The Mark, from LUCKY

A few choice words about discovering bird guano on your shirt while standing in front of the ‘Sale!’ shoes that drew you into that damn shop in the first place, being the only thing there that might fit from among the feverish men’s merchandise stretched taut over mannequin bellies and bulges. Discovering it there on your shirt, sudden and close, below your right cheek, close to your neck, in a blind spot. There! Guano, brown and chunky. Then imagining for a moment it was the shopkeeper’s spittle, left when he noted your failed sneakers, fingers reaching to check your backpack. “Nothing here for you!” his face read, in style or in size, but perhaps he was just stunned by the bird crap, seemingly dropped only seconds ago. Or maybe it was, more horribly, the jettisoned last squirt of lunch’s tamale. Lingering there for hours, during that long crowded bus ride, vivid against the white shirt. And there, upon discovery, the mess wiped from hand to jeans to eye again, in sudden shame and revulsion. The stain left behind even more loathsome. A warning. A curse. Bad luck. Bad manners. The second bus trip spent wondering which.

Here’s the advice. Use a spot remover. Wash cold. If it doesn’t come out, you know.