I mentioned once here that, although I know I want to have kids, and I know I want to be with Doug, I still admire the conviction of women who can say, “I want to have his baby” (and maybe no one else’s, ever).
I had a dream the other night, the details of which I forgot immediately upon waking, but which somehow reminded me that there actually was a time in my life when I did decide I wanted to have a specific man’s child.
The summer I turned 19, my family spent a few weeks at my grandma’s house in Rhode Island. I was lonely, missing my friends, and reading Bridget Jones’s Diary and its sequel.
Somewhere in the story-line of those two books, Bridget makes a pact with her gay best friend, Tom, that if neither of them is married by a certain age, they’ll have a baby together. Not being able to see myself ever getting married at the time, I instantly asked my own gay best friend, Squeak, if he and I could make a similar arrangement. And, to my surprise, he was more than happy to agree.
Ten years later, I still want Squeak’s baby. When he and I hung out a few weeks ago, I brought it up again. And this time, he had to remind me that, although he would like to pass on his genes (and then it would be on me to actually raise the baby), it’s not so easy for us to turkey-baster ourselves a kid anymore. Squeak is HIV positive.
“There’s sperm-washing,” he said, “but even then.”
“Oh. Right,” I answered. I have no idea what sperm-washing is, and although I recognized the risk he was implying, in all honesty, my only thought was, So you’re saying it’s not impossible.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Doug, and I want to spend my life with him, and raise my babies with him, and I can only assume that those babies will also be his. But there are different types and different levels of love. Squeak has let me kiss-and-tell to him since the day I lost my virginity. He was the one I called for reassurance when some dickhead photographer in Santa Barbara told me I’d never be beautiful. We’ve shared crushes on many men, and depending on the objects’ orientations, taken turns acting on them (and then, of course, shared details). And most importantly, for the last ten-plus years, I’ve been able to count on Squeak to always side with me, no matter how questionable my behavior, or how ridiculous my thought process.
Plus, we’d make a pretty, pretty baby.
What it comes down to is this: if Squeak came to me tomorrow and asked me to carry his child, I would do it. Yeah, there are risks – but HIV is a totally manageable disease these days, right? And there are also risks involved in giving a friend one of your kidneys (and that, too, is a promise I’ve made to someone, should it ever become necessary, and should I be a viable match for her). Risk-benefit analysis on this one says: benefit. Love above all else.