On a Wednesday evening.
She says to me: "Sometimes I wish you weren't gay."
"Why?" I ask her. "So I would fuck you?"
She laughs and replies, "No, because I think you would've been an excellent father."
She isn't the first woman to say that, and I replied to her like I did the others.
"No, you're wrong. I would be a terrible father. You think I would be good because I get along so well with your kid, but that's just because children appreciate it when you treat them like people. I don't talk down to them or hold their smallness or their cuteness or their lack of life experiences against them. Not many adults show them that kind of respect, and that is what makes them respond to me with such earnestness.
"Parenting on the other hand," I continued, "requires a lot of things I'm not very good at. Like long term commitments. Creating and maintaining a stable environment. Staying home a lot. I woulda had to been sober. If I'd started a family all I would have to show for it today would be a bitter ex-wife and some neurotic kids."
"Gee, she said, "you have a compelling way of talking your way out of a compliment."
"You're wrong again," I explained. "I'm very good at accepting compliments, as long you direct them toward praising my body or my brain."
She threw a couch pillow across the room and it hit me square in my bare chest. She has a good arm and good aim.