The Boundary: Babykicker

Posted 11/03/2009 by WHayes in Labels: , , , , , ,

Originally uploaded by lomokev
Four months ago, I met a girl who I knew was out of my league. The type of girl your insides just know is smarter than you, better educated, a better lay (they often are), has more fashionable clothes and cooler friends and could probably even beat you in a foot race if she had the chance. Telling you she’s beautiful would be redundant, and like any beautiful girl, she had a secret: fourteen months prior, she gave birth to her first child: a son. This story is about him.

I don’t think most of us wake up in the morning thinking about the miserable shit we’d like to befall our former neighbors, friends, or lovers. I'll go even further and suggest that no one plans on hating what we know another person loves -- but sometimes it turns out that way. Thus, I can’t shake the idea that sometimes we just aren’t supposed to like a motherfucker. Sometimes you just look down at 14 months of bouncing baby boy and think, “I wouldn’t mind if you fell down some stairs.”

I didn’t go into this blind. I play dumb sometimes -- better safe than sorry I figure -- but this time I knew full well what the stakes were. I knew what he meant to his mother: she adores him. We fast became friends, and she told me in a moment of heartbreaking vulnerability that he literally saved her from suicide. She didn’t know her purpose before him. Because of that knowledge, I never smile at him. I don’t want him feeling comfortable around me. The one time we made a connection, he giggled and wanted me to pick him up. A few minutes later he came back and hugged my leg. “He’s never done that to my guy friends before.” That would have been a good omen to a more honorable man, but I couldn’t bring myself to look at it so positively. I only saw a liability: if the kid likes you, then she’ll like you, and then you’ll have to get “serious.” Never that. Serious men are miserable, and I didn’t want to be a long-term serious man. Not this soon.

I don't know exactly when it started, but I think it was inevitable for my mood toward him to change from indifference to enmity. The straw could have been the day he paused from spinning around the living room to audibly shit his pants: something he found hilarious. Maybe it was the 7am Baby Einstein wake up calls (we both hated being alone, so I slept over sometimes); maybe their lie reflected my own. We were both faking it: those tapes wouldn’t make him any smarter, not even marginally, and no matter how tight I held her at night, I couldn’t convince myself that I was not, in fact, making a dangerous mistake. “Friend, my ass. This is how women get hurt,” I thought. “This is how bad relationships start.” Maybe I was jealous that he could be with the woman who loved him; the one who loves me is half a country away.

So here I am (or was, as it’s finally over), it’s morning again; I'm waiting for the bathroom. I’m looking at her drooling, slack-jawed, $10,000 paperweight, and can’t help but picture gently placing an index finger between his big, vacant eyes and pushing backward. I wonder if he’ll topple like a stack of alphabet bricks. He waddles over, carrying a little green cylinder. He was tired of sucking on it and wanted to roll it across the room. He looks up at me, and holds it out for me to play with, but his grip isn’t strong enough and it falls to the floor. He tries to pick it up, but my foot beats him to it: a little kick sends the thing clattering across the den. He looks hurt. I feel very satisfied.

3 comment(s) to... “The Boundary: Babykicker”


Anonymous said...

WHayes, I want to shake your hand

CtotheB said...

Is that unforgivable?

Generation Y(ellow) said...

probably not.

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