The Book of DanielThe Official Blog of Daniel Douglas
This Here is in Your Blood
Melissa and I are six days away from discovering our baby’s gender and I am, contrary to previous belief, yet to become undone. My fear at being presented with a girl and the subsequent stack of applications I’ll be required to fill out to obtain my handgun license has started to waver.
Don’t get me wrong. I still want a boy. In fact, I’ve spent the last several weeks yelling quotes from Commando, Rocky and unhinged Mike Tyson interviews directly into Melissa’s stomach hoping to produce a most masculine baby.
I don’t care how far into femininity this baby has travelled, hearing “they drew first blood!” or “I want to tear his heart out, I want to eat his children” for several hours a day will reverse all such progress?
I’ve been writing a lot about this baby – particularly my horrible fear of passing down the cerebral malady that’s affected my family for a few generations – but I can’t post it here as I’m working to get them published in a magazine.
I can say this much. Every person harbours demons or unsavory personality traits that they’ve either conquered or ignored for so long they can muscle a halfway decent life.
I’ve had my share of troubles, a turbulence I’ve withstood, conquered and left behind yet there remains that voice – and I’m sure it will never be silenced – that says “what about you kid? This here is in your blood, boy.”
Which brings me to the nature vs. nurture carousel. As someone raised in a cloud of misery that followed me through my teens and mid-twenties, can it be shaken just off the strength of willpower alone?
The instincts remain within me, although they are extraordinarily diluted. Something doesn’t go my way, I want to smash something. Someone hurts me, I want to manipulate them and, failing this, hurt them in any way possible. These urges are but faint whispers of what they were but still…
I know, without a shadow of a doubt, my child will never see this in me. I will kick, claw, bite, scratch, fight with my life to keep this part of me, the person I was, buried. But if that voice is right and it’s in the blood, I don’t know what to do.
How do you protect your child from a virus you gave it?
It took me 28 years to finally be happy. I would die if it takes my kid just as long.
The kid’s going to born in just a few months and some nights I’m going to sneak into his or her room and watch the tiny hands open and close, the booted feet kicking while he or she dreams and I’m going to feel helpless against the mental storm that may come. I’ll stand there looking down, the moonlight bathing my bent head; my eyes will begin to water and nobody will understand any of it but me.