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Alan Baban
Alan Baban

Alan Baban is a medical student based in London. He did the MA Creative Writing at Birkbeck. He is currently writing his first novel. You can read his record reviews at, or follow him on twitter @alanbaban. He tumbls - sporadically - at

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Your Mother Should be Warm Inside

You spend nine months asleep in a bag of your own mother's membranes and then this chintzy ripsnorting sound from the outside is everywhere all of a sudden and you're awake. And you're listening. With one flappy ear pushed against your mum's walls pushing back; you are hearing a distorted, dubbed-out remix of her heartbeat done by someone with no groove sensibility high on crack—a phwackaphwackaphwackaCRACK—and it's bad, and it's obnoxious, and you wish your mother in her embarrassment of fat and fluids and jiggling tissues would just grow up and stop heaving her ass in time to its kick because every time she does drop a move, her womb goes all CRACKA inside and this tsunami of amniotic orange shit starts wasting, wasting and eroding all thirty-seven-plus weeks of this good thing you've had going on down here, like a warm little lapping beach of idleness, somewhere above your mother's vagina. And now—you're still listening to her screams for more cranberry juice—this obstematrician guy is telling your mother that they have to pull you out . . . with a what; he's saying with a fucking, he now wants to insert two fingers and a suction cup or forceps! That they're calling in this paedo-patrician guy to sort your ass out? Because you're not letting go of mama on time. And you won't, ever? No. That is not cool. That is so not cool, you telekinetically try to get the fact of the so-not-coolness across to your mother, who is now happy because the paedo-patrician guy is coming in to bag you and she has her cranberry juice with ice-chips. Boysenberries, too. What a flake of a future parent. You thought you guys had an agreement, an understanding; a meeting of minds though yours was technically non-existent at the time. She doesn't drink alcohol: you don't end up a puny kid with thin, impossible-to-kiss lips. She doesn't stab herself: you get to keep all four limbs, do sports at school, have a head to think with, a heart to feel, and gonads to screw everything and everyone in sight; plus all the other chewy stuff inside the organs that real life slowly but inexorably kills. Yes, all yours if you're mother doesn't stab herself where you're expanding. (And, natch, day by day getting easier to stab.) And now she plays this awful trick on you? And then it fucking happens already. You think clearly, for the first time in your life, as the barbaric metal fingers interlace around your dancing skull bones and pull you out, out of the red and into the black then the burning whites, and the universe you've been sleeping on is a big bright ego-shattering wink, and your practiced scowl is pulled by all the reaching metal surrounding it into something resembling an honest-to-God smile. Just for that one moment: Don't resist. Because it's enough to make anyone cry out loud. And everyone in the room does . . . because you spend nine months asleep and then



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