He spied a glint of moonlight.
Perfect. He saw the moonlight.
Daddy was snoring. He didn’t like that. He preferred to hear Daddy reading out loud to him. Yes, it really helps when Mommy and Daddy read out loud. Some people don’t believe that, but it’s how he learned to think in English.
His last language had been French.
He was almost nine months old, and he was tired of being in here. Sure, it was warm and cozy, but his nature was adventurous, and he wanted out.
He was almost nine months old if you start from scratch, which some people do not do, but he knew nothing about all that. He just knew he’d been in here almost nine months, and he wanted to get on with it. He thought of baguettes.
But most of all, he wanted a tit. He was tired of the tube to his tummy.
He remembered real food from other places he had lived. The memory was strong. What he did not know is that he would forget those things, and this life to come would seem totally fresh, as if he’d never lived before.
Suddenly, a gush of liquid rolled over him, and Mommy jerked awake. The moonlight vanished. It’s time, he heard her say to Daddy.
Oh, boy! the baby thought. Soon I’ll have a tit! Maybe a baguette!
But it would be a long time before he saw a baguette because he was born in Boise. He got the tit later that day, however, and he was overjoyed.
His first thought on seeing more than moonlight was sacré bleu, but he never mouthed another word in French as long as he lived.
* * * *
They named him Henry, and he became an airline pilot, living 86 years, though he retired from flying at 68. He had married, fathered two sons and a daughter. His wife was born in Chicago and her name was Musette.
All his life Henry loved French food, and Paris was his favorite destination during his days with Pan Am and Delta. The City of Light gave him déjà vu.
But, as we all do in time, Henry died one day.
* * * *
Mama was lying on a straw mat and sweating. Her thighs were apart, and Henry saw the moonlight over Mozambique. He wanted a tit.
And he hankered for a hot dog.