I want to write a letter to my imaginary baby. You know, it'd start out saying something like "Dear Baby (if you ever exist)" and I'd follow it up with poignant pieces of life that I've gathered to be helpful. For example, "Life is fucking hard, lightening splitting the earth, and there's no two ways around it" - something like that. I might paraphrase. But, maybe not. My imaginary baby knows I have a mouth on me. I would then continue with apology after apology. For instance, "I'm sorry that you will always have dirt under your fingernails.", "I'm sorry I will be drunk, like garden parties and paper lanterns, more than I should be.", "I'm sorry that I will for sure lose my temper, a firecracker in closed hands." The best thing? Imaginary babies forgive. Real ones internalize. But, that's besides the letter I want to write.
I'd write about my dad. A workin' man with hands like dried sponges. And also, my mom, ol' knives for tongue. I'd write about me. And how, secretly, I always wanted the (imaginary) baby to look like an Anderson (aren't we glad he does!!). I'd write about writing. And how, the moment, right above the creek near Maxville on highway 32, when I saw a Belted Kingfisher for the first time, how that moment I knew that life was different than what was given me. Whatever that means.
I'm sure I'd write about love. But, probably in a way that's not appropriate for babies. Even really rough and tumble babies like my imaginary one. I might even tell that child about the times I snuck out of my house to meet older boys with magic hands. I'd use the word "magic" and make a footnote* (*ask me about this when you are older - babies can't read anyway.) I'd be pithy about love, because let's face it, does anyone ever listen anyway? (The answer is no. But you fucking knew that)
I would probably say it's okay to fight. Even with fists sometimes. Not always*. (*footnote: consult with me first. Please.)
I'd probably end with something like "Dear (imaginary) baby - just know that mostly, I'm gonna try real hard to be what you need, but probably, I'll let you down. Aint that the way?".