Saturday, March 5, 2016


They draw a frowny face on your hand with a marker when they kick you out of the Black Cat club for barfing on the floor. It’s to let the bouncer know you’re not allowed back inside.

An online search of AA groups in my area lets me know that there is a men-only one called Chock Full of Nuts.

I drink each time the pregnancy test comes back negative. It’s my consolation prize to myself. I’m doing IVF, and two rounds have failed so far. I’m 37 years old and might not be able to conceive with my own eggs.

Last time the test was negative, I went to the mall in the middle of the day, into the new Dave & Buster’s arcade. They serve food there, and have a bar. There were no other customers inside.

I sat at the bar and ordered an alcoholic snow cone.

I'm in this special program: six IVF tries, and we either get a baby or our money back.

I drank the boozy snow cone and plotted a trip around the world for my husband and me to take if none of the IVFs work and we get our twenty grand back – the ultimate consolation prize:

-First we’d fly to Iceland, rent a car, and drive around the perimeter, checking out the barren volcanic landscape. ("See? Barren can be beautiful.")

-Next we’d go to Morocco, maybe Marrakesh, to take in the flavor of that part of the world, a part I haven’t seen much of.

-Then down to Zanzibar, to go to the beach and visit sub-Saharan Africa in one swoop, and to eat at that restaurant that’s a treehouse.

-Next would come Japan, where I swear I must have lived in a former life. (While there, I would leave three Jizo statues – one for each miscarriage – in one of the little parks where stone babies stand wearing knitted caps, among colorful pinwheels, a peaceful sight in their togetherness.) 

-Finally, we’d fly to San Francisco and rent a car, drive up through redwoods, hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon rainforest, take in Portland, maybe see those Twin Peaks waterfalls, finish up in Seattle then fly home.

The point would be to blow the money we got back. Blow it all to smithereens. Be one of those childless couples smiling child-free in travel photos – “There’s more to life than kids!” 

We won’t do it, of course. I’m dumb with money, and a trip like that could cost triple that amount or more for all I know. Also, we keep saying that if the IVFs don’t work, we will adopt. We’d need to save the money for the child we might adopt. 

But the map soothes me as I order another snow cone – no food – and the bartender tries to hide his concern. The map is the only thing that soothes me today.

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