The two of them settled in on a bench near the beach. It was a brisk evening; a crisp wind was blowing. She handed him a giggling baby swaddled in warm wrapping.
“Can you hold her for a minute?”
“Sure,” he said grabbing a hold of the baby.
“I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life,” she remembered.
“Whatever,” he said. “How was I supposed to know?”
“You’re pretty pale, but when that nurse started describing colostrum and meconium you looked like a piece of Wonder Bread,” she laughed.
“Yeah,” he said shaking his head. “I wasn’t necessarily grossed out as much as I thought maybe I’d missed some state of being described by Heraclitus.”
“You’re killing me,” she laughed. “And when they talked about an episiotomy you squeezed my hand like a little girl on a roller coaster.”
“Jesus,” he said. “Can you cut me some slack?”
“That’s what an episiotomy is, dumbass!” she drilled in.
“God,” he said. “This stuff is all so gross and you revel in it. I’m just glad she’s here and you’re ok.”
“It’s fine,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes. “It has been fun watching you deal with all these bodily functions.”
“I can tell something is on your mind,” he said. “What is it?”
She looked at him holding their baby and got serious.
“If someone wrote our story, if someone bothered, what would the story be?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe we could go on Oprah.”
She sighed and socked him in the arm.
“C’mon,” she said. “If someone wrote a book about us. That’s what I mean.” “
“Well, I guess it would be a bildungsroman, or maybe an adventure,” he said. “Although, I think maybe Stephen King might be the one. A horror novel.”
He laughed to himself and kissed the baby on the head.
“You think we’re a horror novel?”
“Oh c’mon sweetie,” he said apologetically. “You know we’re biblical. Our story is that good.”
“Biblical?” she asked. “Like what story?”
“How about Adam and Eve?”
“I suppose,” she played along. “Eve is the original muse, the inspiration of the whole story in the Bible and even your faith, Christianity?”
“What?” he asked, sensing her mocking Christianity to get under his skin. “I don’t get where you’re going with that.”
“Have you ever heard of De Mulieribus Claris by Giovanni Boccaccio?”
“Boccaccio? He wrote Decameron, I’ve heard of him, but that, no.”
“It’s his biography of famous women” she said. “He starts in the obvious place with the first woman, Eve.”
As he looked at the baby’s face, he saw the same eyes he saw set in the face of the woman next to him, the one about to make a point, probably a compelling one, about Eve. She did this kind of thing, treading on to what she thought to be his intellectual territory to pick a pillow fight – or sometimes a knife fight. Now he looked over at her.
“Wait, so now you’ve got me rethinking Adam and Eve,” he said. “That’s a fucking awesome way of thinking about it. Eve as muse for an adventure story, The Bible.”
“She enticed him to taste of the tree of knowledge, to become aware,” she said. “And Bocaccio casts them as outlaws too, breaking the rules and having to go on the run.”
“Outlaws?” he wondered aloud. “Adam and Eve as Bonney and Clyde. Are you and I like outlaws? Are you a muse? I suppose our life is definitely going to be a journey, and adventure.”
He handed the baby over to her.
“Yes, an adventure” she said. “And we’re just at the beginning.”
“No,” he said. “There’s lots of shit that happened before this, before us, and a lot that will happen after.”
“Speaking of shit,” she said. “I think our buddy here needs a diaper change.”
“See that wasn’t part of what I thought my story was going to be all about, dirty diapers,” he said reaching around the bag he had next to him. “I figured I was Aeneas, you know striking out from home, never to return, and to found a new empire.”
She stared at him as he handed over a diaper.
“No,” she said, pushing it back. “Your turn.”
“I didn’t know they went so through so many of these,” he said as he took the diaper. “I thought maybe a change in the morning, a change at night. Jesus.”
“Had Virgil been a woman,” she started and then stopped as she remembered something. “Saltem si qua mihi de te suscepta fuisset ante fugam suboles.”
He squinted at her as she began the process of changing the baby’s diaper.
“My Latin’s not that good honey,” he said.
“I did have a child of yours,” she said. “But she looks like me.”