So I got this homeboy of mine, right? He goes by the name of Thaddeus. He’s kind of, shall we say, a prickly, bitter, misanthropic piece of human trash and I am not judging. That’s his thing. We are all different.
Thaddeus lives alone, in the same way as I live alone, which means everyone knows he has extra space and we all take advantage of this.
It goes without saying that this doesn’t happen on weekends because Thaddeus is very good at finding those women you hear about who like bad boys. I have learned from his flat that you don’t want to bump into a one night stand who just realized that the operative term in bad boy is not “secretly a warm and considerate sweetheart”. I have received too many slaps on his behalf on Saturday mornings.
Anyway: He loves on the fourth floor of a block of flats close to where I pay my rent and, I think it’s the elevation, but he seems to have less mosquitoes than I do when the weather suddenly changes from wet to hot, so I was crashing on his couch the night this discussion took place.
Parties involved: He stomped out of the door and into the next door neighbours’ flat and began. I could hear clearly because, sensing that there was going to be an argument, I had followed him.
Thaddeus: Okay, where is the baby?
Shocked parents: (Attempting to mouth words inquiring as to what this intruder wants with their baby, at this time of night moreover.)
Thaddeus: you may be wondering what I want with your infant. I want to have a word with it.
Confused Parents: (Torn between voicing outrage at having their child referred to as “it” and curiosity as to what this guy wants.)
Thaddeus: I know the child is very young and cannot talk and that this might make it seem as if a proper discussion is not possible, but as you have seen so far, I am ready to do all the talking. No one else needs to get a word in. Show me the infant.
Perplexed Parents: (Wondering whether it is too late to hide their child. Discovering that it is. For Thaddeus has spotted the baby sucking on a pacifier in the corner.)
Thaddeus: There you are. Good evening, infant, which I say with absolutely no sincerity. If it were up to me you would dream every night of a tormented adulthood, filled with loss, regret, despair and hopelessness. But then again, for reasons that shall be made clear as we go on, it would actually serve me better if you did have a good night’s sleep.
Baby: (Says nothing. Just blinks.)
Thaddeus: I am here to address the matter of you crying very loudly at three am in the night. You are a child; you only arrived recently, so you are yet to understand the extent to which your wailing affects others. I shall not abuse you, because it is not your fault. Instead I shall offer some tips on how to not wake the whole block each night with your tuneless caterwauling.
Nervous parents: (Beginning to feel it is time to ask this man to leave their child alone.)
Thaddeus: I have done some research and found that babies cry because that is their only way to signal discomfort from heat, cold, hunger, or any of the other natural shocks that flesh is heir to. I have also read that children are very quick to learn.
Parents: (Having just about gotten over the shock and mustered the nerve to begin to speak, begin to speak, only to be shushed.)
Thaddeus: I am almost finished. Now, child here is a cellphone with your parents’ number. For hunger beep once. For cold bleep twice. For cleaning of bum, beep three times. And here is some whiskey to help you in cases of general depression. You are too young for proper Prozac so it will have to do.
And with that he turned and left. And so must we all. Till next week.