Tony says: My girlfriend is so sick. She hasn’t pooped in, like, four days.
I think about his girlfriend. It makes sense. I met her once, on a Tuesday—I know it was a Tuesday, because Tony brought her to the science museum, introduced us, and then, as they walked away, Tony said: “Who works on a Tuesday? What a loser!” She seemed impressed by that, so I didn’t feel bad when my brain filed her under “looks a little like a troll doll.”
Troll dolls, of course, have no orifices, and so cannot poop.
Tony says: Why do I have a sesame seed on my cheek? Where did that come from?!
From a hamburger bun, prepared by the museum café chefs, I think. That should be obvious. I saw you eat it. Tony says: I can only stay for part of the day—I have strep throat.
That’s ok, I say. You’re just a volunteer. Not a real employee in any way, I think. And I wonder if he should be working with children at all today. That would be a harsh way to learn about microbial life.
Tony says: Never try to anally rape someone.
You’re right! I say. But why, Tony, would you even bring that up?
Tony just thought he’d tell me, because, he says, I look like a rapist.
That’s a tough pill to swallow, but I’m proud that he didn’t reference my “Jew nose” again. I think Tony is growing as a person.
And then Tony takes the leg of a plush toy buffalo and pretends it’s his penis. He thrusts into the air above the anthropology play area, and says: You should have heard how many times I farted at school today.
Did you fart a lot, I ask. Tony shouts: Yeah!
Don’t fart now, Tony, I warn him.
Tony says: I was going to, but it went back inside me.
I give Tony a present, and I say: That’s what she said.
Tony laughs and laughs, and the fart comes back out. He bumps into the desk, toppling a display of sand dollars.
Tony! I say. You broke the one with the hole!
Tony looks sly, and Tony says: I break my girlfriend’s hole every day.
Troll dolls, I think. I don’t even know what that means, I say.
Tony says: Yes you do, you sick freak.
No, I say.
Tony is exasperated with me. Tony says: I pound her hole every day. Is that better?
I am honest with Tony when I say, no, it is not.
Tony says: You’re sick.
Tony’s mom asked my boss to let him come in on Thursdays, to give him something to do. My boss asks me sometimes how Tony’s doing. He’s a good kid, I say. Yeah, she says. He just gets…distracted.
Tony is distracted now. Tony, I ask, what’s up?
Tony says: I’m just super tired today.
Dot dot dot, I think.
Tony puffs out his chest and says: Long sex last night.
You’re lying, I say. Troll dolls, I think.
Tony says: No, see, I’m worried she might be pregnant! That’s a side effect of being pregnant!
Long sex? I ask, trying not to let the words touch anything on their way out of my mouth.
Tony says: No. Not pooping for so long.
I think there’s a better test, I tell him.
Tony says: Well, if she starts to grow a big fat belly, then I’ll know it’s a baby.
I guess so. I guess that’s a way to tell. But Tony’s education may be lacking in that area. Tony goes to a school with only five other students, because he got beat up at his old school. The new school is better, but not perfect.
Tony says: One kid at my school…
Which one, I ask.
Tony says: Not my girlfriend, and not the kid who takes a taxi every day, and not Jeff, and not the big fat guy. The other one. He thinks he’s so cool, because he carries a staff around.
A cane? I ask.
Tony says: No, a staff. Like a wizard. But he’s not cool at all.
And then Tony tries to reassemble the broken sand dollar. And then he sings a song with words I would never, ever repeat. Distracted.
Tony, I say. What are you going to do about you and your girlfriend?
Tony says: I’ll just stick my hand up her…thing, and yank the baby out.
Tony and I sit with this for a little while.
Tony says, sadly: Black people call condoms gloves.
Why didn’t you wear a glove, Tony? I ask.
Tony says: I don’t knooow!
He starts to collect his things, and adds: I don’t think she’s even pregnant.
You have to be sure about that, I say. What are you going to do, Tony?
Tony says: Well, I didn’t…we never…I didn’t have… sex with her.
Tony has stopped me in my tracks again. How can she be pregnant then?
Tony says: I don’t know! That’s just what she says. She’s worried because she can’t poop!
Tony and his girlfriend are a good pair. Two little dolls, keeping each other company.
See you next week, dude, I say.
Tony says: Whatever, pervert.
All rights reserved to John Gordon.