by W.P. Kinsella September 15, 2008
My wife was very upset when the nurse brought our new baby into the hospital room.
“I’m very upset,” my wife said.
“She’s incredibly beautiful, I said. I’m in love with her already.”
“Don’t you notice?” my wife said. “She’s a beautiful baby, but she’s… she’s… Asian.”
“Of course I noticed.” Did she think I was stupid?
“What difference does it make?” The baby was perfect in every way, her features were like a doll’s, her skin tinted just so, her tiny eyes beautifully abaxial. She had a full shock of straight, black hair.
“We are not Asian,” my wife said.
“I’m aware of that,” I said. “Now, how should I word this? The fact that she’s Asian is certainly no reflection on you.”
“Thank you for that,” my wife said. “But, I’m going to make inquiries.”
“I’ll do it,” I said.
I explained the situation to the head nurse on the maternity ward, then to the administrator responsible for the orderly functioning of the maternity ward.
“We live in a Global Community,” they said.
I accepted their explanation.
I work as an editor for a renowned publisher.
Which means I am a failed writer, who now tells other more successful writers how to make their work better. At the time our renowned publishing house published Stephen King. While Stephen King’s editor, also a failed author, was at lunch I perused his private files, extracting Stephen King’s phone number.
“What do you think of the idea of an Asian baby being born to a Caucasian couple.”
“Been done,” Stephen King said.
“No. I mean what do you think of the idea?”
“Been done,” he said, with considerably more emphasis, and hung up.
She won a spelling bee in second grade.
My wife, unable to get used to having an Asian baby, moved to Utah with a blackjack dealer.
I bought a rice cooker.
“I don’t want you to be lonely, Daddy,” she said, when she was sixteen.
Six years later she brought a professor home from college, a beautiful woman in her 40s who looked enough like her to be her mother.
“Have a Bovril and a game of Scrabble and get acquainted,” she said, leaving us alone. The professor used the word uterus for a triple word score. We fell into each other’s arms.
About the Author:
W.P. Kinsella has published 15 books and more than 200 short stories, but he is best known for his award-winning novel Shoeless Joe, which was made into the highly praised film Field of Dreams. The New York Times has said that his work "defines a world in which magic and reality combine to make us laugh and think about the perceptions we take for granted." In 1993, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2005, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia.
About the Artist:
Robinson Accola creates artwork for SmokeLong Quarterly as needed.