Imagine my horror when my girlfriend says she wants to name our child Crumb. I hold her shoulder in a way that is neither strong nor tender. Pregnancy is a slow, repugnant process I know nothing about. Aren't I glad to nod at numerals. All I know is when the time comes. When the time comes. She pinches her mouth shut. The doctors are draining the love out of her like amniotic fluid. I like to think of relevant similes when I am not concentrating.

Every house I've passed in the neighbourhood seems to be lit with the same harsh, horrible strip-lights. Maybe there is a shortage of fuzzy yellow light bulbs in the world. Maybe there will be massive inflation, and somewhere in Jordan or China or wherever is full of lightbulbs a man with a beard has hordes of those coveted yellow lightbulbs gathering dust in his basement. I don't know about you, but I like mood lighting. Mood lighting that lit-up ecstasy evening that is the beginning of Crumb (already I'm getting used to the name). I dislike it when people say Making Love. These people are usually the same frizzy-haired, weepy women who read the sickeningly blurbed, saccharine novels advertised in train stations. My girlfriend and I were horny and parched. It wasn't Making Love, evidently we were Making Crumb.

I'm walking toward the bus stop and going through my pockets. In my mind there is a crystal ball. It is apparently ineffective, as the visions in the crystal ball are unfailingly disparate to what really comes. Crumb is eight years old, not very good looking. Already he is developing a healthy complex. He gets too attached to his playground friends and is often caught stealing miscellaneous household items (a bottle of Windex, a candle, a screwdriver, nail varnish, an expired block of cheese) to give to them. Love offerings. Sometimes he bites the inside of his mouth in his sleep. He doesn't know it yet, but this is his way of cursing his scatty mother for giving him such a stupid name. Like his name he is strange and small. But he doesn't need to worry, least of all now. In six years, he will have shed all his soft teeth and he will shoot up- strapping, taller than his dead father.

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