Written By: Anna Walters
About the Author: Anna spends most of her days trying to get more people to ride bikes. She enjoys moshing, sarcastic quips, Bruce Springsteen, and ice cream. Piece of advice: Don’t share a pint of Ben & Jerry’s with Anna — she’ll mine it for all the delicious chocolatey bits.
Alex’s best friend is about to have a baby. A boy! This friend has all the blue things. Spit up rags the color of mist. Periwinkle elephants on comically small socks. One recent afternoon, she unfurled blue ribbons binding blue boxes. Inside were more blue things. Alex is loathe to participate in this blue orgy with all its damaging expectations — this absurd “boys will be boys will be blue.” It’s possible this could be why their phone conversations have waned. That and the having-a-baby-thing. Alex finds lately she is reaching across a gulf. She wants to clasp this friend’s hand and go for a walk, but Alex can’t even make out a face. Alex bleats, whips out her fingers and tries to lasso her back. But her friend is gone in blue baby boy land.
Maybe they can go for a twilight walk some day, but not now.
Alex’s baby is much different.
Her baby? Well, she says “her” but it’s really his: The Maker’s. After all, he made it. She just subbed in here and there. He lightened the yarn. He mixed the dye. For Alex’s bit, she stirred the fibers in the big vat. She rinsed it. Watched it bleed the color of a blue raspberry snow cone. Alien blue hues. She stained her hands as her blue shed its excess ink.
The first mark it ever left on Alex’s skin.
Alex had to leave before the rinsing was done, so The Maker did the spinning and the twisting. Meanwhile, Alex busied herself in her city, away from her baby and its Maker. She couldn’t wait to see them both again, and didn’t care that her little bundle was turning out deeper and darker than expected, as The Maker told Alex over a spotty connection one night. It was her blue baby, one that she helped make with him. And whatever it grew up to be would be perfect.
The Maker said he needed Alex to help. Little baby blue needed to shed his excess fuzz, so one morning in her kitchen Alex began a day of infinite sparkles. She slugged black coffee and slowly tugged each coil back and forth across the open flame on the stove top. My, isn’t he is growing and changing so fast! Alex thought to herself. She looked at the delicate thread of unicorn woven into the strand in her hands, a sly bit of metal that could shock any flesh it touched. Alex smiled dreamily — conductive! She held a handful up to her nose — MMMmmmm jute!
While Alex did these things, her head plowed through the upcoming scenarios: I can’t wait for my bundle to be baptized in my body juices! I can’t wait for it all to run through The Maker’s hands! I can’t wait for him to weave it all around me. I can’t wait to have it hug me while I’m weightless!
The burner flame licked up any errant bits of fuzz. Shuffling one coil through her fingers, she found a tiny rough patch. A burr !? Alex’s heart skipped a beat in panic. It was strange for her to think that something she was so connected to — something she labored over and had grown to love well before it was christened or even born ! — could somehow betray her someday. It could break. She could fall. It could hurt Alex. Or worse. She marked the piece with tape for further inspection.
“That?” The Maker later asked when Alex showed him the marred bit. “Pfft.” He pulled out the piece of fuzz with his thumb and forefinger.
The first night The Maker laid blue trails all over Alex’s body. The trails cut into her skin until it bled. The second mark. Under the lights and under the ring in the dungeon, blue snow fell softly. The coils were shedding. After it was done, and Alex was safely returned to the floor in a heap, her body was flecked by blue.
One night on Skype with The Maker, Alex learned of her blue bundle’s twin — a twilight jute kit, still just a gleam in The Maker’s eye, that he’d promised to a friend. “Sorry, I don’t mean to say ‘my’ rope,” Alex fumbled, “it’s clearly ‘yours’… or our rope? No certainly yours …. I’m sorry.”
The Maker just laughed. “Our rope? Oh god.” To him, it was a bunch of fiber. It may as well be celery or kale. The good stuff to keep you regular.
But to Alex, it was lil’ bundle of joy. And pain. Her rope. Her baby.
Visual Art Piece By: Rosa Adams
About the Artist: A Connecticut Yankee transplant who moved to San Francisco in 2012. Rosa is a cartoonist, illustrator, writer, and photographer. She has an Associate degree in Visual Communication, and is now currently studying animation. She still lives in San Francisco, loves to travel, and hate going to hospitals.