Bottles & DiapersA Chapter by awwkwardkid
Hello Anxiety, I haven't seen you in a while
Jason refused to go with me to buy Flor’s gift for her baby shower this weekend so I’m doing it on my own with Jonatan on the phone. The lady on the PA system announces to the shoppers that the store is closing in fifteen minutes. And I still haven’t made up my mind on what I should take. Jonatan is as lost as me when it comes to shopping; we take forever to choose. Now double the time when it’s about picking for someone else! No wonder why Jason didn’t like the idea of coming along. But you have to understand this time. I mean, how do I know if the new-born baby clothes fit all babies? Mother says that I was born undernourished so I was really small. Jonatan jokes saying that my case is understandable because I was born in Mexico. I tell him he is not helping and I need to get going so I’ll call him later.
Also, is Flor sure that she’s having a boy? The doctors might have made a mistake. I could buy anything that could be for either sex, in yellow so it is unisex. Oh, I’m hopeless! I’m so going to make Jason pay for making me do this decision by myself, but he is totally not bailing out on me for the baby shower…
“Do you need help, sir?” a young woman comes up to me from behind the racks beside me. I jump a little, smiling. I tell her it’s okay when she apologizes for scaring me.
“No, thank you. I think I’ve got what I want.” I answer her question. “This baby has me under pressure already.”
“I see,” she says, “first time dad, huh?” she adds.
I manage to laugh a little, to the employee’s surprise, but it gets uncomfortable when I realize she doesn’t know what it’s so funny, but she still fakes a smile.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh.” I explain, catching my breath. “And no, I don’t have a baby. I’m not… he is not my…” How to tell this to a stranger? Why should I? Was I really that excited picking out the gift? Why do I feel so empty? …And this knot in my throat? Am I ashamed of myself?
“I’m gay.” I blurt out.
The girl’s face goes blank. “Oh, I’m sorry. I mean, it’s cool… not cool that you’re… oh geez! That didn’t come out right. S**t, I…”
“Don’t worry, I understand.” I tell her to ease her nervousness, and to convince myself that it is okay indeed. Deep inside, though, I’m embarrassed for her, and yes, ashamed of me. How much I wish I could drop dead right now. She smiles at me, relieved.
“I just assumed that…” she starts apologizing, stuttering.
“Anyone would have made that assumption.” I say. And glancing at my watch, I add that I better go. On my way, I get the stuff I left standing out of the shelves and racks and throw it in the basket I have in my right hand. My sight blurs and becomes liquid-ish. I have to get out of here before I break down, I think to myself.
At the cashier area, I put out the coveralls and shirts, the shoes and bibs, the towels and ARMY BRAT hat and hope that this person won’t talk to me. Either that fact that they are closing in a few minutes or the obvious situation I’m in, the girl seems to read my mind and completely ignores me; she just scans the items I have laid out and bags them for me. Her eyes never leaving the screen of the computer, except for the split second when she has to get the $100 bill as she tells me the total of my purchase. Then, she hands me over the change and receipt with the same expressionless attitude, and for the very first time in the six years I’ve been in this country, I am glad the cashier doesn’t make small conversation. The first time I don’t think it’s because I’m Latino and she might think I don’t speak English. The first time I could care less if the security guard stares as I make my way to the door, as if I’m stealing and will be making a run for it. I just want to go home… HOME… a place where a guy awaits me. A guy with whom I share the bed and (sometimes, if either one of us run out of clean) underwear. A man who loves me back as much as I do… so much that it hurts.
What have I done? Is this what I want for the rest of my life?
Once safe in my car, I let the sobbing take the best of me. Mother’s voice runs through my head as the tears keep flowing. She says that I can change, leave it all behind, move away where no one knows, and start all over again. As I’m supposed to, according to society, and get over with the pain and shame. Maybe she is right.
© 2012 awwkwardkid
Added on March 18, 2012
Last Updated on March 18, 2012
AboutI am a college student trying to get by, and writing as a hobby. Please take some time to read my stories; feedback is always appreciated. English is my second language so any grammar mistake you see,.. more..