I've Created a Little Piece of the Future
Hello, I'm Sophie Heawood, does my column need a title? If John Doran is MENK then I could be MILF. Or maybe MILF TEETH. I don't want motherhood to define me.
MILF TEETH #4: I'VE CREATED A LITTLE PIECE OF THE FUTURE
It's Future Week at VICE, so, as resident MILF, I am going to talk about reproduction – i.e. putting a little bit of yourself into the future and leaving it there. Obviously this can feel really, really weird.
1) You think, 'What is this world that I have brought a child into?' Then you think, 'Mate, got any other worlds available?' All the joy and pain and ozone and lack of ozone are in this one, and there's so much war. I once read an interview with Stephen Hawking's wife, who was asked why she married a man with a degenerative disease. She said, "It was the 70s, we were all joining CND because nuclear weapons were going to blow us up." There was no future. And in generations before hers, there were world wars and some families had five sons and every single one came home dead.
2) After I gave birth, the doctors passed me this little puppy and I did not feel, 'Oh my lord, I am responsible for this fragile shell of a human dream, I must protect her from all possible harm.' I thought, 'Why is she staring like she's working out which one of us to eat first? And will it be me?' I thought, 'Why is her hair all matted down in a greasy combover like that? Oh look, it's blood.' I thought, 'I would quite like to come down from all these drugs now because my legs are clattering about like deckchairs on a windy beach, my teeth feel askew and I am rapidly developing a phobia of eyes.'
3) (I was also crying and singing the chorus of "I Found My Thrill On Blueberry Hill" repeatedly.)
4) When you have a baby, you think, 'I have sequenced the genome and my fanny hurts.' You think, 'I have just created 100 trillion cells held together by skin, and now I want to take a picture of it with my phone and put it on Facebook.' You think, 'It's quite hot in here, I wonder if they have air con. Is there a vending machine because that toast was rank. My baby looks like a pug dog and one of her eyes is squint, is it OK to ask a doctor if she will become more symmetrical in time?'
5) Before having a kid, you tell yourself that you have to find the right person. Sometimes you don't find the right person and you have a kid anyway. Sometimes you find the wrongest person of all and you have a kid anyway because, before you know it, it is already growing inside you and the thought of stopping it growing makes about as much sense as chopping off your hand. (And then going about for the rest of your life saying, "Hey, that was a great thing I did back there for my wrist!")
6) All of those people you see looking confused in old people's homes, with their faces pulled down as if by magnets, the earth calling them back again. All of those people are just the end of the orgasm's long journey home. They are a shag's own decrepitude. They are screaming babies and hot, filthy, vicious love-making all wrapped up into a cosy chair and blanket.
7) Science is going to put a roof on everything. But what about global warming, what about the polar ice caps, what about the factories spewing out fumes in China? No, it's alright, I've basically turned the world into the Eden Project in my mind. It'll be like in Las Vegas where you go down two floors in the hotel lift and then you're in Venice with gondolas and blue skies and after a while you can't remember which sky is real, which is something that actually happened to me in The Venetian. I soon forgot I was underground and I wasn't even drunk. (It was, admittedly, horrific.)
8) Having always worried that any child of mine would be burdened by my death, as this would automatically turn them into the executor of my large and impressive literary estate, life in 2013 brings great relief. Twenty thousand inane tweets, an inbox full of unread Groupon mailouts about archery and a couple of hyperlinks to my columns about ingrowing pubes – these folios should not tax my daughter unduly.
9) Living in the future is not good for you anyway. Neither is the past. I like to bask in the joy of the eternal Buddhist present. Unfortunately, this proved difficult when I actually went to a meditation class and they told us to shut our eyes and let all our thoughts float past. The thought that floated past me was Sadie Frost. The more they guided us on our mind-cleansing, with bells and omms and peace, the more obsessively I thought about her. The further away the room grew from me, the larger Sadie Frost loomed inside my eyelids. I have not returned to meditation class since.
10) Knowing that I have created a part of myself that will go into the future, the weird fizzing sensation in my body has stopped. I had been fizzing since I was about 13 and puberty turned my body into a question mark that pregnancy answered. And I'm not saying everybody should have children because not everybody wants to, or can, so don't. But, for me, it sated my restless sloth. I was always high energy and low commitment. It was like being a uniquely badly-designed kind of yoghurt.
11) The future doesn't scare you any more when you realise what a coincidence we all are. When you see this person learn to walk and talk and you think, 'I remember when your arms were just stubs on a scan, and before that, when you were conceived. With a bottle of Maker's Mark whiskey on my side of the bed and a pile of weed on his, and a takeaway pizza box that had fallen somewhere onto the floor, in a hotel room in Hollywood where the walls shook when the bed shook. And look at you now, all walking and talking and running round chasing cats and screaming. One day you might chase governments.' And so one realises then that everything is made of water. And as she takes on a more solid form, I find it easier to float. The easier I find the future, the thinner I get.
Follow Sophie on Twitter: @heawood
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