by Juliana Goodman
Do you smell that? Do you smell that shit? He just shit in his pull-up. Not a diaper, but a fucking pull-up. He rubs his hands real fast on his Wolverine shirt, makes a popping noise with his mouth, anything to distract me from what we both know has fallen out of his ass.
When I bend over to pull down his shorts, he coughs right in my face. The little fucker. It’s not right to think about your baby like that. The little boy who looks just like you did when you were his age. The one who follows you around like a puppy because he wants to be everything that you are, which actually isn’t shit at this point.
His mother passed out drunk on my couch the first time I met her. A red faced tree with bushy blonde hair and red Doc Martens. She lives thirty minutes away, with her mom and boyfriend, Greg, who thinks we’re still fucking and grinds his teeth when he sees me. This shit is strictly business. I don’t want her. I don’t even want him.
I think about moving back in with my dad, and not telling them where I’m going. She’ll pull up in her raggedy ass Impala, heels and lipstick ready to hit the club, but no one will answer the door. She’ll have to take the little bastard back home, the whole time mumbling “fuck a David, fuck a David, FUCK A DAVID” while she’s doing 60 in a 35.
As I dump the hard turd into the trash can, I finally come to the conclusion that I just might be okay with that.
Juliana is a senior English major at Western Illinois University. She is the recipient of the 2012 and 2013 Cordell Larner Award in fiction, as well as the 2013 Cordell Larner award in poetry and the 2013 Lois C. Bruner award in Nonfiction.