My name is Chivo. Do NOT ever call me Rooster ever again. My name is Chivo. Nothing can stop me, I’m invincible. My name is Chivo. DON’T CALL ME THAT!—Rooster, I mean. Call me Chivo. I’m respected amongst the billy goats now and have been adopted as an honorary member of their clan. Call me Chivo—it means “billy goat” in Spanish. If you try to sell me to a taqueria I’ll kill you, with blades. My new crew is fully assembled, proper Chicano goats, ready to move whenever I give the word. Don’t call me Rooster. Call me Chivo from now on. I mean it.
I was smoking with my cabrones when the lights came on. Too early, too late for this… the cops had come. “What seems to be the trouble, Officer?” Chaco Chivo was King Boss Goat of Guatemala some time ago, but for years he’s been frustrated. Like me, he’s a writer, and a prolific novelist (also like me). But he hasn’t been published much (the similarities continue!). He’s really a nice goat, but has a temper. He gets angry when I talk about my wife. “You don’t bring up females amongst the group. We are Chivo.” I told him I thought I was Chivo. “No—Rooster, we are all Chivo.” Wasn’t excited about that revelation, but okay. As my former (female) friend Em Wenzel says, “buttever.” I only say “former” because she’s a woman and my new social group has forbidden any contact with females out of risk of “leaks.” I’m not sure which leaks they mean.
Monica has tried to get in touch with me, I know. She should consider a psychic. She’ll never find me here. I could be in the mountains, in the valleys, in the pines, in the place beyond the pines. The sky’s the limit, and even that’s negotiable: have you ever seen a bird fly? That’s not a rhetorical question. I only consider members of the subspecies Gallus gallus domesticus as proper birds. Eagles, hawks, doves, pigeons, Oscar the Grouch—all been called “birds,” but I dispute that. What makes them birds? The fact that they can fly? That’s not unique. An airplane can fly. Bees fly—are they birds, too? I’m insulted by the notion that I have anything in common with a penguin, much less my species name. Are elephants birds? No? Haven’t you seen Dumbo?
The true Chivos will keep this to ourselves, omerta, “our thing,” ecetera. I don’t need to go into how I left my crew, or how Chaco Chivo was killed in a Michigan textile accident. It’d dishonor our tribe, our name, our thing. We’re only as strong as each other, and to be honest, our numbers are weak. There aren’t many true Chivos at the moment, at least not together. I found out pretty quick hanging out with those “Chivos” that they weren’t all they said they were, not all they cracked themselves up to be. I saw Chaco Chivo cry once, when his daughter died—what’s that about? My wife lays eggs every other day and half of them break, but you don’t see me breaking down in a puddle, and my wife certainly doesn’t mind: less work for her later, when she has to smash all the fresh ones against a tree.
“It’s always the same tree, Roo.” She’s throwing her eggs again. “I’m going to get this bitch pregnant one day.” I’m thinking about Chaco Chivo again, and I think it’ll be the last time. He’s a figment of my imagination. I’m so bored at home with my wife. I’m wandering around the attic muttering to myself “I am Chivo,” until I really feel it’s true. Once I’m out of this pine box I can start writing again. I’ll go on tour, book some gigs, commission some portraits, open a sixth brokerage account, write my will, form an LLC in someone else’s name. Why not? Anything is fair game in the year of the deadly coronavirus—at least it should be.
“Roo! Roo!… ROO! COME DOWN HERE!”
“What? What! What is it!”
“I got it pregnant!!”
“The tree! Its heart! It’s beating!”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“I can hear it!”
“Monica, are you high again?”
“Only on life, hubby!!! I’m gonna live FOREVER!”
Believe you me—I know. And I love my wife.
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