I know it’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time before the dogs. We didn’t know what they could do. We didn’t know that a dog barking up in Washington, D.C. could feel the round clicking into a chamber in Austin.
“They cut off my mother’s breast at 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, and from the lobby, we watch the low-res screen in the waiting room, color-coded for which stage of surgery she is currently in.”
You trash your room. You twist the arms of your roommate’s glasses and shred her grandchildren’s drawings. You refuse to be medicated, screaming that you are being poisoned. Security is called, and you are restrained in a special chair next to the nurses’ station like a naughty student who must sit next to the teacher.
So far their task has been simple. While a narrative might stray a bit in one telling, or embellish or neglect a detail in another, they’ve received and recorded the stories without substantial disagreement. But now, in this moment, a woman sits in front of the Grimm Brothers, telling them a story of siblinghood that offers a bit of concern.
Our babies were unborn. They were manufactured by Mattel. Plastic or not, we had no capacity to deal with crying children. We had no time for child rearing. Didn’t we struggle enough in managing the minutiae of our own lives? We masturbated far too frequently to care for another human being.