Savage Scavenge (MaryJanice Davidson in Charming the Snake) – Chapter Nine

Gladys and Jaz are driving, Jaz apologising over and over again that he didn’t ask her to stay. Gladys tells him that she could have asked and didn’t and that he should stop worrying.

She would love to go again, now that he would be able to last a bit longer, would love to take him to bed on her warm flannel sheets for about the next six hours [ambitious much?], then make bread pudding for breakfast and watch one of her Wheel of Fortune discs. [What a life. What a sad, sad life.]
Clearly, not in the cards. It was almost a relief he’d turned out to be such a swine. [What is the swine part? That he didn’t ask her to stay over – while she jumped out of his bed and dressed herself in pretty a hurry? Or that his apartment is such a stinky mess – which she knew before she slept with him. Look, there are definitely guys, who are swines, but I don’t see so much of that in him.] It made tricking him so much easier.

*sigh* This is so going to be a weird “steal your sperm” thing.

Jaz says that in the old days, it could be now that she was pregnant, but as they live on city water, they should be safe from that [a-ha (not the band)]. Gladys, going for her chance to get back at him, tells him she still could be as she’s been taking the pill and was ovulating right now. [So, okay, the pill was not to sterilise, but to fertilise…]

“You’re on the Pill? You got the exam and permission and all that?”
“Yes.”
“But… but I’m still on city water.” Shaken, he seemed to be trying to give himself good news. “It only works if both of us are taking it, right?”
“That’s what they tell us, isn’t it? But anyone with a little education can figure out the lie. Jaz, it’s much, much easier to repress ovulation in a woman than repress sperm production in a man. The water being necessary for both is just an urban legend; the Pill being necessary for both for a baby is a lie.” [As opposed to an urban legend.]

Jaz reacts confused and above all angry (not surprisingly, imho). He says that he doesn’t want a baby, not with Gladys and not with a norm. Gladys says that she doesn’t want a baby with him either, just with his genetics [Just a short question: Are there no sperm banks anymore, in the year 2072?] – which, frankly, makes me wonder: she’s a doctor, so I guess she’s pretty well with science. And science suggests more and more that genetics influences way more than we thought. And by the year 2072, I hope that science will have advanced and know more about how much genes influence us – so random father selection and hoping that the baby will not be like him is probably not a good idea.

[And another science question: If the mutes aren’t even Homo Sapiens anymore, how can they procreate with one? A man and a ape can’t have children, either. I think.]

Okay, anyway, back to the thing at hand. Jaz is disgusted that the baby might turn out a norm. He’s so enraged that he tries to kick Gladys out of her car, but three times he decides against it because the neighbourhood is too dangerous (which might be the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard. Closely followed by my brother, who ran away after a fight with my parents when he was fifteen and got till the tree house in our backyard, where he let my little sister bring him food).

He finally drops her off at home and drives off, screaming that she ruined scavenger hunts for him forever.

She stood in the street and laughed and laughed, and after a moment, her laughter turned to sobs, but it felt the same, inside. [And this might well be the scariest sentence ever. How broken do you have to be to feel the same way about laughing and sobbing?]

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