It was the summer of 1982.
I didn't know it at the time, but this trip to the circus with my two sisters, stepmother and dad would be one of the last times the five of us would do something together. Within a year, my sister would move out, my father would kill himself, and I'd have so many new problems to deal with that the circus would be long forgotten. In fact, my only memory of the occasion is of waiting in line to buy tickets.
I was eleven years old.
"Daddy, can we sit in front? I can't see when we sit way up high."
"We don't need to sit down in front" he said with a hint of frustration in his voice. "Your eyes are fine. Your mom fed you full of lies."
I wanted to tell him... no! Really! I can't see the ringmaster. I can't see the animals. I can't see the clowns. Instead, I fought to chase down the giant lump in my throat.
I knew he was wrong.
He knew he was wrong.
What could I say?
I said nothing.
I didn't like clowns anyway.
I still don't.