Elephants and Rhinos

Photo by sarayuth3390/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by sarayuth3390/iStock / Getty Images

DIANE: A woman of sixty

MALIKA: Her daughter, forties

BRIAN: A silent partner

This conversation takes place by phone between Cleveland, Ohio and Amsterdam, North Holland.

You know you're uncle just got out the hospital?

What happened?

Heroin. They out here giving people synthetic shit. You know that purple?

Never heard of it.

It's big out here in Ohio. They mix heroin with zoo tranquilizers. The kinda shit they put down elephants and rhinos with, that's what he was shooting up.


Yes, you know how junkies like to go in the bathroom and do their thing?

He overdosed in the bathroom?

Girl, his intestines exploded in the bathroom. Knocked him off the toilet. Shit went flying everywhere.

Ma, this is too much. It's late here and I don't want to go to sleep thinking about exploding rectums.

Intestines...but I'll tell you a happy story.

Please. You're on speaker phone, by the way, Brian can hear you.

Brian's a grown ass man, he can listen.


I told you my boyfriend is back?


Yes, the doctor gave him a new drug for his prostate. It helps with erections too. So he's coming over on Thursday to test it out.


Yes, girl! You know what else he said?


He told me he ain't never had nobody touch him the way I touched him. And he apologized for getting scared and running away.

That is good news.

I told you I had some good news.

I'll sleep better now. Goodnight.

Sweet dreams, baby.

Malika Ali