Stories

Baby Hill – Alex Kies

There’s a job I used to do. They used to send me two spreadsheets in an email. And then I’d open them both. And then I would click into them and then 

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And so on for eight hours taking breaks of course to look at the Minions memes the middle aged women I worked with would send me.

Somehow somewhere this was making someone profits. It said so in the orientation deck: there was a whole slide that was just PROFITS! heading a stock photo of an anonymous office building towering above you, the sun reflected raging in the ceiling to floor windows. This was a selling point.

I haven’t done that job for years and I can recite that keystroke. My pinky twitches. They said                       How do you do this so fast?            They said           How are you making so few mistakes?                  And it wasn’t because I was especially gifted at this or anything. There was a generation gap at play where my senior colleagues were unable to put on Glassworks and relax their eyes and breathe through their mouth and check out and do the keystroke. They got too lonely. 

The one that sat next to me said once           You’re Catholic right?         Yeah              I said although the institution and its representatives and I have a longstanding mutual antipathy. She told me she had a miscarriage once 20 years ago in the third trimester and she’d had her parrish priest say a little funeral for the poor thing when they installed the headstone on Baby Hill, which is what she told me they call the part of the cemetery where they put the miscarried and stillborn and infant dead. The plots are free, although they’re much smaller.

Yeah?       I said.

Well, do you think God’s okay with that?         she said.

I gave a long, on-the-clock answer that touched on the Church’s reversal of course on their traditional purgatory for the unborn doctrine and the progression of maternity care across history. I concluded God never seemed to be that big of a doctrinaire to me.               And if he is                I said,                                                         you tell Him to come talk to me.

She laughed.