So I get a call from my brother – Serenity’s pregnant! This is good news because as you’ll recall they thought her womb was a rocky place where his seed could find no purchase. I offer hearty congratulations, and then my sister-in-law comes on the line. It’s like we’re best buds now. She’s very excited – giddy, really – and I don’t know, it’s kind of sweet.
“So you’ll have to thank Heidi for me, for the nettle tea recipe,” Serenity says. She means Hydrangea, mistress of Tibetan magic and total fox. Colin and Serenity met her during the Hungry Ghost caper on Halloween. They think she’s my girlfriend. I wish.
Serenity says. “I drank the tea and went into the fertility clinic the next week and the doctor just freaked out. They thought I was infertile, you know. Anyway, the doctor really wanted a copy of the recipe. But it’s the weirdest thing, after I made the tea I lost the recipe. I had it in my folder, and then it was just gone. So if you think of it, ask Heidi to email me the recipe.”
“Yeah, I’ll ask her when I see her,” I say.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Serenity says. “Did it not work out?”
“What? Why would you say that?”
“I can just tell by the tone of your voice,” she says. “Were you not ready for a commitment, or was she just in a different space…?”
“What does that mean, Serenity? A different space.” I’m getting irritated here.
“Oh, you know, she just seemed so… different from you. I’m not being critical; everybody has their own life path they need to walk.”
“Okay, thanks for the dating advice Obi-Wan,” I say.
“So did you break up?”
“Yes. Yes, we broke up. But it’s cool, I’m just skipping down my own life path over here.”
“I’m sorry, Connor. I liked her.”
“Yeah, me too.” I did, too. I liked her.
She lowers her voice, all secretive and shit. “So what happened? Did she dump you, or was it the other way around?”
“Serenity, you know that new thing we do, the bonding thing?”
“Yeah, let’s not do that anymore.”
I’m just kidding of course (sort of) and we end the call with best wishes and jokes about baby names. Colin will go with anything Serenity wants, as long as the kid’s middle name is Tiberius.
I get off the phone and sit alone in my house, which suddenly feels big and cold. I feel like a human Steely Dan song.
Yeah, I don’t really know what that means, either.