Birthday Party

Words || Linda Godfrey

at the birthday party of my boss's mother, long restaurant table, brother in law, sister, ex-tenant, a baby, music teacher, random friend dressed in fluoro, clairvoyant client, television sound turned low whitney houston wanna dance with somebody, birthday gal's not here, order a lime lemon bitters, someone else a beer, blue lagoon with swivel stick, goon sunrise gussied up in plastic, sound of trumpets, three bare-chested men with thick eyeliner walk in holding a rolled carpet, bend, birthday girl - black hair, violet contact lenses unfurls from carpet, Cleopatra. Everyone claps, she's lifted, adjusts her robes, they roll the bokhara, leave. what's next? Asses milk baths or a close encounter with the leader of the free world? Hallucinogens or spiked cool-aid? My boss rushes at her mother, top hat tilted, kisses her, looks at the crowd, birthday queen TA DA, leads her to a gold throne, crown. Sits next to me, what do you think? Time for a Party by the Pyramids cocktail, her brother looms behind, he shrieks, serve le homard in a shallow bowl with mayonnaise, squeezes us both bear tight. Imagine yourself on top of a ridge, rain on tin roof, valley below flooded, to escape the sweaty arms of brother bear. Let go boss screams in my ear. He does. Rare antelope steak and mash appears for the Queen's dinner, her champagne pearls dissolved in vinegar - taste-tested naturally, Baby makes regular escapes from glass room, pass my present to birthday Cleopatra, a yellow hibiscus, the colour of gold she says, I haven’t got one of these brother bear still hugging, Cleopatra keeps asking, 'Where's my cake? Where's my cake?