Kelsey, how darling

Um, hey. Remember me? That girl who used to post about writing sometimes, but then disappeared for four or five months? Yeah, that girl. I’ve decided it’s time to resurrect my blog, and I figured I would start with a reintroduction of sorts.

I wrote a little non-fiction story a year or so ago, for a competition put on by Lady Gaga of all people. The prompt was “Why are you born this way?” Of course, the winning entry was a gay man who had struggled with acceptance all this life, which is a worthy story, but definitely not mine. Anyway, I feel like this sums me up pretty well, for all of its wackiness. Enjoy!

Born Backwards

Sometimes I think I must have been born backwards.

Literally ass first, legs flailing out like fleshy worms and fists catching my mother’s uterus on the way down. All babies cry, but I think I must have cried extra. Can’t you just see it? My mom, red-faced, sweat plastering her pale hair to her scalp, wheezing and gasping as I rattled the metal bedpans with my voice.

I know this wasn’t the case. I wasn’t even born in the traditional sense, if there is any tradition left in birth nowadays. They pulled me from my mother through a cut in her belly, and then they scrubbed me dry and wrapped me like a groomed puppy in a pink towel. Or so the story goes.

Still, sometimes I’m convinced it happened the other way, the ass-first way, but nobody will tell me because what kind of a birthing story is that?

Not that stories about birth are usually all that great. Sure, there’s the inherent beauty of it, of pushing to life something that a few hours ago didn’t exist except as a name (“Kelsey, how darling”) and a concept in the Creator’s mind. But the actual, gritty truth of birth is that it’s hard, and gross, and the men usually cry and faint while the women shout vile epithets and grip both sides of the hospital bed as if those metal bars are the only things anchoring them to earth.

Anyway, my birth wasn’t some big, weird event, but the truth is I’m a writer, and writers are attracted to oddities. I’ve never met a writer who wasn’t just a little bit nuts, and we never want anything to be boring. Kerouac was right about the mad ones—they are the only people for me (I’ll take you, just as long as you burn, burn, burn). And what the hell is the point of telling a story if it’s boring?

Anyway, this all relates back to the way I was born, which is too average for me. So I do what I’m meant to do as a writer—I change it. You don’t realize what power we have, us writers. We can reword history just by swiping our pens across a piece of paper.

So how was I born? I was born ass-first, screaming enough to resurrect Jesus himself while my poor, long-suffering parents panted from exhaustion and the realization of the handful they just received (“Kelsey, how darling!”).


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