As I write this he is sleeping on top of me. I have my right hand free and am tapping away. I suppose this is how my writing will be done in the next two years or so.
We’re listening to the Beatles and other guitar infested music. Given his genetics it’s the easiest way to calm him down.
We’ve named him Bruno. After his grandfather. A man who managed to collect about 4,000 vinyl records. He didn’t just collect them, he played them non-stop.
Many people are asking me what it’s like to have a son. I never answer. I say something like that it’s fine or something.
But what is it like?
The first manuscript I ever sent to publishers was called ‘Diary to my son’. My imaginary son cause back then I was 24.
The first story I got published in a literary magazine is about the same future son. A paragraph of this I plagiarized from my own father’s writings. It’s a paragraph in which he describes my birth in a rather hysterical way.
In the story am scared he will commit suicide. The preferred mode of bidding an affectionate farewell in my family.
Am scared I will mess him up by introducing him to stuff he should not be introduced to until he’s at least 16. Rationally I know that, but it’s not how I was brought up. By the time I was six I was drinking beer. My father said it was healthier than lemonade. My father was always watching out for my health. Like when he started feeding me food for bodybuilders when I was 8. I gained. Not muscle, but fat. But you gotta admire the good intentions.
Am afraid he’ll get acne like I did, which makes me obstinately avoid mirrors to this day.
Am afraid he’ll inherit the berserk anger I keep inside and rarely -if ever – let out.
Am afraid I will mess him up by trying to have him massage my ego by compensating for my own faillures and frustrations.
If the unlived life of the parent is truly the biggest influence in a child’s life he will soon be striving to be a hyperwomanising rock star / politician / academic / army officer / writer / surgeon / psychiatrist. Filled with attavistic rage for more, more, more. Poor guy.
The guy who’s known me the longest said: ‘You as a father, that’s either going to go really well, or catastrophically badly.’
Well, so far I rub his belly when he has cramps. I talk to him in English. I put on music for him. I am in group therapy partly for him. I try to be nice to his mother. I try not to be too distracted by other women. I let the money roll in. I remind myself ten times a day it’s probably not a good idea to start watching horror movies with him when he will be three years old. Or to tell him about the Holocaust or American soldiers shooting Sioux and Cheyenne children to pieces. Maybe the ghastly details about Cosacs butchering freezing French soldiers anno 1812 can also wait. Who knows. Maybe asking a four year old if he would still buy the fantastic art or music made by a known pedophile are moral dilemmas best saved for a later date. Family traditions are hard to break.
Trickier will be not to fuck him up when mum goes to church and dad explains what it’s like to be allergic to oppressive religious fairy tales.
In my experience children getting conflicting answers to big questions are less solid adults. But am not going to fake believing in non-sensical mumbojumbo about a deeply perverted ‘absentee landlord’ (= God) sacrificing his only son (brought to life by raping a Virgin) for the sins of humanity. Talk of a bizarre bullshit story.
I say this knowing that the religious people I know in Slovakia tend to be happier than the non-religious ones, no matter how amputated their life experiences are.
Anyway, he’s cuter than I thought he was. And I hope he will be handsome and tall because with that come myriad of possibilities. In this superficial world plenty of doors close when you’re not considered physically attractive. I would be crazy not to wish him good looks.
I have done my best to impregnate a female in one of the countries that consistently appears on top ten lists with the world’s most beautiful women. I could have done slightly better still but I don’t trust most Ukranian women if am honest. And mixing my temperament with Brasilian fire just seemed a recipe for disaster. So Slovak is the best option I think.
‘If you think am cute wait till you see my Slovak mum’, is a T-shirt am planning to buy.
Am guessing he will be fairly intelligent.
I hope he will be kind, but not so kind everyone mistakes him for being weak.
I hope he will be aware of social injustice but not naive enough to join the communist party or other sects.
I hope he will leave women always better than when he found them.
I hope he will find his Ikigai 15 years sooner than his father.
I hope by the time he’s 30 he will be able to forgive me for all the crazy shit I will do in grimly determined attempts to avoid having him go through the same rotten experiences I went through.
I hope his self-esteem as a man will not be so low that he will turn the hottest women he meets into some sort of Goddess.
I hope he will be happy with his body.
I hope he will be capable of appreciating the things he has and is.
I hope he won’t grow up feeling all people have a poisoned heart and everything is doomed to fail making adopt a narcissistic shield to cope with all those tales of impending collapse and sure to follow insanity.
I hope 5 million other things that I hate about myself don’t happen to him.
I hope the world will be better enough because he was here.
The picture shows John Lennon. He was a horrible father to his first born son Julian, and a good father to Sean, his second son. He’s a reminder that being a caring parent is about making the choice to be so.