Vinegar

“You must have some recipe,” I told him. “You’re foreign!” I was pretty drunk. I leant over and grabbed Enrique’s lapel. “You’re foreign!” I told his head. I was studying his head as I said it. He was foreign for sure, no two ways about it. “Look, your hat!” I said slapping the brim of his hat. It was a white hat. His suit was white. He had a moustache. He was foreign as fuck.

“No,” said Enrique. He was smoking a cigar. Chewing it.

“Paula,” I said, my head rolling around on my neck until my face was pointed at Paula. “He’s foreign, right?” With an effort I lifted a thumb in Enrique’s direction.

Paula started nodding. She was nodding as much as her neck brace would allow, along to some unheard beat. She was drunk too. We were all drunk. My wife had left the table when we started to get drunk and now we were there, we were drunk. We were sat around the table on my lawn. I stared at the barbecue. We were having a barbecue. Big news! Stop press! I’ll alert the media! People had been announcing they were having barbecues ever since the sun came out and I decided to see what the fuss was about.

“Fucking barbecue,” I said. I’d cooked a bunch of chicken but it was just chicken. It was boring to eat. There was a pile of it in the centre of the table. “Piri-piri!” I shouted at Enrique. “You should make some Colombian sauce… Some vignette or something. Special sauce. You’re foreign!” I was getting agitated. My third state of drunkeness. The barbecue wasn’t as great as I’d hoped it would be. I looked at Enrique. It was his fault. “Go and get some sauce. You’ve got bottles in there,” I said looking, because I was too tired to point, at my garage where Enrique lives.

He had bottles in there, on the shelf above his Belling. I’d seen them. Foreign bottles. Neatly lined up. Why wasn’t Enrique contributing to the barbecue? It was freezing. He must have spicy sauce. “Go and make some sauce!” I shouted at Enrique and I pushed his arm. “Pretend you’re back in Bogotá. Fifteen of you living in a…” I couldn’t think of the word. Those things they have at the docks. I pushed him again. He was heavy and didn’t go flying. He hardly moved. “Container!”

“Chu wan’ some sauce?” Asked Enrique after taking the cigar from his mouth.

“Shipping container. That’s where you live. Yes! Sauce!”

“H’okay, I make-a-some sauce. Some especial sauce.”

“Go on then, you twat,” I said.

“H’okay,” said Enrique. A smile spread across his face and at the second or third attempt he balanced his cigar on the ashtray and got up.

I looked at Paula. She was nearly asleep, her neck brace was comfy. It looked comfy. “You’re drunk,” I said. She exhaled. “He’s gonna make some sauce. Where’s Wellington?”

She nodded.

“Jerk Chicken.”

I poked the chicken on the table. It needed spicing up. My head rolled around on my neck until it was facing the garage door. I wasn’t wearing a neck brace. The fuck was he? How long does it take to make some sauce?

“He’s going to spunk in a bottle,” said Paula.

“What?” I asked my head rolling to her.

“He’s goin-“

“That’s horrible.”

“Bet you,” she said and my head rolled back towards the door.

“No,” I said. I stared at the door. I was breathing perhaps twice a minute.

“Bet you,” said Paula.

I looked at the table and found more wine and missed Enrique’s return.

“Especial sauce,” said Enrique slamming a foreign bottle on the glass table-top.

“Did you spoof in that?” I asked. Don’t know if ‘spoof’ is even a term for it, I’ve certainly never used it before but it sounded right and he understood, despite his claims to the contrary.

“Wha?” He inquired.

“Whazat?”

“S’good.” He replied.

“But what is it?”

“Ah, chu know,” said Enrique reeling off a load of foreign words. None of the words were chipotle. I know that word.

You eat some,” I said coming to a conclusion. Enrique leant forward and stabbed a chicken thigh with his fork and dragged it across the table, navigating around the ashtray, to his plate. He then shook some of the sauce onto the chicken and ripped into it. Head sideways like he was an animal. He sat back in his chair smiling and chewing.

“Urgh,” I said. I looked at Paula. Her nose twitched like a rabbit’s.

“Chu try,” said Enrique dragging a chicken thigh just short of my plate. He sauced it. “S’good.”

“Nah,” I said.

“Porkay nah?” Said Enrique. I understood him. I can understand any language when I’m liquored up.

“You spunked in it,” I said.

“No!”

“Si!”

“No!”

We all looked at the chicken. “You eat it!” I said to either Paula or Enrique, I was non-specific.

“No!” Shouted Enrique.

“Shut up, you twat!” I hissed. I had kids. Can’t be shouting in the garden at night. Anyway, Enrique had picked up the chicken thigh with a fork and was trying to press it into my face and I was pushing his wrist away and then we were on the lawn and I had him in a headlock and he wouldn’t give-up and Paula was shouting and Enrique wouldn’t give up. I kept asking him but he wouldn’t give up.

That was last night. This morning we were sort of dancing around each other, embarrassed. He didn’t have a mark on him, I’m rubbish at fighting. Anyway, I blinked first.

“Wine, eh?” I said as he strode past, trying to ignore me. He stopped thought and chuckled.

“Paula said you’d spunked in the sauce.”

“He probably did!” She shouted.

“Why I spunk in sauce?” He asked the direction Paula’s voice had come from.

“I don’t know,” I laughed. “I was so fucking drunk.”

“Why I wan’t chu eat my spunk?” He looked really puzzled, though not angry, and I laughed more.

“It’s mad,” I agreed.

“I could spunk in chor lunch,” said Enrique and I laughed harder still. Yeah, he could spunk in my… I stopped laughing and went to the fridge in his office and took out my Tupperware. I took the lid off and peered in. I carried my open lunch out into the shop.

“Have you spunked in my lunch?” I asked, showing him the lunch I was talking about. The one I was concerned had been spunked in. The one I was looking forward to eating because I was pretty hungover.

“No!”

“You have, haven’t you?”

“Que?”

“Why would you do that?” I asked rhetorically. I knew the answer. “Because you’re a… a fucking monkey.” I tipped my lunch into the bin. “Well, that’s ruined,” I announced. I stood behind my counter and seethed.

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