Monday, September 5, 2011

A Heart Unwritten

It can be difficult to find the energy to be creative when you cannot find that balance between pain and suffering, despair and agony.

But it is like they say: Write what you know.

So, here is a bit of flash fiction just for you:

I looked into the mirror this morning and couldn't help but stare.
"What?" the reflection asked.
"I'm sorry. I thought you looked like someone I once knew," I said.
"You always say that," the reflection said.
"Yeah. Sorry."
"You always say that too."
I started the hot water and let the steam build a wall between me and the man I used to be.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Children of the Damned

As anyone who has known me in real life for more than ten minutes can tell you, I don't like kids. I frequently refer to them as larva, homunculi, spawn, etc. usually in jest. But I am serious about not liking them and having them make me uncomfortable, and I did not realize until just recently why that is.

I am afraid of not doing what is right by them. In my particular case just having one could end up a disaster just on the grounds that my genes are a minefield of debilitating migraines, epilepsy, eye damage, and the obnoxious task of trying to find pants that fit someone over six feet tall but has no waist to speak of. But even if I adopted a child I would still be paralyzed by the fact that I wouldn't know what to teach it, how to talk to it, or how to help it grow into a decent human being. The running joke is that I couldn't shut it out in the hall when it cries like I do the cats.

The reason I feel this was is because we are never really taught what having kids is like. We always hear about how they are a gift, a blessing, a wonder, a treasure, and numerous other positive value adjectives. We hear about how they make your life complete, and for some I imagine that to be true. But the thing is that we are not taught about how they scream all night, need to eat at irregular hours (another reason for me not to have kids since I never grew out of this one), that they are smelly and weird looking, or that your life as you knew it ends when their's begins. This is not to say that my parents never taught me. They did a pretty good job all things considered.

That last point always seems to rub people the wrong way. "That is selfish," they tell me. "It isn't all about you, you know." "They bring value to your life."

Bullshit. It is actually all about me because I am the only person responsible for adding value to my life. Thus that last response is a damned good way to get my blood pressure up. If you require an external source to add value to your life then having children will not make you any more fulfilled and when they grow up and move on you will be stuck with a stranger that looks just like you in the mirror.

Like I said, some people may feel fulfilled by having children. These are people who see that as the path they want to take in life. More power too them since this species, despite its numerous and destructive faults, deserves a future to make things better. Hell, we are genetically programmed to feel that way about kids. But that is no excuse to hide the realities of parenthood from our children.

So I beseech you, people who think its so damn important to have kids, instead of telling people how wonderful it is and giving the false impression of puppies and rainbows all the time, teach them the hard parts too. Teach about the parts that keep you up at night. Teach about the parts skipped in movies and books.