In the morning he sticks his head in the sink. He hums the song that the juggler sings, and peers into the drain. Cold water drips over his bandages, and he mutters that this is not a proper washroom. A proper washroom would not have a long hair sticking to the mirror, or a lamp on the floor, or pornography pasted above the urinal. A proper washroom would have old men reading newspapers and soap.

The bar's janitor walks in, carrying a wash bucket. He yells at Guillermo, in a language Guillermo does not understand, to get his fat ass out of there. The janitor sneezes and Guillermo whirls around and punts the bucket into the stall. The bucket clatters to the floor and Guillermo is gone, darting through the bar, knocking over a stool, and throwing his weight against the sunlight.

A block away, he rests on a fire hydrant. Amidst his labored breathing, he rubs his leg insistently and moans to himself. Across the street a little girl holds a soccer ball and stares. Guillermo spits and asks what the hell she is looking at. The girl's eyes grow large; as if a turtle had opened it's mouth and spoke.


Down the street a door swings open. The janitor steps out, screaming and holding a knife.

Guillermo has a bandage covering the middle of his face. Instead of a nose, he has a red dot. He had whistled too close to the passing schoolgirls. A nun broke his nose with the palm of her hand, and told him that she was God's janitor. The schoolgirls cheered, and he spited them, saying Jesus would shit on their stuffed animals, and everything they ever loved.

He sneezed blood as the girls began to laugh and groan, and wiped his nose with his shirt. He said that Jesus would vomit butterflies for him if he asked him to. But the girls only giggled and hurried down the street, hushing each other and repeating his words.

The juggler began to sing and sauntered over with a broad grin. Guillermo held his nose with bloodstained hands and glared. He was juggling hammers — five of them. He tossed them into the air and sang about an egg.

The juggler stepped in front of Guillermo, and Guillermo kicked him in the stomach. One after the other, the hammers struck the cobblestone.






In the market Guillermo pursues women by the fountain. Old women sell flowers there and yell at him, saying he chases away their customers. They beat him with sunflowers and aim for his face and hands.

These are the bad days. On the good days he offers lilies to pretty women. He kisses their hands and bows deeply. Sometimes he finds the lilies in the trash.

When he walks with women, he touches his navel and drops lies like books. He prays at church every Sunday. He loves children and flowers and enjoys the subtlety of fine wine. Mozart constructs music like Moses builds walls of water.

If he glances into their eyes and he sees pity, he tells them about all those sea creatures, gasping and floundering around as the Jews marched into the depths of the sea. How, after centuries of flat bread, a beached whale must have looked delicious. How, they plunged Moses's staff into the whale's belly and found Jonas. Then they ate the whale.

Guillermo dreams of a rich heiress admiring his intellect and sweeping him off his feet. They will have a penthouse apartment. There, the sex will fulfill his wildest dreams. And then, he will nap.

Today is a good day. The old women are busy shooing away a girl. She dribbles a soccer ball, weaving through old women and flowerpots. She keeps coming back and the old women chase her with sunflowers.

Guillermo calls them all Philistines, and steals lilies while no one's looking.

About the Author

Anderson Holderness hails from Greensboro, North Carolina. This is his third year attending UGA and he is working towards a degree in English. He enjoys taking long walks on the beach, casting shells into the ocean, browsing seafood markets, and baby-talking to lobsters.