I look to the left and there is a woman sitting there. Her eyes are a mix of brown and green. Mixed like unstirred paint. The colors are distinct in places and blended in others. A bubble of air rises and sits on the surface, daring to be popped. So I poke her in the eye. Suddenly the entire mood of the room shifts. The lighting grows red and dim and the music is no longer playing. Hushed words are passed between nearby party goers. She laughs and the tension is broken. The room, as if filled with helium, grows light and irreverent. The three stooges are mentioned and I am slapped on the back of the head. Nyuck-nyucks could be heard through the room. Old stand up by George Carlin is on the flat screen plasma. Fifty-two inches displaying footage meant for a screen not wider than a foot. It’s the 70’s. You can tell by the pants, his hair color and pattern as well as the dental hygiene displayed in the audience’s guffawing maws.
Carlin’s gesturing wildly. He’ll swoop to the left, then to the right. It looks like the mating dance of some ridiculous lizard. He stops to say a few words, pauses for applause, and continues to swoop, this time adding a full body rotation with effeminate jazz hands. I ask the suspected owner of the television if it would be possible to raise the volume a bit. He stares passively from the couch. A glass of vodka sits in his hand and the remote sits in his other. His jaw slackens almost imperceptibly. I paw at the television, sliding my fingers against its impossibly smooth surfaces, trying to sense the moment when plastic frame becomes plastic volume increase button. The moment never comes because the television loosens from its wall mount and crashes through layer after layer of glass and device until thousands of dollars of home furnishing and audio visual equipment lie at my feet. Someone shouts a wise guy, eh? and attempts to poke me in the eyes with his fore and middle fingers. I attempt to get my hand up in front of my nose, but I jab my nails into his palm.
He winces and his hand starts bleeding. He shushes me before I can say anything and walks over to the fridge. Are my nails that sharp? He takes out a half-eaten jar of Ragu Robusto and squeezes his cut to extract more blood. The droplets slip from his fingertips and plop silently among real Italian herbs, big chunks of onion and pepper and that flavor that the whole family can enjoy! Laughter resounds. Someone carrying a step ladder turns around and smashes a young woman in the face. Her wine glass crashes to the counter and spills over the edge. The kitchen is silent. Soundlessness moves across the house into other rooms. The girl gets up, her entire face is red except for a purple line across her forehead. She picks up her broken glass, that is almost only stem now and she jabs at the young man’s throat. The house is still silent. The man’s neck is cut deeply and the woman spits out a tooth. They have yet to blink. The owner of the house has gotten up from the couch and is standing in the doorway. Everyone farts simultaneously.