My Baby Done Gone

Oh, man, I have the most terrible case of post-partum depression. Or perhaps that’s not the right word, perhaps I mean empty-nest syndrome. Or separation anxiety. One of those, anyway, or possibly all of them. The book is gone! It’s finished! It’s over! It’s history. It’s on its way out into the world, to sink or swim, to make it on its own or to crash in flames, to become something or to flop down on the nearest bench and vegetate for the rest of its pathetic aimless life.

I wasn’t ready. I had plans. I was going to teach it to make toffee, and drive a car, and read Braille. I was going to teach it principles, and wash all its clothes, and make sure it had enough cash for the trip. And then wallop! In a matter of about five minutes it was gone. There was I standing stupidly on the doorstep waving and gulping and calling advice after it, and it was just rocketing up the street without looking back as if it couldn’t wait to get away from me. Which it probably couldn’t. Stupid thing. After all that, and that’s the thanks I get. Wham, bam, bye I’ll phone in a year or two. Well thank you very much.

But I can’t help wondering if I did all I could. Maybe I shouldn’t have had that glass of wine the other evening. Maybe I should have given up coffee. (Yeah, right, like that’s really going to happen.) Maybe I should have spent more time with it, instead of always leaving it with that heroin addict down the street.

Oh who knows! It’s too late now. It’s over, it’s finished, it’s time to move on. Maybe somewhere out there, over the rainbow or behind a cloud or in the garbage can behind the taco place, there’s another book waiting to be hatched and taken home and cherished and nourished so that a few months later it can run away and embark on a life of crime. Who the hell knows. Not the Wizard, that’s for dang sure.

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