Far be it from me to judge, but I was pretty sure the baby gestating inside its mother would've been better off being raised by wolves. The "mother" (a term I use because "incubator" seems harsh) was outside the post office. I was tempted to take a picture with my cell phone, but I don't think it would do her justice. And, quite honestly, if she saw me capturing her image I could only imagine the hell she would try to bring my way. I figured it would sound like a lot of screeching and those growling things coming out of Linda Blair toward the end of The Exorcist. Yes, the woman looked a little bit crazy. But just a little bit.
Her hair was pulled back into a pony tail. Her eye makeup looked as if it had been applied by short circuiting robots. Her black "wife beater" barely contained the bun in the oven and exposed a real nice pot leaf tattoo that looked like it was the best money could buy from a Walkman-style gun. On her other arm was the name (in cursive and most likely by the same gun) "Andre." The pajama bottoms (Raiders, of course) completed the picture. She had one child in tow. That little girl looked unhappy. The baby in the stroller (sex undetermined) seemed content to be in oblivion. While yammering away on a cell phone, the woman, in an act that would make the judges on any reality show proud, managed to not only suck away at a cancer stick (so good for baby), but also tell her little girl what an "annoying shit" she was. What was the girl's crime? No idea, but I think it had something to do with being born.
I never understood parents who called their children such vile names. I can't imagine how that feels as a child to hear the person who is in charge of your protection calling you a "shit." Whether or not you know what it is, you know by tone it isn't good. And somebody thought it was a good idea to get sperm up inside of all that. Not to torture myself, but I couldn't picture that being a pleasant experience.
Those kids were probably going to grow up miserable. Mother would never have enough patience or time for them. They will feel like burdens more often than not, and when they forget what a burden they are, mom will be happy to remind them. She'll go from man to man to man. Some of those men will be nice. Those are the ones who go as quick as they came. The mean ones stay longer. Some of those may take a little too much interest in the children. Mom, the protector, may or may not turn a blind eye. Every once in a while, mostly on holidays and birthdays, mom will tell them she loves them. Within twenty four hours she'll be screaming that she wishes they were never born. They won't question why she didn't get an abortion or put them up for adoption. They learned early on what it is like to take a slap across the face. They don't like having their hair pulled and heads slammed into the table next to their bowl of buttered noodles.
In time, the oldest will have to make a decision. She can be like mom, or she can act human. If she's like mom, she'll be smoking by 11, sex by 13, pot and pills at 14, child at 16. The circle of life when you are unwanted and unloved. If she decides to act human, she'll keep her head down, look out for her siblings, and do her best to make peace so mom doesn't fly off the handle. If she needs to, she'll take the heat off the others and get "mouthy" with mom when she's had too much to drink. She knows how to take a hit by now, and besides, if mom pisses her off too much there's a tube of Crazy Glue in the drawer. One drop in the corner of her eye while she's sleeping is sometimes the only thought that gets that girl through the day. She'll keep her grades up and apply to "every fucking college" she can think of in order to get out. And when she leaves, she'll feel guilty as hell. She hopes and prays she's set an example for her brothers and sisters. She hopes they follow her path. She's told them about the glue. She's told them how to keep the doors locked for when mom's boyfriends come over.
So there Mom was outside of the post office. Screeching into the phone about how she had to get away for a weekend. Yes, life is so stressful when you don't give a fuck about the kids you got and there's another one on the way. Cancun calls, and they'll be happy to see you there. I walked away wondering, though, why the woman even bothered.
She looked too dumb to follow any religion to any point it mattered, so abortion wasn't the moral evil it would be with some people. I was sure she thought about giving her kids away more times than she could remember, so adoption was an option with which she was familiar. So why have them? Why keep doing something that makes you stressed out and unhappy? Maybe I was wrong. Maybe this day was an anomaly. Maybe she was Mom of the Year material every other day but today, but I doubt it. People who call their children a "shit" don't just pop out with that. That comes from a long line of disgust and hatred. So why bother?
As I drove away I looked in my rearview mirror. Mom had moved on toward the corner, cell phone still attached to her ear. The oldest child was lagging behind. Mom realized it and screamed something at her. The child didn't move any faster. Would you? No. Neither would I. Someday that child will get it and maybe even ask her mother, when the alcohol has run its course, "Why did you have me?" Mom, depending on level of coherency, will give some rehearsed answer. She's said it over and over in her head all those times she's asked herself that very question. Why? "Because I love you." They'll both know it's a lie, but mom will want to believe it and the kid will cling to it as it is so rare to hear. The real answer is a lot more telling and truthful, though. Kid, your mom had you guys because she's a selfish bitch who puts herself first and looks at you as a burden. She had you because that is all she knows. Eat, drink, breed. She put as much thought into having you as she put into birth control, and she was too lazy to take care of her "mistake." The question isn't why she had you. It's: What will you do when you are old enough to leave? Take my advice. Walk out that door and don't look back. Take your mother as an example of what not to be, how not to act, and what not to do. When/if someday you have a child of your own, do your best to make up for every single mistake your mother made. Do your best to be the parent you never had. You didn't have the best example growing up, but you knew what you hated. Don't be that. And don't call your child an "annoying shit." Remember how it felt. Your mom forgot, and look what she turned into. Don't make the same mistake. And if you do, spend the rest of your life making up for it.