My wife and I have talked about kids. We think that at some point in the near-distant future, when we aren’t as selfish with our time, we will have one child. We think that we can handle one, two not so much. However, right now, we are both to crazy and screwed up. We, or at least I, can’t see myself as a father that could put up with the neediness of an infant.
The main character in this story is in a Juno like situation, but chooses a different path. She loves her boyfriend. She lives at home and works a fulltime job selling appliances at the local store. She supports herself and her mother.
Her boyfriend does not work a traditional job. He is a drug dealer. So, naturally her mother does not like him. However, they love each other and he would do anything in the world for her. Aside from his job, they seem to have a good relationship.
Add to the mix a pregnancy. A pregnancy that the mother, one night leap from her spot in front of the television and asks, “What has happened to you?” The daughter does not know that she is pregnant until her mother’s uncanny ability to ‘know things’ predicts it.
She does not want the baby. She is not ready. She and her boyfriend have talked about it and they agree no kids. The mother is upset. The mother will not talk. It is as if she does not exist to her mother anymore.
The scary segment of this story is not an unwanted pregnancy (however, that is a very powerful life changing experience), but how she terminates. Instead of seeing a doctor, she fasts, a diet of crackers and water. Then, one sad night, her unaware boyfriend has unloaded a big stash and has a hard roll of money to spend takes her out on the town. She drinks hard liquor on an empty stomach all night. Between the lack of food and the hard liquor, she miscarries in the club’s bathroom.
Wow, what a story, what women have to do. I’m not sure that this story is trying to make an argument about anything. I will not speak for the author. I will just say as a reader that it really makes me sad to read about women who have to go to extremes in order to remain in control of their own bodies. The taboo that still surrounds abortion is unfortunate. Women need to have the right to take control of their bodies. Birth control and birth control education is the first line of defense. However, if the unexpected happens, there should still be a choice.
An important story, I think. You should check it out.
Henríquez, Cristina. “Drive.” Come Together, Fall Apart. New York: Riverhead Books, 2006. p 57 - 82