On Love, in Kelly’s Uterus
“Oh screw you!” I laughed, “Give me one good reason you won’t let me buy you a beer. And don’t say heartburn. We aren’t fifty two.”
“Mine egg nut!” Her reply was muffled by the typical sounds of a Saturday night at the bar.
“Excuse me?” my eyebrow raised to a peak.
“I’m pregnant!” she yelled at over the racket of male comradery and techno music.
“With a baby.” she added.
The latter part, though redundant, was necessary. Like rewording the theory of relativity for a 5th grader.
I paused, my eyes drawing a straight line from her expression of half excitement, half diet fear to her stomach, as though I might be able to see it looking at me through her belly button, giving me a clue as to how we should all react. Were we happy? Should we cry? Should we leave the bar? Were the fumes from my vodka water going to intoxicate the tiny thing? Does she feel okay? How old is it? Can it hear me? Were we happy? Should we hug? I stared at her belly button. Come on, baby. How do we feel? Any sign would work. We could maybe do a thumbs up, thumbs down kind of thing?
She reached into her bag and pulled out a sepia toned photo of her uterus. Inside, a little gummi bear was floating around like Neil Armstrong on the first lunar landing. You could see its head and its arm was sticking out like it was signaling a left handed turn on its Schwinn.
The adventurous type. A planet lover.
It was insta-love. Quicker than minute rice. Faster than a Jiffy Lube oil change. I grabbed the sonogram, firing questions as fast as she could answer them.
How far along?
Boy or girl?
Not sure yet.
Where’s it gonna live?
In my uterus, then with me.
How big is it?
The size of a lime this week.
How’s the dad?
How are you?
No one else.
Can we tell everyone immediately?
Does it hurt?
Are you hungry?
Did you know it looks like a sour patch kid?
And just like that I began to take offense to those oblivious people who light up without concern for how their fumes might affect the health of another human’s temporary habitat. My Facebook ads almost immediately matured from unemployment agencies to websites selling organic baby clothes. My vocab suddenly grew to include words for strange mommy things like those pieces of cloth parents wrap around themselves so they don’t drop their babies (Moby Wraps), those ugly squishy things that go around the inside walls of the crib (bumpers) and some really horrible childbirth terms that we won’t mention here, or ever again if I get my way. I was shocked at my immediate obsession with baby names (especially those that sound remotely like my own), the comparison of baby vs. fruit sizes, and Pintrest. Without warning, I fell in love with a tiny Neil slash Lance Armstrong that was supposedly staking camp behind my friend’s belly button (and the only proof I had at this point was a brown, blurry photograph of what looked like a piece of candy). But for better or for worse I was instantaneously and eternally doomed to be concerned with how other tiny humans behave at airports and those ridiculously adorable small person shoes that look like the kind an adult might wear.