STORIES

by Antoine Bargel

Bird Poo on the Lawn Chair - A Rhapsody

On the cracked, white plastic by the cracked, white plastic table (dirty white, dirty white, streaks of greenish water white),

on the crisscrossed rattan on the marble terrace by the pool – which is lagoon blue with a tiny umbrella on top, thank you very much, and belongs to my parents not to me, as I don’t care about money. We were having a party, you know a small party

it was after my uncle’s funeral, her dress was black and right away I saw the smudge on her back as she leaned toward her plastic cup containing Grazia wine, and wondered if I should tell her

with just a few hundred friends by the cocktail colored pool, DJ blasting gangsta pop, booties shaking, big dicks swinging and me, the King of all Creation, snorting coke off my mother’s Italian lawn chairs

but she was visibly upset already.


But she was visibly upset already when she got there and I don’t think I’m to blame for that, not as much as she is for distracting me at such a sensitive time,

she met my gaze and it was clear that she’d been crying but recently, although I hadn’t known until that day that she was friends with my uncle, as to me

to the extent that I kept going along what I perceived as a continuous white line, stopping only when something sticky heavy warm got lodged deep inside my right nostril

she was Mrs. Patterson from 10th grade, a busty, jovial and too young to be true math teacher, who back then had inspired many of my pubescent activities on the bunk of my mezzanine desk, neglecting the homework by her assigned

and I froze.


And I froze when she now rested her hand on mine and whispered, “you want to take a look inside his trailer?” and I said yes, I would and

and I froze again when the doctor said the word “cryptococcus”, later as I was reclining on her exam table, although I ignored its meaning the word is quite scary, wouldn’t you agree and

afterward she told me to pull out before and I did and squirted all over the back of her black dress, as she bent panting over the Formica table top,

afterward I cried as she explained what meningitis is, and told me that I was lucky since with appropriate treatment, the death-rate is only about 10%, as opposed to 100% without

large, white, oyster-like expressions of delight.


And my mother cried also.