Saturday, January 28, 2006

Part Two

A canceled trip to Davis, a quiet Friday night.

Alone, I watch Frontline on my computer. A show first broadcast on April 18th 1983, 35 minutes long, titled simply “Abortion Clinic.”

Her boyfriend beats her. A seventeen year old Barbara, skinny and pale, in stirrups. The doctor, always brisk, always man, comes in and starts to work, wordlessly, under the white sheet draped from knee to knee. She starts to sob, then lets out cries of pain and climax as her neck arches and her head tilts back. Funny, it strikes me, this cruel parody of orgasm. And in a pornographic flash I imagine the coital act, and I hate myself a little as I think “was it good for you?” because what I really mean is “was it worth it?” because what I really mean is “why’d you do it?” And what I really don’t mean is the abortion.

There’s another girl, Helen. Her boyfriend lied about having had a vasectomy. She says men wouldn’t take a birth control pill, she wouldn’t trust them to. Funny, I wrote a paper on that topic for Integrative Biology 140: The Biology and Sociobiology of Human Reproduction.

It’s a bitter pill. Sex as the constant evaluation and revaluation of risk, cost-benefit analyses. Why fuck? Why fuck now? What will this orgasm require in payment, this single act of intercourse, one of many, cementing a pair bond with a useless other non-half.

So, what’s the cost?

FYI more fun with Frontline:

The Last Abortion Clinic

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