The IRS called Tanya twice while she was in the waiting room of the fertility clinic. “You don’t have to keep calling me,” she said to her phone without answering it. “I know exactly what you want. What do you think I’m doing here?” A dapper young gentleman sitting across from Tanya said, “What are you doing here?” Tanya said, “I wonder if you’re familiar with the term None of your fucking business.” “I’m here to donate sperm,” he said. “I don’t need the money — I have lots of money — I just haven’t found a suitable mate yet, and I don’t want to raise a child on my own, but I do want at least one child of mine to exist in the world, and the director of the clinic has assured me that he will find a good, healthy mother for my child. That gives me some peace of mind, even if I never meet the mother or the child.” Tanya picked up a magazine and put it in front of her face. “You’re here to donate eggs, aren’t you?” he said. “And you are doing it for the money.” The nurse came into the waiting room and called her name. The man said, “May I treat you to a cup of coffee after our respective procedures?” She walked back to one of those rooms with the vinyl-and-butcher-paper-
First I was a baby girl sitting on the ground looking at the green grass. Then the grass turned brown. A man was above me talking loud. He pet or caressed me, I didn’t want him to but I was too weak to make him stop. I got a tattoo on my arm of a star’s pretty face — that was high school. I went to two wars and saw people and dogs die bloody in the street. I saw whole trees shot to pieces and my friend Ann, no more will her fingers trace my tattoo. In the second war a man tried to do something to me again in a room but I stopped him. He fainted and cried and I liked that, but when I got home I hated it, then I lay down in a green field that had no bombs, I calmed down and let the man cry inside me, and that other man, their tears came out my eyes, that was okay. I worked in a factory and I liked being with all the people doing their jobs, but at night Ann yelled inside me and I drank. Then I was an old woman and I said, Stop yelling, and she said, Stop drinking. She didn’t and I didn’t. I’m drunk now and I still have to go to work. Ann, will you ever whisper to me again? Yes. When? Now, I’m whispering to you now.