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Baptism by Fluid(s)

Baptism by Fluid(s)

My wife was in bed. I was on the computer. It was late. There was bourbon involved.

In the distance a baby cried. I turned up whatever I was listening to. It may have been Wilco. It may have been jazz. It was something that played well behind an unfocused mind and a bottle of whisky.

I turned up the music and hoped that the baby would solve whatever problem he was facing, or at the very least that my wife would solve it for him. She didn’t. She stayed in bed and she yelled my name into the night. It wasn’t in a good way.

I walked through the dark and took my son from the bassinet. He was only a few weeks old and the fact that I had tried to pawn him off on my wife filled me with regret despite her sleeping not a foot from him.

He stunk, but the smell alone wasn’t enough to warrant my committing the moment to memory. Truth be told, I couldn’t pick that smell out of a line-up. Everything was normal and nothing stood out. I know there was music. Maybe it was Van Morrison. I know there was a drink, was it Maker’s or Knob Creek? I remember that it stunk, but then it always did and I’m pretty sure it always will. Shit stinks and we deal with it.

I took the baby into the nursery, which was also my office, which was also the extra bedroom. The room was not nearly as glamorous as it sounds.

As I placed him on the changing table I realized that I still had a tissue stuffed inside one of my nostrils. I don’t recall which one, but I remember it had been bleeding. I removed it and within seconds I proceeded to drip blood across my face and onto the smooth, soft skin of my son.


He fired back and suddenly the Pollockesque marks I had drizzled upon us didn’t seem so bad. It’s funny how a rush of piss to the face can put things in perspective.

I did my best Barry Sanders and side-stepped the stream while blocking it with the only item within reach—the bottom of my whisky glass, which of course turned the single stream into a fan of spray that would make the Bellagio blush. It was spectacular.

Everything was fluid, a blur of blood, piss and whisky, and I realized I needed help. I yelled for my wife. She refused to come to my aid, but decided instead to laugh uncontrollably.

Suddenly there was a new noise in the mix. It wasn’t the overly-dramatic cackling of my wife or a boob’s worth of urine ruining an expensive glass of bourbon; it was much more primal. I looked down at the cat meowing beneath me, and I didn’t even flinch as it puked across my bare foot. The right one.

I was a money shot away from hitting for the cycle.

I cleaned up my son, put a new diaper on him, and carried him back to the bassinet. My wife tried to curb her enthusiasm. She was not successful.

I wiped the walls and furniture of blood and baby pee. The room was a crime-scene. I wadded a baby wipe into my nose and used the rest to clean up the vomit. The cat watched me, refreshingly unamused.

I poured a fresh glass of fresh whisky and I sat back down at the computer. The room stunk around me, and I listened to Ben Folds.

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