alternately tries on his wig and his vintage Brooklyn Dodgers baseball cap. Chemotherapy has
wasted what handsomeness he possessed: his scalp is a bristly scrub; his eyes are set in
caverns; his tongue cannot relieve his lips' raw chap. From time to time
his hands, like an old man's, tremble. At twenty-three, he imagines death as
an unrelenting scavenger, perched upon his clavicle, much like a crow. He has even developed a flinch to
shrug the bird off—to no avail. Tonight, however, is Saturday night. Tonight is all that
matters. Tonight The Golden Spur (his haunt) awaits.
Who will it
be, he asks himself.
Mikey plants a practice kiss on his wrist, eyes shut politely... then views himself, post-smooch, in the closet's full-length mirror.
Definitely not the rug.
Snatching it off, he replaces it with the cap.
Behold, the reincarnation of Peewee Reese.
He cocks the bill at a rakish angle.
Yoiks, one flap of those Dumbo ears, I'm airborne.
He makes a readjustment, tucking them in.
Wonder if mustachios might be an option?
Twisting make-believe ends, he hazards a smile—which makes his ears pop back out.
Sense of humor souring, death curls its talons.
Bambi, then. So tom-tom tight, her buns permit no pinching.
Mikey checks his wallet.
Damn; no singles. Have to break this ten spot, multiply the fun.
He wiggles his spindly fingers.
I deputize you all—a posse of penises.
His outstretched hands, in rebellion, start to shake. Stuffing them into his pockets, he waits out the tremor... suffers its severity... weathers its pain... then rallies what remains of his lust for life.