The Baby Makers
The baby makers were not willing accomplices. The women’s bodies, young and old, had all stopped preparing. They said there was too much pain involved. The pain of sex, the pain of birthing and the pain of taking care of the children were all too much for them. They complained about the black bags developing underneath their eyes, their sore leaky breasts, their private bits slashed, sewed up and then ripped apart. After the pain, came the tears. The tears disturbed their mascara and black eyeliners. They woke up in the morning looking like raccoons and who likes raccoons they had asked. The men in response made a new law and banned the use of mascara and black eyeliners. The women rolled their eyes. They continued to faithfully apply their mascara and black eyeliners.
The women refused to leave their TVs. They continued to eat junk food and smoke their cigarettes. They didn’t clean themselves or their rooms. They watched TV with their matted hair, unwashed clothes, and dingy panties. When the men came wanting action, the women didn’t say anything. They opened their legs and shifted their heads into a better position to view the Television.
The other women and girls who sat in the TV viewing area rarely looked in at the action, but the men swore that during commercial time the women’s eyelids moved and as a result the men felt uncomfortable. The men felt like they were doing something bad. They felt like they were doing something wrong.
The men knew they weren’t doing anything wrong. It was the women who were wrong. It was the women who gave up, not them. Men don’t give up. They know how to prevail. They know how to endure.
The men bought blow-up dolls. They played with the blow-up dolls. They had sex with the blow-up dolls. But no matter how many times the men ejaculated or how full the plastic vaginas became with their semen, the blow-up dolls would not have babies. They scooped out their semen and put them inside petri dishes. They attempted with science and elaborated equations and marked dates and calendars and holy water and prayers to bring forth babies, but still no babies came.
The abandoned sport stadiums were transformed into factories. They drew and painted pictures of their adorable babies and put these blueprints into the factory lines. Heads rolled, arms slithered, and legs tumbled down the conveyor belts. They took needles and rooted the goats’ hairs through their babies’ heads. Eyes were glued into their sockets. Paints were carefully chosen and then spray painted to make the dolls’ faces shine. They filled small ankle socks with beads and weighed these sacks in their hands until they found the perfect weight for a “real baby” feel. In the end they sewed all the items together connecting the arms, legs, heads and hands.
The baby factories produced many babies. They made babies with closed eyes, babies with opened eyes. They made babies with opened mouths, babies with closed mouths. They made babies with partially closed mouths and babies with puffy cheeks. They made babies with black hair, brown hair, and blonde hair. They made boy babies, they made girl babies.
The men tried their best to make these dolls perfect and life-like, but their efforts failed. The dolls’ hair would fall out in clumps. The worn out socks would tear open and the beads fell to the floor like a bad rain. The dolls were not real babies. They did not cry real tears. They did not poop real poop. They did not smile when their tummies gave them gas. They did not need new nappies. They did not need burping and when the men pressed the babies to their nipples, their lips did not curl and suckle.
The men remembered the stories about a factory that produced dolls. Dolls that were so life-like they made you cry. It was rumored the factory was still standing in the midwest. The leaders decided to send a troop out there. They chose the handsomest and charming man to lead them. They knew this man would know how to lead them. He would know what to do if they came across any problems.
The trip was long and arduous, but the baby making call was strong so they continued. They drove in shifts drinking hot coffee. If they came across a deer, they got out to shoot it and then continued their way until they finally came upon the place. The place was a beautiful old mansion. It had huge white columns and green ivy trailing up the walls and dangling down from the roof like a large mop head. Behind the mansion were mature oak trees that obscured the tin-roof factory.
The men pressed their faces against the cars’ windows. It was a beautiful building. One that had seen better days yes, but still the structure was there. The beauty was there in the outline, the beauty was there naked to the eye.
They parked their cars and went up the steps into the building. There were three people wearing scrubs sitting in rocking chairs. They looked like nurses. They looked like doctors. They looked like important people. They jumped up from their rocking chairs. They were happy to see the men.
“Nobody cares about babies anymore,” one of them said.
The men murmured. “Yes,” they said, shaking their heads. “Such a shame.”
“But you are here,” said the other.
“Are you the doctors?” they asked.
“No, we’re not. We’re the workers. But come, we have what you want,” said the third one, and the men followed this woman.
They passed nursery rooms that had pink painted walls and blue striped wallpapers with white painted wooden cribs filled with dolls and teddy bears. They passed silent rooms holding sleeping babies inside incubators. They passed sterilized operating rooms that had flood lights and other metal items shimmering in the room’s overhead lights. In the hallway the stereos played the sounds of a thousand babies gurgling and cooing. They walked on until they reached the room at the far end: the birthing room.
The birthing room was quiet. Here there was no sound of gurgling and cooing. In the middle of the room was a large tree. “The babies come from this tree,” said the worker. “But we must wait when the tree is ready. When the tree is ready, then the doctor will come. Please sit down.”
The men sat down on the benches surrounding the birthing tree. They stared at the large oak tree, its leaves dangling from the ceiling. The tree was so life-like it gave them hope for their future babies. The worker stood near the tree, she looked over them and smiled. The men smiled back. In excitement the men patted each other knees. Then the lights around the bottom of the tree began glowing and fading, fading and glowing.
“It is time,” said the worker. “The doctor will come now.” The worker left the room and the men stared at the glowing lights that were shaped like stones. A sound clicked from the walls’ speakers and sounds of nature piped through the stereos. At first there were sounds of water gurgling through brook streams then the sounds transformed into a mesh of puppies barking, kittens meowing, and birds’ chirping. Next a storm bellowed through the speakers. Its fierce winds whipping a countryside. Then the sounds converted into sounds the men were not familiar with. It was the sounds of a foreign place. A place like Africa. A place like an Amazon jungle. There were things hissing and giving away to chase ending with a sharp cry of terror followed by a lion’s roar.
When a woman walked into the room, the overhead stereos’ volumes lowered. She had on a white coat and her brunette hair was severely tied up at the top of her head. She wore spectacles at the bridge of her nose. Her arms and thighs were firm, solid, and heavy. Her breasts were large. Her hips were huge. This was a woman for birthing. This was a woman who had the perfect body for birthing children.
She dictated the magical process of birth. She elucidated the beauty of children, the hope that children gave. The men stared at her body, her words lost on them. She at first ignored them and overlooked their hungry eyes, but then later could take it no more and left the room disgusted.
As she walked out, the room’s lights dimmed, and the overhead sounds were raised beginning with a loud lion’s roar. The stones stopped glowing. Tiny white lights that ran up the tree’s branches toward the ceiling flicked on. Holes in the ceilings opened and babies began dropping. The men rushed to catch them. The babies kept falling. Fifteen, twenty, thirty babies fell until all the men in the room had a baby in their arms.
The babies were beautiful. They were not low quality. Their hair did not fall out at their touch. Their eyelashes did not fall down their faces. Their arms did not tear away from their bodies. Their faces were perfect in expression. Their tender pink lips and warm eyes touched the men’s hearts. The men’s lips trembled. Overcome with gratitude and emotion they looked at the ceiling and cried out: “Thank you.” They moved toward the tree and patted it: “Thank you.”
The tree’s lights flicked off.
At the base of the birthing tree, they lifted their shirts and pressed the babies’ perfect round lips to their nipples, but their mouths like the mouths of their dolls didn’t move. No hungry cries emitted from their lips. The men looked at each other. They again pressed the dolls’ mouths to their nipples, and still no milk came, no cries were sounded.
The appointed leader pushed through the men and came to stand near the tree. “You need to pinch the nipples,” he said. “The babies do this. This is one of the complaints from the women. They don’t like the biting. They say it hurts too much, but the babies have no choice. They have to bite. They have to pinch the nipple to bring the milk. This is why sometimes the women want to use powdered milk.”
The men got into an uproar: “Over my dead body am I feeding powdered milk to my child.”
“Powdered milk is nothing but chemicals and additives.”
“Powdered milk is what brought the world down!”
The room became quiet and one man shook his head. “That isn’t true, mate, and you know it.”
“It is!” he said, waving his fist in the air. “It’s what brought the world down.”
The two men got closer. They yelled and bumped their chests together. Saliva ran down their chins. They moved their babies sideways to safety. With their free arms they clenched their fists and swung.
“Stop!” yelled the leader. “This isn’t proper! This isn’t fitting. Children are being brought into the world at this moment and this is what you are doing? You should be ashamed of yourselves.” The others managed to separate the two fighting men. The two fighting men rocked their babies in their arms and mumbled apologies to their babies.
The leader held up his hands until they were quiet and looking at him. One of the lights on the ceiling did not turn off and the men noticed the leader had dark circles under his eyes. They noticed he looked like a raccoon. They looked at each other and realized they too had dark circles under their eyes. “Take off your shirts,” he said. The men took off their shirts. In the darkness they stood half naked, half shivering at the base of the birthing tree.
“Let’s try this again, the proper way,” he said. He went around the room helping the men bring their dolls to their nipples. “You need to pinch hard,” he said, pinching their nipples. “Help each other,” he said. The men turned to each other. Juggling the baby in one of their arms, their other free hand roamed the men’s chest looking for the nipples and when they found them, they pinched hard. Yelping and crying emitted from some of the men’s mouths. They pinched harder, harder and harder until the room was filled with the sound of their crying and for them it was enough, for them it was almost the same.