Drop #133: Office Party

‘Why you not drinking? You pregnant or something?’

‘Pregnant? God no. Just still hungover.’

‘Oh.’

‘Never want to see a bottle of vodka again. Never in my life—oh, and thanks, by the way.’

‘For what?’

‘For implying I’m fat. Sure, I’ve been hitting the cupcakes a bit hard, but pregnant?’

‘I didn’t mean … ’

‘God, imagine that though, being pregnant at our age, at our salary, with our men. Both Derrick and George are sweethearts but shit, they couldn’t raise a barn door with an army of Amish on meth. Parent! Oh man. I’d rather lose a foot at this point—no kidding. God, the practicalities alone. The time. The money and responsibility. They say it costs half a mil just to get them to 18. Where’d we scrape up that kind of dough with our mortgage and our debt? You got debt right?’ She swigged from her Diet Pepsi, looking up.

‘Some.’

‘See. Who doesn’t? And besides: I know it’s over-argued but I just don’t trust this world with its overpopulation and imminent pandemics. It scares the crap out me. And I’m just me. If I die: there it is, but imagine processing all that Ebola and Fukushima and fracking and shit with other lives dependent on your dumb ass—real human lives. I’d be a mess, 24/7.’

‘Come on. It’s not that bad.’

‘And that’s not even taking the white man’s lot into consideration. The inevitable shift in things. Just you wait till the Chinese get it together and the Indians adapt to keep pace. How you going to get anywhere in fifteen years as a Jones or a Smith?’

‘Tsk! Where d’you get this stuff?’

‘Online. Sometimes CNN or other tabloid news. I’m a voracious reader. But seriously, this is the last white generation that can con a worthwhile dream from the world, and now you add a kid to that ruckus? An utterly dependent being you must shelter and guide into the future—that future! Imagine the competition for schools, for universities—Christ! Even for pre-school. The wait lists, the prices! It’s going to be all Chang and Singh and Volkov. No,’–she shakes her head–‘you’d be toast unless you married into Sanchez or Ras el Hanout.’

‘Come on. That’s a blend of spices!’

‘Yes! And one you couldn’t compete with. Exactly what will your bundle of joy do in 22 years when he can’t find work and can’t handle the bills, and his parents are sick and poor but still alive? Maybe cancered up but on miracle meds, or maybe one has died to leave the other broken, never having been alone, with only a son left in the world as support and shield against a dark and ugly loneliness. The guilt we’d latch around them. We’d be liabilities—gross, festering nuisances. I have no pension, George only scraps, and he had that small heart attack last year. Our cholesterol’s through the roof and everything else has pretty much already begun to quietly break down. Imagine having an 19 yr old at 62! Ha! Pregnant. What a mad question.’

‘Yes.’

‘Anyway.’ She shrugs. ‘What’s new with you?’

‘We just got the news. We’re pregnant. We’re ecstatic.’

 By EM Vireo

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About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

One Response to Drop #133: Office Party

  1. vwjimsteward says:

    It was ever thus!

    The claws were efficient.

    Great story 97%

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