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  • One day I was told I was "pregnant".

    Despite the shock, one must remain confident that it is indeed possible to come to grips with fatherhood, provided that one has enough time to make the proper adjustments. Personally, I estimate the time required from the date of discovery to the first ultrasound, in order to avoid freaking out completely, to be about two or three years. If only. A mere ten nights of laying my head on the pillow with thoughts racing and unstoppable inner dialogues were all I got. Ten full nights emitting grunts of surprise, shock, and euphoria, and then I had to go and meet my fetus. That famous twinkle-in-the-eye that suddenly became a bun-in-the-oven. At the time I was under the impression of the fetus being only ten days old, not realizing that a pregnancy calendar is some crazy weekly thing starting before the sperm meets the egg. I it begs the question: “How long have you been eavesdropping, fetus?”

    The lab is crowded and we spend quite some time in the waiting room. This is my first time taking a woman to an ultrasound. I’m restless and I feel people looking at me. An old man and his wife scorn me with rude and anachronistic remarks. They didn’t say a word, actually, but they kept making faces at me. Only when my number was called did I realize that they were looking at the TV behind me. Damn those geriatric soap lovers who make faces at the TV.

    The exam itself is like a movie, only without popcorn. There’s a computer full of buttons and dials. I like buttons and dials. Then a charming young woman introduces herself as the doctor and while she talks she casually applies Vaseline and a condom onto what looks like a cross between a dildo and a dentist’s drill. Without further ceremony or even so much as a kiss, she sticks it in my girlfriend and starts moving it around. There is no fetus on the screen and she says “spread your legs some more, honey”. I hear that and it’s like I’m in a dream, the scene is surreal, impossible, and yet there it is. But while the girls are having their fun you are kind of ignored and you wait there patiently for an invitation to join in. Was it an elaborate fantasy they prepared just for me and there I was, wasting time? Should I do something? Kiss my girlfriend? Hold the doctor’s hand?

    Before I have time to get undressed the doctor says “aha!” and a bean appears on the screen. I find out there is a little person in there, practically made of pixels. The bean is a quarter of an inch long and six weeks old. Four pixels keep blinking, right in the middle of the bean. The doctor says that the blinking pixels are the heart. A little person with a heart, heartbeats and all. I felt nothing. No emotions at all. I’m a rock. My eyes were merely leaking. Unmoveable. I may lie compulsively, but I’m a rock. A very leaky rock, it seems.
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