My abortion, Pippa, and I are really close. Really, we are. She’s not homesick in the slightest. For an ethereal aberration who communicates via text message and telepathy, I must admit, she surprised me with her fast-talking, deadpan, assertive personality and wild history.
Neither of us expected to share my womb for nine months. I was twenty-one and in college; it just wasn’t feasible. Once she arrived, Pippa missed her aborted fetus community, a small village called Pheerknot that resembled a strip mall with themed venues, loud dive bar, woody coffee shop, grocery store, and an art deco hotel with vintage art and etched mirrors. Pippa was vacationing in my womb, to detox from a few weeks of hard-partying inside a celebutante.
Being pro-choice, I always felt that if I became pregnant when I wasn’t ready, I’d be decisive about termination. When I was confronted with the reality of pregnancy, it wasn’t as black and white as I thought. I wasn’t indecisive per se; I just needed to catalogue my reasons and questions. On a shallow note, being knocked up would’ve been the perfect excuse to inhale fat at the speed of light, which would’ve been a real buzz kill for cock-hunting excursions with the girls. On a serious note, I wasn’t emotionally, physically or financially ready and knew I’d regret carrying a pregnancy to term, much less having a kid. Conversely, if I terminated and stopped the process, would I mourn what could’ve been?
Pippa was very clear; she wanted to be aborted. Her plan was never to be a kid. She loved her freedom and her artsy, indie circle of friends. She thrived on cultivating her personal style—she was such a fashion whore, that Pippa. She wanted to finish her novel, “A Tail of Two Ovum”. Who was I to argue with her? The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
Pippa hooked up with me simply for some R&R before heading home. She had a fabulous time with her previous hostess. They went to Vegas for four days of round the clock merriment, a couple of openings in Los Angeles, a quick trip to New York for a premiere and then back to Los Angeles, so Pippa could ship out. She was feeling a bit homesick, but needed to decompress and thought my vegetarian womb would be the perfect destination. She longed to play canasta with her fetus girlfriends, to compare notes about previous womb hostesses, gossip about the latest in Pheerknot, work on crochet projects, and among other things, she also wanted to wrap up the first draft of her book.
Though, breaking up is never easy, this was one of the most pleasant break-ups I ever had. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a decision Pippa and I entered into lightly. God no— Vacuums give off such negative ions and I hate making appointments. Still, we never, not once, looked back with regret or sorrow. In fact, we considered it one of our best decisions and felt proud of the choice we made.
Pippa wanted the street cred multi-aborted fetuses have in Pheerknot. Apparently, in Pheerknot, miscarriages quickly lost their notoriety and risked banishment, and this was a place where Pippa felt a genuine connection. I really had no idea how passionate aborted fetuses felt about miscarriage until Pippa finally cleared my confusion via a series of text messages, “Miscarriage is the poor man’s abortion. An ostensibly courteous way to terminate a pregnancy without acknowledging that abortion is also God’s way. Not to be cunty, but if you so much as think about trying to miscarry me, you’re gonna fuck everything up and rob me of a choice that has both distinction and reverence. I’ll be a fuckin’ fugitive in Pheerknot. You’ll be jeopardizing my future.”
Fugitive? That was a little over-dramatic. Coming from my womb, I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything less. I texted her and said, “You need to calm your ass down. Don’t you think you’re overreacting just a little bit? It’s not like I said I wasn’t going to have an abortion.” Pippa wrote back immediately, “Don’t cross me, child. We’re having this abortion. I don’t want none of that coat-hanger bullshit, either. And I want a new vacuum. I’m just sayin’.”
It was when she quoted self-help authors that I wanted to throw myself down the next flight of stairs I could find. Instead, I decided to hear her out. Her text read, “A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided. —Tony Robbins”
Tony Robbins?! Yuck. I was ready to make like a flame, and stop, drop and roll myself off a roof. Pippa sensed my angst and sent me another flurry of text messages that read, “To quote Jerry Falwell, Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions. Now, make like a fundamentalist and shut the fuck-up. You got me all twisted up inside. I need a fucking joint to calm my nerves. What the fuck was I thinking when I chose a drug-free-rarely-drinks-vegetarian?” My non-response infuriated her. She telepathically screamed, “Don’t ignore me. And please stop telling me I need a nap. Gaaaaaaaaahd.”
“Listen Misty Waters,” she said, “You shouldn’t need convincing. I thought you were ready to spread and join your vacuum-riding-stirrup-sisters-in-arms.”
“Duh, Pippa,” I snapped.
I’m not a dumb ass; I didn’t view abortion as a means of birth control. I was a condoms-foam-diaphragm girl, walking into each fuck, ready to do battle and confront sperm head on. I was the General of my womb. “You want in, you’re gonna have to fight with everything you’ve got, Spunk Boy. Cause you ain’t rollin’ outta my cunt with a pulse.”
Pippa read my thoughts and, telepathically, we went back and forth.
“I knew you were my kinda broad.”
“I’m as pro-choice as they come, even when I need a minute to figure shit out.”
“I know. I just really, really want to maintain my street cred back home. I know I’ll be your first. Having been down this road many, many, many times…”
“Yeah. Why so surprised? I was born to be aborted. All different women, too, but all very unique and special in her own way. I choose carefully. We’ll get through this. And I promise you’ll never regret it.”
Pippa was very clear about what she wanted, a private doctor in a tranquil officey setting, not a nondescript steriley hospital. To tell you the truth, I was surprised. I thought a clinic abortion had way more street cred. Maybe just less than a back-alley-number, the butchest abortion possible. Pippa said it didn’t matter as long as she was aborted. Guilt is my cardio, and I logged plenty of it to last me a hundred lifetimes. I was only too happy to oblige. By twenty-one, I had an enviable shoe collection. At $300 a pair, Pippa knew I wasn’t cheap. Of course I would’ve paid twice that or more to give Pippa the abortion of her dreams—the better the abortion, the sweeter the karma, she explained.
When I asked my girlfriend, Zoë to drive me to the gyno for my procedure, she asked me why I wasn’t going to a clinic. I explained Pippa’s request. “Abortions today are so demanding, aren’t they?” Zoë said, winking. She had a point. Then again, Zoë had to beg her fetus to go clinic because she was pushing for back alley. Zoë’s embryo, Shennequa was one tough egg, a throwback to the 50s when back alley abortions were all the rage for that season’s fashionable fetus. I kind of admired Shennequa’s assertiveness though. I think Zoë did, too, secretly. Zoë’s Shennequa was also hot for a Fonzie fetus she met earlier that year in Pheerknot between sojourns from womb to womb. He was taking a one-year abortion-sabbatical to work on his Harley, repaint his condo and try Bikram’s Yoga. He was like a superstar in the trendiest aborted circles, spinning yarns that made the most uptight feeteye wet. Shennequa was eager to get home and wanted an impressive abortion story.
Pippa was scheduled for check-out at 10 AM. We got up early for a proper coffee klatch, sipping freshly percolated beans and noshing on raspberry scones, a recipe she swore by. They were delish. We had so much common ground. We had similar taste in men, both suckers for men who made us laugh and had unbridled magnetism, looks were secondary. We dished about the annoying before-the-much-anticipated-date blemish, how such things were just our luck. Pippa and I valued life a lot, our own and others and our freedom. We realized that we both skewed whoreish. I think— No. I know she was sluttier. I thought the time I got caught by two cops with flashlights on my ass as I rode my joystick du jour was racy, not to Pippa. That girl was hosted by many a porn star; one of her hosts pulled a train back in ‘79. As we recounted our best-of-fuck-yarns, we laughed and felt bonded.
I asked her where she saw herself in ten-years. I was curious. She said, “On the A-list abortion list. Hello. Do you know me?!” Who knew all of that moxie could radiate from such an ethereal bird?
Pippa thought about coming to me sooner. Though, she didn’t want to move me up on the list. There’s a list? Sure. All fetuses have lists, as it turned out. Pippa admitted she wanted to hook up with other chicks and be aborted by them first. I was pissed; we got into a huge fight.
“I may not be womb Cancun, but I thought I was at least a Lauderdale West womb. You’re the one who came to me as a vacation spot to decompress.”
“Don’t be so sensitive. I’m not complaining about the womb service. Chill out. Every year I make a Top 20 list of women I want to be aborted by.”
“What number am I?”
After I tirelessly hocked, she finally confessed, “Fifteen”.
I asked Pippa what she based her list on: must always use birth control, feminist, funny, easy to talk to and absolutely, positively had to be pro-choice, to ensure she’d get aborted. I was flattered, really. She asked if I had a list of qualities I wanted my aborted fetus to have– What a good question! I hadn’t really given it much thought. Off the top of my head, I said, “A girl, to be sure, someone I loved enough to abort, knowing that that bond would forever connect us and keep us in each other’s hearts no matter where life, in spirit or in body carried us.”
It was sweet. We were just two little peas in a pod.
After our abortion, Pippa and I stayed in touch just the same for a few weeks. She was so happy to be home and started dating Shennequa’s Fonzie feeteye. We talked about life, love, sex, china. This and that.
Though, we never did hook up again in my womb, we connected from time to time. Mostly to bust the other’s chops and have a laugh.
Looking back, I would’ve made the same choice. Though it wasn’t easy, I had Pippa. I didn’t have to go it alone—she was with me every step of the way. When last we spoke, she told me that if I ever decided to reproduce, she would consider going to term with me. Hearing that from her twelve-years later meant everything to me, especially because I still remained so indecisive about having a child and simultaneously afraid that I would never feel capable of being a parent. Respecting and loving her as much as I did, that confidence bolstered my own. I wanted to say as much. All I could think of was, “I bet you say that to all the girls, but what’s my number on the list should such an auspicious occasion occur?”
I’m still waiting for an answer…. that’s so Pippa.
Homesick Abortion: Written by Katie Schwartz / firstname.lastname@example.orgA variation of this essay appeared in the Monkeybicycle Dirty Humor Issue #5
*Image courtesy of Felt and Wire