The first time you get married it’s supposed to be something special. I guess most people don’t ever want to have a second wedding so they go all out with the first one. Big cake, big dress, big bucks. And then your first kid is this thing that’s like… out of this world cool. Like, you and your wife or girlfriend or this weird hookup just brought this thing into the world. This little dark-headed, squirming infant that has eyes that seem too big for its skull and filled with so much… wonder.
My therapist said I should take up journaling. I guess I can only journal about Alex. The kid. My kid? I’m too young to be a dad. I don’t even know the first thing about parenting. The first time I even held a kid was when Ciara put him into my arms and told me she wanted nothing to do with either of us again.
First marriage, first kid, first divorce.
I suppose it’s my fault that Ciara and I didn’t work out. We’re both young. Od, she’s only nineteen. She doesn’t deserve to have a kid yet. I guess in a way she doesn’t. The paperwork is all filed and I got complete custody. I offered joint and then the one where the kid gets to visit her on holidays but she’s pretty upset with the both of us. If she ever changed her mind, I’d let her. I’d probably let her take Alex if she wanted him.
Which makes me sound like an awful father. I guess I am. I have no clue what I’m doing. I didn’t really have a dad? This sounds weird because of course, I have to have a dad, everyone has a dad, well except maybe Jesus, but I’m not Jesus so I have a dad. Somewhere. My mom never talked about him. For all anyone knew she was the Virgin Mary and then bam, kid! And now I’m no expert but "bam, kid!" is no good combination.
Long story short, my mom kicked the bucket when I was like… eight? So I don’t remember too much about her. Nothing outside of the usual little memories. The two of us squeezed in the living room chair together. Find a bunch of old toys in the garage and cleaning them off. The time I decided to give myself a haircut under the pillow fort I’d made. I was stupidly impulsive back then too, I guess.
I want to say I rushed into a relationship with Ciara. We knew each other back in high school, started dating back in high school. I was a senior and she was a sophomore. We did some of that on and off bullshit before she graduated and we got married. Her parents hated me right from the start - Ciara’s dad is pretty rich and all I have to my name is an old car and now this journal I suppose.
Ciara’s living with her parents again. They paid for our big, fancy wedding even though they were pissed and then they tried to pressure Ciara into getting an abortion, saying she was too young to be a mother. They were right. She was too young. Alex deserves so much more than the pair of us. We’re just idiots masquerading as… as not idiots.
Maybe that’s all people, though.
I don’t regret having Alex though. I know it was the pregnancy that broke Ciara, but I don’t regret a single decision I made. Alex is one now. One whole year old. Can you believe that? I mean, you don’t exist and now I’m talking to a fifty-cent spiral. But one year ago I brought a little human into the world. He’s still got a head of the darkest hair I’ve ever seen but he has my eyes. My damn eyes. Isn’t that something?
I think that might’ve been half the reason why Ciara doesn’t want to be around him. Every time she looks at him she’ll know… she’ll know that that kid is mine just as much as hers. He’s smart, not like either of us. Likes reading. Or well, he’s not reading, I’m reading, but I think he likes listening to them. He gets all giggly and bouncy. He has me going to the library almost every day, checking out a new book. The librarians all know me by name now.
Did you know "book" was his first word? I don’t exactly call myself Dada or anything like that so I guess it’s natural. I think he knows I’m his father or at least his primary food source. I know animals can tell who their mother is after they’re born but what about fathers? Maybe its because fathers are supposed to be absent. I was supposed to be the one who ran away, not Ciara. Even the animal kingdom knows it.
I hope Alex forgives me one day. He likes me good now, but I have no idea what he’s going to think of me when he’s ten, twelve years old and he knows the reason he never grew up with a mom was my fault. I wonder if he’ll scream and say he hates me. I wonder if I’ll scream back. Our first fight… or maybe that first fight was when I fought him to put his diaper back on. I think he might be a screamer. He has strong lungs. That’s what the doctor said when he was born.
I hope Alex uses his strong lungs and screams at the world. I hope he screams and screams and screams and somehow his voice reaches people like Ciara’s father - people who built their empire off of other people’s suffering. The world needs more screamers - more people with strong lungs. I’m trying to be a screamer for Alex, but I don’t think I’m very good at it. I’m a liar - a laugher, you see.
You don’t see. You’re a yellow journal. This is stupid. I don’t know why this is supposed to help me get over anything.
My therapist says something about internalized homophobia. I tell her that I’m too stupid to know how to internalize anything. Then she goes on about something-something self-loathing, something-something guilt, something-something how it's not my fault. I am smart enough to know she’s wrong. I know it’s my fault my marriage fell apart and I know it's my fault that Alex will never have a mother - step or otherwise.
All I know is that I think that one librarian is very, very attractive. He has me all flustered and panicked. I hate going to the library when he’s on shift. I know his car now - a motorcycle. He rides a motorcycle and I know exactly what it looks like and I always get all twisty and freaked out when I see it but Alex is in the backseat and it’s not like I can turn around now because Alex needs new books and ugh…
To make matters worse, this very attractive librarian who drives a motorcycle and knows my name because I go to the library every day, likes Alex. He runs the reading hour - where he pretty much just reads a book and does all these funny voices for all the characters and all the kids love it - and I take Alex to that every week. Then Alex likes to play with the blocks and has a little friend there. She’s this cute little girl with pigtails.
She’s the niece of the librarian so she usually comes to reading hour too. I’ve spoken to her mom before since when your kids are friends you sort of end up just… doing that. She likes talking and I don’t mind listening to her. She’s another one of those parents that just seems too young for the room which might be the other reason we were drawn together.
She reminds me of Ciara in a lot of ways. Mainly how she regards her daughter. This cute little girl named Eden (I asked if she was religious and she said the name was a joke. She didn’t explain the joke but I felt it was rather cruel and at the expense of Eden) who she just doesn’t seem to care for. She keeps talking about going clubbing and how she misses hanging out with her friends and how she’s waiting for the custody agreement to change so her brother was the sole caretaker of her kid.
I think I’m looking forward to the date just as much as she is. I like Eden. She’s threw up on my shoe once, but she’s cute so that makes up for it.
The librarian will talk to me sometimes too. I find myself experiencing a lot of firsts when it comes to him as well. He’s the first person I told about what happened with Ciara - what really happened and he was the first person to suggest therapy to me. Therapy to help me not hate myself without changing myself. I’d been considering the other kind… but I’m glad of the decision I made. I’m glad I met the librarian.
He’s the first person who made me feel glad to meet them. He’s also the first person to ever confide their own secret. He’s gay too. Or not exactly gay, but like bi. Except not bi either. He called it pan. I don’t really understand the difference but he’s patient with me. He’s the first person to do that too. I think that I want to be friends with him. I think I want to go get coffee with him. I think I want to ride on his motorcycle with him - to go to church with him.
He’s the first person to make me feel like that. And he’s the first person that Alex seems to like just as much as me. I just hope… I hope that we keep having firsts together no matter what else happens.
Me? Why do I need to write sincerely? It's a stupid
diary journal entry, not a damn letter.