On Friday the 21st the temperature inched up to 79; the next day would hit 91 and the day after 93. Like animals that can tell a coming hurricane, my mom could feel the heat coming back and told me, in no uncertain terms, that the rent was due and I had to come out. She wouldn't be carrying a nine pound baby in the heat of summer, so labor began on the 21st and ended conveniently before the heat of the 22nd's afternoon.
I was born with certain expectations and predilections but failed to enunciate them adequately to my mother. I became a writer due to that early lesson: crying nonsense just doesn't get the job done. You have to be articulate, to plead your case, to explain what's wrong. And I didn't, not at all. All I did was cry, cry, cry. Endlessly but with impressive repetition, like how foreigners keep saying the same foreign word as if you could understand them the tenth time better. I couldn't use English to describe my dislike of the bottled milk, but I think it was causing me gas pains, best I can tell. I can't recall.
It was months before relief came when a doctor who spoke tears understood and translated. I went on some sort of different formula, the details unspecific but perhaps not earth-shattering. Calm was restored. The wisdom at Woodstock, six years later, was "stay away from the brown acid", but my wisdom acquired earlier was "stay away from the bottled milk."
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The birth itself occurred at 9:12:47 Eastern Standard Time, which is when I accomplished my first (the haters say "only") courageous deed, that of forsaking the amniotic fluid (and thus being, essentially, a aquatic animal) and breathing that rich combination of oxygen and nitrogen and fossil fuel pollution we call air. And thus I became a land animal overnight, or technically, over morning.
I spent my first day resting comfortably when I obviously should've been learning to read so that I could say words like, "I think I'm allergic to that damn milk." At the very least I could've gotten a jump start on a savings plan since I wasn't getting any younger.
But a certain laziness gripped me, perhaps not unique to my sex, and I slept a lot, dreaming of those prelapsarian days in my mom's womb where I was essentially a "professional student", discovering my immediate surroundings, experiencing different types of food, and learning out how to pick my nose. My payment was free food and room and board. A sinecure.
I was surprisingly gifted in the womb, but this was not widely known. They don't give scholarships, six-figure jobs, or multi-year football contracts to those, like me, who show exceptional promise pre-birth. I'm not bitter, really, but I am a victim of societal prejudice against those still on the amniotic fluid. You'd think I wasn't a person or something then!
Fortunately nowadays they have soccer camp for pre-borns, which involves mothers hiking to distant athletic fields and yelling words of encouragement to their little ones along with words of discouragement to the refs. "Offsides, no way! Just because I'm a little more pregnant than she is shouldn't count..."
Again I leap way ahead. I have about 100,000 more words to write concerning my initial day of life, but we got this.
|Here I am playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 while still in the womb!|
It's not bragging if it's true!
|Here is a modern day mom having her unborn practice soccer.|