Going for a Beer – Robert Coover

Going for a Beer

I find myself gaping at the Kewpie dolls thinking about the devilish grin in those angelic eyes. Eight! Perfect circles of heaven. I count them twice before lining them like a bunch of soldiers. Was it that friendly man from the street who gave me these little drops of heaven? Does it really matter? Perry Como keeps calling those dolls like a lost child, “Kew Kew Kewpie dolls…She’s the cutest one of them all!!” Did I already put one of the soldiers in a grave between my teeth? Or were they two? Do I remember their deathly orgasm? The yellow stain transforms into a fluorescent rainbow through the green spout of the bottle thrust in between my lips. I can’t remember the mustard on my shirt. It’s proof exposed on my shirt, the howl of the wounded dog echoing the cry of a baby for a warm bottle of milk. He hates the bar food, the taste festers a stale vomit. I serve him a turkey on rye with mustard, every time he walks in that bar. Did he eventually fuck that lady who keeps the Kewpie dolls lined like soldiers in her apartment? The smell of stale urine pervade the foggy streets, I need eight more of my soldiers. I need to drown them in a tipple chasm. Those Kewpies they follow me everywhere. In the arms of the child, on the hospital beds ,in the womb of a woman as she walks down the aisle. One more drink. A punch in the face. A celebratory drink. A child is born. Life passes by. Death lurks. Perry Como sways to a bunch of dancing puppets. I stagger on the streets with a dart stuck in my neck. Did he really fuck those women? Doesn’t he remember those orgasms after the crazy carnival wins? The man at the bar. The one who remembers my mustard stain. The stench of my dried blood. The man at the bar. I don’t know, maybe he’ll have another one. <em“Well…you know…life”; I’m going for a beer. Are you?

4/5****

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