At three o'clock this afternoon we were in the doctor's office...waiting.
By 3:15 we were in a room, Mindy with her pants off...waiting.
By 3:30 the doctor and an assistant had come into the room, looked at me, the assistant said, "you must be (pause) the other half," (and I said, "the spermless half") spread Mindy's legs, speculumed her, swabbed her cervix with a gauze, and injected 16.9 million sperm into her unterus. She said it hurt. I felt her squeeze my hand.
By 3:32 the assistant and the doctor had left the room and told Mindy to lay there for 15 minutes, "You've come all this way and spent the money, I figure it won't hurt, " he said.
And then it was just us.
So, Mindy got mushy and wanted to hold my hand. It was then that I felt a huge lump in my throat and my eyelids start to burn. I cried, but I wanted to fucking sob. I can't really say why. I cried and Mindy got worried. And at first she probably thought it was a good thing, but soon realized I was not crying out of joy.
And then I felt like an asshole. Here was my wife, her pants still off, lying on some sterile table (a terrible painting of flowers on the wall). "Are you grossed out?" I finally asked. "Kindof," she said.
I tried to compose myself.
The truth is, I cry every time I have to go to the gynecologist. Not because it hurts, because it does slightly, but because...and here's the reason I don't really know. And that's the reason I cried.
When I was 16 I had really bad periods. They'd last for 10 days. Bloody as hell. Curled up on the couch painful. Mom and I talked to the doctor and the only suggestion was birth control. I came out not too long afterward, and then Mom, it seemed, was forcing me to go to the gynecologist.
So, I was 17, a virgin, never planning on having sex with a guy, when some nurse practitioner stuck a cold piece of lubed metal inside of me. I kept my cool then. But the car ride home, Mom driving, I cried, and Mom just kept saying, "Oh, it's not that bad." And that was the only thing she said on the way to the place, too. "It doesn't even hurt." Like, I was just supposed to be ok with the fact that some person I didn't know was going to touch me that way for the first time. Like, any girl is just supposed to be ok with that.
And here's Mindy, my beautiful wife, and some old man I've never met, and some assistant with too much make-up on her leathery sun tanned skin. And he's like,"Is this your first insemenation?" Like, you know, it's just something that everyone does. He said, "I see you work at the vet hospital...have you done inseminations before?" And Mindy joked with him and so did I. I said, "she held the vibrator for the bulls." And we laughed. At the time I thought it was funny. We all did. The assistant piped-up, "We just had a lady in who worked on a farm...she said she felt like a mare." Mindy agreed that she felt like a mare. I looked at the floor and tried not to imagine how a gauze against my cervix would feel, or a long tube pressing into my uterus.
But it was over quickly. I think he said good luck as he left.
I cried on the car ride home; Mindy kept trying to comfort me, but I told her to just leave me alone. I knew she was worrying about me, about if I regreted it already. It had nothing to do with that.
But I thought, as cars rushed by on I-70, how clinical it all was--just like I expected it to be. How I had nothing to do with it. How, not only can I not have a child with the person I love, I can't even marry her. I can't even have rights to the kid without thousands of dollars and paper work. How people sometimes think I'm so tough and all I can do, right now, is just cry and cry about all the unfairness in the world. About how traumatized I still am. About how, at this very moment, Mindy had to go back to work, and some man's sperm (16.9 million) is swimming around inside of her. And we have to pretend that this is how it goes. That this is how you all have done it. That this is what we wanted from our lives. To be excluded and marginalzed. To have to pay $150 dollars up front at the window before the procedure can begin, when we've already spent $1,720 dollars on sperm.
When all some people have to do is make love. Have sex. Fuck. Whatever it is happens to be the moment you do it.
Now, I just sit here on the couch, waiting for my face to unswell, to unredden, to dry. And Mindy works at saving some dog's life while, maybe, just maybe, there's a life growing inside of her.