Roland Goity

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Animals everywhere. Know what I’m saying?

Man, it’s a freakin’ zoo.

Looka there, Cerberus over in the parking lot, slappin’ hands, walkin’ ’round like he top dog. Thinks he so hip, po’ bastard. Cain’t see hisself for the stupid ass he really is.

Damn right. The turkey don’t squawk so loud with that grouse, his old lady, badgerin’ his ass all the time. Think he’s a tiger, what he is a pussy.


That Johnny boy and his posse shufflin’ cards, sippin’ alligator piss at the sidewalk cafe?

Most definitely.

Guess they playin’ the usual… Bacca… bacca… whatever.

Rat. Baccarat. Prolly should be playing Go Fish the way they muttonhead brains sputter in circles.

Bunch a loons.

I see Casey over there. He sure as hell ain’t got no beaucoup bucks to wager. ‘Less he been swimming with the loan sharks again.

How come?

Blew that nest egg he done squirreled away. Bettin’ on cricket or some shit. Online site in the French Riviera somewhere. Frogs’ll take bets on any damn thang iffin you pony up the dough.


Sheeeat! See that? That Greyhound nearly laid waste to them jaywalkers. Where’s a pig at when ya need one?! Driver must be high on monkey juice. Or maybe Red Bulls.

Most definitely cain’t steer.

Looka there, that dude almost run down is hurling profanities. See ‘im? The guy snakin’ between the heifer and dat kid on the stingray there. He’s discombobulated. He’s havin’ a total cow.

You blame him? Seems he pulled a calf or a hammy tryin’ to get out the way.

Look what’s coming now, back a that flatbed—a Caterpillar. Got the pavement shakin’ like crazy. That Rabbit over there already have its windshield spider-webbed?

Think so.

Just askin’ ’cause I’ll hawk down the driver and cock him one if tries to weasel his ass out.

You? You chicken shit.

Nah, I’m scrappy, plus I can duck a punch. Can’t bear getting hit, I admit that.

Whatever… By the way, how’s that fox of yours? How she puttin’ up wit you being outta work ‘n shit?

Damn! Stop dogging me. This unemployment thang is the 800-pound gorilla on my back.

So, she diggin’ her role in the rat race?

For now. Kitty says the head nurse is pretty cool. But hanging around the sick an’ dyin’ ain’ no whale of a good time. Always dealin’ wit some shit: laryngitis, hepatitis, colitis. Other day some strange-looking dude come in the clinic with legs the size of tree trunks and skin folds above the ankles size of beehives. That, bro, was elephantiasis.

Wow, nasty!

Uh-huh. Good thing my medical needs can be handled old-school. And if my olfactory senses are not mistaken—sniff, sniff—I do believe I detect a strangely sublime malodor…


C’mon, give it up. Hundred clams says you’ve got some skunk in yo’ asshole pocket.

Damn! You can smell that? Hate to disappoint, dude, it’s just a roach I’m saving for later.

Hog it for yourself, you sagacious cat. Even my dumb ass know enough not to leech the last of skunk…Speaking of which, remember the dealer who was Moose’s roomie, was a high school football zebra, had half the fuckin’ league stoned by season’s end?

Yeah, I remember.

Catch this, he moved on to bigger and harder things, he became a goddamn mule. Moved horse—heroin, you know—back and forth across the border. Jackass. Done got busted through evidence ratted out by his brother-in-law, Don, key evidence. Once they got him in the slammer he sang like a canary. Fuckin’ stool pigeon told ’em every damn thang.

I hear you. Didn’t he and Carlos run with the same pack?


What’s he up to these days?

Carlos? He’s my pro-bono PC dude—tech-support gratis. Which mean no fucking fee. He say he needs the experience and I’m his guinea pig. Carlos, that ole bird-dogger, done got himself a new chick. Name of Robin—tall, raven hair. Pretty, but you can make out crow’s feet below her eyes when she forgets to cake on the makeup. Carlos is cool but he talks too much. Keeps parroting what his broad chirps in his ear. She do this, she do that.

Robin, huh? She swallow?

I ain’t asked him that.

Next time, do.

Right. I’ll adroitly inquire next time he 86’s a bug in my computer. Last time was a problem with my mouse. Somethin’ wrong with its seal. Like I said, Carlos is crafty ferreting around the computer. Hope he ain’t a government mole on the side or I’ll have a hard time worming my way out of all that drunken downloading. Porn is what I’m talkin’.

No doubt… Hey, you hear that? Hoots and hollers from the ballfield. That one wit all dat crabgrass.

It’s Little League season, man.

Yeah. Figoni’s coaching my kid. Yours?


So they’re teammates. Cool…

I guess. Watched the team the other day against the Jaguars, the kids swinging bats and shaggin’ flies. Some exchange-student slugger from Copenhagen who Jag fans called the “Great Dane,” really belted one in the ninth. My kid—got thick glasses, he’s no eagle-eye—dove for it like some kind of retard. Missed it by a mile, and the winning run came in. Poor kid walked off the field head down, the goat of the freakin’ game. I put my arm around him and told him keep his chin up, we’d soon be home and open up a box of otter pops. I cain’t let him be no quitter. Cain’t let that game be his swan song.

The coaches ain’t exactly cuckoo for my youngest, either, the little shrimp. His older brother’s more athletic, though. More like me. Good swimmer—the butterfly is his special. Plus he’s so good at volleyball that Notre Dame recruitin’ him. Two years from now he could be the Fighting Irish setter.

Whoa, sorry to change the subject, but is that Winslow’s sister across the street coming out the pharmacy?

The Black Widow, you mean? Sure is. She already lost two husbands to “natural causes.”

Hey babe, over here. Hey Winslow’s sister! What’s her name again?

Bro, she’s way out of earshot, and now…long gone.

Remember when she worked at the strip club, did that “dance” with the mink.

She still do.

Man, I’d die a slow, painful death for a chance to bang that beaver. You know if she’s still doin’ that clean-and-refreshin’, shaved porpoise-mouth deal?

Not these days, dude. She’s au natural. Back to the bearded clam.

Still, I like what she do. Memories, man. Make my eyes misty…

Crocodile tears is all they is. Now, excuse me while I head ova dere so’s I can drain the lizard. All that java, man…

Don’t fugget a give dat rattlesnake a shake.

Roland Goity has published fiction in the Bryant Literary Review and the Talking River Review. He is currently editing a literary anthology on rock music and culture

This story is included in issue #40: Animals. Copyright © 2007 by Fiction International. Authors of individual works retain copyright, with the restriction that subsequent publication of any text be accompanied by notice of prior publication in Fiction International. Please contact the editor for reprinting information.

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