Some moments in life are weirder than others. Moments that just seem overloaded with symbolism and meaning, stand out like technicolor in a black and white movie. Scenes that just get etched into your retina. Like little clips you can play in your head again and again until you’re almost not sure if they are true, if it really happened like that, because it all just seems so surreal. Almost. Because reality is always stranger than fiction. And a lot more cliché.
I had a moment like that. Years ago. And that moment has been haunting me from time to time ever since. A moment so surreal that it really felt like being in a movie. A moment that had me looking for hidden cameras. At the time I was having a ridiculously complicated affair with this guy, a musician. And we’re sitting on a bench, in Paris of all places, talking about what to do with the mess that is our affair.
“Que sera sera, I suppose we have to see what life brings us”, he said.
Enter pram. A pram. An empty pram that just comes rolling slowly around the corner and then stops right in front of us. A pram. And I remember thinking “no, no way this is really happening”, but it was actually happening. It did actually happen. Exactly like that. Exactly. And I don’t know how long it took for the owner of the pram, a father with his toddler, to actually appear around the corner, but it seemed like ages. We were just looking at each other, looking at the pram, disbelief in our eyes. Was this actually happening for real? And it was. Our whole story was like that. Like a bad movie filled with the stupidest of clichés. So in a way it just felt like the most logical thing in the world. Huge gestures, big drama, all the way all the time. And I think we just started laughing.
Afterwards we didn’t talk about it that much, sure we alluded to it, to what it meant, but not much more than that. It all just seemed so ominous and strange. And cliché. Very cliché. Maybe we were also a bit scared, I don’t know. I think I was. It just seemed like an event like that really has to mean something. And the only conclusion is obviously a baby. We were going to have a baby. Right then and there it seemed a little far-fetched, but not completely unlikely. And I wasn’t all that interested in having a baby, not with him, not with anyone, so that did make me a bit uneasy. But then the drama continued and I didn’t get pregnant and then we stopped talking to each other. So after that having a baby seemed absurd. But at the same time I just had a hard time letting go of that weird little scene. The whole experience felt like getting hit over the head with this huge and extremely obvious symbol, so of course it had to mean something, shit like that can’t happen and then not mean something, right? But how do you get a baby with someone you’re not even talking to anymore?
Then, just now, for some reason I was reading a review of one of his albums and that’s when the pram vision revealed its true meaning to me. When I finally understood what it meant. And I think I also understand the full meaning of the expression “being hit” in the context of realization now. Because it really did feel like a blow, to the head or stomach, possibly both. We really did have a baby. That album. He used my texts for several of the lyrics on that album. His music. My words. Our baby. His album. I am the absent parent of that baby. And I wonder if he’s understood it too. I know he remembers that moment. There’s no way anyone could forget something like that. Especially not him. But I wonder if he knows. Not that it would actually make a difference. I’m just curious if he’s also figured it out. He probably has. He’s wired like that.
And now that I have finally understood it I am actually amazed it I didn’t figure it out till now. The baby is always the art. I know that. Whenever I dream about having babies it’s always about my art. It’s always been like that. Dreams are symbols and life rarely gets more symbolic than that, so why didn’t I get it until now? That it wasn’t sex that would bring us the baby, but art. It would have saved me a lot of brooding. But I’m glad I finally figured it out, that I can let go of that weird scene now. And I suppose the old wisdom of “you should be careful who you make babies with” still holds true. But I am really glad it was an art baby we had and not a human baby. I think I would have a problem being an absent parent of a human baby. With an art baby it’s different. With an art baby it’s ok to be absent.