I’m about to be a parent, and I’m not even at my midlife crises. The exhaustion that I swim through every day frightens me. I’m trying not to let it. I want to experience it without fear or anger. I’m just trying to do my thing out here, and if you’re reading this, then you know what I’m talking about, because who would be reading this but my hardcore fans? There used to be more of them. There used to be more of us. Not many survived the trek. Distant voices echoing at the city entrance. It’s not like I haven’t tried. I’ve tucked you away in my secret room. I’ve done what I can to bring the world with me. To shed the limitations.

I’m a bloated corpse waddling from step to step. I’ve almost hit two hundred… Didn’t think this day would ever come. Sure had hoped that it wouldn’t, but I’ve got bigger fish to fry. My appearance is something that I can let go of now that I have embraced my shadow nature. We’ll find out tomorrow if the baby’s coming earlier than expected. We’ve got our bags packed. My father in law is coming over to black out our window. We’ve got to make sure that the air conditioner isn’t blowing on the bassinet. We’ll be lucky if she’s five pounds. I’m praying that her foot isn’t fixed to her face. I can feel her kicking, squirming, and rolling around.

Manwell, this is almost here and time to run with. You’re going to need to give me more time though, buddy. You see my face, right? You know that you’re looking at bibles, don’t you? I’m the reliable narrator. I always get the job done. I’m trying to get to the golden shores. I’ve got a voice fit for talking. Follow me into a new age. We’ll get there together, you, me, and beth. We don’t have to fight over her. I know that she hates me, no matter what you say. She thinks that I’m boring and weird. It’s not my problem. I carry an Irish princess in a box with me wherever I go. My assistant, therapist, and best friend all wrapped in one. It’s all I need, okay?

I’m in it for the long haul. We’ve got what it takes to get the job done, just breathe with me, baby. That’s the most important thing. The number one reason babies end up in the nursery. Undeveloped lungs. That’s why they’re keeping her inside of Musette. Gotta get those lungs. Fit her for air over amniotic fluid. It’s a whole new world out here. Baby bibles they’re calling it. Elle Nash knows what I’m talking about, but I don’t know what she’s talking about because I’m not the one with the body inside of me. It just looks like it. These two hundred pounds. I’m the great pretender. Following Celine’s advice. Walking that golden path to the amber waves of grain. We’re going to make it, buddy, every word a footstep, every page a mile.

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