My man


swim, little guy!

I just said good-bye to the man I love.

It’s not forever, but it is for the five or six prime baby-making days in August, according to every calendar variation I try out online or on the phone. Drat and double drat.

Before he left, the man and I raced across town to deposit a sperm sample at a laboratory – the first test ordered by the doctor to begin working out if we have a problem, and if we do, what it is. I’ve heard lots of stories about men refusing to have their sperm tested, or feeling as if their masculinity was being questioned. My man was thoroughly good-natured about it, even though we had to squeeze in a funeral beforehand, which was a bit too much life and death for me in one day. Any minute now, he and his sperm will be leaving on a jet plane, and I am here wondering how long the little swimmers can survive in the body (my doctor advised sex every 36 hours to 48 hours during my fertile period, so that must be about it). Do your work, guys. Please, please, please, please, please, please.

My man deserves a look-in on this blog, considering he is the other half of this unfolding story, and so I am going to have to give him a pseudonym. I thought about Felix, Sebastian, Oscar, Oliver, Jack and Harry, which are all names I would think about calling a son. But that would be weird. So let’s call him Rufus.

Rufus is not at all like the picture of an ideal man I had built up in my mind. He is slightly hippyish, in that he has longish curly hair that he wears loose, wrists full of leather and textile bands, and a leather necklace with a tree of life insignia. He also likes incense – these would have all been extreme red flags even two years ago. I like passion in a man, and ambition, and I have to admit I was also looking for a measure of success. Not in that awful ruthless way I witnessed in Manhattan bars where lycra-clad girls draped themselves over banker types, but I wanted a man who had enthusiasm for life, and who had proved he could excel in some field; someone who cared about what he did.

I met Rufus in a valley of ancient pyramids in a South American country that I had just moved to. We were both there working, and I had only minimal Spanish, but as we chatted in a broken kind of way, drenched in that golden late afternoon light, I felt like jumping on him right then and there. We saw each other periodically at work meetings and there was always an attraction, and later shameless flirting. A year after meeting we went to lunch, and so it began. I didn’t make it easy for him – I was convinced that as a Latino he was almost certain to cheat on me, or think that cheating was not a bad thing. Apologies to any Latinos reading this who might think this racist – it was, and I was wrong. I have never been happier than I am with Rufus – he is totally calming and positive and affectionate and wonderful. I want our baby to have his curls and beautiful mouth, my green eyes, cheekbones and lashes, his sense of joy, my sense of adventure… and so on.

So here I am, Rufus-less, and in 48 hours, spermless. Barring extreme good luck, August will not be the month we conceive a baby. I am headed to the doctor on Tuesday however, to see what the lab has to say about his sperm, and see what tests I should have done. Wish me luck.

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