Minutes later I find myself chugging a vodka martini in my kitchen while smoking over the sink. Something about turning the pain on its head this way gives the substance a bit less control. I remember the first time, every time. I was with Wallace at a library looking through stacks and stacks of Time Magazine, before you couldn’t find Time Magazine anymore.
“Hey, I’ve got a secret. I can get you past inspection. I can make you look infertile. Even better it changes the color of your eyes. It warps your iris. You won’t even be identified as your mother’s daughter.”
I tip the cigarette and ashes fall against mushy chicken I haven’t washed down yet. Wallace. Yep, he was a little shit. If I knew then what I know now…
He had tugged on my wrist and brought me back to a stack that looked legitimate, save a bright red binding in a sea of leaflets. He tugged on it and the books shifted, they almost seemed to dance apart, and a line of syringes was revealed.
I’d seen what had happened to my mother when the virus came. I was so young; I didn’t understand when they took her, kicking and screaming my name. But I had promised myself that it would never be me. And I’d been underground too long to get caught and identified as a breeder now. I thought it would hurt, but I’d heard rumors about birth control in the 20th Century. Amazing to me, the idea of controlling birth. But that, those methods, they were nothing compared to this pain.