November 17, 2007

I wish there were more photographs of my parents, younger, happy. There’s not enough evidence that there was ever a time of relaxing, contentment, queasy, lovesick stomachs. I’ve seen baby pictures, high school yearbooks, and a wedding album. Time then skips to the hospital, where I lay in my mother’s arms, a tiny bundle of pink sheets and skin. So much lost time. Were my mom and dad in bed for two years before that hospital visit, so infatuated and obsessed with one another that it was a chore to tear their lips away and drink a glass of water? I would like to think that’s the truth. What’s more likely is that after the wedding, my mom got fat, cooking every night and staying at home reading decorating magazines while my dad was out earning money to spend on novelties like snow skis or timeshares. This extra chub was not attractive to my dad, who then stopped trying to initiate sex and thereafter just jacked off in the shower thinking about his long-time celebrity crush, Elizabeth Taylor. As my mother yo-yo dieted for the next two years, my dad took increasingly longer showers. One night, while listening to Van Morrison’s “Warm Love,” they decided to be intimate. My dad led my mom into the bedroom, shut off the light and closed his eyes. My mom felt special. Six weeks later, she was scared shitless when the doctor congratulated her. “You do know you’re pregnant, right?”

I believe these are close to the circumstances surrounding my conception.

If I ever have a daughter, I’ll lie to her. I’ll say, “You were planned, the only thing missing to complete our lives. You were the chorus of our favorite song. We loved each other so much, and we wanted to love you.” This way, she can believe she started her life out right.

This will never happen. I’m sterile.


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