Oops, my leg just fell asleep while I was masturbating to a Naomi Watts compilation. Don’t get @ me. This works for me. Call it my routine. I’d like to hold onto it, if that’s alright. I’m well aware that people change, but I’d like to remain like this for at least a little while longer.

It’s my prayer. Everything a prayer. Everything writing. Learning experiences all around.

You’re such a stylist, says Manny, and I’ll admit that I portray a certain swagger. I get my words from point a to point b in style. My mind looks good on the page.

Why don’t you just shut up, yells a woman who is holding her dog in the corner, sticking her ass out to me. She’s wearing a floral summer dress, and I do my best to ignore her as I step into the elevator.

You’ve got to understand, all of this goes into the case report. You’ve got to live it to solve it. Such things as inductions don’t come around every day, and we’re set to deliver one week early. It’s a night time check in. First step, ripen the cervix. Cervidil: that’s what it’s called. Doctor recommended, mother approved. They insert it into the vagina. The string hangs out like a tampon. It sits there for twelve hours. The doctors hope for us to get a little rest during this time.

The midwife is very sexy, and even though it is tough breaking the medical wall, I am able to implant some fantasy into the situation, her fingers deep in Musette’s pussy, pushing against the baby’s head, back and forth to the tune of Musette’s moaning.

It wasn’t always this easy though, I say, flipping to the future which finds me carrying a full pail of diapers down the hallway to the trash chute, and then flipping back to the the past which finds me carrying my USPS sealed manuscript out of my parents’ house.

They are trying, on the day that we are being induced, to get me to pick things out for a yard sale that they’re having.

Let us know what you want, they’re saying, so that we can sell the rest.

I’m agonizing over chess sets, dvds, my bad taste in music, etc.

I don’t know, I say. None of it matters. I have to give up my old life to move on to this next stage. I am thirty years old now. This is really happening.

I’m writing for ten minutes longer than I usually do this morning, and I don’t want to hear any complaints from the peanut gallery. Following the doctor’s orders, I had sex with my wife two times last night, and she used her breast pumps for the first time for one hour. I’m not supposed to tell anybody that. It’s a midwife trick. We’re trying to induce labor. In two days, we’re going in, and Musette will be induced. She is having contractions every five minutes. She can barely feel them. They’re less intense than period cramps. Those could continue for a couple of days, said our stress test technician, and our midwife’s motto is no pain, no gain.

My cousin is moving to Nevada. Henderson to be exact. I know that I haven’t mentioned him much if it all here, but he’s got a gambling problem. My dad has paid him 15,000 dollars in withheld wages. His girlfriend is a meth addict, and she pulled a gun on my cousin. She’d been over to my parents’ house not too long ago. My sister is going to be living there with her baby and two cats, not to mention her husband who wants to be in my position more than anything, sleeping in my old room, the one that was turned into a guest room. They’re asking what I want done with all of the books, the art, etc. I should hold an online auction. Make something of myself. Get this stuff into rightful hands. I’m not joking. Hit me up if you’re interested.

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.

I’m not a teenager anymore. I’m not Adrian, struggling with an existential crisis in the poetry aisle, unable to grasp the meaning behind why so many books have been published.

I’ve got people to take care of. There’s a three alarm fire going off in my dog’s bladder. 3,6,9, and he pees on his toy chest. It’s the steroids that we’re giving him. Half a pill, twice a day. He can’t stop drinking. He urinates the longest streams. These are side-effects. We’re trying to figure out why he eats his paws. We had to change his food. It’s a small bag of wild boar. He’s got to get through his salmon first though. He might be allergic to chicken. Can you imagine?

My world is creaking. It is stretching open. I’m the forever wakefulness of a mess. I am the sun of disaster. Call me Uncle Crinky. I’m not here to be taught a lesson, and I’m not here to be shown how to dance. Manwell couldn’t have said it any better: I live to write, and I write to live.

I know who I’m not following anymore. There have been lines drawn in the sand, and there are bugs in the bedchamber whom I’ve just got to keep in my sphere.

Maybe I’m a spoiled brat. My cousin may have gotten it right when he called me “Richy Rich.” I have white privilege, and I’ve got balls. I don’t want to be nagged about my mind any longer. I’m leaving you in the dust until I hear otherwise. It’s good for me. This is cathartic.

We are all dying, and I don’t have the time or energy to come for you all. What I do, I do for my daughter, so I don’t care what you think. I’m getting back into the flow, and I’m getting better at it. I have to admit that I’m finding myself more impressed with myself than I have been for the last little while. A little more dedication. A little more stick-to-itiveness. A little less complaining. More to show for myself; that’s for sure.

The temperature has been over a hundred every day this week. It might be enough to push Musette over the edge. Thank God she’s home now, protected by the air conditioner. The swamp coolers here at the office can’t keep up. We’ve had the plumbers in five times.

My boss is headed to another television set. He’s tired of the teenager. He does love babies though. Calls them store cats. He almost got one today. The sweet thing is under the tenth percentile. The hospital forgot to schedule our appointment. They’re going to have to induce. Pitosin is a drug that we should become familiar with. They’re going to start by eroding Musette’s cervix. A pill goes in, attached to a string and eats away at the cervical wall for twelve hours. After that, they insert balloons.

It’s going to be intense, says the midwife. We’re looking at forty hours. The one thing that I had not wanted was pitocin, says Musette. But this is exactly the sort of situation that it is designed for, say both the midwife and myself. The baby will do better outside of your womb. Your placenta is not working. Things are not going well. The baby’s growth has plateaued. She doesn’t use the word retarded this time. I keep going back to the void, the failed baby, the relief. We’ve unboxed all of our gifts. It’s going to be hard to get a refund at this point. Musette had been keeping the receipts in her purse, but I spilled water all over it yesterday.

I’ve been greedy from the get go, so selfish, I could have avoided all of this back in Brooklyn when Musette first brought the idea up. Now I’m here in Salt Lake, listening to her reject my grandma’s full name in favor of the nickname, which is our dog’s nickname, and which I’m more than happy to let her call her, so long as she please just let me have what I want.

Her little sister is sitting across from us, and I’m doing all that I can to deduce whether or not she’s wearing a bra. She’s got a short black skirt on. She pulls it up a little each time she sits. Her twin is wearing a polo shirt with her work’s logo embroidered on it. She pulls up the the sleeve of her right arm to have Musette feel her shave. Two little scratches on the upper arm. Maybe she got them having sex. She must feel empowered here. A cathedral to her image. So many cum rags of mine have fallen in her honor. There is a trash can beneath my nightstand filled with my appreciation. They must have some idea what the box of tissues next to my side of the bed is for. I don’t need lotion, don’t want it, don’t use it. I like making as little of a mess as possible, and I’m up for the friction that a bare palm provides. Not much like a pussy, but I’m more of a narcissist than anything else, a voyeur.

It could be anywhere. It could be you. I don’t know your name from Adam’s. You’re somebody that I went to school with. In the end, you break it down, and look how alone we all are. Who among us hasn’t thought about ending it all? Those of you who haven’t live the most fucked up lives. I don’t even know where to begin. Telling everyone at work that the baby is running small.The dingle dongle is still in the back of the pussy. You can feel her head if you push deep enough. Fuck the girl good, and you’ll make an impression in her brain. Skull scooped glory hole. No way does the midwife have longer fingers than my dick. I’ve measured it. It was a twelve incher last I checked, fully erect and shoving the ruler into my groin. Haven’t checked in a while. I might be off six or so inches. I used to be obsessed. I would hang waits from the tip, trying to stretch it. Compare it to my best friend’s. Touch them together. Nothing has turned me on so much since. Sticking the photos to stop signs. Removing them later to avoid fingerprint detection. All the little babies looking up at my baby penis. A pedophile’s dream package. Can’t stop thinking about it… after all these years. The thought still surfaces. I keep coming back. I refuse to see the kid. He’s a fireman now. I don’t even follow him on Facebook. I doubt that he’ll be coming into the store. He’s not the reading type. Last time I saw him, we were watching Cinemax After Dark. I was more into it than he was, but we both loved masturbating in front of each other. Sometimes there were more than just the two of us. We’d call our friends over and have a jack off party. And goddamnit bro, we liked to wrestle. I was usually the ref. You know, the voyeur in me. It can’t be helped.

Ulrik, the backstabbing bastard. After all that I’ve done for him… he comes logging on, says goodbye, and then just keeps doing his thing, in plain sight, behind my back, elsewhere and everywhere.

He’s shit, and the thought of him makes me sick. I’ve got children on the way, and I don’t want people seeing me like how I see him, the dinky douche. All of us have got our place upon the landscape of literature; let’s keep him in the toilet and me in the mirror. It’s how it’s got to be. I’ll admit that I see my puking face in the pool of his work occasionally, but mostly it’s just ass.

I’ve got to leave it alone. I’m sorry, bro. My nerves are on edge. I’m tearing myself apart. My phone is fried. A spark just flew through the headphones and exploded in my brain. I’ve no idea what time it is. The Salt Flats are out there though. I can feel them. They are calling out to me. I need to get back there. Only there can I yell out the deepest recesses of my brain. There’s no touching me out there. Nobody is going to call me a misogynist. Nobody is going to call me anything because there won’t be anybody around. I don’t need anybody. I’ve got myself and my family. Another member coming soon. Attach another ball and chain to my traipsing corpse. How can you kill that which is already dead? The more weight that you clip on, the deeper that I sink. My team of editors, up on the surface, might as well be the constellation of my birthright. A twitchy eye. A hemroid ass. A fried phone. And a dead computer. Story of my life. Go on. Please. Already. Like I said, I don’t need you anymore. I never have.