T H E   B I R T H .

JUNE 7 of ’96 IN NASHVILLE. At some baptist hospital. Early in the morning.

He was light-ish brown, an even shade of both his oh-so-white mother and not-so-white black father. His skin color is often considered to match that of caramel, a caramel frappuccino, a light brown paper bag, peanut butter, cardboard, coffee with a little too much creamer, the inside of a wooden pencil or beige.

(It is best not to equate one’s skin color with a type of food or drink unless you’ve tasted them first. And no one wants to be compared to cardboard or the inside of a wooden pencil.)

However, everyone loves beige…

Destined to be a Gemini, Ryan made the Womb-to-World exchange with the consent of his mother’s cervix. As his mother did The Birth, the world had to quickly embrace that it would never be the same.

Sadly, Ryan couldn’t breathe when he was born.

Do you know what meconium is?

Rumor has it that infant Ryan inhaled a mixture of amniotic fluid and his own feces causing him to turn blue. Lack of oxygen, a screaming grandmother and a horrified team of hospital employees left a deep, emotional scar for everyone in a mile wide radius.

Caramel doesn’t seem so awful now, does it?

And that’s the story of how he was born. In a hospital. On a Friday. With an oddly-hysterical grandmother.

E A R L Y   A G O .

Ryan recalls a terribly intimate scene with his mother. For the sake of storytelling, cue the scenery.

A yearning desire to eat food rumbles from the pits of his stomach. He fears he’ll never eat again. Ryan pauses and looks to the sky half-expecting something to solve his prayers–if he prayed, that is.

“Any day now!”

The weather forecast had never been wrong before, but something was oddly unfamiliar about today. Meatballs hadn’t yet dropped from the sky. But there were clouds! Lots of clouds. Surely one of them would drop a bite to eat.

This was only a daydream, a reoccurring tragedy he’s become used to.

He sits in the living room. Or in his room. Or in any room in the apartment his mother rents. She’s a “college student” on the brink of maybe 26. Maybe 26. He’s not quite sure.

There had been a number of men hanging around frequently, another reoccurring tragedy. Ryan didn’t think much of it. Friends are always nice to have, especially when they are your mom’s friends.


Skip ahead and we find Ryan, near the same age, in a car. In a dark parking lot. With his mother; waiting for someone. A friend. A friend?

Outside the window, a car pulls up in a spot one over.




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