4.12 / December 2009

Fix Us

When I was in middle school, I tried to be a cutter.

I couldn’t press the blade down hard enough to draw a drop of blood.

But give me a butcher’s knife and a pregnant belly and I am practically a gynecological surgeon.

Danny, I know what you are thinking—

It’s an old story. There is that point in life when every weekend is spent at a wedding reception or a baby shower. You find yourself staring down at your left hand, wondering if a wedding band will ever accompany your engagement ring or if you are doomed to spend the rest of your life in that shitty two bedroom with Danny, being one of those couples that get engaged but never get married, year after year. I was watching everyone I knew pack into a train car and pull away at full speed, leaving just me and Danny and our rental video on Tuesdays and Chinese food on Fridays. It just so happened that the nights I mentioned starting a family were the nights Danny insisted on using a condom instead of pulling out like normal. And still. Even with all of this, I probably wouldn’t have done anything if I hadn’t known that the last time my friend Rebecca had a kid she nearly offed herself because her baby blues were so bad. She clearly didn’t appreciate what a gift a baby was. I did.

Danny, if you had just wanted kids too, then it never would have come to this—

We were sitting in my apartment. The sight of her crossing her hands on top of her enormous belly got to me. I stared and stared as she talked going on and on about who was breaking off the engagement, who was having trouble conceiving, and whose boyfriend got caught trolling Craigslist for blow jobs. I got to thinking about all the things I never got in life, all the times I was passed up, every opportunity that went to someone else, never me. I’ll never understand how Rebecca didn’t hear my teeth grinding, wearing down the enamel with remarkable efficiency.

I can’t say it was one of those blind rages or a crime of passion or anything because I clearly remember sitting there, nodding and uh-huhing, thinking she didn’t deserve that baby. I remember making the decision to go to my kitchen and taking the most imposing knife from the utensil drawer. I walked up behind her slowly, and when my arm reached around she didn’t yell or anything. She didn’t make a sound until she saw me holding the tiny, silent baby. Even then it wasn’t much of a noise, just a feeble grunt.

Danny, I’ve been noticing the far off look in your eyes lately, like there is something just out of your line of vision that you are desperate to see. Don’t you understand? That’s what it was like for me too.

Later, when I was in handcuffs and in the backseat of a squad car, my t-shirt soaked in blood and the screams of ambulances flooding my ears, I would think first of how Rebecca’s insides were all pink and red and purple, like Valentine’s Day hearts. I thought about how awkward it would be for Danny to bump into the neighbors in our building’s lobby or how he would explain to his future girlfriends how once upon a time his couch became the site of a double homicide.

Danny, I stole the baby to fix us.