Clowning

One evening, when Sugar was alone in the courtyard kitchen, Miracle’s spirit dropped by. It had been so long since they’d talked! Miracle had expected that Sugar would have joined her by now; she hadn’t known of Sugar’s plans to see this legacy through until the end.

Through the generations, their friendship meter had run out of green, but once they began to talk, both of them lit up with that special joy we feel when talking with our first best friend.

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“Having a nonphysical form is surprisingly inspiring!”

Sugar, for all her accomplishment, self-assertion, and intelligence, is a reserved Sim. She and Miracle have always shared a friendship made more remarkable by the absence of many close friends in Sugar’s life. Perhaps it is because Sugar was just a child when they became best friends, or perhaps it is because there is no one else in this Oasis Springs (though there is on another hard drive somewhere 😉 ) who understands, loves, and appreciates Sugar the way Miracle does.

I suppose when one is unique, not fitting into any mold but that crafted through one’s own creative self-expression, it can be hard to find acceptance and understanding. Miracle has understood Sugar from the first time she met her as a child, and she has always accepted her unique way of being.

“What are you working on now?” Miracle asked. She always was the one to help Sugar choose her next aspiration.

“It’s the party one,” Sugar said. “It’s kind of silly, but there aren’t many aspirations left for me to choose. Most everyone I know has been reaped by now, so only few people show up on the guest list. The parties consist of family and the park boys.”

Because they are, primarily, family parties, Sugar has taken to consulting with onezero before throwing them.

Sugar and onezero have an interesting friendship. Currently, each is the other’s favorite person, and they both roll whims to be friendly or funny with the other. Yet they are wary of each other. For Sugar, it is very hard to tolerate harsh words, and she remembers how onez and Tamarind would sometimes yell at each other. Even now, onez will sometimes yell at Alder or Nathanael.

And onezero feels bored by Sugar’s interest in music. Sugar, whose passion for music is interwoven with her passion for life, loves to talk about piano concertos, new and interesting bands, and favorite songs. These topics are inexplicably tedious for onez, and whenever they converse, she always tries to stay one step ahead of the conversation to keep it from straying into musical territory.

At the same time, I can see that onezero gets something she needs from her friendship with her aunt Sugar, for brightness, self-assuredness, and joy, like she had as a child, have returned to her face.

“I think I’ll throw a party tomorrow, onez. What shall it be?”

“How about a costume party?” onezero suggested. “That way, we can each come as we truly are.”

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“Are you feeling like we don’t see who each other truly is, onezero?”

So the next afternoon, Sugar whipped out her phone, scheduled an Incognito Costume Party, and invited her family members, Jamie, Clarence, and the last park boy left from onez’s generation.

“Dress as your true self!” she told everyone.

Genuinely happy Nathanael dressed as a genuinely happy clown.

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“This just feels so right!”

Sugar took the opposite approach, dressing like sad clown, but with her natural smile, the sad clown face looked more like a smirk than a frown.

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“I really just wanted to wear yellow and red!”

Alder, however, showed how to pull off the look of the Tragic Clown. Just don’t smile, and let the weight of the world drag you down.

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“So what, I’m tragic. Wanna make something of it?”

For onezero, the clown face painted in soft and delicate lines allowed her to reveal this new radiant joy she’s discovering.

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“Now this, this is me!”

After changing into her costume, she took a moment to look in her inventory. Every party deserves a serving of a potion–isn’t that what we’re discovering? And, though she had many days left before aging up, she enjoyed drinking down the cup of youth potion that I had forgotten to move for safe-keeping into the inventory of the only member of the household who’s not a glutton, Alder.

Red, when looking for true self-expression, decided to go a different route. She’s been planning a science fiction novel, so the astronaut costume felt more fitting.

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“What if the main character found that aging had stopped when she reached deep space…”

“This is a good party for loners, don’t you think, Alder?” Nathanael asked his loner son.

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“It really feels like a party when we don’t have to meet anybody new!”

Clarence was the only guest who could make it, and when he arrived, Redbud had someone she could talk space with.

“What are you writing now?” Clarence asked.

“It’s a ‘Lost in Space’ thing,” she said. “I’m looking at the themes of alienation in a post-modern world.”

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“Where do you come up with your ideas, Red?”

Felicia Dowd, the caterer, found that her work load was light, for Sugar made the hamburger cake, the sugar-free carob cake, and a few other dishes as well. So Felicia got a drink and enjoyed conversation and listening to music with the family and sole guest.

I had left Nathanael’s youth potion in his inventory, for he had only four days left before becoming an elder. Though drinking of a potion may just be what gluttons do, I can’t help but notice how joyful they seem as they drink, and watch each other drink, this elixer. They may be gluttons following their coding, but with their zest for life, it’s a coding that brings a sense of gratitude, wonder, and joy. When life is this sweet, let’s prolong it!

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“Leaves a good after-taste, doesn’t it, Nathanael?”

“Where’s your clown suit?” Alder asked Clarence. “Didn’t you hear it was a Clown Incognito Party?”

“I got the message,” Clarence said. “I just had an intuition that the space suit might be more the thing.”

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“Alder. Are you implying something? Don’t even go there.”

“Do you want to hear more about the plot of my new novel?” Red asked Clarence. “So, this young woman heads on a space mission–solo! And somehow her spaceship gets pulled into a wormhole which acts something like a twist in the space-time continuum. When she emerges, she is somewhere else. I mean, completely elsewhere and elsewhen! What happens to the sense of self when all point of reference is removed? That’s what I’m exploring.”

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“It’s brilliant!”

Clarence felt a sense of awe hearing Red talk like that. What deep thoughts! And what did one say back? He considered a few lines, “Yeah, I sort of lost myself the other day when I was looking for a pair of socks in my underwear drawer.” “Where do you come up with plots like that?” “That must be something–devoid of all reference.”

Eventually, he decided to remain silent, and the two sat pondering her plot together.

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“How can I compete with an imagination like that?”

Feeling playful, onezero reached in and pulled out the last potion left in her inventory, a glass of liquid, golden, sparkling fun!

“Isn’t your fun meter already full?” Nathanael asked her, with a twinkle in his eye.

“Sure!” she replied. “And too much of a good thing is just funny!”

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“You do have a style all your own, onezero.”

Watching Nathanael and onezero, you’d think that dressing up like clowns, drinking potions, listening to music, eating sugar-free cake and chatting with family was simply the most fun a person could have.

And maybe it is!

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“We should do this every week! Don’t you think so, Alder?”

As the party was winding up, Felicia realized her catering duties were over. Sugar had told her to make herself at home, so she took advantage of the workout equipment.

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A caterer who loves to work out…

“I see you really know your way around a gym!” Sugar said when they ran into each other upstairs. “I like to work out myself.”

“So I’ve heard,” said Felicia. “You’re a body builder, right? I’m not one officially, myself. I just like to lift a few stacks now and then when I get a chance.”

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“What do you find works best for you? Epic workout or hill challenge?”

“Not a bad night, huh, onezero?” Nathanael asked when the party was over the one guest went home.

“It was just the thing,” onezero replied. “A little self-expression, right, nephew?”

“I’m not really your nephew,” Nathanael said. “And by now, I’m a whole lifestage older than you!”

“Age is not a matter of lifebar, dear nevvy,” onezero replied. “It’s something much more mysterious than that.”

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“Age and youth meld into one when you feel the universe dance inside you.”