Michelle Tea: "My Precious Clone Baby Would Be Severely Busted From High-Tech Inbreeding"

Through this technology I could conceivably use my OWN bone marrow to make my OWN sperm and then fertilize my OWN egg. I DON’T NEED ANYONE!
Publish date:
July 16, 2012
pregnancy, babies, insemination

Know what’s wicked gross? A big glass of Maca powder and Emer-Gen-C. Like someone slipped a bag of turnip powder into your fizzy juice beverage. I sip it as I neurotically over-research whether it is truly safe to try to get preggers while possibly suffering from a bout of The Clap (It is!)

That night, my insemination team meets up at my house. Rhonda is positively glowing from her mad love affair. I’m still in denial that she is leaving rainy San Francisco forever. Quentin shows up in a busted child’s raincoat dotted with little whales, a pair of pants from a children’s store in Canada, red Wellies, a sweater printed with a rustic deer motif, and a frilly blue umbrella. He is freshly back from his travels and wants to report that Toronto is the most awesome city, like San Francisco meets New York City!

Some of us then go on to talk about how Canada feels a little off to us. We know people in Canada live better lives. They have health care. Their public arts funding is better. They are not warmongering imperialists like we are. But we suspect they are sort of excessively polite and don’t have the best sense of humor.

Is it true? Or do we equate a healthy psyche with dullness and think that people who don’t can’t see the humor in a USA Today article about a sober alcoholic getting beaten to death with a table leg by his AA sponsee don’t know how to laugh?

We decide that we are badly damaged, not sweet Canada. We are like people raised in alcoholic homes who just can’t relate to those who have had nice childhoods. And on top of that, we are mostly people raised in alcoholic homes who just can’t relate to people who have had nice childhoods. Oh, Canada!

What we don’t talk about is the gonorrhea-infected elephant in the room. Why make ourselves uncomfortable? There’s so much more to discuss! Quentin got into NYU! That’s exciting. He also saw that Drew Barrymore saves the whales movie, which strikes us as very funny.

Me, Rhonda and Dashiell are off to the movies tonight and AGAIN Quentin can’t come because of a drag performance! And he has to shave his beard again! This dressing like a woman thing is really getting in the way of Quentin dressing like a man.

Rhonda notices a copy of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" on my books shelf and grabs it. She started reading it 17 years ago but stopped right before the last page because it was too macho. We make her read the last page. It basically ends with a woman wishing to die so she can get rid of her soul and walk naked around a swimming pool with her dead mother’s farting friends.

I’d found the book in the free book pile at a used bookstore and thought I’d re-read it. I’d read it when I was 18 because I knew there was a threesome involved in it, plus it was European and sophisticated and I’d hoped that a sexy and intelligent gentleman would notice me reading it on the Boston T and seduce me, but I think most of the story went over my head.

My poet friend comes to stay in my apartment and so we make plans to inseminate after her poetry reading, when she is out at dinner. She shares with me the amazing news that science has learned how to make sperm out of bone marrow! It’s true -- German scientists have figured out how to take stem cells from bone marrow and culture them into immature sperm cells.

There are lot of potential problems with this, as the genetics of the sperm has been messed with, and there are already laws in the UK banning it in fertility treatments, AND it seems to be being developed to help infertile men by injecting the frankensperm back into their testes, but COME ON! It can also be used to make a test-tube lesbo baby. And the baby would be guaranteed a girl because both mom and dad are genetically female. It would not necessarily be a guaranteed les, tho. So we’d have to raise it to be one. Kidding!

To get even more mad science with it, through this technology I could conceivably use my OWN bone marrow to make my OWN sperm and then fertilize my OWN egg! I DON’T NEED ANYONE! Except a team of doctors and scientists and a bucket of money. Also, my precious clone baby would be seriously busted from the high-tech inbreeding, so it’s a no go. And I wouldn’t want to do that anyway. What I do want is Dashiell’s bone marrow sperm!

OhMyGod, Quentin shows up at that night’s insemination dressed as Miss Super Extra Deluxe Pandemonium! She is wearing a denim onesie, fake nails decorated with glittered starbursts, bring pink lips, false eyelashes that look like there are giant, glamorous spiders on her eyelids, open-toe leopard stilettos, a pink scarf knotted around her waist and a pink pleather belt cinched around her waist. I put a blanket underneath me as a courtesy to my house guest, and Quentin goes into the kitchen, removes a fake nail or two, and gets to work. I later find one of the nails while sweeping my bedroom. I never find the other one.

As I lie in bed letting Quetin’s sperm sashay up my cervix, I muse on how hard it is going to be to not get inseminated next month. I’ll be traveling all month with my performance tour Sister Spit. Dashiell is coming to visit me two weeks into the tour because I’ve made a pledge to never go more than two weeks without seeing him. What if I happened to be ovulating then? Could he bring the sperm on the plane with him? Would it go bad?

Rhonda shares a story about our friend Melissa who is getting inseminated with sperm from her wife’s brother. The brother loads the syringe and then drives it over their house with it tucked in his armpit. And guess what? Melissa is totally pregnant now! Could Dashiell keep Quentin’s sperm tucked in her armpit for a flight to Colorado? Could she get it through security?

“You’d have to be bold,” Rhonda advises sternly. Everyone Googles "sperm on planes" while I lay on my back. We reach a consensus that it’s not a very good plan.

In the morning I wake up, drink some black coffee and pound 3 tablespoons of maca. I am instantly, horribly sick.

I had planned to make a smoothie, but then the thought of digging the blender out of the way back of the cabinet filled me with exhaustion. This might concern judgemental readers: If you can’t dig a blender out of a cabinet, how can you raise a child?!?!

But fear not -- like all women, I am more likely to do things for other people than I am for myself. If Dashiell was here wanting a Maca smoothie, you can be sure the appliance would be out on the counter and washed free of cat hair.

Everything in the cabinets is covered with cat hair, because the cats like to paw open the door, climb inside and curl up in a giant bowl. I call the cabinet their "cabin."

Anyway -- I just couldn’t handle the amount of effort making a smoothie would entail, and so I dumped a ton of Maca into a glass and filled it with water. I read on the Internet that you can’t OD on the stuff, and to get the physiological effects you have to consume a LOT. It’s how much bodybuilders take. I am totally as tough as a bodybuilder.

I try to drink it. It’s not actually possible. It is so disgusting that my body revolts. I can’t swallow it. Which means I’ll have to chug it.

Have I mentioned I’m an alcoholic? I spent many years of my life guzzling repulsive beverages for the effects of it upon my body. You might say I’ve developed a skill. I held my nose and poured the Maca down my throat like a foie gras goose being force fed corn. REALLY IT WAS JUST LIKE THAT.

When an undissolved, wet lump of Maca threatens to gag me, I just leave my body. I place the glass, coated in a grotesque paste, on the counter. I have an instant headache. I walk my computer slowly into my bed room and lie down on my bed. Bad idea -- it gives me throat nausea. You know what I mean? I have to sit up. I slump against my headboard and search for help on my computer.

Oh -- you’re not supposed to take Maca "neat." Whoops. My sense of smell is intensely sensitive. The stink of coffee coming out of my pores is making me sick. So is the whiff of STELLA I sprayed on my neck. The whole word is suddenly a landscape of smothering bad odors. The cats smell like chalky cat litter. My hands smell like the Karma soap from Lush that I used in the shower. What if Maca gives me chemical sensitivity sickness and I have to lay off beauty products?!

After a bit of rest, I have to get out of bed. I have my GYN appointment! My headache has subsided into a little pulse in my temples. I burp Maca burps on the bus into the Marina, keeping my mouth open the whole ride because I fear that if I taste the echo of it I’ll have a full body memory and vomit.

Next Week: Health Care!