The Clown Initiation

Years ago I dreamed a friend of a friend, whom I didn’t know well, invited me to an event at a coliseum. I wasn’t sure what the event was but I went along reluctantly. When I arrived, I saw that everyone was dressed like clowns. But these clowns were welcoming, and I was optimistic about the kind vibes and the potential for a fun evening. Things changed at dusk. The friend who brought me there, who had been so kind and accommodating, had turned on me. Kids in clown makeup sprayed me with concessions. Some sprayed Faygo.

They held me down and painted my face like a clown.

-Jamie, 41, Brooklyn | Art by Kara