Tuesday, May 15, 2007
the pinata ascended haltingly up the backyard cable, a blue donkey rotating slowly in the air. blindfolded, vlad knelt below it like a knight before battle, his head bowed. the russian had already burnt his hand on the grill, and held the wooden pole with some difficulty.
as he sprang to action, i saw her coming toward me, carrying a bottle of chilled vodka. "we chase it with a pickled tomato", she said. "you hold it to your mouth and squeeze."
vlad had been flailing at the air for some time now, and the little donkey seemed to be smiling at him. its orbit becoming more and more eccentric as the pole sliced through the air, coming dangerously close to the laughter around him.
"be my designated driver", he said as she led him inside and up the stairs. the darkened room began to turn slowly as he lay beside her on the futon. pouring a shot over her, he licked the vodka off her stomach and squeezed the tomato chaser into his mouth. "you are what you eat," she said.
the party had moved indoors now, their voices rising from downstairs and breaking free of gravity. he was behind her now, their rhythm merging into the blackness. time sped up, and they fell spent onto the covers.
in the morning the russians were gone, the broken pinata stuffed in the trash can. he staggered into the kitchen and pulled a carton of orange juice from the fridge. tilting back his head to take a swig, he saw a mark on the ceiling, a sneaker print. closing his eyes, he saw vlad cartwheel into the night.