“A looger.”

“The gun?”

(Spit.) “No, snot. A honker. Discharged phlejim?”


“Mucus from out the mouth. Look it up in Webster’s.” (Spit.)

“You killed a man with snot?”

“Not killed. Injured.” (Spit.) “And yeah, he don’t have much of a life these days, but he ain’t dead. Technically.”

“Is looger really in the dictionary?”

“No.” (Spit.) “But it should be.”



“Phlejimalitonitis. Had it since I’s born.”

“Spell that.”

(Spit.) “No.”

“It makes you, what, hock loogers all day?”

“That’s the long and short of it, yeah. I spit a lot.” (Spit.) “So I have practice. A superior technique.”

“And you spit on this guy?”

(Spit.) “Not just any spit. You know how with a cold you get that snot up in your nose what’ll bubble and growl but don’t no way come out?” (Spit.)

“Nasty green rubbery stuff?”

“Bingo.” (Spit.) “The cold was about gone and I’m out on the balcony and somethin’ clicks up in there, so I suck with my tongue and down it comes, a big kind of cork or plug that didn’t change shape after.”


(Spit.) “Right. So I’m on the balcony and got this huge, nasty, like, calamari-type thing in my mouth and I need it out ASAP, right? So I run to the railin’ and spit real hard and not lookin’ cuz I’m so grossed out, and it hits the guy down below, spang in the head.” (Spit.) “And cuz of my superior technique and extra-hard disgusted spit, it did damage.”

“Bet he wadn’t expectin’ that.”

“Nope. You heard of the perfect storm? This was the perfect looger. The mass, density, shape — nothin’ less than a bullet.” (Spit.)

“I hope I don’t go out like that. Death by looger. Or anything spit out.”

“Personally, I think it was God’s work.”

“Peggin’ the guy with the looger?”

(Spit.) “Yeah. I mean, what’re the chances that me, with phlejimalitonitis and a superior technique and a cold, would send down a nose-plug like that, just precisely into the guy’s head?”

“None too high.”

“Exactly.” (Spit.) “It’s like God, like, gifted me the condition and the superior technique, all just to off the guy. Like the guy was an evil genius, the bomb-making kind, doomsday devices and ransoms to world governments. Chained-up superheroes?”


“I’ve gone and visit him at the home, the guy. Told him I’s sorry and it was an accident, and the cold and my phlejim issues. I think he understood. There’s this way he blinks his good eye.” (Spit.) “Anyway.”






(Spit.) “Can to.”

“You’re a liar. Phlejima-whatsis my foot.”

“I told you, it’s dangerous. You could wind up like the evil genius.”

(Smacks a five-dollar bill on the bench.) “Abe says you can’t spit a apple off my head.”

(Spit.) “One, Abe’s been dead a thousand years. Two, he ain’t the one riskin’ house slippers and a drool cup like Clinton’s.”

“Bill Clinton has a drool cup?”

“Clinton’s the guy I pegged.”

“Bill Clinton took the looger in the head?”

“No, the guy’s first name is Clinton. He’s got white hair, though, and his nose ain’t so small — can see veins and things crawlin’ through.”

“. . .”

“. . .” (Spit.)

“You still can’t spit a apple off my head.”




(Spit.) “No.”




(Spit.) “No.”





“Well, what’s takin’ so long?”

“Is like I said.” (Spit.) “Gotta get one the right mass and density, otherwise it won’t knock it off.”




“Does he have to wear a diaper?”

(Spit.) “Who?”

“The guy. Clinton.”

“Don’t know.”





(Cough, gurgle. Mouth closed.) “Uhm ready.”

(Closes eyes.) “Okay.”


(Opens eyes.) “You ready?”

“Uh sid uh wuz.”

“Then do it.” (Closes eyes.)

(Head cocking back, lining up, shooting forward — spit. Too low.)


(Daryl sliding supine, the apple rolling away.)


(No answer.)


(A foot jumps, flickering fingers.)




“What happened to him?”

“Spit on.”

“Spit on?”

“Yes, ma’am.” (Spit.)

“Hey, you can’t do that in here.”

“I have a condition.”



“Use a cup.”

“. . .”

“. . .”


(Daryl twitching doglike on the linoleum.)

“He got insurance?”

“Not that I know of.”

“You have money?”

“Um.” (Swallows.) “I got five bucks.”

“. . .”

“. . .”

(Narrowing eyes.) “Haven’t we met before?”



“Me and you?”


“Don’t think so.”

(A pointed finger.) “Yeah.”


(The finger jabbing.) “Oh yeah, I remember you. You’re that guy with the phlegm thing — hey!”

(Running, running, slapping footsteps, people sidestepping.)


(Spit. Spit. Spit.)




(Fluttering eyes. Open mouth. Hasidic nodding.)

“Awww, Daryl.” (A soda bottle; spit.)

“. . .”

“Can you hear me, man?”

“. . .”

(Spit.) “Can’t say I didn’t warn ya.”

“. . .”

“Slippers and drool cup and all.” (Spit.) “What’d I tell ya?”


“Just wanted to drop by and say I’m sorry for ditchin’ ya at the ER.” (Spit.) “If you’re in there.”

“. . .”

“The reception lady, she was the same from when I pegged the evil genius.”

“. . .”

(Spit.) “You’re not an evil genius, are you, Daryl?”

(Burp. Drool.)

“Awww, Daryl.” (Towelling.)

“Here.” (A crumpled five-dollar bill.) “This is yourn. Since I didn’t hit the apple.” (Spit.)

(The bill falling like a dead leaf.)

(Picks it up.)



“Awww, Daryl.” (Spit.)

(Head dropping back, mouth gaping, a chick being fed.)

(Spit.) “So, um. You meet Clinton yet?”

(Volcanic strings of drool, a strangled groaning.)

“Oh, um. Hmmm.” (Spit.) “Well, I guess I’ll . . .”

“Hey, you!”


“What’d I tell you about — get back here!”

(Running, running, running.)





“Forgive me father, for I have sinned.” (Spit.)

(Movement from behind the grate.) “Did you just spit in the booth?”

“Um. No.”

“Cause I could’a sworn . . .”

“May I confess?”

(A calculating pause.) “How have you sinned?”

“Spit two men into vegetables.”

“Spit . . . into vegetables?”

“Yep.” (Swallow.)

“Who were these men?”

“Well, one was an evil genius, but the other was my friend.”

“What kind of vegetables?”

“The drooling kind, father.”

“Drooling vegetables.”

(Swallow.) “They have cups, like.”



(Swallow.) “It’s the phlejimalitonitis what did it.”


“My condition. Makes me spit.”

“Like you did to the men?”


“. . .”

“. . .”

“Twenty Hail Marys and ten Our Fathers.”



“Phlejimalitonitis, sir.”

“And you’ve been diagnosed with this condition?”

“Yes, sir.” (Mouth filling.)

“By whom?”

“My last doctor.” (Filling, filling.)

“And who was your last doctor?”

“Should be in my records there.” (Mumbling, cheeks puffed.)

(The doctor looking down, riffling a folder.)


(The head shooting up.) “Did you just . . . ?”

“You find his name?”

(Pause.) “Doctor Miyoto?”

“Doctor Miyoto.”

“You do realize there’s no such ailment as you describe?”

“Not according to Doctor Miyoto.”

“. . .”

“. . .”

“What exactly can I do for you?”

“Treat me.”

“Treat your . . . phlegm-a-li-ton-it-is . . .”


(Smiles.) “Jim.

(Smiles. Mouth refilling.)

“Might I ask if you’ve ever considered psychiatric help?”

“Psychiatric. Like crystal balls and . . . ?”

“Like a psychiatrist. A doctor for your head.”

“But my head’s fine. It’s my spitter.” (Mouth refilled.)

(Looking away, hunting in the desk.)

(Spit, furtively.)

(A business card.) “I’m afraid I cannot help you, sir.” (The card sliding over.) “Try Doctor Daryl. He’s the best.”

“My friend’s name is Daryl.”

“Is that so?”

“I spit him into a vegetable.”

“Oh my.”

“Like Clinton.”


“He has a bracelet with numbers on it.”






“There, there. I saw it that time!”

“Saw what?” (Speaking clearly now.)

“You just spit on my floor. See?” (Pointing.) “Big glob of spit on my floor right there.”


“Don’t you do it again, you hear? This is a doctor’s office, not a sandbox.”

“. . .”

“. . .”

“. . .”

(A big sigh.) “Now, what’s your condition?”

“Um.” (Swallowing, but not from spit.) “My head. It needs doctorin’, like.”



(A windy fall day. Biting, savage gusts.)

(A click up in the nose, a looger coming down, like that one that time.)

(Spit, into the wind.)


(Falling; supine.)



(Eyes cracking to hospital white, dormitory beds, monkey-house odours.)

(Can’t talk.)

(Can’t move.)


(Something in the mouth: metal, shiny. A cup, drool inside.)

(Soft warmth underneath. A diaper.)

(Drool. Drool. Drool.)

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