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  • [Dripping tap, buzzing sound]

  • When I got pregnant, I was young, broke and dating this guy that we'll call Dick.

  • [Sound of him patting her thigh, white noise]

  • I met Dick while working on a TV show. I was a background artist,

  • and I remember walking on to the studio lot and feeling awestruck.

  • I'd watch actors take their mark, and directors call "action."

  • I had left the soul-sucking classrooms of Community College behind, and walked onto a living, breathing, filming set.

  • A: Hi, hi. I'm here for background. I'm so sorry I'm late.

  • D: All good. I'm Dick.

  • A: Oh, hi. Anna.

  • [Harp glissando, romantic music]

  • A: Nice to meet you.

  • D: Uh, if you could just hang out here, uh, we're gonna get to you in a second.

  • A: Okcool D: Alright

  • [Sexy music as she checks out his butt]

  • D: All good, I'm on my way

  • -Good night! -Bye, thank you.

  • D: Oh, by- hey!

  • -Great job today. -Thank you!

  • Do you think you might want to work the show again?

  • I loved working background.

  • I was buying my groceries at the 99-cent store to supplement Costco mac and cheese packs my parents had bought me.

  • I wanted all the work and free hot meals I could get.

  • Dick asked for my number so he could book me directly, and every week, he called me in for work.

  • I loved it. And then one day, when I was signing out

  • [Sparks sound]

  • I hadn't known this was on the table; if he was flirting that meant I could now relentlessly pursue him.

  • It didn't take long before I was bombarding Dick with messages.

  • [Message sending sound]

  • And imagining what his butt looked like underneath those baggy cargo pants.

  • -And then I found out... - "My brother died."

  • -I'm sorry. -And since I had lost a sister as well, my delusional self

  • immediately created an entire romance novel starring us.

  • Two survivors, we were meant to be together. We would

  • Help each other heal.

  • In my head, we had an insanely deep connection.

  • that no one else could comprehend.

  • We shared a mutual grief

  • and understanding of mortality and

  • [Romantic strings]

  • death.

  • I was an insane person. From that point on I bugged Dick a lot.

  • [Voices offscreen]

  • Finally, he caved.

  • Over dinner, I learned he liked to meditate, loved the outdoors

  • -and he said, - "I don't believe in monogamy."

  • I asked him to elaborate...

  • It's an outdated concept that no man could possibly uphold.

  • I, like most hopelessly infatuated idiots, just figured; he hadn't met the right person yet.

  • Dick and I dated for a year and a half, and every three months, he would cheat on me.

  • [Knocking on door]

  • Every three months, he would admit his infidelity, and say he was sorry.

  • He blamed his behaviour on his brother's suicide, saying it had left him broken and damaged.

  • I told myself I understood the whole self sabotage thing, and instead of walking away

  • …I found out his phone's passcode. I would wait until he fell asleep and whore over his messages.

  • He would get mad that I violated his privacy, and the cycle would repeat.

  • Despite these very clear red flags, we stayed together,

  • during which time

  • I got pregnant.

  • I wasn't great at taking the pill.

  • I was working four jobs, attending comedy, and acting classes and filming videos every week.

  • I would go to sleep late and wake up early, often forgetting to take the pill. But whatever, right?

  • I wasn't going to get pregnant. I'd already lost my sister; surely the universe would give me a break.

  • Then one morning, my nipples felt weird.

  • [Shower turns on]

  • I knew instantly.

  • [Upbeat music]

  • Smiley face? Smiley face. Smiley fucking face.

  • -What is this?

  • This is not a great time for me to have kids, right, and you should be older,

  • you don't wanna have a baby! You should be much older.

  • Hey, look. You should probably have a baby with another guy.

  • Seriously. He told me I should probably have a baby with another guy.

  • You have to get an abortion.

  • Are we not even gonna have a conversation about this?

  • What conversation?

  • I'm not gonna go have an abortion without at least, like, talking thr-

  • [Abrupt silence, then sad music which continues under this section]

  • I had spent years secretly judging my friends for getting abortions.

  • How could they destroy a life like that?

  • I thought of them as selfish human beings who killed something that never stood a chance.

  • The view was great from that high ass horse.

  • But of course, when it happens to you, you go through the same reality check.

  • Am I ready to be a mom? No.

  • Is Dick ready to be a dad? No.

  • Do I have the financial means to support a child?

  • No, I can barely afford to feed my three cats.

  • I eventually came to the same conclusion as Dick.

  • They told me I was only seven days pregnant.

  • The doctor was very impressed when I told him my clairvoyant nipples story.

  • I am very impressed with your clairvoyant nipples story.

  • Thank you.

  • You're welcome.

  • And I was given an abortion pill.

  • What the doctor didn't tell me about the pill, is that it makes you nauseous.

  • [Sound of Anna throwing up]

  • It's okay, um, I'm pregnant.

  • [Piano music, gasps]

  • I'll admit that I liked being thought of as pregnant.

  • It made me want to walk around with a pregnant belly and see how I would be treated.

  • All the doors that would be opened for me.

  • Perhaps, people would even offer to buy me something to eat.

  • I imagined being nine months pregnant and raising a child.

  • But, there was one thing I wanted in order to go down that path.

  • Someone who truly loved me.

  • I knew then that I wanted to be a mom, but this wasn't the time.

  • If I bring a child into the world,

  • I want to be able to give him or her all of my love and attention.

  • I want to be in a relationship where the child is wanted.

  • [Water running]

  • I bled and cried and cramped for three hours.

  • I wondered if I was doing the right thing, if this was murder.

  • If I was a bad person.

  • I vowed I would never go through that shit again.

  • The next time I got pregnant, it would be when I was ready.

  • [Anna sighs, bell sound]

  • [Message sound]

  • Baby, have you thought about how you want to pay me back for your half of the abortion?

  • I wish I could say that Dick and I broke up after this, but we didn't.

  • I still thought Dick was my spiritual soulmate;

  • that he was the only person who could possibly understand what I had been through, and vice versa.

  • I liked the way he smelled, and the color of his eyes, and that he took me to Buddhist meditation sessions.

  • He's the reason I went on a week-long silent meditation retreat.

  • I spent seven grueling days sitting with myself, walking with myself, and living with myself.

  • On the last day of the retreat, we all had to go around and say one word that summed up our experience.

  • Love.

  • Whole.

  • Discovery.

  • Super-cali-fragilistic-expialidocious.

  • [Laughter]

  • And it clicked.

  • This is me,

  • I'm a person who makes other people laugh.

  • I felt peaceful, and I loved myself without shame, or neuroses, or arrogance.

  • And when I was having the most revealing, vulnerable, self-loving moment of my life,

  • Dick was sticking his dick in someone else.

  • So when he showed up at my door crying and begging for forgiveness,

  • I finally thought, fuck this guy.

  • Out in the desert, I'd finally found some self-respect.

  • And I haven't been pregnant since.

[Dripping tap, buzzing sound]

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Take Your Birth Control

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    Howard Lin posted on 2018/03/20
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