- JUNE 4 -
(continued from last week) only proper that, seeing that I am the husband in this relationship, then I should also be the father. That would be the natural thing.
So that afternoon, following a few sessions of very humbling, very sincere love-making -- for we were not merely making love, we were making a life -- we extracted my seed ("Push," I implored him. "Push!" And I helped him with his breathing like the manual said) and then we rushed it to the clinic for whatever the next step would be.
All during the bus ride Terence kept sneaking doe-eyed glances at the Tupperware tub. Me: "Don't get any boring ideas, Terence. We're breaking new ground here. We will use this seed ... for reproductive purposes." He just kind of looked at me and shook his head. He still didn't really quite get it.
We gave the sperm to the nurse and she took it away only to return a few minutes later, saying, "Sorry, mister. But can't no way make no baby outa dead sperm."
Dead? Dearest Sweet Lord ... I hadn't expected this at all. Infertile? Bit of a shock, really. Maybe it was true after all, what they say: that a man can be young, strong, attractive ... and yet deep inside something is wrong with him. Poor Terence.
The nurse sniffed at the dead seed. "Could be the non-oxynol kilt it," she mumbled, as if my semen were somehow composed entirely of tiny AIDS viruses.
I sighed. "Hold me, Terence," I said, and he did so and within a few seconds I deposited a fresh batch of piping hot replacement sperm into a mug and handed it to Nurse Ratchit.
A few months later the baby was delivered. He had Terence's pretty blue eyes, bald head, and tiny wrinkled little hands. He had my blue eyes also, my boyish grin and my child-like sense of wonder.
We named him Tchotchke, after the Russian author.
- MARCH 5 -
We had just finished bathing him and toweling him off and patting him down with scented oils, and he was lying there smiling, all pink and soft and just beautiful, and Terence and I stood there looking down at him a while, proud, just enjoying him, and then we looked at each other and we just knew: indeed, circumcision.
Yes, I am aware that it is controversial. There's the risk of infection. And I acknowledge that circumcision is not appropriate for every penis.
But listen. I write a Seattle teen sex-advice column as my job. I give sex advice for a living and also as kind of a hobby. I know everything there is to know about penises and foreskins: I've tried 'em with, without, and every variation in between, and this much I know for a fact: under normal circumstances, and under the supervision of an experienced practitioner, a properly circumcised penis is simply more pleasurable to me.
Yes, the promise of a better life. By taking the time to do this now, I would be providing my son not only with a cleaner, more sensible penis, but also with the foundation for a more stable marriage someday: marital bliss begins in the bedroom, and a circumsized Tchotchke will be a Tchotchke better able to sexually satisfy his husband.
We opted for a nifty V-cut with a tuck, a smart little bob with a bit of flair and a lot of class, very sassy without seeming like you're trying to seem sassy. Tchotchke cried and cried because he's a baby and does not adapt well to change.
- MARCH 6 -
I awoke this morning and the first thing I noticed was the sound of ... the phone not ringing. Interesting ... made me smile a bit. Was it possible that the local Media Illuminati had decided that the gay-man-raising-a-baby thing would no longer suffice as the Sensation of the Week and this month's amuser of the masses? I rolled over and peeked out the window and ... it actually seemed weird in a funny sort of way. "What's this?" I said to nobody in particular. "No paparazzi camped out on the lawn? No boring tabloid requests for photo ops and sound bites? No gawkers, hangers-on, or wannabes? And where oh where could that conspicuously gawdy KIRO-7 News Van be?
"What's happening here? Has the world gone completely fucking sane?"
The powers-that-be had in their wisdom decided to let me become what millions of men around the world manage to be every day without any fanfare or hoopla at all: just a plain old Dad.
Really, you just have to kind of laugh and shake your head. I placed the phone on the pillow beside me and dialed up Susan Paynter, my gal-Friday at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Ring-ring. Me: "Hello, Susie-Q? Me, Dan-dan. Wassu-u-u-up, girlfriend? How are you? That's faboo. Me? Dandy as hard candy, sweet thing. Say, listen ... SOMETHING HAS GONE TERRIBLY TERRIBLY WRONG UNMITIGATED DISASTER REPEAT DISASTER FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WE MUST ACT NOW. I want you to get on the phone and I want you to book me on Oprah, Sally Jesse, Ricki, anybody you can, I don't fucking care, and I want you to do it now. TELL THEM I AM A GAY MAN RAISING A BABY. DO IT NOW. NOW. DO IT NOW."
A week later Tchotchke and I are on the set of the Maury Povich Show. And Maury introduces me and he starts right in. "So ... anal sex. What's that all about? Do you like it?"
Anal sex again! Good Gracious God! Just because I am the world's foremost living expert on anal sex ... I'm sorry. That is sooo played out. I had answered this question so many times I didn't even need notecards anymore. "Of course I enjoy it, Maury. All men want to be fucked in the ass, especially breeder men. But they deny it because they're homophobes."
Preposterous, of course. But I've been using this saucy aphorism for years; it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. I mean, from that point on I had that mob in my fucking back pocket. You should've heard the laughter. When they quieted down I continued, "I'm a gay man with a baby."
Maury reddened noticably. "You mean to say that ... I want to have anal sex?"
Again?! Get off it, already! BREEDERMEN! "What I'm saying, Maury, is that deep down you'd like me to take you backstage and make you squeal like a schoolgirl. But not right now. I'm a gay man raising a baby."
And we chat about anal sex for a while and the whole time dear Tchotchke is lying on the table beside me. You'd think his presence there might've warranted a comment. Anything. Like: "So tell me about that naked baby there, Dan." Or something. But no.
The next guest was Death Row inmate Mitchell Rupe, who has also adopted a baby for promotional reasons. And Maury just asks him questions about sex in prison.
Sometimes I think society has really changed, and not necessarily for the better.
- APRIL 12 -
Exciting day: Tchotchke's first Easter Gay Mass and Pride Jamboree. He was just an angel all through the ceremony. Afterwards, he was being passed around the room, and Father Spanarkle is holding him and everyone's cooing and clucking, and he (Tchotchke) sends a bright rainbow of yellow piss out over the gathering.
Leave it to a little baby to expose The Beautiful People as the bunch of frumps and sourpusses that they truly are. Hey, hello fragile egos! It's a baby, for god's sake! As you bumble and stumble about like drunken ballerinas with one hand over one's drink. Boredom, anybody? And old Spanarkle ... the expression on his face was priceless. He could not do the obvious thing since of course one does not merely drop a urinating baby. And of course Terence can't take him because we've agreed that he's not to hold Tchotchke while wearing a dress until he (Tchotchke) is old enough to understand that just because sometimes mommy looks like a woman doesn't mean he can't be trusted.
So eventually it was left to me to come forward and -- because I'm his father, dammit! -- admit that it was in fact my baby and I took it out to the car. I strapped him gently into his car seat and we talked quietly for awhile and shared a cry.
Later I thought about Tchotchke and a light went off in my head, and I shushed the witty confab assembled about me. "Four hours ago my baby boy was pissing on you drunks," I said. "And now here I am ... getting piss-drunk!!"
You should've heard the laughter. It felt good. From wet blanket to life of the party ... funny how life can be that way. All thanks to a baby boy named Tchotchke, now sleeping blissfully out in the Civic.
- JULY 9 -
Terence misplaces the goddamn baby somewhere in the day room.
Normally you just find the little crap-factory by smell, but we had a plane to catch so we left a note for Nana; Terence had an "important" dance gig at a Tijuana hotel. Seems the Entertainment Directors for Lake Havasu Golden Years CruiseLine would be on hand; big opportunity to advance his "career," I believe he called it.
Oh, yes. And his mother would be there. So you see it really was very important indeed.
The trip was a fucking disaster. I had carefully explained to Terence that he was not to drink the water, but apparently he assumed that only applied to tap-water, not pond-water. So what with hourly bouts of vomiting and hourly bouts of the shits, it was 7 days of sheer tedium for me. And I'll tell you another thing: being the world's foremost living expert on anal sex gets you diddly-squat in the Third World. (continued)