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Death Of A Clown.

I had watched him act on television. He hadn,t starred in anything. Only adverts and a bit-part, a small role as an obedient servant in a twelve-part drama. He had a couple of lines, not many words - usually "yes" or "no", or "yes sir, that,s correct."
But to the people of the small town in Wales, where i lived, he will always be known as a celebrity, a clown. His stage acts consisted of terrible jokes and banging a wash-board on his bald, red head...
I was an immature boy - just out of short trousers - whose voice still had to break.
He had such a happy, confident manner. Always making sure every one saw his bulging wallet, when he drew out a five pound note, shaking it before he paid for something.
I can remember his beaming smile, his rosy cheeks, when he signed autographs outside the local butcher,s.
He liked to dress well: a suit without creases, usually a blue shirt - now and again white - and a proper, smooth tie, with a large knot. Clothes which tried to behave, not noticed...unlike him.

It was such a shock when it happened. It was in the local newspaper and on the Welsh news. He,d been arrested for shoplifting...
They,d shown him on television, scurrying into court, hiding his face from the camera...
What a difference when he reappeared, skulking outside the court. The desperate, defeated expression. His awkward, uncomfortable mumbling when a microphone was pushed into his face...

He,d promised me a ride in his new car, a Jaguar... But it never happened... Two weeks later they,d found him all alone, unshaven, sleeping a permanent sleep, him and his empty bottle of pills.
Cassiestar Cassiestar 56-60, M Apr 8, 2012

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