I took the last drag of my cigarette and exhaled the cancerous, delicious tar slowly. The poisonous mist danced gracefully away and disappeared into the hot summer air. My eyes gazed up towards the stars wistfully. I wanted to light another one to prolong the peace of the summer night and the beautiful sky. I knew deep down that I had to go back inside.
Back to her.
I entered my house slowly, with the caution of an experienced burglar. I slunk over to fridge to grab a beer, then plopped down on the couch and opened my Miller High Life, opening it ever-so delicatley as to make as little noise as possible. A pop and a small hiss escaped the cylinder. I turned on the hockey game and watched mindlessly. It’s all I wanted to do after my 10-hour shift, I needed this. Maybe tonight I could finally get some normality.
“Honey. We need to talk.”
“Ok. What is it?” I asked. Although I didn’t need to, knew exactly what was coming. I knew I had to choose my words carefully. I knew that my life will never know peace.
“I’ve had a rough day today, and my anxiety is really bad. I’m going to revert tonight. Probably in five minutes or so. I need a diapy change.” Those words pierced the core of my soul.
“Alright- well- look, this is a playoff game. The Jets haven’t been this close to the Cup in a long time and there’s only 10 minutes left in the third period. Just let me watch it and-”
“No! ” She shrieked. “Baby need diapy change and stowy-time now!”
I sighed deeply, but not loud enough for her to hear, and turned off the TV. I held her hand and walked her to our bedroom. I sleep in a bedroom with over 200 stuffed animals.
I thought back to when Melissa had told me she was into some weird roleplaying when we first met at a La Dispute show in 2015. I just assumed that meant she liked to pretend she was a school teacher or a cop or something during sex. I never imagined it would be anything like this. She was cute, fun, and seemingly cool when I met her. I was a young, desperate fool who just had to have a girlfriend. Too desperate. Now here I am, reading “Green Eggs and Ham” to a 22-year-old with a septum piercing, a pacifier, and sparrow tattoos.
My life is a cruel joke. I drive to work and back every day in complete silence. No radio, no podcasts. Nothing. It’s the only solitude I get in a day and I cherish it dearly. My friends belittle me mercilessly, and my family does not take me seriously. I have to adhere to all of her rules and follow Melissa’s vegan diet, I haven’t had friends over for a BBQ or even grilled a steak in years, I’m not even sure I can anymore. I’m not sure I can do any of this anymore.
I snapped out of my cruel past and back into my cruel present. It was her “beddy-time”. I carefully played my part in her routine of singing “Mary Had A Little Lamb” to her, putting on her jammies, and tucking her into her crib. The crib that I had spent my Christmas bonus on last year.
“I wuv you, daddy.” She said in her faux sleepy voice. It’s a good thing I had died inside long ago, or else that would have sent me into a furious rage.
“I- I wuv you too.”
I sat back down on the sofa, I downed my Miller in one thirsty swallow and immediately cracked another. In total tranquillity and darkness I stayed, staring into the void. The late-night infomercial salesmen were far more comforting than they could ever imagine. I had thought that I could finally be free for the night. That was the case until Melissa’s piercing cry molested the moment over the baby monitor. In one long and efficient numb-seeking slurp I finish my second beer- It’s time to be “Daddy” again.
My mother always wanted me to have a baby, and now I do. Do not live like me, for I am dead.