Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bad Baby by Matt Rowan

Bad Baby doesn’t like me -- no, hates me. We simply do not see eye to eye. Go ahead and say that babies aren’t bad, and that I need to be the mature one, since I’m capable of writing and developing my thoughts. That’s what Bad Baby would argue, if she could, because she knows how to manipulate adults. She knows how easily we can be persuaded to believe babies aren’t capable of being bad. Except she knows that I’m not easily persuaded, so she hates me. She needs no words, in any form, to express this fact. It’s got me stressed, seriously.  

My girlfriend feels she needs to do something about my stress, so what she does is seriously dangerous. She will find herself a hiding place (behind a tree, bush, telephone pole), just some random spot along the route I drive home, and she steps out in the street in front of my car mere moments before I’ve passed her.  

She says this is a show of her great faith in me. She claims she’s trying to be supportive. I say she has gone off her rocker.  

My girlfriend argues that I always stop in the nick of time, the bumper approximately an inch from her kneecaps, and I do this because we are so inextricably tied that my subconscious detects her presence / proximity, even when the rest of me does not. She’s done this every day since I started my new job at Waffles Inc. three months ago, and I haven’t come close to running her over yet while driving. Soooo she has that for evidence in her favor.  

But I know that it’s mostly because of Bad Baby, once again. Bad Baby has me on high alert at all times. I’m not fearful for my life, just fearful of being out-of-nowhere cried at. That’s the problem with Bad Baby. She is always there to cry when I don’t need her around just in general. Crying makes it worse. It’s got me keyed up and anxious, even when I’m driving my car. You’d think a car, being inside of a car, would be contained enough to keep me from being too much on my guard, but it isn’t, because I know better. So I always spot my girlfriend before I do the tragic mistake of running her over. It’s because I’m worried about Bad Baby making a startling and hysterical entrance, at all times.  
You’re probably wondering, who is Bad Baby? Maybe Bad Baby isn’t a baby? Bad Baby is a baby, thank you. I’ve had enough of Bad Baby, though. I can’t kill her because I’m not crazy, and plus because she’d be expecting me to try that, as a quick fix solution. Plus, she’s my daughter.  

But I’ve vowed something needs to give.

What’ll it be then, Bad Baby?  

Will it be you coming out of nowhere, in the backseat of the my car still loaded up in your car seat because you’re ever the safe traveler? Will it be your screaming cry from out of nowhere, surprising the hell out of me because I didn’t know you were in the back seat, in the first place? And your scaring the daylights out of me then leading to another ten car + pile up?  


It’ll be something instead. It’ll be me reacting to your screaming cry, crying myself right along with you until something gives, between you and I. Until you and I start, what’s this, laughing? Laughing at the absurdity of it all. Laughing so hard we’re crying. Laughing so hard we don’t even notice the thud and bump under tires as we scream with mirth all the way home.  

That’s what it’ll be? Yes? Matt Rowan edits Untoward Magazine in his increasingly limited free time. He also enjoys various forms of social media: your twitters, your facebooks and so forth. He blogs occasionally at Bob Einstein Presents His Literary Equations. See a few of his previous publications at Metazen, Everyday Genius and Bartleby Snopes. He'd think that's just swell if you did. 

Photo by Adam Lawrence.
Street artist unknown. 

The Chicago band YAWN just released just release their debut album and it features the track "Acid."

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