There are so many things I want to want to tell you about, like the night your mother and I spent making you. How it felt to hear your were on the way. Or how amazing it was to feel you moving in your mother’s belly. But it’s highly likely none of these moments will be anything I remember with any clarity.
As I write this, you do not yet exist, but you are an inevitability. Because if there is one thing I enjoy, it’s throwing it down with a crack whore. And even now, I must burden you with a request. I must ask that you open your heart to grant forgiveness. First, please forgive me for playing my part in bringing you into this world. As you will learn, this can be a harsh place to grow up in. Please also forgive your mother, too. Her addiction does not make her a bad person. You will be born with that same addiction, so you will be even closer to your mother than most children are. You will share her desire for that sweet, sweet crack. I admit I also share the addiction, but our connection over the crack will be so different than the one with your mother.
Speaking of your mother, at this point, she will be one of three different crack-addled harpies I’m currently shtooping. It is very possible you will have a half-brother or sister who receive a photocopy of this same letter. But understand that doesn’t mean I will care for you any less than your crack-addicted siblings. You will all be equally important to me. But no matter which mother is yours, the story of how I met her is pretty much the same. My insatiable desires led me to her in a crack den in the bad part of town. We shared a crack pipe on a heavily stained mattress on the floor. We laughed and shared tales of adventure and smoked a lot of crack together. It’s the same old story each time, just with a different woman.
I dream about your birth sometimes. You arrive, a full three months early. You have the smallest little fingers and toes I have ever seen. I can see your ribs through your translucent skin. Your tiny cries break my heart because your body wants crack but cannot have it; withdrawal is always the hardest. I imagine you growing tall and strong, becoming a star athlete and academic whiz-kid. You will be better than your mom and dad, because you will have the strength to refuse to smoke crack with us. You and your possible half-brothers and sisters will be born with the crack addiction, but you will have the strength to cast it aside.
Studies have shown that crack babies are not necessarily predisposed to any specific developmental problems, so you could very well turn out okay. If you develop problems, though, know that it may not be from the crack or even from me. My genes are strong; all of my grandparents lived well into their 90s and died of old age. If something makes you “special,” then it probably came from that crack-smoking whore mother of yours, whichever one she turns out to be. So, again, I ask you to find the ability to forgive.
I’d like to believe I will be there for your little league games or cheerleading competitions or karate matches or first pony ride or whatever you end up doing, but please understand, the crack really takes up a lot of my time. It can be really hard to stay organized when you’re looking for a fix. And I may not be entirely coherent some days, or I might disappear for a week sometimes. I imagine your mother may come up short with some of these things, too, but know that I will try my best to be there.
One thing a child cannot often understand is that his father is not invincible. And even though I will say that in this letter, you still will not understand right away. You will slowly learn early on that I am entirely too weak to give up the delicious crack. But maybe I will find strength in you. I hope that I can.
There is so much I wish to teach you, but I cannot put it all in this letter. I look forward to meeting you, my little one. But right now, I’m really looking forward to smoking some crack. See you one day, soon!
[Inspired in part by Joe Cetta’s fantastic letter.]