Translated by David William Foster
To all women who have had an abortion
To those who wish to have one
To those who do not wish to have one
GENERAL OUTLINES OF THE ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF THE HEALTH SERVICES FOR THE LEGAL INTERRUPTION OF PREGNANCY IN THE FEDERAL DISTRICT OF MEXICO.
THIRD. For purposes of the present Outlines it will be understood that:
I. The legal interruption of pregnancy.—A procedure utilized up to the twelfth week of pregnancy […] in conditions of secure medical attention.
II. Informed consent.—The voluntary agreement of the woman […] who seeks or requires the legal interruption of pregnancy, once the Health services […] has provided her with information that is objective, accurate, sufficient and pertinent with regard to the procedures, risks, consequences and effects […] so that the pregnant woman can make a decision in a free, informed and responsible manner.
Official Bulletin of the Federal District, no. 75, May 4, 2007,
A woman can abort during the first twelve months if the pregnancy affects her lifestyle.
Fifth Set of Reasons
ABORTION IS GOOD,
BUT NOT TO ABORT IS MUCH BETTER
An example in which one sees who a domestic servant, the kind commonly known as a “cat,” always down on all fours, after many abortions discovers, through personal experience, the enormous advantages of not having an abortion.
I was already a regular client, Missus, what right did she have to do what she did to me, which is why I’ll never forget it, and that day we ceased to be friends, she’d better watch out for me because just like I know how to be good, I’m also very, very bad, so she’s been warned.
With her “you look cute,” with a smile from one ear to the other, the Missus received me, many years ago, “and you’re so big,” the Missus says to me, and what can she do for me, what brings me to her humble abode, how can she be of service to me. I was just a youngster and very afraid, dying of fear like a drowned mouse. I didn’t say a word, just stood there trembling. “Come on, my dear, just calm down,” and she served me a nasty smelling tea that I was afraid to drink, and she ran her hand over my hair like you tame a cat—there was no doubt I was a cat, but not an animal cat but rather the kind that works—and she sat me down in an old armchair so I could cry my eyes out.
The woman I worked for’s son was in the car, more terrified than I was, and smoking as though what we were there for was to have a child, the dumbass. The Missus’s son, a punk with tattoos on his arms, telling him that’s the way things are, bro, get over it, you can’t take life too seriously. Sure, I was the real jerk, I got my start as a jerk with him, until he made me wise up. He came to my room pretending to hear noises, we were alone in the house, and since he was just a kid and was almost crying outside my door, I opened it, and before you know it, cat meat’s good and cheap, he got me pregnant the first time, and that was my debut.
“What are you going to do now,” I told him just to scare him. “My mother’s going to kill me, my father’s going to kill me,” he’d say, and I’d say to him “And who’s going to kill me?” “You don’t have anyone to kill you, because you’re from a different social class: they’ll just fire you and that’s the end of it.” “Yeh, great.” And it wasn’t the same, he explained to me full of despair, because he’d be his parents’ son for the rest of his life, no matter what happened, while I, just like that, with a snap of his mother’s fingers, I’d be out the door in a second, just like all the jerks his older brothers had knocked up, but he wasn’t that way, he wasn’t bad, crisscross his heart.
I found out later what he wanted: continued access to my body, at home waiting in PJs. That’s why we were there, so the Missus could do what she had to do to get rid of the child the lady I worked for’s son had knocked me up with. The gardener had told him where to go and it was all set in the Missus’s house, except for my fear: I’d fled from that kind of filth, a pigsty, dirt poverty, and I preferred to be a nobody servant in a rich person’s house with my own room to living in the shit I left my brothers behind in, grimy kids, and my parents, who I love a lot.
It wasn’t good to cry anymore, the Missus told me, seeing me a little woozy from the tea, I needed to spread my legs just how I’d learned to spread them so I could be knocked up, because she was going to clean me out of everything I was carrying inside, I could be sure of that, and she took down a blouse she had hanging there, undid the hanger and before I knew it she had it inside me and was twisting it around just like you do to dislodge refried beans from the edge of a casserole. It basically didn’t hurt, but I yelled with fear and shame, and because that’s how all you first-timers are, the Missus said.
I saw a pool of blood and something like chicken gizzards and pieces of cow’s liver, and I could feel the dried saliva that kept me stuck to the armchair. The Missus went out to tell the lady I work for’s son that everything was fine, he could go get drunk with his pals, but he should pay her in cash, and tomorrow she’d send me home in a cab with her son just like I’d spent the weekend with my family on the ranch.
I found out later the crud had kissed her hand, called her little mother and gave her the ring his mother’s grandparents had given her for her coming-out celebration, which was worth more then I’d ever gotten paid all together ever since word got around to everyone in the family that now I’d been broken in by the younger son, I was up for grabs for anyone.
First off, the father showed up. Then the older brothers took their turns. And the uncles. And the cousins down on vacation, and other persons in the family, not to mention on my own, the gardener, the chauffeur and even the cook’s husband
My real teacher was the husband of the woman I work for: “I’m expecting, boss, you decide what we’re going to do about it.” He told me whatever I wanted and I wanted a piece of land in my village, for my parents. But, what about the rest? “Go talk to your youngest son,” let him work it out. Once they’d done the soap opera between father and son, man to man, the boy took me back to see the Missus, and all over again the cup of tea and all over again the clothes hanger and the hokey business about the weekend with my family, and once again I was ready for whatever my employers had in mind.
The worst part, or the best part, is that I liked it. I developed a taste for first-rate meat. I’d go into my room, and wait wondering, who’s going to show up tonight. The man of the house, his son, one of his cousins or maybe a guest? It was like having a home delivery whorehouse service. I wasn’t the whore, they were. And all for free, including the abortion if someone got me knocked up. That was really the good life.
And since I’d ask the man of the house, if he didn’t mind, could he hire another servant to handle breakfast because, as he could see, I was often up all night. I didn’t want him to think I was being presumptuous, but I was of the opinion that nice clothes like they all wore should be sent to the cleaners to protect them. And I hope I wasn’t out of place saying so, but I was better in bed than sweeping and mopping, that really wasn’t being presumptuous, was it?
I lived like a queen and every now and then they took me to see the Missus so that she could give me a touch-up with her clothes hanger and leave me as good as new and ready Freddie. But no one, not anyone, can do anything about envy and desire, no one. I’m first-rate, I could see that, really first-rate. In the woman I work for’s house, getting a servant’s pay, I had all the advantages of good food, shampoos and perfumes and even an internet connection so I could hear all the country music I wanted to, I no longer washed any dishes, the servants did my bidding, and I provided satisfaction with a smile to whoever wanted it, no matter if it was someone in the family or an outsider. Well, even the woman I worked for seemed happy…
I can still remember the time when, while the manicurist was doing my nails and the chauffeur was serving me a cola piñada, the housekeeper came to tell me that today I was scheduled for a visit to the Missus. That Missus, who, in order to maintain a cover, just happened to sell us tablecloths, knickknacks, material and crap like that under the pretext that the chauffeur was taking me “shopping,” because every happy household has to have little details like that for the homey touch, “indispensable for family unity,” the woman I worked for said.
The process was always the same, I knew it by heart: a cup of tea, the armchair, the clothes hanger. Yuck on the floor. The Missus going off to take a nap. Turning the light off. And her son coming to fuck me, to check out the class of meat rich people dealt with. Like in a dream I saw his face and recognized him. “What are you doing here?” I said to him, “let me sleep.” “Just let me finish up and I’ll go,” he told me. “Do you have anyone to go out with on Sunday?” Half asleep and whoozy, I said no.
So he began to take me out. He took me to the movies, to get an ice cream and walk in the park. The son of a bitch was uglier than sin and dark as common meat. I was ashamed to be seen with him, and wouldn’t let him hold my hand in front of people. I was used to finer things. But I put up with him because on Sunday my entire harem was off with their wives, their girlfriends, their fiancées, leaving me alone at home, and never ever ever not one of the men who’d go ape humping my body’d take me to the movies and get an ice cream and go for a walk in the park.
In a burst of emotion, and so as not to deny the poor boy what I gave the rich men, I did it with him, just for the hell of it, in a small room, one Sunday, and wouldn’t you know it, he left me pregnant. I told the lady I work for’s youngest son I was knocked up again, and again I didn’t know who by, since with so many friends the boy invites over how could he expect me to remember who from among so many. But he didn’t have to worry like he did before, we would just go to the Missus.
We went and I repeated what I call the “tea ceremony.” The son showed up again in my nighttime dreams, and he did to me what he was used to doing to all the girls his mother “freed” from the problem of pregnancy.
Four months later, I realized I’d been had, no matter how much they paid the Missus, a child was still growing, horribly, in my belly. The woman I worked for was hysterical and yelled at me I was a jerk, whose child was I carrying, how do I know, ma’am? and then she called me a whore, how could she do anything about a pregnancy that was so far along. I had dishonored the family. All the men of the house and the friends of the men of the house playing bingo, it’s yours, and you can be sure it’s not mine, half joking but looking worried.
Accusations flew right and left. The woman I worked for said she was going to fire me, kick me out in the street, before people started talking and saying it was one of her sons, and just to shut her up I told her if she kept it a secret and didn’t fire me, I’d tell her whose it was. I told her it was the Missus’s son, the one who came for me on Sunday, my boyfriend. She breathed a sigh of relief and we agreed that the guy would give me money because she had no intention of paying me just to sit around, I begged her please to tell her women friends to go to the Missus’s to buy tablecloths, knickknacks, material, napkin holders, so her business would do better and her son would give me my weekly amount, and she said yes because we were seeing eye-to-eye on things without either of us losing face in front of the other.
My mother-in-law, the Missus asked me to forgive her for deceiving me about the abortion she didn’t do, but it was because, sweetheart, I know that baby was my son’s and I’ve always wanted to be a grandmother, to hold a live baby in my hands, and not the bunch of dead ones I see all week, night and day, and if I forgave her she’d keep my secret, because if I got ugly with her and acted very very bad it would go against me because she had more experience in being mean than I did. I forgave her with the condition that neither of us would say a word to a soul and that she’d get the child on Sundays while I went for a walk with her son or whoever I damn well wanted to. It was a good deal.
I confessed to the woman I worked for’s son, as a big secret, that the child was his and for him not to say a thing. The one who shouldn’t have said a thing was me, he said. Then I told him, if you take care of it, I’ll keep my mouth shut, but starting right now because the pregnancy made me very hungry and I had all sorts of whims. I told his father the same thing, and to other brothers, and a cousin, and the family’s best friend, and an uncle, so I ended up with seven daddies for my child and they all paid on the barrelhead. I’m sitting pretty, live like a queen, and I send money to my parents so they can build a small house, and they write me worried that I’m tricking because I’m bringing in so much money, and I tell them their daughter has always been, is and will be very respectable and proud of it.
When I get to thinking… because now I just lie around I do a lot of thinking… and I think how stupid the people on TV are with their claims that it’s good or bad to have an abortion. They don’t know what they’re talking about! They don’t because they haven’t lived it in the flesh. Just ask me, because I do have experience. Abortion is good, real good, when it makes sense to have an abortion, and abortion is bad, real bad, when it doesn’t make sense to have an abortion.
Just look at me if you don’t believe me, living with time on my hands and taking in money from my seven…eight…daddies
I HIT THE JACKPOT. WHAT ABOUT YOU?
An example in which we see how a woman who decides to get pregnant in order to marry her boyfriend and have a child refuses to have an abortion, gives birth to a child and is still unhappy.
My boyfriend got me pregnant and I said to myself: you hit the jackpot it. I made it alright: I’m never going to have to work and I’ll live the life of a princess, as I deserve to. I’ll go mornings to the club and then lunch midday with my friends in a restaurant and then play cards in the afternoon and go shopping and go for a drink in the evening. I’ll have a babysitter, a maid, a cook, a chauffeur… no, no chauffeur for me, because he’d cramp my style and there’s always the chance he’d tell my husband about my comings and goings, because you never know, if it’s still the fashion among upperclass ladies (as it is this year) to have a lover, I won’t miss out and have my friends making fun of me.
I was brought up to be a high-class housewife, believe me, with my mother always telling me to get a rich husband and I did just as mom told me to. The pregnancy was to trap him before he got tired of having sex with me and went off to have fun with someone else, which is exactly what these rich guys do these days. I gave him the news that we were going to have a family, poppy and mommy and a baby, and that really surprised him, not that he didn’t love me, he stammered, but that he wasn’t ready, and while I had him pale and trembling, I told him that watching too many American TV programs had him talking in clichés, that life is beautiful and he shouldn’t be afraid of being happy, a child is a gift from heaven, God’s blessing, because we’d have a church wedding, right?
He didn’t say a word, his hands were sweaty, he was in shock. Really, I told him not to be afraid of the future, thanks to his father’s fortune we wouldn’t have to worry about a thing, that he’d be thrilled to death, his first grandchild, right? A fancy wedding would shut up all my envious friends just waiting to get something on me, just because of all your money. Can we set the date before my stomach is noticeable and people start talking? His head spinning, he went out to get drunk with his favorite uncle, the one who’d earlier taken him to the brothel for his first time, so later he’d be able to teach me. That’s why it took me a while, because this uncle had taught him to use a condom, until one day I said to him, don’t you love me? What do you think I am, a slut you can pick something up from? If I trust you, why can’t you trust me?
My mom was very happy when I told her. My mom said I was a good daughter because that guy sure could give me the life of a princess I deserved and spare me the privations she and I had suffered at the hands of my dad just because she’d been a jerk and gotten pregnant by some poor hick just because in her day mothers were not sincere with their daughters, and my grandmother had not warned her and taught her not to get pregnant with someone who wasn’t rich, the richest available, at least a millionaire. And just look at the consequences, but from now on, I’d live like a princess, with nothing to do in the lap of luxury, as her only daughter so richly deserved, she never wanted to have another child to make the situation we lived in any worse.
Getting up his nerve, my boyfriend told me how the problem could be solved, I would get an abortion and we’d go on being the marvelous couple we had been up until now. Better yet, we’d go out every day and not just Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, we’d go out every day of the week partying and to bars and then to a motel, like always, but from now on only suites, no more regular rooms, because his uncle had promised to make it all right and give him whatever he needed. He told me it’d be in a clinic run by the nuns, seen by a doctor who was a friend of the family, with utmost discretion, his uncle already had the abortion all arranged, go in one day and the nightmare would be all over, my parents wouldn’t know a thing. Yeh, sure, you jerk, I said to myself! How dumb to you think I am? Getting an abortion would be like throwing away a winning lottery ticket. I shook my head and told him with a respectable face that I didn’t want to have an abortion, and I assured hi I was a well brought up girl with principles, trained in the principles of the Holy Mother Church, not a heretic, and much less my own child’s murderer. I told him he shouldn’t take it so hard, because if his mom found out, she’d scream bloody murder, tell his father, and they’d rush us into any old wedding.
Thanks for the information, sweetheart, you put the noose around your neck yourself. When I got home, I told my mom what the situation was so she could come up with a strategy. She went straight to the phone with a serious look on her face, and the minute she heard “hello” on the other end, she started crying, unable to say a word, and then hung up. Our phone started to ring immediately and my mother told me to start crying before I answered it. My mother-in-law, all upset, asked me, In the name of God, what’s wrong, child? and I answered, noth…, n…, n…, noth…, it’s just that, and I began to bawl my eyes out and went to put the receiver down. A few seconds later, her voice full of tears, my mother took the receiver, pulled herself together, and calmly told her that as a mother, mother to mother, she had the painful task of informing her, and that she would surely understand the tragedy and the stain on our family, which as she knew was upstanding, God-fearing and well respected, what ever were they going to do, Blessed Mother of God? They cried for a while, each one on her own end of the line, for entirely different reasons. I really made it, I mouthed the words to my mother. And she answered me back, mouthing the words, we all made it, honey.
My mother’s a witch because she almost guessed it right, she just missed by one word: instead of “we really screwed him,” what she should have said, when you consider the bad luck that came our way, “we really screwed ourselves.” For the time being we were dancing with joy, my mother’s project was being fulfilled in her daughter, and I wouldn’t have to be unhappy like she’d been, for the stupid mistake of having gotten herself pregnant by a poor hick. Things turned out as my boyfriend was afraid they would. There was only bit of a setback when his uncle called me and told me not to be a fool, and I treated him like a lowlife, an abortion hack, a baby killer, where’d he be if his mother had aborted?, and I hung up on him. We got married, the party was stupendous, and my mother-in-law, who’d taken care of everything so no one would notice my tummy, was proud to be marrying off her firstborn, and my father-in-law bla-bla-bla and bla-bla-blee, made a speech that he was getting a daughter, and all the blather that real ordinary people say at times like that, it would be better for him to say, like I do now, etc., etc., etc. and then to the point of boredom, etc., etc., etc.
Well, not to stretch this happy tale out too much, we went on a cruise, I set myself up in my own mansion, with as many servants as my heart desired—but no chauffeur— private grounds, gardens, and they bought me the car I wanted, and I chose one to match my stature, because I’m not exactly tiny… I organized my life, with my mom’s advice, just as I had dreamed it: country club, shopping, letters, a highball at night. Every morning the sun came up radiant for me, and my husband was marvelous, which suited me just fine. He played golf, went to the seashore with his friends every weekend, spent his time at home watching movies, almost never came home for dinner, and I had an unlimited credit card. Aren’t you the bitchin’ winner! I said to myself.
The miseries of pregnancy came along, the morning sickness, the sleeplessness, but it was the price I had to pay for the life of luxury and comfort I was living. All roses have thorns, my mother would tell me. Well this little bugger I’ve got in my belly seems to be all thorns and no roses, mother, because he won’t leave me in peace, and I’m in a lot of pain. The best gynecologist in the world is seeing you, honey, and since he was the best he could see that there was a problem with the child, since he was the best he could hardly be making a mistake, the fucker’s a real bastard! I told my husband, that piece-of-shit doctor may be a big dick, I told my mother-in-law, but you can count on a real woman like me for only the best! My father-in-law said I should calm down, they would do extensive tests. Well, the jerks should have gotten at least an advanced degree for all the tests they did on me, not to mention an international doctorate, because once the tests were all over, they flew me by air ambulance to Houston, to the best place in the universe, the sky’s the limit, my in-laws said.
Three months in the bosom of luxury, every comfort and extravagance. Then five months of purgatory, before ending up in hell. They took me from one hospital to another, from a second opinion to a third one and then a fourth and a fifth one. Therapies, transfusions, treatments, they had me in and out of the hospital. My happiness was a castle made out of sand, knocked down by the costs of my pregnancy and my child. They sold my car, let the servants go, the garden dried up, my in-laws went to live in a rented apartment, my mom pawned her jewels, my dad took out a mortgage on the house, and when there was nothing left, my husband told me to talk to his uncle, if I would be so kind, because he refused to help us because of the way I had mistreated him, insulting and yelling at him, didn’t I notice he didn’t even show up for the wedding, what with my husband being his favorite nephew? I had to call him, and he made me pay dearly for my insults, since he was so generous, he told me: so he was a lowlife, an abortion hack, a baby killer, and he’d have been better off if his mother had aborted him?He was going to show me how good he was, how much he loved his nephew, and how stupid I had been for not accepting his advice to get an abortion.
My damn fetus ruined the uncle as well. We continued to pay for hospitals, specialists, clinical analyses, genetic exams, nanotechnology, cryogenics, and things and things I don’t understand, but which were all expensive. We took out a loan on our house, which my father-in-law had lovingly given us as a wedding gift, with the condition that the new owners would allow me to stay in my room, as a hanger-on, until my child was born, because that was where everything was, clothes, diapers, bibs, cradles, strollers, bassinettes, the whole ten acres, from all the baby showers they had for me when we were still somebody. I decided to have a garage sale for everything but the most indispensable, so I could at least buy myself some flip-flops to put on my feet in my size, because I was so fat and swollen and shoes hurt my feet terribly.
After so many horrendously expensive hospitals taking care of my fetus, the child was born in the county hospital, thanks to the fact that my father, a modest employee, had access to public health services because of his job. The final stage of my misfortune was spectacularly fast: a general ward, a crabby midwife, and a child with “different capabilities,” which means a mental retard, why pretend, I told my husband, who in the intervening months had managed to assume the permanent look of the long-suffering wimp in a gossip rag, where I suspect he’d soon end up as the cover feature: useless scion.
I know, I know, now that the whole family, really, all our families, don’t have a pot to pee in, there was a mistake along the line. I wanted to share in my husband’s fortune, and what happened is that I shared my poverty with him. Am I more generous than he is, and who’s the dumbest of the lot? I turned out like my mom, and that’s why I imitate even her mistakes. The two of use got it wrong by one word. When she said, as I recall, “we all screwed ourselves,” when she should have said “we screwed us all,” I said, God knows I remember, “I screwed him,” when I should have said “I screwed myself.”
Who’s going to have the nerve to tell me, I who lived it with my own body, that abortion is bad?
YEAH, I’M GOING TO HAVE A GIRL
An example of where we see how a girl can fight for happiness, without having to choose abortion, and still respect her father.
Yeah, my dad looked me in the face one day, he saw me in a different light, and he said to me: “You’re going to have to get a job, it’s time.” He got me a job me in a clothes store, stuff like for queers, where the woman who ran the place, in more of a man’s voice, would say to me, “girl, clean that display case and fix that mannequin that’s gotten twisted.” OK, I told her politely. The other employee, my fellow worker, did what she told him to do without saying a word: “Boy, unpack those items and put them out nice, so people can see them good.” He and I called each other “friend.” He’d say to me “friend…this” and I’d say to him “friend…that.”
The next day, my dad, who was drunk as a skunk, looked me up and down, in a way he’d never done before, and saw a girl who was almost a woman. He said to me: “lie down face up,” and he threw me on the bed, raising my skirt up over my panties, and I said to him, “Yeah, dad, let up,” but he ignored me and undid his pants, and he said, “you better be untouched goods, you little shit!” and he scared me because he’d never messed around with me, and I was even more scared when he took his tool out ready for action and I said to me, myself and I, “OK, friend, this is about it.” Yeah, my instinct moved into a defensive mode and I threw myself at him not like a cat about to scratch but with my mouth open ready to glom on to his bit of pestilence until I’d disarm him. He didn’t expect that and I caught him so much off guard that his tool immediately collapsed and all he could do was snore.
The next day I told the other employee, “Friend, I’ve got to get out of my house, even if it means living with you.” He told me he rented a room in a tenement and there was enough room for another person, “you know, friend, you can always count on me.” “Tomorrow,” I told him, “Tomorrow, friend,” he told me. Yeh, jerk, I muttered to myself, “don’t screw me. I’m going to get the shit out before my dad fucks me over…” That night I could see he was ashamed, with his hangover churning up his remorse, and I got the idea he thought I’d let him have me, that he’d gone all the way with his own daughter, dog eat dog, Yeah, “I’m a dog,” he said, and because he couldn’t stand the despair, he went to the grocery story and bought some bombers of beer and spent the night getting drunk, cussing himself out with every swig.
Morning came and since the man who ran the place told us he would be gone for a good amount of time because he was going to the beauty parlor to get a bleach job, Yeah, “boy, you keep a good eye on the cash register, you, girl, treat the customers right and sell all you can,” and I said to him, “so, should we close up, friend, and you can take me to see your pad?” “It’s not my pad, friend, it’s a…room in a tenement,” he told me. Yeah, I say to him, “well, cool, let’s close up and you can give me a tour through your little pad.” “Cool, friend,” he tells me, and before I knew it he was showing me his room, all fixed up, the whole place done up with bits and pieces of cloth, paper, lights, from the times when, “because of the change of season,” our ladymanboss, as I call her, or our manladyboss, as he called her, would give us the order, “Boy, let’s change the décor, com-ple-te-ly. Give him a hand, girl, I want the store to look top-notch…come on, please don’t let me down.” Yeah, what was there left for the two of us to say to him? Because we hated that job, or to put it better, I hated to work, it didn’t matter what. I couldn’t even bother to wash my plate at home and my dad was the one who picked up the house, ever since I was little and I stopped going to school so I’d have more time to watch soap operas. Yeah. So it was already morning, in that pad, and come on, sis, don’t be a jerk, and I get up my courage, and in line with the plan that I had worked out against my father and in my favor, I tell him, “Listen, friend, I bet you’ve never had any ass, right?” “How come?” he says to me. “How come I think yes and how come I think no?” I ask. “How come you come at me with questions like that, friend?” he says. And I tell him. “I hope that means you’re not telling me you’re queer, friend!” “No way, man.” “You want to show me, friend” Yeah, he sure does show me, and I had a good laugh with him over it.” “Man, friend,” I tell him, “you sure like to do it.” “Well, there you are,” he says, “at your service.”
A week later, my dad still looked like a hangdog, and swore to me that he would never take another drop. A month later he got drunk, and tried to do the same thing to me all over again, and once again I sidelined him with my sucky-sucky routine, Yeah. The same thing the following month, which means that’s two times my dad’s left himself upset and real sad, and he even wanted to hang himself because he was a dog and didn’t desereve to live. I did deserve to live, and I was happy as could be, Yeah, I was over the top happy, you’re sure one sharp sister! I said to myself, because my friend brought me on the sly a flower, a chocolate, any piece of junk he wanted to give me, and out of earshot of the manladyboss, he whispered to me, “Friend, do you love me?” “Yes, friend,” I told him. “A lot, friend?” “Just a little.” And we would laugh and be real happy and the manladyboss was happy because we sold more. “Wow,” she said, “it’s great the two of you’ve pulled out of your funk.” “Yeah,” we both said to her at the same time, “isn’t it great?”
Along about the third month, I come on to him all serious and say, “Dad, I’m pregnant.” “And who was the bastard that…?!” he says to me, because I caught him off guard watching soccer on TV. “You, dad,” I tell him, “excuse me for saying so, but you were the bastard.” “Oh, shit,” he says, and I take advantage of catching him off guard, because I wasn’t going to put up with another month of depression, and tell him right off, “But don’t worry, dad,” and I went off to be leaving him as whacked as a zombie. “Great, Yeah.”
We didn’t talk to each other for a month, the whole fourth month, which he spent hung over, while I taught my friend to talk more. “If you say a hundred words to me that aren’t alike, in one minute, I’ll give you a kiss, the clock’s ticking.” He choked and looked up at the ceiling, but he got his kiss. “Do you like me a lot, friend?” “How you go on!” and I hitched up my belly, which was already noticeable and instead of freaking out he said how about it. “Yes, of course,” I told him, “but the one whose dad’s going to screw is me.” Don’t sweat it, he was a man, and he would talk to him, say he’d marry me and all that, friend, because I really do like you a lot, not like you. “And what do you know?” I answered him to shut him up and make him happy, right?
By the fifth month, my dad kept his eyes down, like he was a hunchback. I caught him during dinner with the TV turned off and said to him, “so, then, dad,” and I stuck my belly out so he’d see it. “What’re we going to do,” he said to me, on the verge of tears. “Well what little men do, dad, answer up, have me quit my job.” He looked like I’d just promised him a gift. “And what do we do about the child,” he says to me. “You’re not thinking of having me get an abortion, now, are you, dad, because I’ll claw your eyes out and kill myself!” That got him. “No, daughter, not that.” “So then, what, huh,” I say to him. “Who’s going to be the father?” he says to me. “Well, it’s sure not going to be me!” I tell him. “So, then?” he says to me. With the first part of the plan over, I move on to the second part. “Leave it to me, dad, I’ll take care of that problem. I’ll take care of finding a father, there’re a lot of jerks available.” That really brings him around and he caves in like an old house. “Thanks, daughter, thanks, you’re a real good kid.” “Yeh, sure, sure,” I tell him, “instead of whining you can start giving me some daily every day, because I’m not going back to the store, and stop saying I’m going to have a son, because it’s going to be a daughter, just like her mother.” Yeah.
“Ok, fellow,” I tell him, “my dad’s forgiven me and he forgives you.” “Really, friend?” “Really. He’s happy he’s going to be a grandfather. I’d say he’s thrilled. Just imagine, I’m his only daughter and I never knew my mother, who he says was a bad woman because she wanted to have an abortion, can you believe that?” “There’re bad people everywhere,” he tells me. “And there’s more, friend, because my father wants you to come and live with us.” “No bullshit,” he says. “No bullshit, and you know what else?” “There’s more?” “Yes, yes, there’s more.” “So, what else?” “I’m going to have you quit your job.” “You’re going to what?” “I’m going to have you quit your job, friend. My dad’s going to support us both!” Well, he couldn’t believe it.
“Hay,” I tell him, “you’d better believe it, because before too long you’re going to be a dad, and it’s going to be a girl, and us old ladies are real bitches.”
All he could do was go around with his mouth open until the ninth month, living in our house without working, watching soap operas with me and getting fat, without me even letting him sleep in my bed, out of respect for our daughter. When the little girl was born, my father took her in his arms lovingly, before anyone else, after all, he was the one supporting us all.
My friend was very excited because he thought with the girl outside my body, it was his turn to come back on in. To pave the way, he said, “Now we’re father and mother, do you love me a lot now?” “Of course, friend, a whole lot, I love you a lot,” I told him, and he kissed me on the forehead.
And my dad? My dad’s really contented because his daughter’s found the love of her life. Yeah.
MY DARLING SWEETHEART
An example in which we see how a married woman, who never had an abortion, gets pregnant over and over again, hoping to have a son that will carry on her husband’s family name, until, to her chagrin, a son is born to her.
I was happy to get pregnant, yes, sir, and from the moment of my first one my husband wanted a son, to carry on the name, his, of course, which he likes a lot, and I do too, which is why I married him.
It was a girl and I comforted him saying that the factory was just beginning production, and that “Your Old Lady’s Factory, He Himself and Sons, Inc.,” would keep on bringing inhabitants into the world, it was just a matter of putting our minds to it.
So we put our minds to it a bit more, and then again, and then went all out, and I kept on having one daughter after the other. I assured him each time, I could just tell it was going to be a boy, but my hunch was always wrong. As soon as I came into contact with my fetuses, I heard the voice of a girl, an unmistakable feminine voice. My old man, an only son, lived in fear of dying without leaving an heir to his name which he liked so much and which I liked so much.
From the first girl, I had raised his hopes three times, what do you say, old man, shall we go for another puppy? And he would get all excited, let’s see if we can make it a little boy this time. Ok, let’s get down to business and see if we can do it! With four daughters, his optimism wasn’t what it was in the beginning, and we took our time to think over taking another chance.
With four girls, daily expenses were becoming difficult for my old man, the demands of the house, school and what pained us both the most, my perfumes. He fell in love with me because of how good I smelled, for the nice way I perfumed myself. With different expensive essences, French, Egyptian, I manufactured it all myself, combining the aroma and fragrance that suited my skin according to the time of the year, the hour of the day, and the age of my skin.
My husband sleeps like a little angel savoring the delicacies of my perfumed body and he says there’s no one more elegant than me, because of the way in which I perfume myself. He never pays my physique any compliment, and on the nights he snores away on my bosom I think he’s never looked at me closely, but he never stops talking about my scent. I was lucky to fall in love with a man with such a good sense of smell and so shortsighted.
I just hope that, given our reduced straits, I don’t have to skimp to perfume myself. I’ve told him, when I see him worried about money, that I could help out by opening up a communication service for mothers with their fetuses, and that would provide us with some income, I mean, while we go about having a little boy, which is who will take care of us in our old age, because as you say, daughters fall in love with the first jerk to come along, and don’t even bother to tell their parents so long.
Does he remember how I talk to my girls while they’re still in my womb? Yes he does, and he also remembers how the conversation makes me look like I’m spending the entire day talking to myself, paying him no mind at all, and wander around the house chatting up a storm. And does he remember how, with my own mouth, how much I’ve told my four daughters he loves them, even when they were fetuses, and how through my mouth they’ve answered all his questions? Yes, he remembers. And isn’t this better than any echosonogram, a more direct, more human communication. Of course, much better. And doesn’t he believe that this gift of mine could be commercialized and earn money, here at home, without neglecting my daughters? He doesn’t want me to work, he’s very much the macho, he prefers we continue to bet on having a boy, although we’ve got to get busy and even if we end up having a lot more girls.
No way about it, my job was to get pregnant until I had a boy. I like this job, because the role of mother suits me fine as long as they’re born housebroken. While they’re still in the womb, I tell them how they have to say thank you, please, bless you if someone sneezes, say excuse me before cutting in front, wash their hands before eating, etc., which is all early education so they’ll get a husband and make their way in the world, even if it’s with good manners, in case they don’t end up smelling pretty like I do, which as you can see is the only thing that saved me from being an old maid and ending up without the happiness of having children, I mean daughters.
I did my part and ended up pregnant again. My husband cheered me with “Long live Your Old Lady’s Factory, He Himself and Sons, Inc., because this, the fifth, was the one that was going to do it. The business smelled bad to me from the start, I told him it must be a man, because it smells bad and, previously, with the other four girls, when it smelled to me like a boy, they turned out girls, now this one smells bad, isn’t it a boy? You take a sniff. And my old man stuck his nose down there, smelled what he could, as far as he could, and turning red because he was suffocating he looked as happy as he could be. It doesn’t smell like the other four, that wasn’t a feminine smell! I asked him if it smelled rotten and since it did smell rotten, yes, sir, that meant that, finally, it was a boy.
Talking to him in my womb convinced me completely: his voice was that of a man. We were going to have a son who would take care of us in our old age, who would support us! What perfect happiness. My husband danced with glee, hugged my belly, took out a loan, and we built a room, the girls went from private school to public school because their brother was the one that would need a good education and we need to save our money for that, and the celebration ceased one morning when my son kicked me in the womb and said in my ear, “Mommy, my heart hurts.”
I jumped out of bed and said to my old man, old man, the boy doesn’t feel well, his heart hurts. Step on it. We went to the hospital and they subjected me to all sorts of tests. “Mommy, what’s going on, where are we?” In a hospital, son, where they take care of people who have been born and those who have not yet been born. And he came out with something I still don’t understand, “Mommy, you’re my hospital, I love you.”
After many tests, they told me my son had a problem. His chances of survival were very slim and my life was in danger if I didn’t decide to have an abortion. Who cares about your life? My husband said, as against the possibility, at last, of having an heir. I agreed he was right, that his name depended on my being valiant and taking a risk. I didn’t have the abortion and placed my bets on the son.
The only option was to operate on my son, in my womb, with what was still an experimental and very expensive technique. My old man said yes and I did, too, and since it was urgent, he went off to sell the house, the car, the furniture, to get the maximum amount of money and quickly give away our four daughters to lighten the load so it could all go for the expenses of the son, it was an emergency.
When they were operating on my son in my womb, I sang him lullabies to calm his fears, but he carried on in such a way that it broke my heart, all the time they were busy fixing his. I cried with him, and when we awoke from the operation, the first thing I said to him was, “Son, I love you, do you love me?” And he answered without a moment’s hesitation, “No, I don’t love you.”
My son and I ceased to talk during the months he still had before being born. If it’s hard enough not to talk to someone you work with, someone you live in the same house with, it’s a real hell to be on the outs and not talking or saying a thing at all with the child you’re carrying in your own womb! Fortunately, my husband was by my side to console me, and the poverty we had fallen into was bringing us closer.
My four daughters had been born in luxury hospitals, but my son was born in a welfare clinic. “What a lack of consideration,” my son told me before he was born, and as soon as he was born he turned to look at us and said furiously, “Is this the sort of poor slobs I’ve come into the world for?”
I explained to him how important he was to us, the mission he had to perpetuate our family name, and as soon as I said which one, he burst out laughing at how fucking commonplace it was and how ridiculous we were, his dad and I, saying he’d leave us alone since he’d decreed some good vacation sleep time, during which all he’d put up with (do you see how he’s talking, I asked my husband with my voice, because I was the only one who understood him) were brief interruptions when he, and only he, would cry out for us to bring him, immediately, his food.
I should have had an abortion. Now it was too late. Because if I killed him, I’d be a criminal. What am I going to do? This kid’s bad. He crawls around and breaks things on purpose. He does whatever he wants and drinks water from the toilet bowl. He took a pair of scissors and ruined his father’s bedroom slippers and got detergent all over my pants. He watches porn on television all night long while we, exhausted, fall dead asleep. We no longer know what to do with the bearer of our family name.
And now, if it weren’t bad enough, five years later, he comes out, yes, sir, with the news he’s not happy, while my simpleton of a husband thinks everything is fine because his fucking name has been guaranteed in perpetuity. And what about me? I’m going crazy, to the point I can walk by a pregnant woman and her fetus doesn’t even greet me, keeping his mouth shut as if I were some sort of bad person who didn’t even deserve a hello, at least.
What’s the fucking little bastard up to? The little brat says to me that, since he’s not to my liking, apparently, I should send him back were he came from, that I put him back inside, and everybody’d be happy.
That boy has a bad heart. There’s no doubt the doctors who worked on his heart while he was still in my womb, so he would live, made some sort of mistake, because he can’t have inherited the evilness in him. The proof is that none of our daughters, as much as they are girls, is evil. We aren’t either.
“Colectividad que no sabe pensar, no puede vivir.” - Concepción Arenal