Extract from Exteriors and Interiors
by C. McGee
Chapter 1: A Shitty Disguise
I’m not a fan of babies. I was a fan of Jonathan Swift, but then I figured out that he was being satirical. The proposal seemed modest enough to me. Adults are slightly better, as most of them can take care of their own basic needs. Babies can’t; they shit themselves and require feeding from a nipple. Pathetic. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we allowed infants to be raised by machines. Rumor has it that the Russians tried this during World War II. It was not by choice, all their adults died so they were left with a disproportionate amount of babies. They should have let those little bastards fend for themselves. What a suck on the war effort. Think about all the resources that were devoted to keeping those kids alive that could have been devoted to taking down the Nazis. If the Allies had lost, I would have blamed those children.
I didn’t used to hate them—babies, that is. Indeed, I used to feel nothing more than a mild dislike for them. But that was before, back when they were a peripheral element of my life. Now they are a conspicuous part of my day-to-day, an obnoxious byproduct of my crap job. I did not set out to be the healthcare equivalent of a peon. I set out to be an architect. Unfortunately, the universe had other plans; fuck-you plans. My college graduation coincided with the demise of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and the entire U.S. economy. Obviously, this was not the best time to be designing outlandish homes. So, now I am not so much of an architect as I am an orderly. Beggars can’t be choosers.
The hospital where I work is fine. The food is fine. The pay is fine. The physicians are fine. Lauren is fine. The only thing that is not fine are the fucking babies. But Lauren, Lauren is really fine. Not in the way that the food is fine, more in the way that a large-breasted, small-waisted woman is fine. That’s actually what she is, a large-breasted, small-waisted woman. At work, when infants aren’t wailing and geriatrics aren’t whining, I dream up ways to ask her out. I also devise ways to “accidentally” touch her breasts. But mainly I think up ways to ask her out. Most of these plans are not feasible, some because I am not a knight, others because I am an orderly.
When I saw Lauren today, I was covered in shit. Literal shit. Although far from ideal, the situation could have been worse. Lauren could have responded to my disgusting appearance with the repulsion that it warranted. Instead, she maintained a professional decorum throughout our entire interaction. Obviously, I would have preferred that she had given me the commiserating look that everyone else did, but given the circumstances I can’t complain.
Exteriors and Interiors
It’s what’s inside that counts … or maybe that’s bullshit?