Title: Sport 14

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, April 1995, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 14: Autumn 1995

Chris Pigott

page 91

Chris Pigott

Fixing the leak
in my toilet is
man’s work, damn
straight, so I
watched my landlord
tighten this and
grease that. At
the end of it, about
five minutes, he stood up
and brushed his
hands on his hand-
me-down trousers
and said, almost
as good as a bought one.
nodded and looked
serious, because a
leak in the toilet is
serious business,
I think.

page 92

Honeymoon Poem

In the
evening she made
a rice dish and while
I ate I told her
about how it is in Valhalla, and
the odds on the
Mets in the night-
cap. Did you dream,
she said. Did you
dream? but I only
smiled and folded
the newspaper
inside out and
watched my toes
begin to
go blue
in the salt air.

page 93

The mass

In the end, a month or
maybe a year, it was only
me and Pete in the bar in
Mexico, drinking coke. Out the
door were a mass,
a million or two, all wanting
coke and beer and maybe some
takeout pizza. It was bad,
you could see
bones and pus and like
if one of them died they would
fry him right at this little
barbecue that was
erected in the square. A
million, two. That’s a
lot of people. Once a
day at noon, they’d storm
the place like the marines but
Pepe, the owner of the joint
and a guy who knew
the ropes, had bars and
tripwires and maybe some
warheads, I don’t know, and
all he had to do was punch
a switch. Sometimes he did,
sometimes he didn’t. One time
he got a whole bunch of them,
ten thousand at least, with a
smart shot into a fuel tank.
There was a feast, it went on
for days, and then they got right
back to trying to storm the
bar, short memories I
guess, like dogs. Pepe, he knew the
ropes. One time he let
in an American kid named
page 94 Stan, 18 years old, a
freshman from Minnesota whose
old man owned some oilfields
in Old Texas. Pete asked him,
what is pi and Stan told him,
right off the bat. Then I said,
what is the best fish, tell me, tell me, to
eat, and he couldn’t tell us,
crazy as his eyes were so
Pepe gave him a coke he
paid for with a crisp hundred
then threw him out, easy
profit. They ate him, just
past noon, drank his blood
as maybe there was some kind of
taste of coke in it. Stan of Minnesota
was no more, so we
forgot all about him. We drank some
coke. We watched the satellite
in case the picture came back,
then Pete told a story about
a girl he knew once who
lost her hand to the blade
of a hay baler. We thought
about it a while, then drank
some coke and watched some
of the mass dying. They really
wanted to get in. They could
taste it, on their lips, like
life itself. I smiled and waved.
What could I do? They were a
nice enough looking crowd, if
maybe a little thin, lots
of money, white. But what
could I do? Nothing, so good
Christian I smiled and waved,
just to let them know that
there were no hard feelings.