I remember the exact moment my son, Thibault, was conceived. My wife wanted to have a child four years on into our marriage. I wasn’t so sure; I was already 40. Our whole time together had been one big party till then. Lots of drink, cigarettes and party.
Sleep on your right side, it will influence your dreams, she had picked up from God knows where. So she slept on her right side and dreamt of babies. Every time she thought she had fallen pregnant, she’d try out another one of her best friend’s recommendations. She peed in a goblet and added a large lump of salt. After two hours the salt still hadn’t melted so she wasn’t pregnant. She peed in a plastic box, put a brand new needle in it and put the lot in a cupboard away from sunlight. After eight hours the needle still hadn’t turned rusty or black, so she still wasn’t pregnant. After two years of larking around like this, we conducted some proper tests.
Everything was fine with her, it seemed. The doctor wanted to know if the same could be said for me. So, in I went to the hospital, they gave me a container, said,
‘Bring it back in 5 minutes.’
I went into a room where the tables were covered with porno mags and films. I must have wanked for about an hour, my hand even hurt, but not a drop came out. I went back the next day. Same story. The nurse was standing behind me, she kept coming over every few minutes:
‘Any better today? Come on, make an effort! Have you finished?’
For crying out loud! She should have come over and played with me a little, or let me have a sniff of her, that would’ve been much better.
‘there’s no way this is going to work.’
So they told me to wank off at home the following morning. On an empty stomach, mind, then bottle it and drive it straight over.
That’s what I did. The test results said that I had enough secretion and there was sperm, but that they were extremely tired. Is that any wonder, with the lifestyle we were leading?
We went for a week to the Costa del Sol and in that time I had nothing to drink cos the wine there was more like piss than anything else anyway. We ate well; I had lots of meat and just a bit of salad, not all that rice or potato stodge, and I did lots of sport everyday. Avocadoes and almonds were a regular. Loads of vitamin E in both. Good for your sperm. Zinc and selenium in almonds for that extra boost, tho I know that some swear by drinking the water you’d boiled your eggs in once it had cooled. Can you see me drinking continental tap water to foster the birth of my child? I’d be up at five whilst all the other holidaymakers were still snoring, I’d swim for an hour then go up for breakfast. And in the evening, I’d be sure to sprinkle a generous dose of fresh parsley on whatever I was eating; great for men’s reproductive health.
The second time we made love, there was something about the way her body reacted: I knew she had just fallen pregnant. On the flight back, she kept saying,
‘I feel sick, I’m gonna throw up!’
‘Oh, you and your bla-bla-bla!’
She didn’t believe me for a second.
‘When we get back, you’ll go to the chemist for a pregnancy test. I don’t want any more jars of piss in my cupboards, got it?’
The test came back positive. To be on the safe side, I sent her to do a blood test. Positive. I could tell the doctor exactly when the baby was conceived. Not simply the week, but the precise day and the precise hour. He believed me, because it is possible, but very few people are so tuned into their bodies let alone the body of another.
I know the exact moment when both my children were conceived; there was an energy, a reaction: I just knew it. And if I listen deep down in myself, I know that I was a father already at the age of 14. That 19-year-old I had, before my mother had explained to me coitus interruptus.
My wife went along with my biking mania. She did the license and I bought her a brand new Harley. We had money in those days. A brand new Harley with all the trimmings. And our son, Thibault, in his seat on the back.