Sean Rafferty |
From “How to Devil an Ostrich Egg and Other Funeral Tricks”
NOTES: August 1987. Sunset Motel, 3am. Went to King’s Dominion in VA for Jean Claude’s 31st birthday because it’s the one he went to as a kid and makes him feel happy again. Stop in H-ville, NC on the way back. Have a catering gig in the morning. Am in charge of mustard for wedding reception/am unprepared. Lost Chef’s mustard recipe/is too late to ask for without being embarrassing obviously unprepared. Will play off as ballsy move/ confidence in different recipe and he will have to deal because he has no other choice. It’s okay because am doing for small fee/mostly as a favor to an entrepreneurial friend. Jean Claude working event too, but as waiter so all is a joke. He “rescued” dumpster cat in water park food court and insists on taking it back in the car with us/is his car so we can’t prevent it. Has wanted pet for long time, says he thinks he finally has shit enough together. Stop at Brevard Supermarket before motel for mustard ingredients and blender/tupperware so we can make it in room/go straight to place in morning. Have to stop because both falling asleep. J.C. refuses to leave the cat alone in car because he thinks it will “freak out” and ruin upholstery/ refuses to stay in car with cat because he needs to “stretch legs” and “has good feeling” about the grocery store. Ask him what he’s gonna do, carry cat through store? Says that would work because cat is most comfortable in his arms. In store, I grab two bottles of wine, Olde E, jugs of vinegar, salt. Hummus display catches my eye, made by local lifeguards. Woman by hummus catches eye, tattoo of piranha upper spine, open back dress, thinks she’s smiling at me. Swear she keeps looking at me like she knows me. Heart leaks from toenails. Think of J.C. somewhere in store with cat. Woman goes away to breads. Stock boy by sugar sees bottles in cart, tells me can’t buy alcohol after midnight in Transylvania County. FUCK. Offer $20 to help out. Shows where deli keeps loose mustard seed/helps smuggle groceries to parking lot. Is dark/humid. Share cigarette, victorious. FUCK. Forgot shallots. Go back in, grab 30 shallots. Next to piranha girl in checkout line. More smiles. Ask how is night. Fine, she says. Asks if me and friend played show tonight. Ha-ha thinks am musician. Classic. Say depends, was show good? J.C. approaches without the cat in arms. Ask where is fucking cat? Says lost by cereal. Asks if can buy Count Chocula along with shallots. Has box and milk in his hands. Piranha girl asks J.C. if we played show tonight. Says, “uh, what?” Is useless like a tit on a bull. She has hiccups. Laughs at us, checks out, leaves. J.C. ia sad because he thinks he ruins everything. Say no, doesn’t ruin everything. Say we can buy cereal if he leaves the cat in the store. Say better than dumpster at King’s Dominion. Agrees. While we load rest of the groceries in the car, van parks nearby full of musicians that look little like us.