October 16, 2007

End Of Summer (Or Really Beginning Of Autumn If We're Being Honest With Ourselves) Story Thon, Day 16

Today's suggestion is from AJay Smith: "Well, that's not gonna make any babies."

All the cool people with babies freaked her the fuck out. The couple on the subway in hoodies and matching nose-rings, their kid wearing a little newsboy cap, plaid button-down, and boots, looking ready jump out of his stroller and lead an anti-racism ska concert in London in 1985. The Rastafarian couple with a baby dressed like the mother and a toddler a carbon-copy of the dad. The ultra-beautiful West Village professional moms clustered on a street corner telling their babies to wave goodbye to Hunter and Alabaster, and Hunter and Alabaster’s ultra-beautiful Battery Park City moms telling their babies to wave goodbye to Samartina and Zeke.

You were not supposed to be cool when you had a kid. You were supposed to be immediately transformed into a fat ball of lame, an endlessly caring yet hopelessly un-hip boring-job attendee with hugs to spare but just awful, awful taste in music. The second your first kid slid fully out you should open your eyes and find that you’d been teleported to somewhere in the Midwest, a safe fly-over collection of Wal-Marts and IHOPs tucked in the right angles of highway intersections. Where you found yourself should be a place with no social hierarchy except who brings the best homemade whatever to the church picnic. Where you found yourself should not have an alternative paper. Where you found yourself should not have an art scene. Your children need you fat, warm, and acceptable. Your children need you embarrassing.

In her darker moments she wished anyone who had drink specials and sample sales texted to their iPhones would be rendered barren, maybe by some subtle radiation from the lighting fixtures at H&M. She hoped all the babies who had Mohawks before they could walk upright and served as conversation pieces in loft-borne tapas parties would grow up to be Mormon missionaries and mechanical bull operators. And not the mechanical bull at that bar on the Lower East Side with sawdust on the floor, but the mechanical bull in a bar anywhere they are suspicious of irony. She prayed in twenty years they discovered that a rash of high-school shooters all had in common the fact that their parents blogged about them.

People who looked like her had babies, and she could not imagine caring enough about a baby to make its life any good while she cared as much as she did about looking like she did.

She wanted so badly to punch the five-year-old with the Guided By Voices t-shirt, but she told herself it wasn’t the kid’s fault and decided to punch his father instead. But she couldn’t, of course, because his father was her boss.

Posted by DC at October 16, 2007 01:13 AM

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