Husbandry (1)

Someone once told me it’s in bad taste to imagine people having sex, but I can’t help it. Every time I see a lesbian couple and one of them is pregnant, I have to think about it. Their activities show, after a couple months, so how can anyone help but think about them “doing it”? And when a celebrity like you knocks up her girlfriend, of course everyone talks about you in chat rooms and mailing lists, tittering about your girlfriend being with child. They thought it was a big deal when you gave her an imported sports-car for her birthday, but this is the big time. A few even fantasize about you online — you must know it, since I’ve heard that you lurk in certain chat rooms to see what people say about you. You must love it. You do, after all, encourage it on stage.

As soon as I heard about you getting your girlfriend pregnant, the durable image came to me — She, lying on her back on your wide, long bed, her body still quivering from its third rocking orgasm… her legs bent at the knees, thighs opening before you, as you smear lubricant jelly on a gleaming, tan-bulbed turkey baster filled with prized semen…. the ache in your gut, the twinge in your hips, the hunger in her eyes as you slide the tip of the tool into her spasming vagina… the husky crack in your voice, as you whisper/beg “You ready to make a baby?”… and the moaning sigh that escapes her lips, as she nods, “Yes” and throws back her head as you tip the baster up, squeeze, and send sperm to bathe her womb, to give her the baby her ex-husband never could…

Whenever that image comes to me — and it does, surprisingly often, on the subway, in the restroom at work, lying in bed, just before I fall asleep — I wonder what it’s like. Part of me wonders what it would be like to have a child out there with my handiwork written all over its existence, growing up strong, decent, honest, kind. Part of me swells with a living, breathing sense of accomplishment at the idea of bringing to life a new person. In some hidden corner of my soul, there lives a woman who’s always wondered what it’s like to get another woman pregnant.

After all, it’s about the only way the rest of the world would extend a little acceptance to me and my lover. It’s not enough that we’re settled and committed and have sworn before heaven and earth to cleave to one another for all time. That tie, sincere as it is between us, hasn’t been blessed by anyone but land, sea and sky, the only witnesses at our private rite. Every time we turn around, the world reminds us — We could break up. And without the cement of some shared monumental commitment that’s bigger than both of us, the spectre always lurks — without a constant, insistent third-party concern, we could loose sight of our loyalty, lose touch with the reason we got together in the first place, and slowly drift apart till we’ve forgotten we ever existed. We could break up.

But if my lover and I made a baby… now, that would be a real reason to stay together.

My parents seem to have the same idea. Not long after we’d gotten together, they sent me and my lover the birth notice of a lesbian couple — one of the women is the daughter of a church friend — as though to introduce the idea to us gently and thoughtfully. They talked about those women in hushed, respectful tones, as though they were saints — breaking holy ground for the building of another kind of sanctified family unit. But my image of them was less distant, less pure. I couldn’t help but think if the young parents-to-be — two nice Christian girls, one aggressive and forceful on top, the other hungry and open on the bottom, with their turkey baster full of Christian sperm, doing the deed in the sanctity of their covenanted, blessed union… Blessed, because they got their families/congregation/ community involved in their commitment ceremony. Blessed, because they’re still professing Christians. Blessed, because they’re making babies, nice god-fearing babies, grandchildren for their parents, future members of Christ’s church, little babies to wheel around in little baby carriages and build their lives around. Babies that give them incentive to settle down and not be serial-monogamous hound dogs. Babies that make them (or one of them, at least) real women. When my parents sent me their birth notice and said those lovers had hyphenated their last names in good liberated, egalitarian fashion, it made me wonder all over again what it’s like to plant a seed deep within a woman that would bear new life.

After all, making babies is what makes a marriage real. In fact, it’s almost as good as being married to a man. Maybe better.

Your girlfriend used to be married to a man. But he never gave her babies. I’m sure he tried. I know they worked at it, because I heard rumors — something on a “Hollywood insider” cable t.v. show about them seeing fertility specialists. Gossip about it sizzled in the chat rooms, while she was still with that man and half the women online lusted after her and knew in their heart of hearts that she was really a dyke and should try her hand at lesbian love.

It’s surprising we never hear the details about how she left her B-movie actor husband, whose teeth are too small and too widely spaced, for him to ever be a real star. When I (and, I imagine, most other people who know a little about his situation) see that actor on made-for-t.v. movies, all I can think is — that’s the guy whose wife you stole. He must have a good agent or manager or whoever actors hire to protect their fragile reputations. And Hollywood must still be a pretty airtight place that only leaks titillating rumors of these inconvenient indiscretions, never the cold, hard facts. I imagine his humiliation, when she first told him about you. Were you the first woman she ever had? And although I know better than to think it, I can’t help but wonder how he was in the sack, compared to you. I have to wonder if he was really that bad.

He must have been. His teeth are too small and too widely spaced, for him to be a decent lover.

And how could he ever compete with you? You’re much more famous than he’ll ever be.

I wonder if he can get erections anymore.

I wonder if he could, before you came along.

For while she was still with him, ever since your girlfriend decided she wanted a baby before it was too late to have one safely, no matter how hard he tried, her body said “No.” They tried any number of methods to get pregnant. Constant sex in their marriage bed for months on end in every position imaginable… artificial insemination at the hands of a latex-gloved satyr masked in surgery greens, when her husband turned out to have a low, low, almost negligible sperm count… doctor after doctor… donor after donor… one technique and medically veiled surgical lover after another…

But nothing came of it all. Sixty thousand dollars and three years later, there was still no baby, no new member of the family, no grandchild for her parents and in-laws.

To be continued…

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