What Have I Done?


Please, help me. Please. I shot fireworks at a baby. The baby was my baby. It still is. The baby’s okay. The firework was a rocket. But don’t worry, it was a bottle rocket. Also, I missed the  baby. My baby was being difficult. I told the baby to just chill out for one freaking minute, while I lit the firework. The wind gusted. The wind kept putting my lighter out. I held the bottle rocket in my teeth. The pulpy wood of the bottle rocket stick gave me a fingernails-on-chalkboard feeling. I used my freed hand to shield the flame and light the fuse. The fuse crackled the way an amplifier with a bad input does.

The baby, at this moment, demanded that I give an account for one of the requirements I placed on it. I had required that the baby wear overalls. The baby hated wearing overalls. But I was so taken by the idea of the baby as a farm hand of some kind—a farm hand driving a hay-baler, or fetching a calf-puller, or pulling another farm hand out of a hay baler. The baby was fulfilling a rural dream that I had, that I was living out through the baby dressed in overalls. The fire wove itself down the fuse.

I faced away from the baby. The baby screamed and pulled at the shoulder straps of its overalls. This turned me toward the baby, fuse still burning. I felt, on my chin, the hot swish of the bottle rocket igniting. The bottle rocket lunged at my baby. But I still had the stick in my teeth, and swung my head to throw the bottle rocket off course. The bottle rocket missed the baby, but struck my wife. I forgot to mention my wife. She was holding the baby. The bottle rocket tangled in her hair and exploded. She dropped the baby. Do not judge her. I dove and caught the baby. Everything was fine. Except my wife. The freaking bottle rocket burned her hair, right in the front. But even that was fine. The disaster forced her to get bangs, which I prefer.

Thank you for helping me. Sometimes all we need is for others to listen. Thank you. Thank you.

What Have I Done?

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