Every time Gilbert put on the make up the voice of his dead father reverberated through him. He could never do this when his father was alive but since he died two years ago in a car accident, Gilbert put the make up on almost every night and practiced his routines in front of his stuffed animals and his dead mother's doll collection. As he applied his make up he saw his first clown at the fair when he was four and wanted nothing more than to be a clown himself but it was something his father, a southern Baptist preacher would never allow. He crept into his parents room that Saturday morning after the fair and finding his mother's make up. He felt tremendous joy as he applied it to his face, trying his best to copy what he saw the day before at the fair with white powder, blue eye shadow in big circles around his eyes and red lipstick. Gilbert created the big exaggerated smile with his mother's lipstick and it made him look so happy. He created a new face that hid the misery of his young life behind a face that was all about joy and laughter.
“Make up is for whores!” his father yelled at him as a strong backhanded slap sent his four year old body sprawling. “Is that what you are boy? You a Jezebel whore? You gonna give yourself to every man that comes along with a dick and some money?” His father grabbed him by the throat as his mother watched meekly from the corner of the living room careful not to make eye contact with her husband. The corner of any room was the place his mother retreated whenever his father turned violent on her or the kids.