The eve of my vasectomy is fast approaching. Here is the story so far:
August 30, 2011
My eyes focus to see that Reservoir Mum is still tapping at the keyboard furiously. She says, ‘Speaking of balls, when you go to the doctor with Tyson on Thursday you should ask about getting the snip.’
Fear grips me. ‘I’m not sure I can go through with that anymore. I was thinking we could try something else… like the experimental male contraceptive pill, or the withdrawal method… or having more kids.’
‘Hmmm. Nup,’ RM says, patting her tummy, ‘I think this will be our last.’
Minutes pass before she turns to see why I’m so quiet. I’m standing, arms outstretched, wiggling my hips like I’m performing with an imaginary Hoola-hoop.
‘Don’t you think that’s enough dancing for now, sweetheart?’ she says, patiently.
‘I just want to feel them jiggling around down there. I want to remember what it’s like.’
‘You’re not getting your balls chopped off,’ RM says.
‘Fricken idiot,’ Mother-In-Law says.
‘I’m going to send them to you in a jar,’ I scream, before running into the bedroom.
Reservoir Mum enters to find me sitting on the bed inspecting myself tearfully. I have stretched my scrotum out as far as it will go on the bedspread.
‘What are you doing?’ she asks. ‘Trying to flick my switch?’
‘I’m trying to find my soon to be murdered vas deferens,’ I say.
‘Well if you find them point them out to me. I’ve got a scalpel. We could save some money.’
I start laughing and turn to take her face in my hands, ‘You’re just a funny one.’
Her cheeks are so warm and I suddenly remember that sense of wellness that comes when we’re alone together and it occurs to me that I may be feeling a tad more tired and emotional than usual. I may even be over-reacting. I feel a sudden dulling down of the scatter and intensity and when I look into her eyes I’m struck by something I’ve always seen there but have not always been able to acknowledge – kindness… for me. It was there when we climbed a tree and sat on a branch together at Lake Wendoree, not quite ready to say ‘I love you’. It was there when I held out her ring on my trembling fingers. It was there as I held her hand and watched her suffer through three long labors. And it’s been there for every one of the doubts and insecurities I’ve had in raising our crazy-cool boys.
‘It’s not a big procedure you know,’ RM says, ‘You go in and come home that day.’
‘I know,’ I say. ‘I just wanted you to look at my balls… I didn’t know how to get that across to you with your mother in the room.’
Her laughter feels good and I’m only minutes away from sleep and I know tomorrow my mind will be clearer and we’ll be back on track. As I place my hand on her belly Rick Astley kicks like a maniac. I think he’ll be a great dancer, or an agile footballer, or maybe a hot tempered bouncer. Actually I have no idea. But he’ll be okay. I put my lips as close to him as I can and say loudly. ‘Mummy’s got it wrong mate. You’re not the last one. You’re just number four.’
‘And you’re a fricken idiot,’ Mother-In-Law says, from down the hall.
*Originally seen in ‘Wednesdays From The Womb 34′