Disclaimer: All persons/events here are products of a writer's imagination. Any resemblance to a person, living or dead is purely coincidental.
"People doubt themselves. Life is an endless roller coaster ride that attempts to make sense of the things that happen. I couldn't make sense of what I did and sometimes I wonder if it even happened. You've left my mind in a tattered mess..."
Part 3 of 7
People often say that when important decisions are made, they are made by half-mad minds. I probably agree. I don’t know what possessed me to say what I did that time. I was sane, yes. I had full grasp of my faculties then and anyone can fault me later if I backtrack and say that I was coerced into saying it.
It is a decision that will continue to haunt me for the rest of my life.
I am a traditionalist (I don’t even know what that truly means). For lack of a better word, I am a man that has to make sure that when I build something or engage in something, that I am standing on solid ground. I believe that a strong foundation as opposed to relying on the vagaries of fate is a far better basis for any kind of human undertaking.
I grew up believing this and to this end, I lived my life to achieve a solid foundation upon which I can build the rest of my life. I didn’t really participate in the fiery rebellion of youth (which I regret) knowing that I will probably regret the consequences later. I looked at them as immature actions that led to too many variables that often destroyed lives. I didn’t really look for love (thank God, that in those rare cases when raging adolescent hormones got the better of me, I was always rejected). I wonder where I’d be now if those adolescent hormones got the better of me. I felt that as a young jobless student, I was not really qualified to love (though sometimes I wish that I could’ve done something). I was content to admire from a distance telling myself that when I am ready in the future, I’d come back and woo the women I fell in love with.
Then I graduated and immediately got a job. It is a good job which gave me a middle class life (at least I thought so then). That would have given me the big ticket but again I thought that it wasn’t solid yet. I was to be a probationary employee for a good four years and with the economic crunch holding the world hostage, I couldn’t really commit. Fast forward a few years and I got my final employment contract that made me a full time employee. My career was on the rise, I have decent compensation, decent job hours. I felt ready.
Then the state of real estate prices hit me. Before I could embark and have a family, I told myself to buy myself a house. Well, I thought that with what I had in the bank then, I could probably afford even a small lot with a bungalow. The reality was a hard slap to the face. To get a house, I will have to surrender 70% of my monthly salary for the next twenty years. TWENTY YEARS!! Are you kidding me? What about food for a family, dinner with the wife even once a month, tuition money for a kid or two? I never realized it was this bad.
If there was one thing I learned from my observing people, it was that the roots of all things, both evil and good are based on monetary stability. People would rage about love, religion, laughter and other s***, but when it comes down to it, it boils down to how stable your bank account is. Sure, people can stay married and somehow support themselves until they call it quits later in the twilight of their years and I admire them for that but give them a chance to really say what’s on their minds and they will say that if they had the chance to start over again, that they’d do better.
Job: ok; compensation: ok; house: poof!
Everything that follows then becomes poof!
Marriage, kids, they all went down the drain.
People can say later on when the years finally pile on that the reason I live a solitary life is because I couldn’t buy a house. They’d be right. The joke would definitely be on me.
I saw the women I once saw as prospective brides go to lesser men. I suffered definitely as I watched them walk the aisles. I once thought that I’d go back and maybe get a chance to be that man waiting at the altar.
Some have happy marriages which may stand the tests of time. Others are in limbo and sometimes there is a certain twinge of regret in their eyes when we meet. Those are instances I feel like a coward and gets me to wonder what would’ve happened if like all the men out there, I gave everything to chance and made the plunge.
There are regrets but I still stand by my decision. I’ll probably earn enough to buy a house after fifteen years and by then I would be in my early forties, way too late to get into the dating game (I won’t marry then, despite the prevalence of May-December affairs, I am not a fan of it for many reasons I will not go into). If I reach the age of 38 and I am still homeless, you can take it to the bank that I will end up a bachelor for life.
But I love children. I’ve always been close to children. I feel that they are the vindication of a life. One’s own flesh and blood, no matter what happens is the exoneration of one’s existence. I want to have someone continue my bloodline. And this need to father an offspring continues to rage against my indecision about marrying. Sometimes I am tempted to just marry and be done with it and deal with the consequences later. Always though, the unfailing logic of my convictions win out.
I even convinced myself that it wouldn’t matter if I get to raise the child as long as I know that I have a child somewhere that is carrying me within him. It was a preposterous hope borne out of desperation.
Then this situation comes up.
Perhaps due to alcohol or probably the need to vent, I told her of my frustrations. She empathized and even shared that like me, she shared the same thoughts, except that in her case, she didn’t dig the marriage thing because of the apparent stupidity of the male sex. But like me she wanted a child.
Now, the scenario I once thought impossible is dropped like a lead weight in my arms.
She is offering me the chance to fulfill a dream: to father a child.
I know that it comes with strings attached. She is a stunningly beautiful woman and I would be lying if I told you that I am not like other men out there. Even if I try to suppress it, she does comes unbidden in my dreams and a part of my mind nurtures the sick illusion of getting into her skirt. But unlike other men, I know my boundaries. I know that she and I will never be a couple. Not in this reality at least.
With our numerous exchanges regarding the matter, I know that she doesn’t want the father in the picture. She just wants the kid, no more, no less. When we dissected the men of her life for a possible candidate, she made it clear that she wanted to be the one in control. The man would merely be there for just the sole purpose of providing a seed. What happens afterwards, whether conception does happen would be her sole decision to make.
I never thought that that man would be me. After all, compared to her pick of possible donors, I am a distant candidate in nearly all areas of contention.
I am heavy. I am a member of a cultural minority. I am short and balding. I am bad in the looks department. The only thing going for me is that I am rumored to be above average in the mental department (though I would contest that since I can probably peg my IQ in the high 90s if I want to).
I am a nobody.
to be continued...