I want to tell you guys a story about my son Mason, but I must give you fair warning beforehand. You see, what I am about to say may be completely unbelievable to some – and perhaps blasphemous to others – but please know that I speak honestly, and I am simply a messenger. The following events occurred about a month ago, over the span of two days, beginning on a dreary Wednesday night.
My son Mason suffers from a mental disability. That is to say – he is retarded. And the thing about retarded children is that you can’t just put them in the bathtub and walk away. Their hands are softer than a normal child’s, and if the water level is too high they risk drowning because their smooth palms are incapable of providing the requisite friction to lift themselves to safety. That’s why you have to wash them by hand in the garage, which is the primary (and perhaps sole) reason that parents of disabled children deserve the utmost respect and admiration. It’s an extremely arduous task. Not only is Mason 175lbs of skin folds filled with cookie crumbs, but the stereotypes about retarded people’s genitals are true. Do you have any idea how hard it is to use a wet Q-tip to work smegma out of a soaped-up 13 inch retarded penis? It’s like trying to force feed cooked spaghetti to a water moccasin.
Because of this difficulty, naturally, I’ll sometimes forget that he can’t handle the tub. But usually when I do this, I’ll hear him scream before anything serious happens.
“Oh, right,” I’ll say to myself, and then I’ll rescue him and he’ll think me a hero.
Last month was one of those times that I had one of my drunken goofups. I drew Mason a bath and then I went down stairs to watch the Bachelor. In the back of my mind I was at least somewhat aware of the fact that Mason was in danger, but I was so caught up in my shows, and I was so drunk, that I just plumb forgot about him. The screams never came. My show ended, and instead of tending to him I made a quick run to the beer store to pick up another can of floko. (We call Four Loko “floko” in this woman-powered household.)
Upon returning I made my way to bed, and while passing the bathroom I noticed my mistake. Boy, you should have seen the look on my face when I saw what I had done. Not only was I in shock, but I had a big Uva Berry juice smile from the floko and my mascara had smeared from crying during my shows. Picture a Juggalo finding out that wrestling is fake. Right there in plain sight, my retarded son lay dead. His big wide ass staring up at me, as if to ask “why,” as he floated face down in the yellowed water.
“Dang,” I said.
I called an ambulance, and the rest was a blur. It’s really easy to lose track of time when you’re dealing with a situation like that. Even more so when you’ve been drinking since 10 am.
The police shuttled us to the emergency room at the Chris Burke Special Hospital For You-Know-Who’s, and when we arrived a team of very fuckable young doctors went to work on him. I fixed my makeup in the bathroom, and when I came out, one of the doctors approached me.
“Excuse me, are you famous, critically acclaimed blogger Nicole Mullen?”
I nodded at the young fuckable doctor.
“Ma’am,” he began. “This is always hard for me to say, but I am afraid your son is brain dead.”
“Is that what they’re calling it now?” I asked.
“No, I mean, his brain is shut off.”
“Yeah, I mean I don’t buy into all that politically correct stuff but I was aware of all that before the tub thing.”
Frustrated, he rubbed his temples, and started again, “No, Nicole. Your son is being kept alive by machines.”
“Oh damn like in the Matrix?” I said, burping up a bit of the floko into my mouth and swallowing it back down.
“Look, we need your authorization to take him off life support. You need to decide whether or not we should keep him alive artificially. If you want a minute alone with him-“
The doctor looked puzzled.
“Excuse me?” he asked.
“Nah, I’m cool.”
“What, as in you don’t want to see him, or we should take him off life support?”
Suddenly, through my drunken stupor and my infatuation with the young fuckable doctor, the gravity of the situation hit me. Reality set in and I felt the tears running down my cheeks, as if I were right back home, watching the finale of the Bachelor. If Mason were to die, I wouldn’t be able to collect his disability checks. I would have to find a job.
Seeing my pain, the doctor took me by the shoulders and offered me what condolences he could. I had to make a decision, and I asked him if it would be okay for me to spend the night thinking it over. He said that was absolutely fine.
“I… I don’t know if I can go home tonight,” I confessed.
“That’s perfectly understandable. We can bring a chair or a bed into his room if you would like to sleep by his side.”
“Well, where do you live?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” I said to the coy doctor. “Maybe we could just go hang out at your house. Shoot the shit and stuff. See what happens?”
He looked annoyed. In retrospect, I realize he was probably just intimidated by an older, assertive woman. Shaking his head, he disappeared back into the bowels of the hospital. I asked a nurse if she could turn up the volume on the television, as some awful woman was wailing over a broken leg. The nurse ignored me, and I pulled out my phone to flip through Tinder and find a beer store that was within walking distance. Tinder wouldn’t load, and every store within a mile was already closed. My nightmare had become a double nightmare.
I don’t know how much time passed as I sat in that emergency room. Perhaps days. Perhaps weeks. Realistically, it was about forty minutes, considering I watched two episodes of Two and a Half Men and spent most of the time thinking about how much I wanted to punch that kid in the face.
Suddenly, the young fuckable doctor burst through the doors once again. This time, with a huge smile on his face! I assumed he had finally understood my proposition, and was ready to pound my vag. With my confidence restored I stood up, adjusted my titties, and approached him.
“In your car or behind the dumpster?” I inquired with a raised eyebrow.
“What? No. Look, Nicole, You won’t believe it! Mason is talking – he’s come back to life! It’s a miracle, I’ve never seen anything like this!”
I was utterly shocked. But, not the normal kind of shock. Not the shock I feel when I see an advertisement that doesn’t empower me or when a comedian punches down. This was a good kind of shock. Somehow against all odds, and frankly against my wishes, Mason had come through. My son was alive and I could continue living off of the government!
We rushed into the little room where the other doctors were removing his wires and several orderlies were lifting his penis back onto the operating table. We went through the usual formalities: signing his release papers, a stern talking-to about proper care, and the reception of several lollypops, presumably for Mason, that I planned to confiscate and mix with codeine and Sprite when I got home.
“Here’s my card. Call this number here if anything comes up,” said the young doctor as we left the hospital.
“What’s this number scratched out on the bottom?” I asked.
“It looks like it’s your personal cell number.”
“Yeah, it’s not. Ignore that. Just call the hospital if you need anything.”
“Do you want my number?” I asked, biting my lip.
“Well, how about we meet up later this week?”
“No, I have work to do.”
And that was that. He ushered us out, and went back to being a fuckable doctor who just couldn’t handle all this hot mess.
The ride home was somber and Mason was distant as he usually is after one of my adventures lands him in the emergency room. I had to remind him that I am his mother, and therefore, I am responsible for his having any life at all. I reminded him that he should be grateful towards me, and that if this was anyone’s fault, it was his own, and partially the hot doctor’s. Mason seemed to understand, but he was still oddly quiet.
When we arrived home, I put him to bed and went to work on getting bent on the lollypops and codeine. Mason slept soundly, and I slept soundlier.
The next morning we went through our usual routine. I woke up to the sound and the fury of his awful cries as the microwave once again challenged his notion of independence. I went downstairs, threw out the burning Easy Mac, and fixed Mason some eggs and bacon as I finished off what was left of an old beer I thought I had used as an ashtray.
For the first twenty minutes of breakfast, the room was as still as the flat beer, and the synchronized sounds of my dry lids running over my bloodshot eyes and Mason’s open-mouthed chewing served as the conversation. My head was splitting, and I certainly wasn’t going to be the first to break the silence. Mason took the charge.
“What is it, honey?” I replied, into my beer.
“I’m sorry I died.”
“It’s okay, honey.”
Mason put his handful of eggs back down on the old pizza box he was using as a plate, and continued to stare at me without speaking for a moment. I leaned back in my chair and rolled my eyes to the ceiling to express my growing annoyance.
“My sister says she want me to say hi to you. She say she not mad.”
I put down my beer and turned towards Mason. I hadn’t really looked at him at all since we left the hospital the night before. There was something different about him – he was… tan. He was at least three or four shades darker than I remember, and I began to grow jealous and I worried that perhaps the doctor didn’t want to fuck me simply because I looked pale in comparison to my son. I pushed those thoughts aside, and I politely asked Mason to clarify.
“What the fuck are you on about?”
“Momma, don’t be mad. I said I seen my sister. She say she not mad at you.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose, as this was not the first time I had this conversation with Mason.
“Honey, you don’t have a sister, remember? It’s just you, Mommy, and your brother Caleb who is in jail for doing MMA.”
Mason shook his swollen head.
“No Momma, I seen her. I seen my sister. She say she not mad at you for having a… Having uh…”
I could see that Mason was struggling like he normally does when he hits a word he doesn’t know or is faced with numbers above fifteen. Using an educational technique I had learned, I coaxed the missing word out of him with negative reinforcement.
“Having a what, Mason?” I said, pinching his arm.
“Ow! Having an abba…”
I pinched harder.
“Ow! You’re hurting me Momma!”
“Having what, Mason? Having what?” I continued to pinch harder, now with both hands, on both of his arms.
“Ow! A borton! Having a borton! Ow, stop!”
“Borton? Who the hell is Borton, Mason?”
I stopped pinching, fell back in my chair and grabbed my beer. I peered through the mouth of the can and imagined shrinking myself down and living within it. Sailing the high beer seas, and finding a portal in there that would whisk me away from my awful life.
“You don’t have a sister, Mason.”
“Momma, I seen her. I seen her and my other four sisters and my eight brothers. All twelve of ‘em.”
I was caught off guard. Mason normally spews bullshit, on account of his simple mind, but this struck me as a particularly odd thing to say. I certainly didn’t know anyone named Borton, nor did I own anything named Borton. That’s when it struck me.
I have had exactly thirteen abortions. Five girls, eight boys. There was no Borton.
There was no way Mason could have known this and I had half a mind to smack him across the face, but curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to probe him further.
“Mason, when exactly did you see your brothers and sisters?”
“Last night Momma. Before we came back from hospital.”
“You saw them at the hospital?” I asked, thinking perhaps he had seen the room where they keep all the aborted babies as we were leaving.
“No Momma, I saw them in Hell. They was there with Satan and all demons. Satan said the borton babies go to Hell. He said I had to go there too, cause I’m retarded.”
This was beginning to get absurd. I certainly cursed often, I’m sure I had said hell around him before. I was sure Mason had some sort of concept of Heaven and Hell based on things he had seen on television, but what would make him think he had gone to Hell? Where was he getting all this? I sat there staring at him for a second, and then he spoke again.
“Momma, great grandpa said hi too.”
“Excuse me?” I shot back.
Now I was really mad. It was one thing for Mason to tell me he went to Hell for being retarded – that at least made sense – and if he were lying about that at least he would have just been making it about himself. But for him to bring my beloved grandfather into it, who I often spoke highly of and who he had never met, was highly offensive and I grew extremely sour.
“Momma, great grandpa came from Heaven! He come down and he save me! Say I gotta come back to Earth. Satan say I can’t go back. But great grandpa tell Satan that Momma vote for Satan friend Obama. Grandpa tell Satan that if Mason go back, Mason can help Momma steal money from hard working tax payer.”
My eyes began to well with tears. The concept of public assistance was something too large for Mason to comprehend, but beyond that, I certainly never told him that I was spending his disability checks on myself. It would be too hard to explain, and he’d blow it all on model trains that he couldn’t assemble. My rage gave way, and it was replaced with something I hadn’t felt in a long time – hope. I was starting to believe.
“So Satan just let you come home, Mason? Just you? Retarded little you gets to come home from eternal damnation, but no one else?”
“Satan said retarded people just go to Hell cause in Heaven everybody equal, and if retarded people go to Heaven, regular people won’t be able to feel bad for them no more. Regular people like to feel bad for retarded people cause it make them feel good about they selves. Satan said not big deal, we just mostly have to hang out and stay away from the lava river. But, great grandpa save me.”
I had never seen Mason talk with this level of articulation and awareness before. I knew at this point, that there was no possible way that he was making any of this up. With tears flowing down my face, I raced into my bedroom and retrieved the picture of my grandfather and I that I kept on my nightstand. It was still turned face down from the last time I brought someone home, and without thinking I mouthed an apology as I scooped up the dusty photo and brought it back to Mason.
“Is this who you saw Mason? Is this my grandpa?”
“No, he wasn’t old like that.”
I asked Mason to explain.
“In Heaven, everybody young. Great grandpa real young looking, and he wearing a black suit, like an army man, with little s’s on the collar, and a big cap with a skull on it.”
At this point the tears were flowing so quickly I thought I might drown myself, just as retarded Mason had drowned the night before. I ran back upstairs to my room, and digging through a box of keepsakes, I located my grandfather’s medals from World War II. Mason had never seen them, and I hadn’t thought of them since Mason had been born.
“Was he wearing these, Mason?” I asked, with tears in my eyes as I showed him my grandfather’s Iron Cross and his Long Service Award.
“Yup, he wearing both of them!” beamed Mason back at me, running his stubby fingers over the swastika in the eagle’s talons.
I cried out in joy, grabbed Mason and pulled him close to my breast. It was the first time in years that I had hugged my son. It was the first time in years that I had felt a real emotion.
I spent the rest of the afternoon and the early night in attendance of Mason’s teachings. My retarded son, unable to hold the knowledge of a single man, now held more knowledge than any man had ever known. A supplicant to the goofy orator, I desperately bore witness to his account of the hereafter – of Satan, the demons, and the fallen angels. He regaled me with stories of sanguineous fields, filled with drawn and quartered Muslims, of endless caravans built from bones, filled with shackled participants of the knockout game, and breaking wheels abound, littered with the wailing remains of former college professors.
The daylight waned and night took hold. Mason could not stop talking, and as he told me these unbelievable stories, for the first time since he was a baby, I took Mason into my room to sleep by my side. He laid his big head down on my stomach and pressed on.
“And then there’s the fire pit, Momma.” He said, letting out a wet yawn. “That’s where they keep the homosexuals and the liberals. Satan said he’d take them out of the fire pit, but they wouldn’t stop crying even if he did. Satan laugh when he said that, Momma. They was so many … so many libs and homos, Momma…. So many…”
As I felt Mason drift to sleep in my arms and a serene puddle of his warm drool formed below my breasts, I thought about the dramatic changes that would take place in my life with my newfound knowledge of higher powers. I thought about the implications of an afterlife. I thought about judgment. Not only judgment of myself, but of all the people I disliked. I thought of everyone who had done me wrong, and I thought about how they would soon suffer. As the air clicked past his oversized tongue, and my beautiful baby boy dreamt of his noble grandfather and his unwanted siblings, I reached down between my legs, and I thought about that hot young doctor.