The Queen is not ticklish

Post by: Cody DiCavalcante

I was in France. I was smoking a cigarette but the end was snagged by a guy who rode by on a skateboard. I wanted to cuss in English but knew that it wouldn’t have any effect. He was guarded by the walls of our ignorance to each other’s language, he wins. I was standing up and it felt like I had two cinderblocks tied to my knees. I was drunk and what was even more an issue, I didn’t know where the fuck I was. I knew I was in France, because the penis-shaped symbol of their country, known as the Eiffel Tower, was about 30 miles off in the distance. The monumental structure ejaculated a very scary thought into my head, I was lost.

Minutes before I took off from the airport, I gave my mom and dad a call on my cell phone. The battery was blinking and was about to max out on me. The last thing I heard was my father’s voice before the phone died, it said in a theatrical voice, “Teresa, where are the damn milk duds?” I could tell my parents had no interest in my leaving the country. They were sincere in their send-off but I could tell they were excited in living without me and opening my room up to guests. Hence my father adding in his demolition plan to my room to install a new flat screen in there and a bed set that my mother had bought. My mom made it clear that it was going to attract their middle-aged friends who always needed a place to stay. Not because they were in financial crisis’ or their house caught on fire it was more because they drank our entire liquor cabinet during my parent’s dinner parties and reduced themselves to objects sucking up shit in the floor, that our goddamn vacuum could have done. I hated my parent’s friends. Like this one guy, Danny Neumann, a real fucker. First time I met the guy, he was drinking beers with my dad while his mouth looked like a damned melted ice cream sandwich, the guy was spitting all over the floor I just got done sweeping earlier that day. My dad would call me two hours later and request that I clean up the beast’s mess while he took him home.  I wanted to squeeze him like an ice cream sandwich. He was talking about his college days and the girls he banged. My dad just sat there wondering why he invited this guy over in the first place. At least I thought that’s what he was thinking. I would usually sit at the top of the stairs as a kid and listen to this Danny guy talk, while moving my fists like a professional coach during game season. The guy pissed me off.  My dad and him went to college together.  I think it was West Virginia University Three weeks later he was crying on our porch over some girl that stole his car. I hope she crashed it. Well, I hope she somehow came out okay and crashed his shiny Benz into some remote forest in Quebec while it burned into the earth, like a problematic servant at a Viking party. The guy still comes over and talks about his college days and how many women he has been with. He always wore a leather jacket. One night after my mom took it from him and put it in the closet; I retracted it and used it as a personal urinary device. When he left that night with the jacket on, he turned towards my dad and said it smelled like Germany.  I laughed like I did the first time I saw a Monty Python movie, loud and almost beyond words.

I was walking the streets of Paris with no idea as to what was going on. I wanted to see what time it was but all the stores were closed. A clock, my only source as an American who doesn’t speak French of figuring out what time it was. I wasn’t prepared to go up to both genders in this fair city and ask what time it was. The Frenchmen would look at me for several seconds, almost observing me like a textbook, then talk like a rubber duck when you step on it. The Frenchwoman wouldn’t even stop. She saw my idea of fashion and labeled me as an underground gremlin. I had puke on my shirt and was barefoot in a city that I was turning into Los Angeles by walking around on their streets. I looked like Keanu Reeves in Breaking Point. I was destroying this cute culture’s ability to look like it’s the grandest place in the entire world. I just wanted to find the place where I was staying.

When I was on the plane, I instantly felt like I was at Disney World. I was in a state of complete happiness. I was sitting next to two skinny people, which would be needed for a long plane ride across the Atlantic. I didn’t really care for the crying baby behind me. The only reason I could think of a baby screaming that loud would be that its father looked like Dracula or his bib was too tight, aggravating his gag reflex. I turned on my Ipod. I had over 3 days worth of music on my Ipod. I would only listen to about 2% of that. I hadn’t updated the thing since high school. The flight attendant suddenly came by.  At this point, my mouth was dry and I was thinking my breath was like a free flowing sewer underneath the steaming manholes of New York City. I was right. I’d never been served peanuts with a pack of mints. Was it really that bad?

I could smell bread in the air. It smelled great. I could also feel puke coming up. It sounded grotesque. A mix of bodily reactions and lightly-fluffed bread at what seemed like morning. The Parisian alarm clock, slowly-rising dough. That’s quite a way to wake up. I can’t remember the last time I ate. I suddenly found myself in front of a bakery. The fresh smell of bread was at this moment the Millennial Falcon, it was the star enterprise, it was fucking food. I sprinted through the door and ran to the center of the store. Then I saw it, an orange-colored piece of bread placed on top of the glass window of many kinds of carbohydrates. I felt my tooth chip. It was a fake piece of bread. I threw the piece of bread at the guy in front of me, he laughed. He knew I wasn’t from here. I wish it wasn’t so obvious but it was. I wasn’t going to mess around anymore. I went through a swinging door at the side of the bakery and went straight back in the kitchen, I didn’t care. I opened up the oven and took the first piece of bread I found. It was semi-cooked. I ate it in one bite. The guy at the front was standing right there, with a straight face. I gave him a wink and took off my jacket. I pointed at my 300 dollar jacket as a form of collateral as I ate another piece of bread. I knew the bread was probably only about a dollar but when a man wakes up from a violent hangover such as this, he goes into unknown realms, realms where mystics and thousand-year old relics flash before your eyes and decide to interrupt your normal way of living. Suddenly, it all became clear.

As I got off the plane, stepping onto French soil, I took a deep breath. The baby behind me suddenly was revealed and so was its father. He looked like Bram Stoker, which was even worse. No one wants to look like Henry VIII’s brother. I gave him an air-five, attempting to give him hope for the future. The future. What a word. A word that screamed unpredictable and surprising. I was in this country for no reason but to take a stab at the future, no matter how crazy it might be. Where can I get a beer?

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