Now that Damn the Ponytail has been out for a month, I figured I'd share a few things with you - some insight into where I wrote it and some behind the scenes into my crazy approach to writing. Even more fun - maybe - are some vignettes that didn't make the final book, either because they just didn't work or because I tried to add them too late in the publishing process.
Here’s Lil outtake 1: Satanic Lactation Consultant
Brittany lies in her bed, a grimace on her face, the pain from her c-section five-minutes-fresh. “Can I get something for the pain?” she had just asked a nurse.
We’re in the delivery ward and away from our new Lil, but we know she’s in good hands. Right now I’m focused on Brittany, her pain, her emotion… and her pain. “What can I do?” I ask.
“Get me a drip,” she says.
I sit on the edge of her mattress and let her squeeze my forearm. My dad stands at the end of her bed and watches us. “I’ll go chase someone down,” he says and turns toward the door.
As he turns we hear squeaky wheels rolling down the hall outside of Brittany’s room. Brittany’s head perks up. “It must be the medicine,” she says. She sits up a bit and winces and presses a hand against her tender stomach. “Thank god,” she says.
The squeaky wheels get closer and closer. Then they’re upon us.
A tiny, old, white-haired woman pushes a metal cart into Brittany’s room. A tan box, clear tubs dangling out of it, sit on top of the cart. “Hi, Brittany,” says the old woman. “Congrats on your new baby,” she says.
“Thanks,” says Brittany. “Is that my drip?”
The old lady pats the machine like she invented it. “Oh no, honey. I’m here to talk to you about breastfeeding. Nothing is more important for your baby’s development. I’m a lactation consultant,” she says and points to herself.” She pats the machine again. “And this is a pump.”
The machine isn’t a drip for Brittany’s pain. It’s a pain inducing nipple sucker. The lady isn’t sweet. She’s the devil’s mother. I try to be calm. “Miss, maybe you should come back -“
She cuts me off. “Honey, she needs to start breastfeeding.”
I peak at Brittany. Her face is red, but not from pain.
“Miss,” says Brittany.
“Yes, dear?,” says Mrs. Satan.
“Get the hell out of my room,” says Brittany.
My brain can’t balance the delight and terror. I’m afraid for the old hag, but I can’t stop laughing in front of her. My dad stares at Brittany. He’s never seen her mad before so he’s unsure how to handle himself. I put my arm behind the satanic wench, herding her toward the door. “Maybe in a few hours,” I say and escort her and her squeaky cart and her torture device out of the room.
Old Mother Satan shuffles down the hall to her next victim. Just then a nurse with a drip walks up to me. “I’m here for Brittany,” she says.
“Oh thank god,” I say. “Really, you’re a savior.” I let her holiness walk into Brittany’s room.
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