Don’t Talk to Strangers

by Jason Alan

I was the oldest of nine brothers and sisters. As a kid they tell you to not talk to strangers, but every time your mother gets pregnant she’s not only talking to them, she brings them into the house. That’s what newborns are, really, to everyone. Strangers. I’m guessing you didn’t get to know them much in the womb. Not much of a conversationalist while floating around in amniotic fluid, not typing many emails, texting or facebooking. You don’t know what kind of person this is. Your brother could one day become a serial killer or worse, a Christian conservative.

I never trusted where they came from either. When I was four or five, I figured out that babies came from mommy and daddy. I felt screwed either way. Before I had the first sibling, the last thing that came out of mom’s stomach was chili and vodka. And I’ve smelled the bathroom, I don’t trust anything that comes from my dad’s pants.

But we’re all grown up now, and I can say that I’m glad to have all of them in my life. I can say that, but I won’t. Fuck those assholes. Except for the one who actually did become a serial killer. I kinda like him. It’s hard to borrow money from me and not pay it back while you’re in prison.