He was born unexpectedly, but at the time he was conceived, they already knew he was going to happen. It was simple. They had tried to use a Ziploc bag to prevent him from happening, but despite assurances on the box, he had wriggled in and started incubating himself in his mother's womb.
Dios! There was no telling what would happen if anyone found out, is what his mother said. Especially if Juan found out—that'd be bad. So she took the test once more, and she angrily shook the applicator to try and make the positive sign turn negative, but not even that worked. Well, she was sure she could go to the clinic, but she had to wait for a good time. Yes, a time when Abuela wasn't looking, that would be good. So Selena waited.
All this time, baby Juan Jr. was shaping, forming. Through his mother's bellybutton, he could see a television screen. He saw Alien, the first movie playing. He heard anger in surround sound—uh-oh, his father found out.
"What the fuck do you mean, you haven't gone to a clinic yet?"
Yep, mom had told Juan Sr. he was going to be an ex-father just a few weeks ago, with the promise she would get rid of the baby right away. Juan Jr. heard this, but he had no hard feelings. He hadn't yet learned to develop an emotional callous—or toes, for that matter.
"No, I told you, Flaco, I swear I told you I was going to do it this week, but you never listen to me—"
"Tch, the fuck I don't listen to you, I'll show you what listening to you is—c'mere—c'mere!"
Juan Jr. felt a fist to the face. His mouth opened. He was supposed to be crying, but all the pregnancy fluid got in his mouth. Yeah, he was going to feel this when he came out.
Selena decided she was going to take matters into her own hands. She had very little money, so she paid someone to do it under the table. Or, rather, in a basement. She felt relieved, and much skinnier.
But, three months later, her belly swelled. She thought she had just been gaining weight from depression and eating too much—Flaco left all of a sudden and didn't want to give them a chance, how else was she supposed to feel? She looked down at the swell her belly had undertaken and thought to herself: "Abuela is going to kill me. Muerte, muerte, muerta—aye dios mio—I'm doomed."
She hadn't expected Juan Jr. to be born, but he was, and miraculously, he was born without complication. At least, none she could see. But she didn't know he was missing a few screws. He seemed fine and everything, he grew into a healthy, generic sort of kid. A little cruel, but don't all children without fathers end up like that?
He even got himself a nice, fat girlfriend when he came of age.
What she didn't know that when Flaco had punched his son while he was developing, a part in his brain that was supposed to process a certain kind of logic was obliterated. It was the cognitive function of: "Hm, I think this is a good time to keep my mouth shut." The doctors didn't discover it until it was too late.
Once, in church, he said aloud: "Why the hell do we eat Jesus?" right on Good Friday.
During Abuela's funeral, he yelled: "Shit, who will make me tamales, now?" Sure, it was funny. But no one else thought it was.
At school, he had impeccable timing—so impeccably wrong timing that everyone at school thought that he was an idiot, except for Maria, who was always fat as a cow, but he liked her. Or rather, he settled for her.
He said to her during her Quinceneara three years ago: "Man, you're fat, Maria."
And on their second year anniversary, he asked: "Shit, I forgot when our anniversary is. When is it again?"
But none of these held a candle to the time he sat on the bus. It was a fateful day for him. He had never gotten socked in the nose before. But the "Hm, I think this is a good time to keep my mouth shut" hadn't kicked in before and wasn't going to kick in now. He saw a black man. Not just any old black man, but a black man that had with him two stale pieces of French bread in a grocery bag, a branch, and a roll of toilet paper tucked under his arm. Juan Jr. was sitting next to Maria, watching this guy coming through.
Background history on "Mr. Nigger," as Juan Jr. would make the unfortunate mistake of calling him. "Mr. Nigger" had been the son of a son of a son of a Black Panther who was the son of a son of a son of a son of a bitch. His great-great-great (ect.) grandmother had a mean punch, and it was her specialty to punch people square in the nose, and this great skill had been passed on down to "Mr. Nigger." So had an irritability for being called "Mr. (or Mrs.) Nigger." If he had been called "stupidass black guy," he would have continued sitting in his seat. If he had been called a Goodyear tire, he would have stayed in his seat. If he was called "blubber lips," "slave," or "white man's bitch," he would have stayed in his seat.
But as he was sitting down, Juan Jr. was chuckling with Maria, and he happened to say to her with a chuckle: "Mr. Nigger over there needs some T.P." He said this with a Beavis and Butthead voice and found it pretty hilarious.
Eleven generations of a punch square in the nose hit him, which God found quite hilarious.
There is no real moral, just an unfortunate truth that whenever and wherever a pregnant woman is punched in the stomach, an idiot will inevitably be born.