I just joined the writer’s club on “Friends of Bookshare” which posts a topic to write about for every day to keep us in practice. Today’s story with the topic: Before I Was Born follows.
Before I was born, Kaye, my would be mother, said to Arnie, my future father, “Let’s have a baby.” Arnie, a very nerdy chemist scratched his head and said, “Why not?” So, after a few sessions of the old in-out, in-out one of Arnie’s sperms became friendly enough with one of Kaye’s eggs and they decided to fertilize.
At that point, Arnie and Kaye lived a pretty quiet life in Manville, New Jersey. Arnie worked for American Cyanamid, a huge and environmentally disastrous chemical company who, in a big way, helped Jersey gain its reputation for poisonous rivers and amazing spectroscopic sunsets, and Kaye taught at a local grammar school. On weekends, Arnie and Kaye would often go to Jersey City to visit one or both sets of their parents or into the Village to hear the beats read and the be-boppers jam. Their life had few problems and even fewer fears.
Then, one day the sperm met the egg and they joined together to form a family which is how we became the BC bunch. This didn’t occur immediately, the sperm and egg spent some time as a zygote and, for reasons of their own, caused Kaye to puke often. After a while the sperm and egg decided to move into a bigger apartment and chose a fetus as their new home as such can easily support expansion.
The fetus had all sorts of rapid additions grow forth from what once had just been a sperm and egg. Loads of child, grandchild, great grandchild and beyond cells joined the fetus and, after a while, the fetus became me.
Arnie and Kaye felt a lot of excitement about becoming parents for the first time. I, the fetus, didn’t much care about the future. Arnie would say, “If the baby comes out as a girl, we should name her Audrey.” At that point in his life, Arnie had a major league Audrey Hepburn fetish and often had to run off to masturbate when one of her movies would air on television. Kaye didn’t like the name Audrey and replied, “No, we’ll call her Elizabeth,” the name my younger sister got six years later.
When they discussed boy’s names, Kaye might suggest something like “Ignatz is a good name, we can name him after my uncle Ziggy.” As I had no notion of the forthcoming David Bowie album that made Ziggy into a cool name, I would kick pretty hard at Kaye’s innards. Arnie would say, “What about Christian,” a name I thought pretty cool and ultimately ended up with it attached to me.
For what seemed like an eternity in the warm dark place, I enjoyed sloshing around, kicking and punching for fun and to correct something Kaye might have said that disturbed me, especially when she would run down a list of extremely ethnic Polish names that I knew for certain would get my ass whooped at some point in the future.
Arnie and Kaye continued going to the nightclubs and visiting their parents but Kaye, for no reason apparent to me, stopped drinking the red wine that I so enjoyed. After a while, the warm dark place started growing pretty dull.
On July 4, 1960, I ruined my mother’s doctor’s Independence Day Party by deciding to throw one of my own. Dr. Dommer spent hours in the delivery room with Kaye trying to extract me from deep in the cavern in which I lived for my entire life. Arnie paced back and forth in the waiting room smoking Marlboro cigarettes and looking like he had witnessed a train wreck. Kaye pushed and pushed and, at last, I popped out and flew into the awaiting catcher’s mitt that they used to gather babies as the flew out of the shoot back in those days.
Dr. Dommer announced, “It’s a boy!”
“No shit,” I thought, “these big people have a solid grip on the obvious.) Then, the bastard spanked me for reasons I still cannot understand, he was probably some sort of infantapheliac S&M pervert.
He handed me to Kaye and Arnie came into the room. They had big smiles on their faces but I found the bright lights and noises quite annoying so I screamed for them to tone it down a bit but, not understanding the language of an infant, they kept making coo like sounds that one would ordinarily associate with a pigeon during mating season. All I wanted was the lights turned down but everyone who could perform such a trick just smiled and made senseless noises at me. Life hasn’t changed much since.