It is a National Holiday

Part Ones

He is a fish and he is trying to swim in the street and there is water in the street. He is a fish and he is captured and he is dried out. He walks like he doesn’t have that many bones in his legs, Betty says.

Part Twos

Champagne costs $11.95 at the corner store. The hospital car is white and red and the hospital car has a loud siren and the siren is on.

My mother gives me $15 and I go to the store and I tell Betty that I want two dozen eggs and three loafs of bread because my mother is going to make French toast. My younger brother, Sammy, has throat cancer and the doctor says he is going to die. Does he like French toast, Dr. Holland asks my mother. He loves French toast, my mother says. We are out of eggs, Betty says.

The woman in the street is a hooker and she has sex with men and some of the men have cars and some of the men wear suits and some of the men look like they work in offices downtown. They have names like Bob and Dave and Mike and Sean. Bob and Dave and Mike and Sean give the woman $25 and she makes them feel really good. I have $25 but I stay in my room and stare at the wall. I have a picture of Madonna on my wall.

The nurse is thin and pale and her veins stick out of her arm and she sticks needles into Sammy. You are going to die, the nurse says but she doesn’t look at Sammy. You have bad skin, Dr. Holland says to Sammy. A little while ago, Sammy was a really good basketball player. Now, he sits in bed and vomits and looks really sick like he is death.

Part Threes

Sammy is playing basketball and then Sammy is turning white and then Sammy collapses on the basketball court and he is taken to the school nurse and his nose is bleeding. He has cancer, the school nurse says. Sammy is ten and he is tall. Soon, he is white like people shouldn't be white and he loses all his skin and he loses all his hair and he looks like a monster.

Oh my, the nurse says.

The red and white truck comes to the school and the truck takes Sammy to the hospital and the nurse at the hospital sticks needles into his arm. Sammy has round eyes and he is sweating and he is looking very bad. The nurse was correct, the doctor says later, you are going to die.

Everyone comes to the funeral and Sammy looks very white when he is dead. The mother cries and says Sammy was soon to be eleven. She is a silly woman. A girl in a blue and white dress plays the guitar and sings a folk song. It isn’t really funny that the boy is dead but it is pretty funny that the girl is playing guitar and singing a folk song.

Part Fours

It is odd that I am terrified of people, the doctor says. He is such a horrid thing, the nurse says. Betty raises the price of champagne to $14.95. The man who is a fish has skin that peels off and sticks to the street.


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