Clarence stared into his own reflection as he sat motionless in front of the dimly lit mirror. There was a sparkle present in both of his moist eyes. Yet he did not recognize himself. This aged man in bright clothes and fluffy collar, betrayed by a pale wrinkled brow and sad droopy eyes.
He fumbled about the counter until he found a tin of white pancake makeup. He slowly dipped his fingers into the oily tin, then brought his hand toward his face. As he meticulously rubbed the color unto his forehead and drawing it downward over the bridge of his nose he let his mind wander. This face, he thought, which used to be the youthful face of laughter, oh how it has abandoned him. Left him for dead.
As his thoughts raced through the years, the face he had witness was changing. Blossoming into the Clarence beloved by the under twelve crowd. This Clarence had none of the thoughts and harsh realities of his true alter ego. This Clarence was ageless.
The bushy sprouts of blue and red tufts was now fitted unto his netted scalp, as was the shiny oversized red ball on the tip of his nose. His mouth now accentuated with the biggest of smiles, so clearly outlined in dark blue liner. His natural frown completely obscured, his facial lines completely masked, his sour disposition hidden away, invisible to the naked eye, laying in wait.
The gleaming eyes still present as he watched himself closely, leaning inward to the mirror and back again. He was ready for the big transition. All that was needed was the fill up.
The fill up, as he called it, laid inches from his hand. And it too gleamed under the dim lights. Sparkled almost, from its narrow neck to its rotund body. A calming transparent shade of burnt orange that matched the diamonds drawn under his eyes.
The aging, cranky Clarence was now forgotten as he leveled the tin cup to the brim with this elixir of fermented corn. He stared deep into his own eyes as cup lifts to lips and the warm burn of confidence drizzled down his gullet. A star is born.
The two quick raps on his darkened doorway signaled it was time for the reborn Clarence to bring his special magic into the hearts and minds of the youthful attendees eagerly awaiting him.
"Got something new for us today Clarence?" asked the stage manager passing the doorway.
"Yes, quite." He replied as he stood over his ragged brown suitcase of props and costumes. "Something quite different today." Clarence added, but the manager was now gone.
The familiar caliope music could now be heard from the room as could the crowd engaged in shrills of excitement. Clearence took one last look in the mirror, adjusted his nose a bit, then rummaged into his suitcase and retrieved a bicycle horn which he attached to his bright yellow sage belt. Then a large bottle of seltzer which he also hooked over the edge of his belt. Then a .38 caliber revolver which he tucked low in back of his belt. He briefly paused at the doorway listening to the crowd before waddling toward the curtains.
"It's Showtime" he shouted to no one in particular.