Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I stood in the corner of the backyard with Mr. Fun. Under a tent beside us there were folding tables burdened with hodgepodge holiday food: Sternoed steam trays of chicken, hamburgers and pulled pork; macaroni and cheese, cucumber salad, Nacho Cheese Doritos, potato chips; a crudité tray freshly divested of its saran so that some of its baby carrots and broccoli florets had spilled into the desolate crevasses between the dishes, never to be consumed.

Fun's default stance is disgusted sarcasm. I like hanging out with him.

Natuza sat on the steps beside Steve and picked at her meat. Everything seemed raw to her.

"It's cooked," Steve said. "That one's cooked all the way. Eat that one. Don't eat that one."

Don showed up and was winding his way through the crowd, saying hello, holding what appeared to be some kind of casserole and trying not to step on kids.

"Look at him, thinks he's all sexy," Fun mused.

Beyond the fence, a young boy stood at the top of a slide and peered blankly down upon us. There was an exchange of greetings: cheery hellos from our crowd reciprocated by a regal yet uncertain wave from the child, the salutation of an alien who has just crash-landed his craft and not yet gained his bearings.

Bunche said, "Should I moon the kid? Should I? Should I?"

We laughed.

"Someone tell me not to moon this kid!"

Finally Don reached us, half bent over from leaning down to peck the cheeks of prone women. Fun shook his hand.

"You think you're too good for us, don't you?"