Photo: Jorge Santiago

The Playground Trap

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Nowhere is the neontocracy more present than the playground, which is as much an anti-space as it is a space. There is no drinking, no in-depth conversation, no reading of books. There is no consumption of food that hasn’t been cut into tiny pieces and shuttled in tiny containers. There are no adults unattached to a child or children. And, at the same time, in bars and many restaurants and galleries and parties and coffee shops in the U.S. there are no children, there are few parents of young children, and the parents of young children present have put their parenthood on mute. A neonatocracy, I discover shortly after arrival in the U.S., is very spatially segregated

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Photo: Jorge Santiago

Everyday Geography

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I have never been good with my hands. By this I don’t mean, “Oh, I can’t handsew little cat ornaments to gift at birthday parties,” or, “I could never make my toddler a homemade dinosaur costume for Halloween.”

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Photo: Jorge Santiago

Writing Like a Mother(f*cker)

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In the first few months after the baby is born, I experience a singing clarity: Milk! Diapers! Milk! Diapers! Lusty oxytocin! Sleep! Chee­z-it binge! Sleep! I have cleared out a space–no, cleared out my whole brain–for this time, and I have no expectation of writing.

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Photo: Jorge Santiago

A Wilderness of Waiting

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In the eighth month of my nine-month human pregnancy, I go on a binge-Googling of animal gestation periods. Frilled sharks, I discover, gestate for 42 months. Elephants take 22 months. Sperm whales: 16. Walruses: 15. Rhinos: 14.

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