[Media prompt] Denver decriminalises public defecation to protect illegal aliens.
Pooping Under the Bear
I had just finished a surveillance job at the Hyatt for the wife of the mayor, and was feeling pretty pleased with myself. She suspected her husband was carrying on with a skinny little Puerto Rican on the lam from marshals somewhere in Texas. She was right, on both counts, and knew it long before she turned up in my office last week. All she needed, she told me, seated with her long legs crossed in one of my easy chairs, was some evidence that would stick with a judge. As I walked out the revolving door smack into a blue Denver sky, almost as blue as the movie the mayor had been watching with his boyfriend, I thought things were finally starting to look up. The mayor’s wife would have her photos as soon as she bounced some funds into my underfed account, the mayor – a corrupt Democrat who didn’t have the courage of his fudge-packing convictions – was a headline away from ruination, and it seemed the weather would hold for the weekend.
I walked back to 14th Street, where the tramline snaked towards the Theatre District Station, standing for a minute to gaze at the reflection of buildings in the glass frontage of the Convention Centre. I could see Denver’s famous bear from where I stood, forty feet if he was an inch, standing on his hind legs against the windows looking inside. Like a lot of people who hated the damn thing when it went up, I had grown attached to the big blue lug. I laughed along with everyone else when some prankster laid a two-foot papier-mâché turd at his heels, but inside felt as though someone had inked a moustache on the Mona Lisa. This town was fast becoming a big enough toilet without origami poop.
On a whim, I crossed and turned right onto 14th, coming out from under the immense shadow cast by the Hyatt, and felt the warmth of the sun on my back. This is why I had moved here from back east. The place was damned near perfect. I lengthened my stride, the thought of the South Platte River Trail popping into my head; it was Friday, I had nothing better to do, and besides, what does anything matter when you don’t have two nickels to rub together? That was when I saw it.
He was a big bearded man, wearing a stained macawiis, a word I’d never heard before the Somalians arrived in numbers, his belly distended as though he were pregnant. He was squatting, the Somalian skirt they all wear hiked up around his waist, his filthy crack on show for all the world to see. A woman walking towards me stopped, our eyes meeting momentarily as we both did a double take. And then, as though he were alone in his own cubicle, he laid down and snapped off a coil that would have been a work of art in an X-rated version of a kid’s cartoon. I walked up to the lady.
“Don’t worry, Miss,” I said. “Denver says this is legal now.”
She looked at me as though I’d lost my marbles.
“It’s true,” I said. “It’s to protect illegal aliens from deportation.”
She laughed, but it was the laughter of madness. Or defeat. It was hard to tell. The Somalian, ignoring us, wiped himself with his bare hand. I could only stand and watch in admiration. I started to laugh, unsure if I was crazy or saw our demise on the horizon.