I Did What? - Guest post by Darkly Wise, Rudely Great
He is a new father. We’ll call him ‘Damon’, if only because this is his name.
He is idealistic, proud and dedicated to parenthood. He wants what Zorba the Greek called ‘the full catastrophe’: marriage, children, and the thick knot of entangled lives.
When his son wakes, he wakes. When his wife sleeps, he dotes. He cooks frittata, buys tubs of King Island Dairy yoghurt, cleans the house, helps with breast-feeding. (By prodding his son’s chubby chin to wake him up, mid-feed.)
And he is a master of that arcane midnight art: nappy changing.
Or so he thinks.
On one evening, after three hours’ sleep (not consecutive, mind you), he is practicing his craft. His son is on the change table. The new nappy is ready. The old nappy is off. The boy is clean.
But not clean enough.
Mad with sleeplessness, the father decides to keep wiping. There are specks. There are dots. He will clean them. He keeps wiping.
THEN HE PEERS CLOSE TO THE ANUS, TO CHECK HIS MASTERWORK.
(O hubris, scourge of heroes.)
And then it happens. A hot stream of stinking saffron squirts from his heir’s squirming bum. It burns his eyes. It clogs his nose. Yes, it drips past his lips.
He is literally shitfaced.
He wants to run away to a hot, purifying shower. He cannot – a small nappy-wipe must do. He holds his son steadily on the change table, who is now smiling like a crowned king. He changes and dresses his baby boy, and puts him to bed.
Minutes are centuries. But finally the boy sleeps.
Then he runs away to a hot, purifying shower, which restores pink skin but not dignity.
To paraphrase Nietzsche: sometimes when you stare long into an abyss, the abyss craps all over you.
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Damon Young is a philosopher, writer and commentator. No, I don't mean a backyard philosopher, I mean he has a PhD in philosophy... that's right, Where's My Glow? has just featured Dr Damon.
He has already published one book and a second is due out next year. His writing has been published in the The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Herald-Sun, and on the BBC and ABC. He's a regular radio guest, has even been on Channel 7's Sunrise and is also one of the minds behind Reservoir Dad's Most Mentally Sexy Contest... in other words, he's ultra smart and a bit of a media
To find his work, ranging from fiction to poetry to philosophy, visit his website and if that's a little heavy going for you, then check out his blog for bite sized snippets.
Next Week: The Bloke in the Shed spills the beans on Princess Kellie
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