My friend Kathy has been pregnant since 1997. I don't even remember what she looks like when she's not pregnant. I have no idea how many children she has because I think she has them in litters. Every time I see her, there are at least three new ones. She can't squeeze them all into her Toyota when she needs to go to the grocery store. She leaves some of them at home with her husband or they take two cars. I don't think that I have ever seen her with all of her children.
I can't tell them apart. All children look the same to me. Children's faces should be on the tops of their heads so that you can tell them apart without having to stoop down to get a look at them. I can't tell how old they are and the younger they are, the less likely it is that I can determine their gender.
I went over to her house for the first time in years yesterday. One of the kids (female, not in diapers) let me in. She told me that her mom was in the kitchen and then went back to playing with matches. I picked my way over the bodies of children playing on the floor. I felt like a Marine, only with a good haircut. I kept saying, "dead bodies everywhere, dead bodies everywhere," over and over again in my head.
Kathy was sitting in a chair in the kitchen with several kids strapped into highchairs and booster seats. There was a pile of uncooked rice on the floor. I was going to offer to clean it up, but then I figured that the United Nations had probably just dropped it from a helicopter.
Everywhere I looked, there were children. They just ran around in circles, bumping into each other, falling over, crying, and blowing snot bubbles. I remembered a conversation that I had with Kathy years ago about birth control. Kathy didn't want to be on artificial hormones, but apparently really, really enjoys sex. She told me at the time that she was using wild yam to prevent pregnancy. I'm thinking that maybe she used it wrong. She was probably supposed to masturbate with a wild yam, not take some gelatin free capsule of dehydrated herbs and have sex with an actual man. I kept this thought to myself.
We had a conversation in 30 second spurts interrupted by Kathy banging her head into the kitchen table every time one of the kids threw up, punched another kid, or got head stuck in the washing machine.
When it was time to leave, the door was blocked by children milling about in clockwise circles. "Excuse me," I said politely. There was no response. I looked at Kathy for help. Kathy was wiping crap off of her sleeve and yelled, "y'all get away from that damn door and let Ms. Mist out!" Some of the kids stood there staring out of the door, the rest changed direction and wandered in counter clockwise circles. I looked back at Kathy who was now on the phone and encouraging one of the kids to stop, drop and roll.
I pushed through the kids and opened the door. It reminded me of when people come to my house and as they open the door I scream at them not to let the cat out. I was not quick enough. The second I opened the door, two of the kids escaped. They were stunned for a second and then filled with the elation of being outside.
"Kathy, some of the kids got out," I called to her. She waved me off.
I think she must have one of those invisible fences to shock them if they leave the yard. She should really should install a doggy door.