It may not be my child she is carrying…

Posted: September 23, 2020 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

RRBC Interview, Eyes on the Book hosted by Rox Burkey


24 April 2012
Joy was cheerful and sober this morning. “Only four people stayed at Toothless Chuck’s place last night: me, Chuck, Ronny, and Chili. See this scrape I’ve got on my nose. We have this broom with a broken handle. I was sweeping under the sofa and I hit my nose on the coffee table. I thought I’d broken it again. Chuck was ready to push it back in place. ‘No!’ I said, ‘don’t touch my nose.’
“Chili is really in bad shape. She’s ‘smashing’ cocaine again and has sores and track marks all over her arms. She’s on antidepressants and I think she’s taking more than she should. After just a few drinks she gets falling-down drunk. She’s all over the place. Last night she wet Chuck’s bed. He was really ticked off.
“Chili’s adopted parents want her to come home to Prince Edward Island. I said, ‘What are you going to do about your arms?’ ‘Wear long sleeves,’ she said. Another time she told me, ‘My mother used to slap me every time I swore.’ I told her, ‘You better get used to having a sore face, because every second word that comes out of your mouth is a swear word.’
“I didn’t go to Elizabeth Fry last week, I was too messed up. I’ll go tomorrow. Angela, my probie, gave me all the papers I need for housing, except for my picture i.d., the one from prison that says I’m on probation. Angela says I’m a really good candidate for the housing program because of my mental condition. It’s the first time in my life that being crazy has been a help to me. I have an appointment with her on May second. I have a court appearance on the twenty-ninth, because of my breach when I was in the hospital. I told her, ‘I better not get any more time for that!’ I’m supposed to be finished probation in November, all except for my anger management program.
“In the last year, I’ve lost two houses and Big Jake. Jake, I’m still working on. The last house I had with Roy was really nice. I have to go back there to get my check. Some things I’d like to pick up as well. I’m hoping that Roy won’t be there because there’s sure to be a fight, but it’s all his fault. He and his girlfriend were just snorting too much. He was working too. He may have lost his job. If he wants money from my check, he’s not getting it.”I saw Clark scooting around in his wheelchair. I was surprised to see that both of his legs have been amputated. When I first met him a few years ago, he’d only lost a foot. He may have diabetes, but he’s awfully skinny. Usually, people with diabetes are heavier. It probably has to do with all the drugs he’s taking.”
I look into your eyes,
grey with tears and sorrow
from the Arctic Ocean.
I feel your hurt deep inside
hear your thunder
see your rain.
With your fist on your chest
you open your heart,
tell me of hardship,
betrayal and pain.

I listen
with my heart
as one who has been there.

With my arm around your shoulder,
as a brother,
I ask you to act with patience
and with love —
be love.


“Hi, bro! Remember me?”

“Yes, of course, Alphonse! I met you and your girlfriend, a few months ago, at the heater. There was snow on the ground.”

I sat on the curb with him. It started raining, so I pulled up my hood.

“That’s right. Magdalene was here just twenty minutes ago. ‘It’s cold out, Maggie!’ I said, ‘wear my jacket. It will keep you warm.’ Do you think she would wear it?  No, she was worried about her image.’ Why are you concerned about your image? You have a man. I’m right here.’  She wants to look cool, like some of those ‘gangsta’ rappers she sees on television.

“She’s only twenty-two and I’m forty. She still wants to live the party life. It’s the alcohol that makes her that way. She drinks until she passes out. Just this morning I said to her, ‘Maggie, you’ve had enough to drink. Who are you dressing to impress?’ She stormed off!

“I know where she’s going and who she’s going to see. This has been going on for about a year now. I know exactly where she’s going. She’s going to sleep with him and he’s going to give her money. She’ll stay with him for three or four days until he runs out of money. Then she’ll want to come back to me. This has happened about ten times in the past year. I’ll take her back, but it hurts deep inside.

“What hurts most is that she’s carrying my child. At least, I think it’s my child. I don’t even know if it’s my child. She doesn’t know — she’s been with so many men. This morning, she said that she was going to the nurse to see about an abortion. She was too drunk, anyway, it’s too late — she’s three months pregnant. She’s had abortions three times before and has a four-year-old boy who was taken away by the Children’s Aid Society.

“I don’t want her to have an abortion. I would raise it as my own. I’d like us to be a family together. I would take care of her, but she wants to be in control.

“I never had a childhood. I had to raise my siblings. My mother was an alcoholic. She was never around. When I was five years old, I looked after a six-month-old baby and a toddler, one and a half years old. I failed kindergarten, two times because I was never there. I was looking after my siblings.

“Last night I told Maggie, ‘We have to get out of this city.’ I said, ‘If you want, we could live near your family.’ They live near Sept-Iles, Quebec, but she doesn’t want that because she wouldn’t have any control. She was raised by her grandparents, her parents were dead. They gave her everything. I suggested that we live where I come from, Nain in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. She doesn’t want that either.

“You’re the first person I’ve told this to – that it may not be my child she is carrying. I feel better having told someone. I want to see that child born and, if necessary, I’ll raise it myself. She has to stop drinking. One beer a night would be alright, it has nourishment; but she drinks Imperial sherry, and never just one drink.


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  1. I know the end has been written but I hope he gets a Paternity Test


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