I think Steve Buscemi is creeping around on my roof but I can’t be sure. Oh it’s him, my wife promises me. She can tell by the adorable footfalls.
What is he doing now? I ask her when the precious footfalls stop. Building a birdhouse. Doing his taxes. Making sushi. Only the gods know what Steve Buscemi is capable of.
We’ve been having problems with our roof lately. It leaks. Whether it’s owed to the heavy storms or Steve Buscemi is unknown to us.
We tape a mirror to a broom, hang it out the window & angle it up.
Whatdoyouseewhatdoyousee? my wife pinches me.
He’s…asleep. For now.
While he’s out, we brainstorm. Soon it’s very clear what must be done. After ten minutes, we have everything in a neat pile in the living room. Boardwalk Empire: The Complete First Season. Ghost World. The Big Lebowski. Fargo. Con-Air. Desperado. Billy Madison. Reservoir Dogs. Even Airheads.
Don’t you fucking scratch those, my wife warns me.
After taping the DVDs to my bare chest, I prop the ladder & my wife gives me a military salute.
Climbing up, I hear those darling petite footfalls. Right away, I notice he’s not where he once was. Following a trail of pink glitter to the other side of the roof, I find him clutching a wound. He’s tired-looking, his suit tattered.
Steve Buscemi, I say in a friendly tone, showing him my hands. I come in peace.
Like a wounded animal, he has a feral look about him. Bleeding glitter badly, he steps closer toward the precipice. Flings a paranoid glance skyward.
Steve Buscemi, all I want is an autograph. See here? I point out the Steve Buscemi collection I’m wearing. The sun catches it just right, making me semi-sparkle.
He steps closer, smelling my arm.
Steve Buscemi, I am your biggest fan.
When he grins, I feel as though I’m seeing the unseen anatomy of a unicorn. Those teeth, those perfectly imperfect teeth! Seeing them up close warms every inch of me.
I offer him the Sharpie.
Sign any of them, for they are all my favorite, Steve Buscemi.
I have never in all my life stood so close to a living miracle. As though a rainbow had been bottled & placed before me. But so blinded by the blessing of his smile—the Sistine Chapel of smiles!—I have forgotten the plan, & as he’s autographing the last of his greatest hits on my torso I see it too late: my wife standing below us, spreading a net & flinging away.
Before I can warn the Steve Buscemi he is already leaping, sprouting retractable wings like a giant hummingbird’s & floating away at eighty-flaps-per-second. Treading cloud climbing toward the sun, raining glitter from the hip.
I swallow my shame seeing his gift to us: where he exploded into the sky, our roof now magically patched. All disrepair repaired.
Down on the ground again, my wife & I watch the dot of Steve Buscemi shrink away.
What do you think was wrong with him? my wife asks.
Looked like a centaur bite to me, I tell her, carefully peeling off my shiny shirt of souvenirs. Let’s go watch some Airheads.
What do you think he’ll do now?
I ponder her question for a moment, pinching glitter between my fingers: the blood of no mere mortal. Only the gods know what Steve Buscemi is capable of, I say, then wipe glitter in my hair.
Matthew Burnside’s work has appeared most recently or is forthcoming in ______, ___ _______, _______, ______, and ______, among others. He’s managing editor of _________, an online literary magazine. He’s currently an MFA fiction candidate at __________________.