As a consequence of my being, I regularly find myself plodding hungover through the streets of New York City, and, by way of this custom, on a nondescript October morning, I was to become a father. At the time, I had no intentions of having a son, daughter, any child in any capacity. I was quite content with my childlessness. Being barren suited me, and, to conjecture, children appeared equally suited to my having zero input on their existences. These were our roles, clearly defined and amicably occupied. Until that October morning-remembering it now as muggy, humid, a last lash of holdover summer-when The L Train wasn’t running, and Wilson became my son.
When I created the beloved children’s mascot K.A. Booms, I figured I had given all I would ever give to the youngsters of our world. Morally, I oppose children, and abide them only for the infinitesimal percentage who will grow up to become adults I will despise enough to subsequently blog about. But my grievances run deeper. I’m opposed to anyone having children before the age of twenty-five. I’m opposed to the crimes children perpetrate on the female form. Having more than two children should be, in my book, grounds for incarceration. I almost unilaterally disagree with the standards and practices of modern child rearing and education. I do not care for Nintendo DS. Simply put: if there’s a draw, I am not seeing it as anything but bored, misguided recourse.
As I said though, The L Train wasn’t working, and I was hungover, wanting out of The Land of Mason Jars & Brunch in the worst way. I swiped my Metrocard, descended to the platform, saw the Manhattan line roped off, groaned, heard someone mention a “guy jumping onto the track to rescue a banjo he bought on consignment and have you seen Tiny Furniture?” I was not feeling well. My head was thick with Hemingway Daiquiris and nap-desire. I sat down on one of those perplexing, splintery wood apparatuses that adorn subway stations and exist, by my estimation, as a thought experiment on the antithesis of comfort. I prepared to enter my routine hangover fugue state. A girl sat down next to me.
I’m going to call this girl Cayleigh, because Cayleigh was her name and I have a habit of referring to people by their names, as I once had a habit of not having a son. Cayleigh put a swift end to the latter habit. I should too make mention of Cayleigh’s being gorgeous, and the lightless depths to which I can dig myself to to appease gorgeous women, Cayleigh being one such woman, and me being me, myself, hungover Carmen, a superficial idiot. I took one glazed look at Cayleigh, another glazed look at her Children’s International bag.
The conversation went verbatim:
Cayleigh: Hiya! Can I talk to you for a second?
Me: Give me the fucking kid.
Needless to say, Cayleigh gave me the kid, then a hug, and went on her gorgeous way.
My son’s name is Wilson. He is eleven-years-old, and lives in the jungles of Columbia. His village, on the farthest outskirts of Medellin, has limited access to clean water and medical care. All told, his biological parents-his father is a street-merchant, his mother a seamstress-earn $150 annually. Somehow, thousands of miles from his village, on an underground subway platform for a stalled subway train, a confluence of binge drinking and superficiality brought him a better way of life, and an adoptive father. Since October, Wilson has received new shoes, clothes, a more balanced diet, his first examination by a licensed physician, his first trip to the dentist. Wilson is thankful for these kindnesses, and, as many letters and emails have assured me, he wishes to thank me personally.
Only: Wilson isn’t allowed to write me a letter until I write him one, preferably one with an attached photograph.
Only further: I don’t know what to write, and logic follows that the next few posts on this blog will chronicle my assemblage of a letter worthy of Wilson’s reading, of what he intends to write back to me, of the struggles that I will never know that he has at such a young age met. Soberly, earnestly, I will write this letter to my son, to Wilson.
The attached photograph should be easy though.