Let’s Play Bomb Scare by Thomas Mundt
Let’s pretend the baby seat in the back of that Jetta isn’t a baby seat at all. Let’s say it’s a knapsack bomb, like the one that sad, sunburned white man was accused of planting in that pedestrian mall during the ‘96 Atlanta Olympics. The kind with nails and screws in it. The kind that’ll fuck you the fuck up, turn your insides into pink confetti upon detonation. The kind that’ll blow your innards all over this Trader Joe’s parking lot and prompt your friends, the ones with whom you regularly meet for tapas, to come up with an unfortunate handle for the event, something like The World’s Most Violent Money Shot or along those lines.
Let’s say I know the bomb’s ready to go off, but don’t ask me how or why. Let’s just assume you trust me when I point and say I just feel it in my bones. That shit’s trouble. You won’t reply. You’ll just nod once and immediately throw our Certified Pre-Owned Civic into reverse and I’ll love you for this because it’ll confirm what I already suspect, namely, that I’m a terrific Provider or, at the very least, a Protector or a Good Taker-away-er From Danger Guy. You’ll floor it backwards across the pavement to the detriment of all the bike messengers and their gluten-free ginger snaps until we hear the explosion, see the fireball as we exit the parking lot. You won’t bother switching gears once we hit Lincoln Avenue because there just isn’t time, goddammit. There just isn’t time. You will say that last part and, even though we laugh at those sort of lines when they appear in Dolph Lundgren films, it’ll just sound sad coming out of you.
Let’s say we hold hands the entire reverse-ride home, the terror sweat gluing our palms together. We’ll be perfectly silent, even as we’re parallel parking in front of our apartment building and I have to get out of the car so I can tell you You’re fine. You’re close enough to the curb. This I’ll accomplish with a series of hand gestures and you’ll understand me perfectly. Then I’ll carry all six of our heavy-ass grocery bags because you’ll still be in shock from the whole ordeal and I don’t want you falling down three flights of steps because you’re trying to be some kind of hero.
Let’s say that once we’re inside I won’t bother to unpack all the brown paper bags. I’ll just let all the perishables slowly perish in the foyer as I place my hands on your hips and walk you Frankenstein-style toward our dining room table. There I’ll knock all the junk mail onto the floor and lay you on your back and slide your jeans and panties down your thighs and around your dangling ankles. Then I’ll drop to my knees and bury my face in your zone but I won’t tell you that you taste like Lemonheads even though you do. When I do that thing you like, you’ll grit your teeth and grab my hair and say, We came so close today. Then I’ll say something very Dolph Lundgrenesque, but you won’t understand me because you’re still on my jowls, your legs twitching.
Let’s say that once our foreplay’s complete we retire to the bedroom, where we engage in the kind of lovemaking that only exists in Heaven or maybe somewhere in pre-colonial India. We’ll do so without using a prophylactic because we’re so in the moment and this will help us soar to even greater heights. Once I’ve flooded you to your satisfaction, you’ll say, That’s it. We did it. I think I can feel it kicking! We’ll embrace and I’ll move my warm hand to your belly and I’ll say, Yep. That’s a baby, all right. It’ll be like a game-winning three- pointer in a pivotal playoff basketball game. Swish, we’ll both think, and at the exact same time. We’ll be first-time parents and we’ll both be so happy because we’ll know that we didn’t try to shield our child from reality. Your Mom and I saw some awful shit the day we decided to make you, we’ll say to our son or daughter. In our brains. And, one day, he or she will thank us for that.
Thomas Mundt is the author of one short story collection, You Have Until Noon to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (Lady Lazarus Press, 2011), and the father of one human boy, Henry (2011). Teambuilding opportunities and risk management advice can be found at www.dontdissthewizard.blogspot.com.
“Let’s Play Bomb Scare” originally appeared in the second print issue of apt, available to purchase here.