by Cassie J. Sneider
Dan suggested I pick up the goat's head, but touching an actual dead goat's head seemed like the sort of thing that might ruin the rest of my night. There were a lot of people gathered backstage, watching the show from the wings, so I asked some other guy to get gloves. He was a friend of Salt Peter, the old bassist, and the bartender had to take the gloves out of a first aid-kit, which made me wonder about how sanitary the process of cutting lemons and limes could be if there weren't any gloves to be found outside of dire emergencies.
When I got onstage, I danced around a little before I picked up the goat's head. It was kind of soft and disgusting and my fingers sank in and the smell was terrible, which reminded me of that Candy Snatchers show Doug had told me about, the one that made the Continental smell like dead fish for a year, but I had missed it because I was in high school and wasn't allowed to do anything cool, like go to seedy rock clubs where people brought in bags of garbage from Chinatown and threw the contents at each other. I could see through the mask I was wearing that Doug was in the audience, so I pretended like I was gonna throw it underhanded at him, hesitated for a second, and then threw it like a football into the crowd. It landed behind him, and to the left of my old best friend, the one who had traded me in for a bong and an internet girlfriend. I couldn't tell if she was there, because the lights onstage were so bright, but I hoped that if she was, then some of it exploded on her at least a little, that maybe she was standing with her hands folded in the back, wearing a Matchbox 20 t-shirt she had maybe had since middle school that had some kind of sentimental value for a bandcamp kiss or mathteam victory but was now ruined with the spite-thrown brains of a splattered animal at the show of a band she didn't even like in the first place.
It was pretty much done after that, and when the band got offstage, they asked where I got the goat head from, like I had brought it, like I had planned it all along and hid it in my purse with the mask and the cowboy boots, riding the subway, peeking into the bag and whispering, “Tonight's gonna be a good night.”
Instead I said, “I just knew what to do with it,” and I helped them load out.