Sunday Stories: “The Baby Visit”


The Baby Visit
by N. Michelle AuBuchon

My friend Jim had a kid so I decided to pay him a visit.

Jim, are you and the missus around tonight?  I want to meet this kid of yours.

He said, sure come on by, Jen’s making hash.  Jim and his old lady break up sometimes.

I bought them a bottle of Makers on the way.  I sing Johnny when I drive. Jen’s hash gets gooped up.  You don’t know what’s carrot and what’s dead, but it all tastes good.

Jim!  You look tired as hell, I said.  Jim looked down.  His foot was rubbing a crusty spot in the carpet.  Jim, what is it?  I said.  Jim and I have been friends since we were five. I know what I know about Jim.

We broke up, Jim said.  The night the baby came.  I could smell the hash heating as he was saying all this so I said, but Jim, Jen’s making hash.  You two can’t be broken up.

Well we are, Jen said from the kitchen.  Come in and eat.  You can meet the baby after.

I poured us each a tumbler full of Makers and water.  Jim never has ice.  The doorbell at Jim’s house rings wrong.  The doorbell started crying.  Babysitter’s here, Jen said.

Are you going somewhere, I said.

No, Jim said.

We can’t look at that baby, Jen said.

I’ll get the door, I said.

Shit, I said when I opened the door.

What are you doing here, she said.

I fucked that babysitter at the fireman’s picnic.  Behind the beer tent.  By the whirlmeground.  Next to the porta potties.

Cindy.  Shit.  You’re the babysitter?

Let me in, I need to get paid, she said to me.

This woman is not fit to care for children, I said.

We’re not fit to care for children, Jim said.

Can I have some whiskey, the babysitter said.

Christ, I said.  The baby started crying and no one was moving.  Is anyone going to check on her, I said?

Fine, the babysitter said, and started walking back to the bedrooms.

You might as well meet the bitch, Jen said.

Fine, I said, leaving Jim and Jen in the kitchen with the whiskey and hash.

The baby stopped crying with the babysitter standing over her.  Isn’t she an angel, the babysitter said, her eyeballs skipping like they did when I fucked her.

You’re both angels, I said, my hand finding the small of her back.  Skip skip skip went her eyeballs.

Jim popped his head in the doorway.  Hey you two, mind watching the baby for a few hours, he said.

Where are you going I said?  I know what I know about Jim and Jim and Jen were getting back together wherever they were going.

Fireman’s picnic, Jim said.  He picked up the baby and kissed her.  You’re a real dad I said.

Do you want to have sex, the babysitter said after Jim and Jen left.  Of course, I said.  I want one of those she said.

One of what, I said.

Babies she said.  You’re wild I said.  Let’s go in the living room she said.  Skip skip skip on the couch.  Come in me, come in me Daddy, she said.  I tried to pull out but she was on top and wouldn’t let up.

Jim keeps a bowl of Starbursts on the coffee table.  The babysitter stayed mounted, picking out the reds.

You cunt I said.  I don’t want to be a father.  Get the fuck off me I screamed, shoving the babysitter onto the floor.  The bitch in the back started wailing.  I walked back to the bedroom naked saying, it’s ok baby, it’s ok baby.  Your mommy and daddy will be home soon, it’s ok baby.

Just then, the phone in the kitchen started wailing.

Put your clothes on, Baby, Jim and Jen are getting married, the babysitter said.  I came close to crying thinking about that baby’s mommy and daddy getting back together.

I put my legs into my pants and stepped on a Starburst.  Cindy, goddamnit, now there’s red all mushed into the carpet.

What do you care, the babysitter said.

Jim is my friend and this is his house.

Let’s go, the babysitter said.  We don’t want to miss the ceremony.

Aren’t you going to get the baby, I said.

She’ll be fine here, the babysitter said.

I don’t know, I said.  Aren’t you supposed to be the babysitter?

Mind your own business, she said.  You drive.

Jim and Jen were all married by the time we found them in front of the whirlmegoround.

Let’s go back to the house and celebrate, Jen said.  I’ll make hash.  The babysitter and I stopped to pick up some Makers on the way home.  We sang Johnny and took sips.

I want to have a baby, Jen said, back at the house.

You do not, Jim said.

Let’s all make a baby, the babysitter said.

Isn’t she wild?  I said.

I know what I know about Jim and Jim wants exactly what the babysitter said.

She’s the real deal all right, Jen said.

Jen went out back to dig carrots for our hash.

Jim touched the small of the babysitter’s back.  It was Jim’s house so I just kept making drinks.  I know that Jim is my friend and that he doesn’t like ice.

Let’s leg wrestle, the babysitter said.

I don’t guess I’ve ever, Jim said.

Sounds fun enough, I said.

The babysitter taught us how to lie on the floor and line up our hips.  She flipped us both over backwards on the first try.  The babysitter’s legs were stronger than they looked.  The babysitter’s legs were stronger than I remembered.

Jim demanded a second round.  I know what I know about Jim and Jim likes to win, but the babysitter just kept flipping him and Jim kept asking for it again and they kept on like this until they’d spilled all their whiskey in the carpet and Jen said, supper’s ready.

Congrats to the happy couple!  I said.

Congrats to all of us, the babysitter said.

Who is that girl, Jen said.

I can’t believe I married you, Jim said.

Jen threw her plate of hash at Jim.  The babysitter threw her plate of hash at Jen and I threw mine in my own face. Jen makes a mean pot of hash.  Jim is my friend, this is his house, Jim loves Jen but sometimes they break up.

Well I can’t believe I married you either.  Jen took her ring off and threw it in the backyard.

I can’t believe you, Jim said.

What do you believe, I asked the babysitter.

I believe your dinner is on your face, she said.

I think we should go, I said.  Want to ride the whirlmegoround with me?

How many times the babysitter said.

How many times, I said.  What does that matter, how many times.

It matters because it matters, the babysitter said.

As many times as you want, then, I said.

Jim was chasing Jen around the table.  Around the table.  Around the table.  As many times as you want I said.

You said that, the babysitter said.

Jim was chasing Jen around the table.  As many times as you want, I said.  Jim was chasing Jen around the table.

The babysitter and I had sex behind the beer tent.  By the whirlmeground.  Next to the porta potties.

The babysitter’s tummy bellowed up out of nowhere like a batch of cotton candy.

Baby, don’t you want to go on the rides, we said.  Don’t you want to stop wailing and be a good good baby?

We’re not fit to be parents, the babysitter said.

But we’re all we’ve got, I said.

The babysitter and I took the baby back to Jim and Jen’s.  Jim and Jen would know what to do with the baby.

Try to give the baby a little Makers, I told the babysitter, in the car.  Run your finger, just a dab, across the gums.

We all take sips and sing Johnny.

Jim! What are you doing, I said when we pulled into the drive.  Jim was crouched behind the woodpile covered in mud.

That cunt is leaving and I’m teaching her a lesson, Jim said.

This is Jim’s house.  Sometimes Jim and Jen break up.

But you’re all covered with mud, I said.

As soon as she walks out that door, we pelt her with mudballs, Jim said.  He handed me a goopy mess.

But Jim, I said, there are nails in this mudball and you love Jen.  Sometimes you don’t know what’s mudball and what’s carrot.  How many times.  As many times as you want.

Jen walked out the door and the baby woke up.  That bitch started wailing, and Jen said where is the baby, is everything ok?  And Jim, for the first time, started looking at the baby.  He put down his mudballs and picked her up, saying, it’s ok baby, it’s ok baby.  Jen came over, behind the woodpile, next to Jim who was holding the baby.

It’s ok baby, it’s ok baby, they both said.

Let’s leave them alone a little, I said to the babysitter.

Ok, she said.  Can I have some whiskey, she said.

Christ, I saidAlright.

I found the tumblers and made four drinks.

Jim and Jen came in the front door, banging into things, hugging and kissing.

I think they’re going to have sex, I told the babysitter.  Let’s leave them alone and go out back.

I put my hand on the babysitter’s back.  Let’s dig some carrots, I said, Jen will want some to make hash.

The ground was wet giving us mud all over.

Look!  Look!  I said.  Between the carrot and potato patch I found a diamond ring.

Will you marry me, I said to the babysitter, holding the ring.

Ok.  But first let’s make a baby, she said.  Skip skip skip.  My hand on the small of her back.

I knew Jim and Jen made up because they turned on Johnny.  I got on top of the babysitter.  Jim singing that ring of fire, that ring of fire.  I dropped the diamond into the earth.  My hands searched for metal.  Skip skip skip.  The babysitter said, it’s ok baby it’s ok baby.

N. Michelle AuBuchon holds an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gawker, No News Today, Swink and Washington Square. She is currently working on a novel-in-stories.

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