleeping positions. Ever hour someone else has to be in the upside down position because Marty needs a break. And no tricks on the driver.
We puttered through the night that way. Just before dawn I was in one of the sitting up positions watching the way the night lightened until a seam of orange creased the horizon. A golden ball crowned and the morning sky turned rose.
Ah, sighed the clown sitting in my lap, smiling as the sun filled his eyes.
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