Sometimes I try and just eat the pain. I waltz up to Life's Buffet and take a few chilled shrimp, a couple dipping carrots, some onion rings. I pile on fried mushrooms if they have them. I take soup ladles full of olives, dump them down on my dish. Then I come up to the Hurt. The Pain. Big salad bowls full of coppery bullets for shooting yourself in the foot. I scoop some out. M-80's with nipped fuses for blowing up in your face. A couple of those. Then I move on, I guess. Over to the taco bar or wherever.
Still, its the self-inflicted explosions where I tend to make my mark.
Sitting on the couch the other night, I'm sipping on a glass of wine, letting the buzz roll uphill into my head, when I decide that now is a good time to let Monica know that I went ahead and created one of those baby registries on Amazon. You know: for free shit in the name of the unborn. I pop open the computer all smooth and cool and find the little list I made and then ease it on over to her lap. I'm feeling good about what I've done. I'm feeling confident that this is somehow a charming piece of husbandry I've accomplished, planning ahead for the birth of our boy by sitting on my ass and selecting material goods that we don't really need or even want. Still, I get dazzled by my own notions sometimes. I get to thinking that, Hey...this is what people do...and so here I am doing it...so we must be just regular people afterall, huh?
That's when I fuck things up, it seems.
Monica looked down at my creation for a second. This was during a commercial for one of her true crime murder shows, mind ya. I don't try and just introduce my notions when she's in the middle of watching some story about someone's swollen bloated grey body being discovered in the upstairs bedroom after the neighbors called the cops to complain of something ripe drifting down the damn street from the house with nine rubber-banded morning newspapers stacking up on the porch. No sir. I time this stuff, or at least I fancy myself timing this stuff, with impeccable precision. The truth is, though, that I don't know what the hell I'm even up to.
Anyway the detectives spewing all their bullshit gves way to a commercial and Monica is looking intently at the items I've decide we need in order to properly welcome a boy to Earth.
"Why do you have another Diaper Champ on here?" she asks me, without looking up.
We already have one of these things, where you can hoard dirty diapers until you can't even lift the damn thing anymore it's so weighted down with your laziness. I figure, hey: Two Kids=Two Outhouses.
"Well, I thought we probably want one in each room, right?," I tell her. See, there I am thinking ahead again. What a guy. What a beautiful thoughtful guy.
"No," she announces bluntly. "We have one already. Why would we get another one? One is enough for both kids."
This throws me off a little. I mean, yeah, of course one is enough. But I had the notion, you see, that two would be better than one. Three would be overkill, naturally, but two, in my mind, seemed perfectly rationale. A nice seventy dollar item someone could buy us so we could store up twice as many kid shits inside of our house.
"And why are you getting the pink model for a boy?", she says.
"They didn't have any other colors. I figured we give the pink one to Violet and the old one to the new kid."
"We don't need two," she says again, putting the kibosh on it.
I let her comments slide off me. I'm a little bruised, but we're hiking down into the list now. And there's other stuff.
That's just when she comes at me with :" We don't need another changing table, Serge. We HAVE one already. That's ridiculous to get another one!"
Now, I'm bleeding all over the place, all over the fucking Micro-Fibre. Wounded. Rattled. Cornered.
I scramble for words.
"Yeah, well don't you think we should have one for each of their rooms, you know, in case one of 'em's napping and we have to change the other one?"
I throw this out there, feebly, I guess. Everything in our house is loud. Taking a coffe mug out of the cabinet sounds like carpet bombing going down. Sneaking into the room with the changing table probably wouldn't be any real disaster/any louder than anything else, but I don't need to fess up to that this minute. I'm insulted. She's questioning my whimsical list.
"No," she gurgles. "That's completely dumb."
Inside of my head: I rise from the couch in slo-mo and rip my flannel open/buttons flying and make an Incredible Hulk noise as she notices the thirty pounds of explosives I have taped to my torso on a wintery Saturday night; her eyes bug out of her face and KA-BOOYA! I jihad the rest of the night due to her sound reasoning (aka in my world: Bad Rudeness).
I bite my tongue but I'm warm from the wine and my simple-minded attempts at great things have proven my downfall. I'm embarrassed and ashamed; although, in truth, each of those emotions seems a bit of a stretch for this particular situation. But that's me. When cool and dapper might bring me the world, I get out the Flame Throwers. In the ephemeral moments, when a man made of strong stuff would assess these offhanded comments from his wife and maybe parlay them into some sort of reckless animal sex with her, on the coffee table or up against the front door, I instead invite all of my demons down from the Heavens, to come and hang out with us, The Bielankos.
I don't remember what I say. I'm a grenade launcher. I'm launching grenades.
Monica's trying to make amends as her murder show comes back on. I hear her through the lapping flames, through the collapsing timbers and beams.
"This crib bumper is cute, we could use that," she offers, her voice barely cutting through the roaring inferno.
And she's right. It is fucking cute.
It's way fucking cute: airplanes and ships and trucks and cars. But it's too late for me. I leave a trail of oathes. I march over the burning carpets. Gobs of smoke get in my eyes. And bursts of fire too. I storm off into the nether regions of the house, into small caves up in the hills: a broken man.
No, actually, a broken fat sack of cheap wine, but whatever.
Dear Son, you are going to have to share a Diaper Champ with your big sister. Deal with it.
I love you and so does Mommy.