The One Where I Hug Ronald Reagan

Date: 5/16/2019

By nicolezdzieba

I go into labor and black out. When I come to, I find out that I have a baby boy. I only get to see him for a second. Suddenly, I’m in a beauty supply late at night, walking around with no pants on. The girl who works there tells me that they’re closing in two minutes, but I tell her I have to come back with my mom to look for hair color because she’s my hairdresser. The girl says that she likes my haircut and I thank her and tell her that I just got it done. I’m walking past some kind of a dollar store when I see Jessi and a few other people I work with. I try to wave, but they don’t see me. I walk in and say hello. One of the guys (who I apparently work with) is doing something he shouldn’t (breaking something or causing some sort of ruckus). All I can think about is my baby. I go down one of the aisles and Brody is with me and I realize that I’m afraid I won’t be able to have the connection that mothers are supposed to have with their babies because of my depression. He hugs me and reassures me that it’ll be okay. We leave, and end up at some campground where Josh and the youth kids are. While I’m the car, I see that Sarah and Boyd posted a video announcing that they’re pregnant. I realize that I have no pants on again, and I put on some random dress that I find in the car. I get out and wonder if everyone will realize I had the baby or not. I ask Brody if I still look pregnant and he scoffs at me. I realize that I still haven’t named my baby. We run into Gary, who tells me he’s not allowed to bring his dog to youth anymore because she was “too scary” to the parents. She looks like a big wolf dog. She’s in his car (with another dog) and I pet her for a while. There are pictures of her on the windows of Gary’s car. Josh comes over to hug me near the campfire, and I start to wonder if no one knows I had the baby. I look beside me and Renee is in a car holding Shepherd. Ashlee is also in the car and I talk about how easy my labor was — I realize that it didn’t even hurt. I get in the car and take Shep from Renee and Ashlee disappears. I realize that there are actually three babies: Shepherd, Eric (but it doesn’t look like Eric at all) and my baby. My baby is tiny and laying on the middle seat, so I put Shepherd down to get him. We’re still driving down the road when I and look down at my baby in disbelief. He’s completely Asian-looking (which I assume is because of Brody’s squinty eyes) and he has a full head of thick, black hair. He’s much bigger than he was a few moments ago and the pink insides of his eyelids are sticking out. I wonder if Brody’s eyes were the same when he was a baby, and then realize that he has the prettiest green eyes. I go to show Renee, and they turn brown. I pull him back toward myself, and they change to a bright blue. I realize that every time I look at him from a different direction, they change color. Suddenly, I’m in a bar, realizing that the whole scene of myself in the car with my baby was a dream. I’m desperate to see him. I see a Bud Light Christmas ornament on the table and go to look at it, but it’s broken. I say a mental prayer, telling God that I know seeing my baby is going to be big, and I need His help to feel everything I’ll need to feel. The bartender tells me and John Richards (who has suddenly appeared) to do something, and we walk out of the bar. We walk toward the building facing it, and John tells me that he was going to do what the bartender had told us anyway, but since he was told to do it, now he doesn’t want to. I think about how he must be an Enneagram 4. John realizes that he’s locked out of the building we’re standing in front of (which is apparently his house), and he has to climb the drain pipe to get in. I come to the conclusion that I’m in a memory in this moment, because I’ve already heard the story of John climbing the drain pipe (not in real life). I look into the downstairs window and a man — who appears in black and white, dressed as an old-time mafioso — starts asking who’s up on his roof. He pulls out a gun and I calmly say, “John, he’s got a rifle” (I know that John is safe because this is only a memory). The mob guy hears me, opens the door — suddenly colorful — and says, “You’re Pat‘s granddaughter!” (He uses a different last name, but I know who he means, and I know that he recognizes me because he thinks I look just like her.) He throws a huge dinner for me with his family ... I’m at Tito Martin’s show with my mom, Tita Vicki, Tita Gina and Renee, waiting for it to start. Tito Martin is walking around the auditorium, showing us which seats we can sit in. He leaves us to go backstage, and I realize that auditions (no clue what for) are going on. People are lined up on the stage. An Indian guy sings, then Paul Rudd sings. I look to the center of the stage (near where Renee has materialized) and realize that Richard Nixon is on the stage. Everyone starts clapping and they give him a standing ovation, which I find odd considering his reputation and the fact that he’s dead. When I see Ronald Reagan, I realize that I must be in another dimension. I watch Renee shake Nixon’s hand. He makes a joke and she starts cracking up. My mom and I go over to the seats that Nixon and Reagan are sitting in. It seems like Nixon must have just finished his term and Reagan is now the president (even though that’s not how things went down historically). Nancy Reagan is wearing a pantsuit covered in American flags. I vaguely wonder what they’re doing at Tito Martin’s concert. Renee and my mom talk to the presidents for a moment, and then Reagan turns and says something to me but I can’t even string a sentence together. I’m sweating from the nerves. Reagan starts telling me how we have to keep the soda companies in business, and I agree. I go to hug him and we hug for a really long time. He smells really good. I ask him if I can have his autograph and he obliges, so I run to find paper (all I have with me is a Flex Seal notebook with pictures of Phil Swift in it and I don’t want him to sign that). I see Renee’s head, so I lay across the people seated beside her to ask if she has paper as I think about how I still haven’t found clean clothes to wear since having my baby. She says no. When I ask again to make sure, Autumn Kirton (who is one of the people I’m apparently laying on) aggressively tells me that she doesn’t have any paper. I tell her that I wasn’t asking her anyway and realize that I’m also laying across Karissa’s lap. As I start to sit up, the third person (no idea who the kid actually is) says his name is Alejandro, and I tell him that I don’t really care. I get up and start running toward Reagan again.