When she kissed me goodnight she left smudges of white paint on my cheeks. When I tried to ask her a question she was inside a box—a wall left, right, above, oh my! When I came home from school she was painting pink eyebrows on her forehead. When I tried to hug her she squirted me with a rubber flower or knocked herself unconscious with a rubber sledgehammer or blew confetti out of a trumpet.
It’s because her parents never let her see live music when she was growing up, my father explained. It was against their religion or something. She vowed to become a clown if they didn’t let her see Elvis when he came through town back in ‘76.
My mother nodded, miming a tear sliding down her cheek with her gloved hand.
Also by Nancy Stohlman in Flash Boulevard: