Whale Watching

$7 for a glass of passionfruit demon fuel for the lady; $31 for a double of Angels Envy for the man. No oysters, yet no complaints. I’m on a date and the only thing that can fail me are words other people say. 

‘You’re not at all what I expected.’ 

‘You’re sweeter than they say.’ 

‘You’re bigger than I imagined.’ 

My reputation precedes me. I’ve been told time and time again that I make an awful first impression. And I’m also not good at goodbyes. It seems I live and die by the body—words and women. Forgive me for my crude jokes. I prefer honesty so I’ve gotten really good at apologies.

‘Is she pregnant or is she just fat?’ The words shoot out of me with no regard for social cues. An ambiguously pregnant woman enters the scene. She passes by the entrance and out of view, then turns, leading with her belly, and enters the patio I’m disgracing. ‘She’s here for Happy Hour,’ I presume. The hostess points her to a table close enough to hear the rest of my comedy routine. She waddles over to the best seat, one in the corner away from the sun, and lethargically pulls out a chair and scrapes it onto the patio brick until it screeches, groaning in harmony as she plops all her weight into it. She exhales dramatically. I take a sip. Cheers to depression, prepartum or otherwise.

Shortly thereafter, another pregnant woman arrives. Okay. Coincidence? She greets the hostess. I look to my date, ‘Are they together?’ They are. She joins her at the table for four. Screeeeeech! Plop. Why not put them at a table for two? The babies might pop out. I hope.

Another—the same routine as the last two. Smile, waddle, screech, plop. All three of them are white popcorn kernels cooking in the sun just like me. But as I burn, they preheat. I’d imagine the warmth makes the babies come out faster, like an air fryer or something, so we’ll need more chairs for the children. A waiter starts to slide another table over to them. Right on time. Four more chairs; eight in total. This is a drinking game in the making.

Enough time passes that I forget about them. My date is more appealing and far less pregnant anyways. But then, just as was foretold in the Bible, three more pregnant white women entrench my view like beached whales, each one carrying rapacious doom for the unfortunate wooden chairs they’ll soon occupy. Screech. Clink. Cheers! I’m wet.

At intervals more regular than my bowels, four more pregnant women make landfall, each one causing me to further acknowledge my mortality. One is normal, two is coincidence, three is planned, any more is a Facebook group. I look to my date and pray pregnancy isn’t contagious.

The drinks are long gone. Fortunately, the waitress gives birth to two more. I’m only half paying attention to my date. I think out loud. ‘I hope one of them goes into labor right now. All out chaos. The rest struggle to stand up. The mocktails spill. One tries to call for help but can’t get her phone out of her purse. They barely know the victim’s name since they met in a Facebook group. The Ikea chairs break. The poor waiter has no clue what to do. C-section via Chef’s knife?  Put the baby on the griddle? Then, they all go into labor together.’

I can smell the headline, “WYNWOOD BAR SEES NINE WOMEN GIVE BIRTH AT SAME TIME,” but since it’s Miami, “ALL BABIES FROM SAME MAN.”

After bringing up that I politically must say ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘pregnant women,’ she joins in on the fun. ‘Nine pregnant women walk into a bar. It’s not an omen. It’s an o-people,’ she says while stifling her laugh. I don’t stifle mine. She’s just as fucked up as me at half the volume.

It’s too hot, and I don’t mean the preheated MILFs. My drink is being watered down by sweat. Fortunately, there’s a bar inside. We sit down, hand on glass and eye on lips until I peer off to the labor table. I keep finding myself ignoring my young, vivacious, gloriously nonpregnant bombshell of a date in favor of the exact opposite across the bar. Like a car crash or a dwarf, I can’t take my eyes off them. Alcohol and pregnancy make a great combo.

But I’m wrong. It’s as if I were inseminated with reason—two Angel’s Envy finally turned me to an angel. They’re not beached whales. They’re not ‘pregnant people.’ They’re not customers or MILFs or a drinking game or mothers, yet, or popcorn. They’re women. A word, question, and chemical that supersedes all my shitty analogies and the world’s incessant desire to strip their identity from them. I can write as many adjectives as I please, but none will change the noun. It’s not a choice. While they did choose to fuck somebody, or so I hope it was a choice, being a woman wasn’t, isn’t, and never will be a choice. It is a fact.

No words or drinks can convince me that these beautiful creatures are anything like me, nor I of them. They’re carrying all that I don’t understand, all that I relegate to release on top of my date’s tits or not at all. What beauty. These women are about to give life to a world that’s struggling to survive, while I’m laughing, drinking, flirting, and fucking, producing absolutely nothing more than an inebriated stream of piss as messy as my consciousness and a watered-down drink due to the sun fucking me more than my date—that’ll change. 

As my eyes travel between my date and the labor union, I’m overwhelmed with emotion, not lust of the body, but arousal of the mind. I’m edging… towards understanding. In the presence of women on the brink of maternity, I realize why I’m on this date in the first place, why I try to reveal myself in all my off-color jokes, why I stumble from bar to bar to get a whiff of her pheromones, her effeminate nature as she lifts up a glass and brings it to her lips, the way she walks and talks and breathes, and why I don’t want, but need, to treat the fairer sex in a way that proves that I can see them as they are. 

All this to say, maybe it’s okay to drink and drive. Even if I’m taken out, these nine pregnant women will single-handedly help humanity thrive. Even in a man’s world, women are the only reason we survive.