Friday, June 06, 2003

Make It Nice And Clear Day!

The kid you put up for adoption twenty six years ago is going to look you up with a lot of wishful thinking in his head. His name is Keith and when he visits, he'll be reciting claptrap like, "So I guess when you gave birth to me you were young and had no money and you didn't feel like you could provide for me the home that I deserve, right?" Say, "No. That's not right. That's wrong."

Tell Keith the truth. Tell him that he was conceived just before one of your many "let's manufacture some drama because summers between college semesters are way fucking dull" breakups. Tell Keith how his mother used her pregnancy to drag his father back by her side and after a few days' deliberation to heighten the suspense, his father agreed to get back together on the condition that little Keith be vacuumed piece by piece from deep inside Mommy's belly.

"And everything looked to be rosy-pink," bio-daddy should say. "Mommy was going to have you torn apart and we were going to continue in our utterly joyless late-teen relationship until we went back to our separate state schools and start cheating again just like we promised not too." Then lean real close to the nosy little punk and say, "Except Mommy wanted to play a different game."

"Stop it, Harold," bio-Mommy should say to bio-Daddy.

"Our boy's come home!" bio-Daddy should say to bio-Mommy. "All these miles just to meet Mom and Dad. I think he deserves to hear how you and me and baby made three, don't you Olivia?"

"Bastard," bio-Mommy should whisper from behind the hi-ball glass upturned to her lips.

"Is she talking about me or is she talking about you? I think she's talking about me," bio-Daddy should say to Keith. "Where was I? Oh, the aborted abortion, of course. So then, long lost apple of my eye, you don't play poker with many women do you? Of course you don't. Men can appreciate the rewards of a fair game played. But women can't resist the urge to stick a card up their sleeves."

Bio-Mommy should rest her cheek against the leather head-rest of her chair in a kind of alcohol-soaked waking sleep. "Why shouldn't they cheat?" bio-Daddy should continue. "They have no use for sport. They do not hunt, they gather. They take, and they think sport is only a complicated way of winning that which can merely be taken."

Bio-Daddy should stand up and look at bio-Mommy to feast on the dread in her face, but he will be disappointed when her expression implies she might not remember that the afternoon even took place. He'll freshen his drink, then, and he'll finish his story whether it strikes the blow he intended or not. "Bio-Mommy knew she'd have a few more pots to win before we called it a night. So looked me in the eye and slipped into her shirt-sleeve an ace. An ace by the name of Kevin."

Keith will say "Keith."

"Son," Bio-Daddy should say. "A boy. She lied. She told me she'd abort my baby and she held onto it long enough to tell me she was going to have my boy. She started to show. Our parents got involved. Hers demanded our marriage. Mine, being of a higher economic class, demanded that we finish college. A compromise was made."

Now, bio-Daddy should just hover over bio-Mommy's chair and tell the rest of the story to her sedated frame. "We would marry, and the baby would be put up for adoption since I obviously didn't want it. And though no one made her say it, your mother certainly had no feelings for you beyond those a terrorist might have for a hostage. You were useful, and then you, Keith, were no longer necessary."

"In a way, you can be proud," bio-Daddy should address Keith again. "You were a good son to your mother. Simply by being born, you made sure your poor mother was taken care of. Even if she never had the manners to introduce herself. Though, her side of the family was never considered the most mannered of people."

Now, bio-Daddy and Keith will watch bio-Mommy sleeping in her chair. Bio-Daddy should say, "Adorable isn't she?" And then bio-Daddy should offer Keith a drink.

Happy Make It Nice And Clear Day!